Dozens of girls attending national-religious secondary schools in Israel have joined a campaign to protest what they say is pressure from the Education Ministry to enlist in the Israel Defence Forces.
The campaign is organised by the conservative religious organisation Chotam in reaction to a ministry proposal by the Education Ministry to fund groups that guide religious women who want to join the military rather than perform national service. The number of young religious women entering the Israeli military has risen exponentially in recent years.
The girls are being photographed holding handwritten messages.
“Don’t interfere with our education. We believe in national service,” the signs read.
The girls say they have been pressured at school to join the IDF, Ynet reported.
Many high-profile national-religious rabbis have criticised young religious women who decide to enter the IDF.
High school graduates who show that they are religiously observant can be excused from military service. Most perform one or two years of national service, in which they are placed in positions in schools, hospitals and other civilian programs.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”