She’s Alone Too: Lone Bnot Sherut

בס״ד

Have you ever heard of a lone soldier? Yes, of course you have- they receive a lot of benefits and care as they should for dedicating their time and hard work to the State of Israel. Have you ever heard of a lone bat sherut? You most likely haven’t. Although there are many less lone bnot sherut, they do exist and are often times forgotten about and therefore do not receive the same or similar benefits as lone soldiers.

There are over 250 lone bnot sherut who dedicate one or two years of their lives towards serving the state of Israel. Most people, however, have never heard of them. Some of these young women have made aliyah and some chose to wait until after their service. Unlike their lone soldier friends in the army who have not yet made aliyah, a lone bat sherut who has not made aliyah does not get official credit for her service once she has completed it. In addition, all lone not sherut, regardless of their aliyah status, do not receive extra money each month and additional money at the end of their service like lone soldiers do. Lone bnot sherut are required to rely on the kindness of others for shabbat meals, a place to do their laundry, and help navigating Israel’s bureaucratic system.

The Israeli government has many laws in place to provide benefits for lone soldiers, however they simply have not applied these laws to lone bnot sherut. Israel cannot continue to ignore these girls. They are devoting their time and energy into this country and deserve the proper recognition. With the number of young women from outside of Israel deciding to do a year of sherut leumi increasing, this issue had never been more relevant. It may take time and there is a long road ahead, but it is a worthwhile process and can really help to enhance the lives of the young women who choose to do sherut leumi from foreign countries.

About the Author
Ruth Sanders is currently studying social work at Bar Ilan.
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