Tamar Eshel

A lifelong diplomat with a strong record of defending women’s rights and human rights, Tamar Eshel capped her career with two terms as a member of the Knesset from 1977–1984. Raised in Haifa, Eshel volunteered with the Haganah and continued her service while studying at the University of London, where she served as a radio operator for the Haganah and volunteered with the British Army during WWII. She then returned to become a political and military intelligence officer for the Haganah, buying weapons and overseeing a mass exodus of Jews from Morocco and Algeria in 1948. She joined the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1950 and in 1955 was appointed to the Israeli delegation at the UN, where she became chairwoman of the UN Committee on the Status of Women in 1961. From 1970–1973 she served as chair of the Israel Council of Women’s Organizations, representing the country at international women’s conferences, while serving as advisor to the mayor of Jerusalem. From 1974–1977 she chaired Na’amat, the women’s labor Zionist organization, and from 1977–1984 she was a member of the Knesset, focusing on issues of immigration and the economy. In 1990 she was made an honorary citizen of Jerusalem in recognition of her service to the country.


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Tamar Eshel is a prominent member of Israeli and Jewish civic life who has represented the State of Israel at the United Nations, served on the Jerusalem City Council and in the Knesset, and played a prominent role in Jewish women's organizations, including the International Council of Jewish Women and Na'amat.

Institution: Tamar Eshel.

Date of Birth

United Kingdom

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Tamar Eshel." (Viewed on January 26, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/eshel-tamar>.


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