IDF Volunteers – or – Sar-El (for all ages)

So, you’re thinking about joining the IDF? Why not?

See if you qualify!

Mahal (volunteers from abroad) is geared towards young Jews, ages 18 to 23, from all over the world who seek to voluntarily serve in the IDF*. It is designed to accommodate those without Israeli citizenship and whose parents were never Israeli citizens. The program is an administrative gate through which non-Israelis and overseas Israelis enlist. The minimum service time is usually shorter than the regular IDF paths.

In addition, similar IDF paths serve Israeli citizens that moved abroad from Israel and want to return for their army service.

The Mahal and similar paths include generally 18 months of service (14 months if no army ulpan required).

The Mahal Nahal Haredi program is for non-Israeli, religious (haredi) Jewish men younger than 24. The program consists generally of 14 – 18 months of service (depending on level of Hebrew) in a separate Haredi Infantry combat unit.‏

The Mahal Hesder program is for non-Israeli, religious Jewish men younger than 24. The program consists of 6 1/2 months of studies in a Yeshivat Hesder (IDF Rabbinical College) followed by at least 14 months of IDF service, in total 20 1/2 months.‏

Eligibility (cumulative):

  • Young non-Israelis (including tourists, students, volunteers, etc. in Israel) and young Israeli overseas residents, who have one of the following criterias: Jewish, one of your parents is Jewish, one of your grandparents is Jewish, you are the spouse of one of the aforementioned, overseas Israelis and their children residing abroad before their 11th date of birth
  • Men: age 18 – 23 / Women: age 18 – 20 / physicians 35 incl.
  • Hebrew and non-Hebrew speakers


  • 14 months min. active IDF service(or 18 months min. including 3 months free IDF Hebrew studies, if  lacking command of Hebrew)
  • Prolongation of the minimum service time possible for unlimited periods
  • Add about 2 months for signing up procedures in Israel before enlistment
  • Enlistment Dates: Multiple over the year

For more information, go to
AFTER reading the Machal-IDF-Volunteers page, go to: 
Mahal Registration


Wishing you all Good Luck & Best Wishes!








Ok…So, you think you’re too old to fight in the IDF, but still want to get into an IDF uniform and help in other ways?




Guess what?

From the IDF Spokesperson’s website

Well, here’s a program that you too can join!

It’s called Sar-El….check it out!


Every year about 5,000 Jewish and Christian volunteers from overseas serve for two or three weeks with the IDF.



* The “Spirit of the IDF” has three fundamental values:
  1.   Defense of the State, its Citizens and its Residents
    The IDF’s goal is to defend the existence of the State of Israel, its independence and the security of the citizens and residents of the state.
  1.   Love of the Homeland and Loyalty to the Country
    At the core of service in the IDF stand the love of the homeland and the commitment and devotion to the State of Israel-a democratic state that serves as a national home for the Jewish People-its citizens and residents.
  1.   Human Dignity
    The IDF and its soldiers are obligated to protect human dignity. Every human being is of value regardless of his or her origin, religion, nationality, gender, status or position.

Click to read the complete version of the IDF Code of Conduct (Hebrew version here).