IDF Project for the Intellectually Disabled

Proposal for Project to Induct intellectually disabled People into the IDF

(Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF and military service are among the core values of Israeli society. For most Israeli citizens service in the IDF is a foundational experience. We believe that it is important that persons with an intellectual disability people should also have this experience, within the limits of their abilities and needs.

The encounter between the persons with an intellectual disability and the general population serving in the IDF, commanders and soldiers alike, will have the result that broad sectors in Israeli society will be exposed to persons with an intellectual disability people; this will hopefully bring about a change in attitude.


The mobilization of people with intellectual disabilities into the IDF will take place in full cooperation between the IDF itself, the Ministry of Welfare’s Department for the Treatment of the Persons with an intellectual disability, and AKIM-Israel. Their military service will consist of significant and productive tasks appropriate to their abilities, which will contribute to the IDF. They will serve in IDF units whose commanders have agreed to take part in the project and have been identified as possessing social sensitivity and an ability for acceptance. The units involved and their commanders will receive special training before the project’s implementation, and instruction in the course of its operation. IDF service of people with intellectual disabilities will be implemented in small groups. Every person with an intellectual disability conscript will have an accompanying soldier mentor with special training. The service programs are modular and of varying length, between three and twelve months.

People with intellectual disabilities are distanced from everyday life in normal society for most of their lives. We believe that an important role in a person’s empowerment is played by integration into society and removal of the barriers which keep him apart. The process of integration enables persons with an intellectual disability people to share a meaningful experience with the rest of society. This experience enables them to express and enhance the strong aspects of their personalities. This is especially true of being accepted into the IDF, a foundation-stone of Israeli society. Quite possibly this experience can turn out to be the first positive one after eighteen years of marginalization and lack of achievement. It is an experience which will instill a feeling of success and achievement in the retarded person and his family, and will help remove the effects of the failures with which he or she has met in the course of his or her life. This will be the first time for such a person, who has so far been a burden on society, to make a positive contribution to that society.

Service in the IDF is a stage through which every adolescent in Israeli society goes at the end of his or her high-school education. This is the age when one’s personality and one’s values become set. Positive exposure to persons with an intellectual disability who make a contribution to the IDF can help promote an affirmative attitude towards such people on the part of our youth, and combat the stereotypical conceptions which have accompanied them so far.


The process of induction and service will consist of the following stages:

1.   Locating 60 new potential candidates aged 21-30 every year

2.   Making preparations for mobilization.

3.   Joining the a one year “preparation stage”

4.   Once-a-month the commander will submit a report on how each participant is doing.

5.   Towards the end of the term of service (in the fifth month) the volunteer will face a battery of three committees. If he passes all three he will be accepted to a year’s service in the IDF.

6. Intensive support including daily travel escort back to base and, during the first period of service at the base.


Training program:

  • The Pre-induction training program consists of: One day a week training were they get among others:
  • Theoretical subjects (16 meetings)
  • Social and sexual studies (8 meetings)
  • Sports and other Physical Challenges Workshops (8 meetings)

In addition to the One day week training they will attend:

  • 4 workshop sessions of military basic training- each workshop consists of three-day meetings under dormitory conditions.



A.  1 Project coordinator: $ 30.000

2 Social worker - $50,000 per annum.

6 instructors - $30,000 per annum.

Transportation: $10,000.00 per annum

Annual Total Cost. of projet: $120,000.00


Anula Matching Funds needed to train one soldier with special needs : $ 6,000





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