Service Year

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The Pre-Army Service Year (Hebrew: שנת שירות‎, Shnat Sherut), abbreviated Shin-Shin (Hebrew: ש"ש‎), is a one-year voluntary service program for israeli high school graduates prior to their service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Since most Israeli Arab youths are exempt from military service, the program is a different for them.

Contrary to the Gap Year offered in other countries, the Service Year is entirely devoted towards volunteer work, and offers no material reward for volunteers.[1] Service Year volunteers work full-time in a variety of different fields: assisting development towns and disadvantaged communities, residential schools for youth at risk, youth movements, nature/ecological organizations, and many other civic organizations and projects.

In order to partake in a Service Year, prospective volunteers must defer their compulsory military service. However, the number of deferments allowed by the IDF is limited, making acceptance into the Service Year program selective and competitive.

Conscription rates among Service Year graduates are nearly 100%, and many of the volunteers are accepted into the most elite units of the IDF.

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