One of the first ever Israeli female tank commanders is a Brit

Former JFS pupil will take a front-line role opened to women for the first time this year


A 20-year-old Londoner is about to become one of the Israeli army’s first ever female tank commanders.

Charlotte Feld-Davidovici, who moved to Israel two years ago, is one of only four women to pass the IDF’s special pilot programme for its 460th Brigade.

The former Jewish Free School pupil is now set to take a senior front-line combat role within the Armoured Corps of the Border Defence Array – a role opened to women for the first time this year.

Her brother, Greg, who served for two years as an IDF paratrooper and now lives in London again, paid tribute to his sister’s “incredible achievement in such a male-dominated world”.

The 22-year-old told the JC: “She is a very strong, very independent woman, and really above her years. She knows exactly how to take the initiative, and she is really brave. We are all very proud.”

Sgt Feld-Davidovici was raised in Willesden Green, in North West London, and is a member of Brondebury Park United Synagogue, along with parents Barbara Davidovici and Jonathan Feld.

Her brother told the JC that their grandfather’s “passionate Zionism” has served as their inspiration to fight in the Israeli army.

Born in Romania, Charles Davidovici, 77, was hidden in France during the Second World War, and later moved to Israel, where he lived on a kibbutz.

He later moved back to France, leading pro-Zionist movements in Paris in the 1960s and ‘70s, Mr Feld-Davidovici said.

He added: “He has always advocated for Israel, having moved there when he was very young. He loved Israel.

“He always put it first, in any way he could, and that’s the values he passed on to my sister and me.”

Sgt Feld-Davidovici passed a programme of five weeks of assessment and selection, followed by eight weeks of basic infantry training, six weeks' training in specific roles then a further 16 weeks of advanced training.

It ended with a “war week”, which included fire, navigation, urban warfare training and tank commander exams.

The training was described by the IDF as “identical to that of male combat soldiers with only small changes to their routine activity”.

Sgt Feld-Davidovici said: “I believe that the IDF should give greater responsibility to women in all fields, even though they are physically different than men.”

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