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Life

Helen Broza Helped Israeli Women Fly

Forward Association

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly photo feature in which we sift 116 years of Forward history to find snapshots of women’s lives.

Fresh off the boat in this photo — specifically the liner LaGuardia arriving in New York in November 1949 — is 27-year-old Helen Broza. She was the first Israeli Defense Force Women’s Corp officer responsible for women serving in the newly formed Israeli Air Force. London-born, and a resident of Tel Aviv for 14 years, Broza was then assigned diplomatic service duties as secretary to the military attaché of the Israeli embassy in Washington. Though women served in the IAF, it took until 1996 and a court battle for women to be permitted to train as pilots and until 2001 for the first female fighter jet pilot to graduate from the IAF.

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