At a private home in the Boston suburb of Chestnut Hill, more than 130 women attended the first annual women’s event for the New England region. The event was co-Chaired by Sara Bernstein, Wendy Kraft and Sharon Mishkin.
Following an Israeli-style breakfast, the program showcased the IDF as a world leader in integrating women in the armed forces. Brigadier-General (Res.) Gila Klifi-Amir described her extensive experience as a 30-year veteran of the IDF who “broke the glass ceiling”, and her role in advancing the career options for women in the military.
Other speakers included Ifat Alkobi Levine--the first woman officer to serve in an active IDF Infantry Unit, and the first woman executive officer in a Combat Engineering Battalion—and Sergeant Pnina, who grew up in Brookline and made aliyah after graduating from Maimonides high school. She joined the IDF as a Lone Soldier and is currently serving as an Intelligence Gathering Combatant assigned to the southern region (Egypt and Jordan) where her team guards the borders as “Eyes of the Field”.
A high point of the event was the moving memorial for Captain Tamar Ariel z”l, the first Orthodox woman F-16 Navigator in the Israeli Air Force, who flew many combat missions during Operation Protective Edge. Tragically, Captain Ariel lost her life in an avalanche in Nepal in October 2014 while on vacation. Captain Gilad, a pilot who flew with Captain Ariel, reminisced emotionally about shared experiences in training and combat.
Almost $100,000 was raised in Captain Ariel’s memory at the event: The funds will provide college scholarships for IDF women combat veterans.