First Lady of the IDF

Sara Braverman (bottom left) with other Jewish paratroopers


An Israeli paratrooper and one of the first female fighters of the Palmach – Israel’s early elite combat unit – Sara Braverman helped found the IDF’s Women’s Corps.

From Zionist to Paratrooper

Born to a Jewish family in Romania, Sara Braverman made aliyah (immigrated to the Holy Land) at a young age. Studying agriculture and helping found Kibbutz Shamir, Sara also took part in the Zionist youth movement in then British-mandate Palestine.

She served in the Palmach, the elite branch of the Haganah, the precursor to today’s IDF. During World War II, she parachuted into Nazi-controlled Europe to aid European Jews, one of only three women in the group of volunteers who did so (the group shown above). the Nazis captured and murdered the other two women, but Sara escaped.

First Lady of the IDF

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 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…”

Tags: History IDF Israelis You Should Know Sara Braverman

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