THE "TZOFIM" (SCOUTS) IN ISRAEL - FACTS & FIGURES
Founded in 1919, the Tzofim was the first Zionist youth movement in
Israel. Today, the
Tzofim is the only official "National Youth Movement" in
the country. It was the first egalitarian Scouting movement
in the world, where boys and girls participate together on an equal
basis. More than 20
Kibbutzim have been established over the years by Nahal Garinim of
the Tzofim. In Israel today, there are over 300,000 Tzofim graduates. Currently,
there are over 60,000 Jewish Tzofim and over 25,000 Arab Tzofim.
The number of active Tzofim has grown by over 55% in the last
10 years alone, while almost all other youth movement in the country
have greatly decreased in membership. There are over 160 tribes
(troops) in almost 100 cities, towns, moshavim and kibbutzim. Over 1/3 of the Tzofim tribes are located in development
towns and challenged neighborhoods.
The national average of high school students completing their
matriculation examinations is 43.8%, while over 90% of the Tzofim
complete these exams, over twice the national average. Only 75% of Israeli youth graduate high school (in some towns
and neighborhoods the number is as low as 55%) while just under 100%
of those active in the Tzofim graduate high school, even in those
towns and neighborhoods where the average rate is 55%.
Only 55% of able-bodied 18 year olds in Israel are drafted into the
army or complete their military service, while 100% of the Tzofim
serve in the army. Close
to one in five Tzofim becomes an officer, with almost all the Tzofim
opt to serve in Israel's elite units. From the founding of the State until today, there has not
been a pilot training course without at least 3 Tzofim in the
graduating class. Usually,
at least 10% of the course is Tzofim!
The Tzofim is the first and still the only youth movement in
Israel, which actively includes physically and developmentally
challenged youth in its activities. Over the past 7 years, the number of challenged youth has
grown from 85 to over 1,000, and from 3 tribes with these special
activities, the number has grown to over 35 tribes nationally.
There are over 1,500 youth originating from Ethiopia involved in the
Tzofim and this represents close to 10% of the Ethiopian youth at
the age of youth activities. Over
the last 5 years, the number of Ethiopian youth in the Tzofim has
grown by 1000%, from 150 to 1,500. Only 42.7% of the Ethiopian youth in high school complete
matriculations and only 70% complete their high school studies,
while over 85% of these youth in the Tzofim have completed their
matriculations and close to 100% have graduated high school.
There are over 3,000 youth from the former Soviet Union involved in
The Tzofim is the only major youth movement which has religious and
secular members and holds joint activities for them in order to
build bridges of understanding for over 10,000 Tzofim every year.
In the past year, over 600 Tzofim volunteered to defer their
military service by a year in order to volunteer in 54 unique
garinim throughout the country, most of which are located in
development towns, challenged neighborhoods, and locations with
large numbers of new immigrants. These garinim reach over 50,000 youth every year, providing
special services above and beyond regular scouting activities.
Thousands of new olim, children from single parent families, and
youth with special needs receive educational and cultural assistance
through over 1,000 free extra curricular activities run by the
members of the garinim.
Over the past year more than 250 tzofim have traveled abroad to
work with and/or participate with Jewish youth in the Diaspora in
activities and leadership programs. In addition, over 100,000 people will be reached this year by
30 Tzofim members of 3 Tzofim Friendship Caravans who will perform for 3
months throughout North America, bringing the spirit of Israel and
the Tzofim to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.
Over 1,500 youth in the United States participate in weekly
activities of Tzofim Tzabar, the Tzofim branch in the United States, which
works with Hebrew speaking youth, offering Tzofim activities very
similar to those in Israel. Over
the past 5 years over 120 youth from the United States and Canada,
whose families originated in Israel, have returned to Israel through
Tzofim Garin Tzabar in which they are reabsorbed into Israeli society and complete
their military service, while receiving ongoing help and guidance
from Tzofim counselors.
During the past 5 years, the Tzofim have received over 10 national
awards for their activities, including the Prime Minister Award for
work with youth with special needs, and the Charles Clore award in
honor of the Israel Jubilee which was given to Garin Re'im as the
outstanding volunteer project in Israel over the first 50 years of
Learn more about:
» Tzofim's Symbol
» Tzofim's oath & commandments
» Tzofim's salute
» Tzofim's Uniform
» Tzofim's neckerchiefs