Teen-agers in Israel to Perform “national Service” on Frontiers

Some 400 teen-agers between 16 and 17 will see “national service” in Israel’s frontier settlements, it was announced here today. The experiment, which calls for three weeks of compulsory service for all students in the eleventh grade–the equivalent of the junior year in high school–was organized jointly by the Ministry of Defense and headquarters of Gadna the Israel paramilitary youth organization.

As announced by the Ministry of Education, the plan calls for the high school boys to work four hours at agriculture and other pursuits daily as well as two hours a day of drill. The remainder of their time will be spent on cultural activities.

The program, which was first proposed by Defense Minister David Ben Gurion, will, if successful, become a permanent program. The Defense Ministry visualizes this as a program under which Israel’s youth would learn at first hand the security problems of the border regions and problems connected with immigrant absorption. It is also seen as a means of binding together the various elements in the population and finally, of giving the youth training along the work-preparedness program of Gadna.

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