The IDF (Zahal) is cooperating with Israeli companies to help find jobs for discharged Bedouin soldiers.
Integrating ethnic and religious minorities has always been a top priority for the IDF (Zahal). But what happens to minority soldiers when they finish their service? A new joint initiative between the IDF (Zahal) and Israel Electric Corporation aims to address that very question.
25% of Israeli society is made up of non-Jewish ethnic and religious minorities. One of these groups are the Bedouins. They have been serving in the Israeli military since the 1950’s, offering a unique set of skills that include tracking and a deep knowledge of Israel’s terrain. They have also reached high leadership positions over the years.
An IDF (Zahal) Bedouin soldier during the War of Independence, 1948.
However, outside of the IDF (Zahal), things are a bit different. The Bedouin sector suffers from one of the largest unemployment rates in Israel, leading to less opportunities for growth and equality.
This is exactly why leaders in the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion chose to take one step further and help their soldiers integrate into the workforce. In cooperation with Israel Electric Corporation, they initiated a program that would provide discharged soldiers with professional skills and help them find a job within the corporation.
A discharged Bedouin soldier learns professional skills in the Israel Electric Corp.
“This program is a jumpstart towards a better future for its participants,” explains Lt. Col. Shay Saraf, commander of the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion. “It gives our discharged soldiers a better opportunity to become a beneficial and equal part of society.”
“This is only the beginning,” says Maj. Hannah Spivak, who is responsible for the initiative. “We are currently in touch with several other companies in order to expand the project. Our ultimate goal is to help as many soldiers find their way into the workforce.”
The Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion