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Military

Israela Oron

Israela Oron was active in effecting women’s integration into the military and in ensuring the recognition of their enormous potential in contributing to the Israel Defense Forces.

Ora Namir

One of Israel’s outstanding advocates and legislators in the field of social justice in general and women’s rights in particular, Ora Namir was the only child of pioneering agricultural laborers in the moshav of Hoglah in the central Sharon region of Israel (founded in 1933).

Ruth Muskal

Born in Israel, Ruth Muskal studied education at both the [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:342]Kibbutz[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] Seminar and in university. She joined the IDF in 1955 and filled various positions until her promotion to OC Women’s Corps (See “CHEN”: Women’s Corps in the Israel Defense Forces).

Stella Levy

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.

Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael)

The underground movement Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, known by its acronym, Lehi) came into existence in 1940 in the wake of the opposition on the part of Avraham (“Ya’ir”) Stern (1907–1942) to the cessation of hostilities against the British rule in [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:309]Erez Israel[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] (Palestine) proclaimed by David Raziel (1910–1941), the commander of the Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi (IZL) during World War II. Stern regarded this decision as mistaken and as the loss of a rare historic opportunity to take advantage of the war situation to obtain concessions from the British, who he felt should be compelled by use of force to fulfill its promise to establish a Jewish state in Erez Israel. “Even in time of war, England is fighting the Jewish [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:432]Yishuv[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], attempting to restrict it, and even manages to provide the military forces to prevent the rescue of Holocaust survivors. In reality, Britain is a foreign power, whose interests in the Middle East do not include a Jewish state … we must not cease our war until Britain is expelled and an independent State of Israel is established.”

Ruth Lapidoth

Professor Ruth Lapidoth is a major expert in international law. As a young woman, she decided to specialize in this field, seeing it as a path towards dialogue and a means to solve the Arab-Israel conflict. She hoped that international law could prevent wars and promote peace. Lapidoth’s father, Dr. Oscar Asher Eschelbacher, was born and raised in Germany, where he studied dentistry. Her mother, Dr. Selma Sarah née Roer, was also a dentist. In 1925 their older daughter Chana was born, followed by Ruth five years later, in 1930. The family left Germany and immigrated to Palestine in 1938.

Rae D. Landy

Born in Lithuania on June 27, 1885, Rachael (later shortened to Rae) Landy was one of seven children in the family of Rabbi Jacob and Eva (Gross) Landy. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1888. Rae had three sisters—Lena, Mae, and Bessie—and three brothers—Reuben, Harry S., and Louis A. Landy’s parents helped to found the Hebrew Orthodox Old Age Home in Cleveland.

Kibbutz

As a secular and democratic community, the kibbutz—first founded in 1910—strove to implement egalitarian principles as expressed in the slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” In addition, from the 1920s on, due to [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:342]kibbutz[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] women’s collective action, gender equality became part and parcel of the kibbutz movement’s normative discourse, a kind of “self-understood symbol of this classless society” (Bernstein, 1992; Fogiel-Bijaoui, 1992; Izraeli, 1992; Near, 1992; Reinharz, 1992).

Chaile Raphael Kaulla

“Here rests a woman who was outstanding among her people and in her fatherland” is written on the gravestone of “Madame Kaulla” in the Hechingen Jewish cemetery. This refers to her charity as a wealthy and pious Jewish woman and to her significant achievements in serving the Grand Duke (later King) of Wuerttemberg and the imperial army (Reichsarmee). Chaile Raphael Kaulla was the most influential Jewish woman entrepreneur and one of the last Court Jews in eighteenth-century Germany.

Yehudit Karp

Yehudit Karp is widely acknowledged for her determined pursuit of truth and justice. Throughout her career as a lawyer she has acted with grit in the Israeli and international spheres, to preserve moral standards and to ensure human rights in general and women’s rights, children’s rights and victim’s rights in particular. She has received awards from the Israeli Bar Association for her special contribution to the advancement of the status of women in Israel and from the National Council for the Child for her contribution to the status and welfare of children in Israel.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Military." (Viewed on December 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/military>.

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