Jewish volunteers forced to pay for work permit
Young Jews who come from abroad to serve in IDF have to pay fee of NIS 145 for work permit, wait hours at Interior Ministry
Young Jews who come to Israel to volunteer to the IDF have to pay a fee of NIS 145 (about $35) for a work permit and have to wait hours at the Interior Ministry where the special visa is issued.
David Zelinsky, 19, of Brooklyn, came to Israel to volunteer at the IDF's Nahal haredi unit.
"I waited in the line for four hours. I had no money because I did not know I had to pay a fee. I went to get money and when I returned my turn was taken and I had to wait again," he said.
"That will not prevent me from volunteering and I do not want a special treatment for my volunteering, but on the other hand I do not wish to feel like I am a burden on the State."
Shoshi Rivkin, a project manager in the Bnei Akiva movement, said that young Jewish volunteers were shouted at and reprimanded by staff members at the Interior Ministry.
"Is this how the State of Israel treats those who want to contribute their time, body and soul to its well-being," said Rivkin.
Delegates at the Netsah Yehuda movement who established the haredi Nahal unit called on the Interior Ministry to exempt young Jewish volunteers from the work permit fee.
The Interior Ministry said in response, "We utterly reject attempts to stain the ministry with petty and false claims while deliberately distorting the facts."
The ministry added that its staff treat the volunteers with respect and appreciate their contribution.
"While all visa seekers must book appointments two months in advance, these volunteers can come without an appointment and therefore they have to wait," the ministry added.
Bagelblogger: Wow thats quite exceptional treatment. You get to not make an appointment, and avoid a two month wait when you have to pay for your work permit when you're a volunteer? . . . only a bureaucrat would not see the pettiness in that.
YNet News: Jewish volunteers forced to pay for work permit
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Thursday, 30 August 2007
Posted by Mr Bagel at Thursday, August 30, 2007