Since October 7th, hundreds of thousands of citizens, including students, have answered the call for military duty, setting aside all personal responsibilities to protect civilians from the attacks of Hamas. According to new data concerning the initial months of the war, 6,657 students from TAU were called up for reserve duty, and among them, 2,228 were women (34%).
As of January 24th, after most reservists have been discharged, 2,545 students from Tel Aviv University are still serving in the military reserve duty, with 755 of them being women (29%).
Regarding the breakdown by faculties, out of the total 2,228 women in service, 481 came from the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, 394 from Engineering, 373 from Life Sciences and Exact Sciences, 308 from Social Sciences, 167 from Law, 100 from Humanities, 96 from Management and others. Further analysis reveals that the majority of male reservists came from the Faculty of Engineering (1,139), followed by Exact Sciences and Life Sciences (804), Medical & Health Sciences (483), Management (333), Social Sciences (301), Law (259), Humanities (238) and others.
Unity in Uniforms
Prof. Neta Ziv, Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Community commended the reservists on campus: “Indeed, the significant contribution of women is evident in all areas of life: military, public, and of course, civilian. Tel Aviv University recognizes and appreciates the contribution of reservists, and does everything to assist all its students who serve in the reserves to successfully integrate their service with the challenging academic year we are in the midst of.”
Shir Shachar, 28, an MA student in the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences at Tel Aviv University: “I was recruited into the reserves immediately after the outbreak of the war and served as a researcher in the Ground Forces. Our team consisted of both men and women, and the feeling was very touching; each and every one of us contributed immensely to the joint war effort! The commitment, dedication and determination of every reservist in their role, whether in the field or behind the scenes, have a significant impact on success in combat—and only through joint work and commitment from everyone can we win”.
Shir Shachar, MA student in the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences
Carmel Cohen, a third-year student in the Department of Theatre Arts: “The moment they called me up for reserve duty, I didn’t think twice and immediately reported to Home Front Command and served there for about three months. Every day we assisted civilians affected by the war, and the feeling was incredible; everyone does everything for the sake of the IDF and the country. These are tough times for us, and we try to help as much as we can. Recently, I returned to my studies, and I want to fulfill my dream of becoming an actress and making people smile. And of course, the moment they call me again, I’ll report immediately.”
Supporting Student Soldiers
Tel Aviv University is the largest and most diverse university in Israel with nearly 30,000 students. In recognition of our students’ devotion to their national and military responsibilities, TAU has been implementing many variations of assistance to assure their students’ well-being, aiming to help students restore their academic, social and financial status.
In addition to postponing the academic year to ease the pressure on reservist students, TAU has also made sure that all students who have served in the reserves are entitled to a scholarship ranging from 2,000 to 9,000 shekels, depending on their educational and natural needs. The scholarships are given to students as recognition for their service, understanding that they will also need to assign more time and effort to their studies and simultaneously re-adjust themselves back to their daily lives.
Moreover, TAU has arranged a special week for filling academic gaps and helping those who are still serving in the military with catching up on their studies. This is in addition to the ongoing hybrid and recorded studies conducted by the different Faculties.
According to the University President, Prof. Ariel Porat: “Tel Aviv University is committed to assisting its students who experience the hardships of war firsthand. This primarily includes reservists as well as our students from the south or north who have encountered economic and other difficulties as a result of the war. Our assistance and support is not only financial but also academic. None of our reservists, or any affected students, will be left behind”.