Compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is an important rite of passage in Israeli society. The army is a place where adolescents from different backgrounds work together for a common goal. In the army they evolve and develop, learning important skills that they will need for becoming a productive member of Israeli society.
Etgarim’s military preparation program is a unique opportunity for 11th and 12th graders with physical or sensory disabilities, both boys and girls, who have been exempted from military service due to these disabilities, but who wish to serve in the IDF in a significant way. The program prepares them for service and accompanies them throughout their military service.
The extensive preparatory program comprises challenging outdoor activities, such as sailing, kayaking and cycling; a week of survival in nature; visits to military bases; meeting with program graduates and army commanders. In addition participants take part in “Gadna” pre-military training, where discipline and activities reflect real military conditions.
Etgarim counselors accompany the participants through the IDF placement process and help them attain positions that make use of their skills. The project offers both personal and group assistance throughout the army service.