TEL AVIV – IDF soldiers fighting in combat units will receive full scholarships for their academic studies after their discharge.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot met with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Sunday and announced that the program would begin in October.
According to a report by Hebrew daily Yedioth Aharanoth, the program is expected to cost NIS 230 million ($60 million) a year.
New immigrant soldiers as well as those from minority groups or from underprivileged backgrounds will also be entitled to scholarships, even if they did not serve in a combat unit.
Eisenkot said that in the future, any donations made out to the military should be earmarked for these scholarships.
“The money will go toward bachelor degrees rather than a gym. This is what will build up the army,” he said.
Both Kahlon and Eisenkot expressed their hope that in the future, such scholarships would be available to all IDF soldiers who complete their service – increasing projected costs to NIS 500 million ($130 million).