5 Honorable Women of the Holy Land

Stand for Israel  |  March 10, 2020

Golda Meir and John F. Kennedy
(Photo: US Govt)

“A kindhearted woman gains honor” (Proverbs 11:16)

As we observe Women’s Month this March, we’d like to share stories of some of the women who have made the Jewish state what it is today. Israel would not be possible without these women who have devoted themselves to the Israeli people, and who are now honored because of their lives of service.

Israel’s First Female Prime Minister

First we’ll begin with the woman above, Golda Meir. Golda made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with her husband after an earlier career as a Wisconsin schoolteacher. As Israel grew, so did Meir, serving in many different positions before being elected Prime Minister in 1969.

A Poet and a Paratrooper

Hannah Szenes
Hannah Szenes

Escaping the perilous situation faced by European Jews as the Holocaust dawned and progressed, Hannah Szenes made aliyah to the Holy Land. Serving in a precursor to the IDF, she then volunteered to return to Europe and fight the Nazis, where she would meet her untimely and tragic end.

‘Esther Was a Zionist’

A black and white image of Esther Cailingold
Israelis You Should Know: Esther Cailingold

A British-born schoolteacher, Esther Cailingold fought for Israel during the Jewish state’s 1948 War of Independence, laying down her life during the battle for Jerusalem’s Old City.

An Arab-Israeli Combat Vet

Elinor Joseph, the first Arab woman to serve in a combat role in the IDF
First Christian Arab Woman Combat Soldier in IDF

An Arab-Israeli born to a Christian family, Elinor Joseph dreamed of serving her country, and then grew up to do so — as the first Arab woman to serve in a combat role in the IDF.

‘Those Who Come to Us Need Help’

Head nurse of Fellowship-funded Shaare Zedek Hospital Selma Mayer
Nurse Selma

Selma Mayer used a troubled childhood to inspire a life of service as head nurse of Fellowship-funded Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for almost half a century.

Photo credits: (US National Records and Archives Administration, wikipedia, twitter/EstherCailingold, IDF, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem)

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