We are incredibly honored to have had with us three brave female IDF soldiers, and Brigadier General (Res.) Gila Klifi-Amir at part-one of YL NY’s Soldier Series: Women in the IDF. Some 60 young leaders and supporters of FIDF gathered at WeWork Times Square to hear the stories of women IDF soldiers. The evening was moderated by Klifi-Amir, a 30-year veteran of the IDF who served as the chief of the general staff’s advisor on women’s affairs and handled all matters relating to women’s service in the Israeli military.

“As a woman officer in the IDF, I often found myself trying to break the glass ceiling – which, during my service, felt as though it was made of concrete,” said Klifi-Amir. “Until about 20 years ago, women in the IDF served in a narrow range of administration and support roles. Today, 95 percent of all Israeli military jobs are open to women, who serve as pilots, infantry soldiers, artillery combat soldiers, electronic warfare specialists, and anti-aircraft and naval officers, among other roles.”

Panelists included active-duty women IDF soldiers Staff Sgt. “Y.,” who serves as a medical instructor in a special operations naval unit and is the first woman to hold this position; Staff Sgt. Maya, who commands her battalion headquarters’ infirmary; and Sgt. Noam, who was born in Vietnam and adopted by an Israeli family and now commands a medical training unit.