Chabad work can count as Israeli national service

The work of 100 Israeli men serving overseas as emissaries on behalf of Chabad can count as national service, a Knesset committee decided.

The Special Committee for the Equal Sharing of the Burden voted on Jan. 5 to include the plan as part of legislation that would require most haredi Orthodox Israeli men to serve in the military or perform national service.

The legislation is being prepared for its second and third reading in front of the Knesset plenum.

IDF officials objected to the plan, saying it would make it more difficult to draft other haredi men and that it will not help integrate the men into Israeli society, according to reports.

Volunteers for Magen David Adom, Zaka and the Israel Police already are considered as performing national service, which in some cases can take the place of military service. — jta