In August 2016, Nefesh B’Nefesh welcomed North American Mahal Lone Soldiers into the Lone Soldiers Program family! These soldiers (Mahalistim) are now eligible for a Grant, on behalf of Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Friends of the IDF (FIDF), as well as the range of services we offer Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF.

is an IDF volunteer program with the goal of (מח”ל – מתנדבי חוץ לארץ) Mahal allowing young men and women to contribute to by serving in the IDF, without going through the official process.

Mahal soldiers have the same rights and can expect the same treatment as any other soldier. Mahal soldiers who draft into combat units will enter the army in either March, April, July, August, November, or December. They will complete a one-month preparatory course followed by 18-months of active service.

The Mahal program consists of three main tracks: • Mahal (placement dependant on Hebrew • Mahal Hesder level)(for men and women) (for men and women) ○○ Hebrew Study Course (Michve Alon) • Mahal Haredi ○○ Field Units and General Units Draft (for men only) For more information: www.nbn.org.il/mahalquickguide REGULATIONS FOR JOINING MAHAL

Ages: • Men: 18-23 • Women: 18-20 • Doctors: Until the age of 31

A Mahal soldier must be Jewish according to the Israeli Law of Return.

In order to qualify for Mahal, one may have been in Israel 12 months on a non-recognized program and 18 months on a recognized program such as Masa. Recognized programs include: MASA high school, Yeshiva, Sherut Leumi, Army Mechina or other MASA programs.

Bnei Mehagrim are permitted to be in Israel for 4 months on a non- recognized program and 12 months on a recognized program (Mahal Hesder, he can be in Yeshiva for up to 18 months)

For more information: www.nbn.org.il/mahalquickguide SIGNING UP: THE PROCESS

Begin the sign-up process at least four months prior to the date you wish to draft. You must be in Israel to complete the Mahal application process. Be in touch with a Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Advisor ([email protected]) if you have questions about the process.

STEP 1: Get in touch with the Mahal office:[email protected] or call 03-6084502, 03-6084506 (email is preferable).

Include in your email the following information: name, origin, date of birth, when you want to draft and to which unit/position, if you or your parents have or have ever had Israeli Citizenship, dates of entry and exits to Israel and purpose of visit (optional), and any questions you may have.

אגף ביטחוני חברתי) STEP 2: Personal Interview at the Mahal Office (משרד הבטחון

What to bring: • Passport from country of residence (must be valid for the next three years at least) • Medical Forms (provided by Mahal) • Original Birth Certificate • The original letter from your Rabbi/Beit Din etc. confirming that you and/or at least one parent/grandparent is Jewish (we recommend you contact your local Jewish Agency representative to make sure you receive a proper letter that can be approved by the Jewish Agency in Israel). • If you have any recent medical test results such as blood and urine tests from the last 3 months, immunizations records, prescriptions for drugs/glasses/eye contacts, documents of previous medical/ mental treatments – bring them as well, as these will help with the enlistment process. STEP 3: Mahal officials will check that you have met the requirements in Step 2.

STEP 4: Receive your Mahal visa. This visa will be in your foreign passport and Mahal will take care of the arrangements.

STEP 5: Tzav Rishon (see NBN step-by-step guide to Tzav Rishon, but please note that Mahalistim will receive their Tzav Rishon quicker than Olim).

STEP 6: Attend a one-month army preparatory course. This is free and the Mechina (Prep School) assigned depends on availability. Mahal will assign the school.

STEP 7: Receive your Tzav Giyus (draft date and location).

STEP 8: Go to Bakum (IDF enlistment office) on the assigned day and become a soldier! Note: Most Mahal soldiers must attend an army for the first three months of his or her service, depending on the soldier’s Hebrew level.

For more information: www.nbn.org.il/mahalquickguide [email protected] 1-8000-71400