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Military

Suzy Yogev

Yogev may be said to have been instrumental in changing not only the name but also the role of women serving in the IDF, in keeping with principles of equality and equal opportunity.

Sally Rivoli Wolf

Sally Rivoli Wolf was a woman who took positive steps to advance her interests and talents. She joined the U.S. Navy during the World War I as soon as women were admitted, worked on newspapers when few women did, and spent many years as an active member and officer of three largely male veterans’ advocacy groups. She worked to promote veterans’ concerns, Jewish and American ideals, and women veterans’ place in history.

Dinah Werth

In 1942, following some years of service in the Haganah, she joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). In 1952 she was appointed as officer in charge of the Women’s Corps’s training base and from 1959 to 1964 served as commanding officer of the Women’s Corps with the rank of colonel.

Shoshana Werner

Shoshana Warner was appointed as the second commanding officer of the Women’s Corps (see “CHEN:” Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces) in 1949. In 1942, after some years of membership in the Haganah, she was among the first sixty-six women who volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army.

Dvora Tomer

Tomer was the first woman outside the Women’s Corps to obtain the rank of colonel, thus paving the way for other women.

Hannah Szenes (Senesh)

One of the more poignant songs included in many Holocaust memorial convocations held in Israel, is a short poem, set to music, known popularly as “Eli, Eli.” The four-line poem, actually entitled “Walking to Caesarea,” was written by one of the more mythological figures in contemporary Jewish and Israeli history, Hannah Szenes, whose short life and death have propelled her into the pantheon of Zionist history.

Havivah Reik

Driving along one of Israel’s inner roads in the upper Shomron plain, one passes two settlements with similar names—Givat Havivah and Lahavot Havivah. Both are named after Havivah Reik, one of the seven members of the “Parachutists’ Mission” who lost their lives during World War II while attempting to aid European Jewry under the Nazis.

Dalia Raz

Dalia Raz enlisted in the IDF in 1955, first serving in the Nahal (Fighting Pioneer Youth), where she was promoted to NCO before proceeding to officer training. In 1957, she was appointed head of personnel in the navy, becoming the only woman ever to serve in this position.

Ayala Procaccia

From 1983 to 1984, Ayala Procaccia was the legal adviser to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Israel and in 1987 was appointed to the judiciary. After serving as a judge in the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court until 1993 and in the Jerusalem District Court from 1993 to 2001, she was elected to the Supreme Court.

Palmah

Discussion of women’s military service, both pre-State and later, focused more on the need for participation and partnership than on the issue of equality of the sexes. Women’s participation in the Haganah, the Palmah, Ezel (Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi) and Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel) during the struggle for statehood, as well as their role in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the War of Independence, generated a sense of joint achievement, the result of common effort and sacrifice. They also engendered a feeling of having conquered a stronghold, a bridgehead in the fight for equality which must not be surrendered.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Military." (Viewed on December 14, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/military>.

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