Tour of one of the revolutionary projects for young religious women in Israel, and encounter with young women idealists who are preparing themselves for the experience of military service as religious women at the Tzahali Pre-Army Program.
The most interesting revolution taking place today in Israel is the revolution of religious feminism. Religious women in various places are bringing about change in their status in society and in roles they fulfill in the community. Increasing numbers of religious women are seeking to take part in religious ritual, and to participate actively in religious public life.
One of the interesting phenomena in this realm is the growing number of young religious women who decide, contrary to the position of leading rabbis and the education system in which they were raised, to enlist in the army.
In Israel, army service is part of the path to maturity for young people, a leg of the journey to adulthood and to familiarity with Israeli society-at-large. For many years, most religious young women did not serve in the army, missing out both on the opportunity to contribute and on an entrée into becoming integrated into Israeli society.
The “Tzahali” pre-army program, established by the Yaacov Herzog Center, sets for itself the goal of preparing religious women for military service. The preparation is designed to help girls who were socialized in closed and conservative frameworks find a way to contribute through complete integration into the military framework, and at the same time, to preserve their uniqueness as religious women.
The tour includes a visit to the program, a joint study session and discussion with the young women enrolled in the program, and a lecture about the renewed place of religious women in society.