Serving in the Israeli army changed Yossi Levi’s life.
“In ultra-Orthodox society, there simply weren’t options for young men like me who weren’t cut out for yeshiva,” says Levi, who was born and raised in a Haredi home in Jerusalem.
“Were it not for the army, I would have ended up on the streets.”
Only a tiny fraction of draft-age ultra-Orthodox Israeli men serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Among those who do, a significant share, like Levi, enlist in Netzah Yehuda, a special combat battalion stationed in the West Bank comprised exclusively of soldiers who are ultra-Orthodox or who grew up in Haredi homes.