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And then I got angry

Michal Barkai-BrodyFilmed at Makom 2016

When she left the Israeli army, Michal Barkai-Brody was angry. She saw a deep injustice in the way that a young woman’s destiny, beginning with how she was positioned in the army, was entirely determined by her socio-economic background. In this inspiring talk, Michal tells us how she used her own anger as the fuel to fan the flames of her determination to make a change, and how she overcame many obstacles to eventually open a pre-military academy for female leadership.

Michal Barkai-Brody, Founder and Director, Alma Pre-Army Academy for Women’s Leadership.
Ms. Barkai grew up in Tel Aviv and served two years as a Commander in the Israeli army, followed by a year as the Officer of Human Resources Inspection, in which she identified and handled cases of sexual harassment and discrimination against women in the IDF. Michal spent two summers on shlichut in the United States. She became the Youth Director for Kibbutz Ein Gedi and the Informal Education Director at the Ein Gedi Boarding School. She also lectured on Gender Studies at the Melach Ha’aretz Pre-Army preparation program for boys at Ein Gedi.

In 2011, Michal founded the Alma Pre-Military Academy for Women’s Leadership. Located in Ofakim. The Alma program works with young girls, in particular from socio-economic peripheries, to advance their maturity, broaden their worldviews, and qualify for higher-level units in the IDF, thus strengthening their potential for upward mobility in Israeli society.

In 2013, Michal became one of the first winners of the Moskowitz Prize’s new Spirit of Zion award. Alma was also named a runner-up in the Educational Innovation competition by the “Calcalist” newspaper. Michal holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Hebrew University and is pursuing a Masters in Sociologyof Education.

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