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Esther Herlitz

Esther Herlitz has served as Israel Ambassador to Denmark and Consul in New York. She was an officer in the British and Israel Armies, a member of Knesset and a member of the Na’amat board. She is the chairperson of Israel’s International Harp Contest and of the Zimriya. She has published an autobiography, How Far Can a Woman Go.

Articles by this author

Dinah Werth

In 1942, following some years of service in the Haganah, she joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). In 1952 she was appointed as officer in charge of the Women’s Corps’s training base and from 1959 to 1964 served as commanding officer of the Women’s Corps with the rank of colonel.

Shoshana Werner

Shoshana Warner was appointed as the second commanding officer of the Women’s Corps (see “CHEN:” Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces) in 1949. In 1942, after some years of membership in the Haganah, she was among the first sixty-six women who volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army.

Stella Levy

Born in Haifa in 1924, Stella Levy studied at the Reali High School and was active in the Haganah. In 1943 she enlisted in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and when the Women’s Corps was established participated in the first officers training course for women. She also completed the IDF’s only course for women battalion commanders, held at the Sarafand base in 1949. However, her lengthy service in the IDF was in the Women’s Corps. She was the only servicewoman to rise in rank from company commander in Haifa to Chief Officer in the northern region, thence to deputy commanding officer of the Women’s Corps and finally, to its commanding officer, a position she occupied from 1964 to 1970, with the rank of colonel. In this capacity she headed both the Ma’abarot (transit camps) campaign for absorption of immigrants and the “Elimination of Illiteracy” campaign.

Shoshana Gershonowitz

One of the first sixty-six women to enlist in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service), she was among the first four to be commissioned as officers. In 1947 she established the Women’s Division and was then transferred to Tel Aviv, where she and Shurika Braverman of A voluntary collective community, mainly agricultural, in which there is no private wealth and which is responsible for all the needs of its members and their families.Kibbutz Shamir were charged with conscripting the first national Women’s Corps.

Mina Ben-Zvi

Born in Russia in 1909, Mina Rogozik arrived in Palestine together with her family in 1921. She studied at the Reali High School in Haifa and at New York University and joined the Haganah in 1933. In 1942, she was among the first sixty-six women to enlist in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and served in Egypt as the commander (with the rank of captain) of a company comprising both Palestinian and British women.

ATS and WAAF in World War II

The Yishuv regarded the war against Nazi Germany (World War II) as its war. At the behest of the Jewish Agency thirty thousand men volunteered for the British Army between 1939 and 1946. Only when the Council of Women’s Organizations called for the recruitment of women as well, was an agreement reached with the British authorities to enlist women into the forces. The first to join, on January 25, 1942, were a small group of sixty women to be trained as officers and N.C.O.s for the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). Women for the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) were drafted only on May 25, 1943.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Esther Herlitz." (Viewed on December 5, 2019) <https://qa.jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/herlitz-esther>.

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