Tel Aviv, Israel’s Second Largest City, Has the Most Military Reservists

Tel Aviv tops Jerusalem with 7 percent of reservists compared with 5 percent. The average reserve soldier is 32 years old

President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony granting certificates of excellence to reserve units, 2016.
Mark Neiman / GPO

Tel Aviv is the Israeli city with the greatest number of reserve soldiers, followed by Jerusalem, Haifa and Rishon Letzion, the Israel Defense Forces said Thursday.

About 7 percent of all reservists, 37,156 soldiers, live in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem has 5 percent at 28,252, and Haifa and Rishon Letzion each have about 4 percent, or just over 21,000.

Those four cities are Israel’s largest, in order, with Jerusalem the most populated followed by Tel Aviv. However, Jerusalem has sizable communities that never or seldom send their children to the IDF Israeli Arabs, Palestinians and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The IDF released the data in the run-up to its annual day recognizing reservists, which is held every year on the holiday of Lag Ba’omer, which falls on Sunday.

The figures are for 2016 and include the “average profile” of a reserve soldier, who is 32 years old. The most common military jobs for male reservists are combat medics, infantry soldiers, infantry squad leaders and drivers of heavy vehicles. For women the most common roles are workers in operations rooms, code decipherers and human resource officers.

Women make up 17 percent of reservists, and the oldest female reservist is 77. The oldest male reservist is 88.

The percentage of women in the reserves has climbed in recent years because of the growing number of women volunteering for combat units. There are also more women serving in technical jobs.

Last year, 68 percent of reserve duty was used for training and exercises.

All told, the IDF’s manpower is 71 percent reservist, with the remaining 29 percent soldiers in the career army or doing their compulsory service.