The heads of a prominent pre-military yeshiva on Monday called on its students not to enlist in the Armored Corps over concerns that they could end up in a mixed-gender officers’ course.

Rabbis Yaakov Medan and Amichai Gordon of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion published a letter apologizing for previously encouraging students to join the Armored Corps and said they would no longer tell those at their seminary to do so.

“Without any advance notice, the IDF added young female cadets to an officer’s training course in the Armored Corp together with male cadets,” the rabbis lament in the letter. “Now the course is mixed in a manner that does not comport with Jewish law, preventing you from serving there.”

Har Etzion is a well-known and relatively moderate institution known as a hesder yeshiva, in which young men combine years of intensive Torah study with a shortened army service period. The school’s response demonstrated just how widespread opposition to mixed-gendered combat units is in national religious communities.

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