Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia

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Stella Levy

1924 – 1999

by Esther Herlitz

Born in Haifa in 1924, Stella Levy studied at the Reali High School and was active in the Haganah. In 1943 she enlisted in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and when the Women’s Corps was established participated in the first officers training course for women. She also completed the IDF’s only course for women battalion commanders, held at the Sarafand base in 1949. However, her lengthy service in the IDF was in the Women’s Corps. She was the only servicewoman to rise in rank from company commander in Haifa to Chief Officer in the northern region, thence to deputy commanding officer of the Women’s Corps and finally, to its commanding officer, a position she occupied from 1964 to 1970, with the rank of colonel. In this capacity she headed both the Ma’abarot (transit camps) campaign for absorption of immigrants and the “Elimination of Illiteracy” campaign.

After her discharge from the IDF, Levy served as attachée at the Israel embassy in Washington, D.C., responsible for liaison with women’s organizations in the United States. In 1981 she was elected a member of the Knesset for the Movement for Democratic Change (DASH).

She died in July 1999.

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How to cite this page

Herlitz, Esther. "Stella Levy." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/levy-stella>.