Sherut leumi is, literally, national services, for those who do not want to serve in the army. One must first get an exemption, or a ptur, from the army. Some women do it for religious reasons, like tznius, or modesty. For this, they must have a confirmation that they are religious from a rabbi or tell the Rabbanut. They must, however, receive their ptur at least 90 days before their enlistment date.
The girls must sign up in high school. For the full system, see this article.
Most bnot sherut live in apartments together in the city they are working in. There are many benefits, such as, to quote NBN, this:
- Monthly stipend for necessities. (Amount varies on location and place of service.)
- Apartment housing in the city where they are serving.
- Bus pass (inter-city and intra-city).
- Discounts at restaurants, movie theatres and cell phone companies (same discounts as soldiers).
There are many things you can do sherut leumi for, such as bat ami, or even Nefesh b’Nefesh.
I probably will do sherut leumi, though I don’t know in what.