Military Service

The responsible sections of the armed and civil defence forces adopt an understanding approach to the particular needs of Jewish conscripts. In most cases, Jewish members of the armed and civil defence forces can observe their religious duties while in service.

The army recognises the following jewish holidays:Pesach (Passover)

  • Shavuot (Feast of Weeks)
  • Rosh Hashana (New Year)
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
  • Simchat Torah (Joy of the Torah)

The information sheet for Jewish Personnel in the Army and Civil Defence provides detailed information.

The respective holidays begin on the preceding evening one hour before sunset and end on the last day one hour after sunset, according to the calendar published by the responsible Rabbinical authorities.

Kosher food in the military

Under Item 45 of Regulation 51.024d Army personnel are, on request, permitted «to take their meals elsewhere for religious reasons ». Anyone providing his own food in this way can claim for payment of compensation in cash pursuant to regulation 51.003d ‘administrative regulation’.


A request for leave in order to celebrate special religious holidays is usually granted. Furthermore, leave is, as far as possible, granted to personnel who keep the Sabbath. This will be made up by working on the Sunday.

The Department of Religious Affairs of the SIG is always glad to help Jewish conscripts if they have questions or if anything is unclear.