Strengthening Israeli Society

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So many soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), especially immigrants, feel disconnected from their Jewish roots or are not considered Jewish according to Jewish law in Israel. These soldiers, who protect our country so bravely, deserve to be part of our Jewish story.

The Nativ course connects them to their Jewish heritage, which makes them feel like they are not only a part of Israeli society, but truly belong to our global Jewish family. And this gives their IDF service new meaning.

See how Nativ has allowed these soldiers to connect to their Judaism and explore their roots:


In 2019, 1,027 soldiers participated in Nativ, exploring their heritage and deepening their commitment to the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the IDF. Milena, 19, was one of these soldiers.

Born in Belarus to a non-Jewish mother, Milena grew up in a secular home with no connection to Judaism. When she was young, she even wore a cross around her neck. At age five, after her family made Aliyah, her parents got divorced and her mother left the house.


“When I was in 10th grade, I decided I wanted to convert and attend a religious boarding school but unfortunately, that never happened. When I realized that I could convert in the IDF through the Nativ program, I was overjoyed – it was an opportunity to fulfill my dream.”

— Milena

In middle and high school, Milena spent many hours in her Haredic cousin’s home, which led her to want to become Jewishly observant. But it wasn’t until Milena completed the Nativ course in the fall of 2019 that she was able to convert. Read about Milena’s journey back to Judaism >