Survey: 62% believe that National Service volunteers should be more valued

A survey by “Sherut Leumi”, the National Civil Service for Israelis ineligible or exempt from military service, found that 62% of those surveyed believe that service and those who enlist for it are undervalued.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with survey company IPANEL, surveyed approximately 500 18-year-old respondents on a variety of questions related to Sherut Leumi.

Other survey results showed that 91% of respondents believe that there is a need for a national civil service in the State of Israel, while a staggering 95% believe that national service is a suitable alternative for those who cannot do. military service. 86% think that national civil service volunteers are as patriotic as IDF soldiers, although the other 14% do not share this sentiment.

The survey also wanted to measure the prevalence of stereotypes around national service: When asked who participates in national service, 64% of respondents said they were religious and 10% responded to Arabs.

Respondents were also asked what field of work national service volunteers enter, with 63% saying health and medicine and 50% saying education, compared to only 15% in the field of security (Ministry Defense, police, firefighters) and 16% who said they volunteer with disadvantaged populations (elderly, Holocaust survivors, youth at risk, impoverished, etc.).

The IDF evacuates an injured person on a stretcher to transport him by helicopter to a hospital, in Kathmandu, Nepal, 2015. (credit: illustrative; Danish Siddiqui / Reuters)

Sherut Leumi volunteers consist primarily of religious Jewish women who are exempt from military service. Volunteers are between the ages of 18 and 21 and typically work 30 to 40 hours a week for 12 to 24 months. Volunteers have the option of serving one or two years of national service. Most work in schools, but can also work in places such as hospitals, legal offices, nursing homes, health clinics, clinics for at-risk youth, organizations for disadvantaged communities, immigrant assistance, and many other organizations. Placement organizations that work specifically for national service try to place volunteers according to their abilities, interests, and needs.

To that end, 77% of those surveyed believe that the national public administration helps to integrate participants into the labor market.

“The National Civil Service works hard to increase public awareness of the vital and important work of 18,000 volunteers, who work in a variety of fields and are on the civic front,” said Reuven Pinski, Director General of the National Civil Service Authority . .

“The survey results are encouraging on the one hand, showing that the public recognizes the importance of national civic service, but at the same time reflects that there are gaps that we must address to improve the public’s familiarity and appreciation for volunteers and their contribution.” .

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