Orna Barbivai

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Orna Barbivai
Orna Barbivai.jpg
Born (1962-09-05) September 5, 1962 (age 52)
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch Flag of the Israel Defence Forces.svg Israel Defense Forces
Years of service 1981–
Rank IDF aluf rotated.svg Aluf
Unit Manpower Directorate
Commands held

Orna Barbivai (Hebrew: אורנה ברביבאי‎; born September 5, 1962) is a Major General in the Israel Defense Forces and the current head of its Manpower Directorate. She was the first woman to be made Aluf, the IDF's second highest rank.[2][3][4]


Growing up in a family of eight children in Afula, Israel, Barbivai was the eldest daughter of Tzila and Eli Shochetman. She was drafted into the IDF in 1981 and has spent her entire career in the Manpower Directorate.[3] Barbivai holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences and Humanities from Ben Gurion University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Haifa University. She is also the graduate of the "Turn-point" administration course for senior military officials.[1]

Military career[edit]

Barbivai was the first female to hold the IDF positions of Chief Adjutant Officer of a Command, Chief Adjutant Officer, Head of the Ground Forces' manpower section and head of the Individuals' Sector in the Manpower Directorate.[1]

On 26 May 2011, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved her appointment as head of the IDF's Manpower Directorate, replacing Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir. The promotion of Barbivai, a mother of three, to the rank of Major General was praised by Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni who said that "there is no rank that is too heavy for a woman’s shoulders, and there is no doubt that Brig.-Gen. Barbivai was appointed because of her talents."[3]

On 23 June 2011, Barbivai received her Maj. Gen. ranks and the Manpower Directorate command during an official ceremony at the Chief of Staff headquarters in Camp Rabin.[5]