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Israelis You Should Know: Sara Braverman

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Name: Sara Braverman

Life: 1918 - 2013

Known for: Sara Braverman was an Israeli paratrooper, one of the first female fighters of the Palmach - Israel's early elite combat unit - and a founding member of the IDF's Women's Corps.

About her: Sara Braverman was born to a Jewish family in Romania, but made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) at a young age. Studying agriculture and helping found Kibbutz Shamir, Sara was also part of the Zionist youth movement in then-British-mandate Palestine. She served in the Palmach, which was the elite branch of the Haganahthe precursor to today's IDF. During World War II, she was one of only three women in a group of volunteers who parachuted into Nazi-controlled Europe to aid European Jews. The other two women were captured and murdered by the Nazis, but Sara escaped.

Back in the Holy Land, Sara fought in combat during Israel's War of Independence. Once the Jewish state won said independence in 1948, Sara established the IDF's Women's Corps. In 2010, at the age of 92, Sara lit the torch for the opening of Israel's Independence Day celebration. She passed away three years later, and was buried at her beloved kibbutz.

Remembering this woman who is known as the "First Lady of the IDF," IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said that Sara Braverman was “a unique woman. I first met her when I was Chief of Staff, at a memorial service for Hanna Szenes, and we became friends. Over the years we held many conversations about the state of Israel, and its future. She was a Zionist and cared a great deal for the country, and she showed this through her personality and actions..."

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