Orna Barbivai

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Orna Barbivai
Orna Barbivai.jpg
Born (1962-09-05) September 5, 1962 (age 56)
Allegiance Israel
Service/branchFlag of the Israel Defense Forces.svg Israel Defense Forces
Years of service1981–2014
RankIDF aluf rotated.svg Aluf (Major general)
UnitManpower Directorate
Commands held

Orna Barbivai (Hebrew: אורנה ברביבאי‎; born September 5, 1962) is a retired Major General in the Israel Defense Forces, and the former head of its Manpower Directorate. She was the first woman to be made Major-general (Aluf), the IDF's second highest rank. On January 1st, 2019, she announced that she will enter politics and seek a Knesset seat on the list of Yesh Atid.[2][3][4][5]


Growing up in a family of eight children in Afula, Israel, Barbivai is the daughter of Tzila, a Jewish immigrant from Iraq, and Eli Shochetman, a Jewish immigrant from Romania. She was drafted into the IDF in 1981, and has spent her entire career as an officer 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.[6]

Political career[edit]

In January 2019, the general announced her intention to enter politics, and she later joined Yesh Atid, where she announced that she will run for a Knesset seat in the upcoming 2019 Knesset election.[7] She is number ten on the Knesset list of candidates for the "Blue and White" party, the united slate of the Israel Resilience Party, Yesh Atid, and Telem.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "ראש אגף כוח אדם - אלופה אורנה ברביבאי" [Head of Manpower Directorate - Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai] (in Hebrew). IDF Spokesperson's Unit. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  2. ^ Greenberg, Hanan (26 May 2011). "IDF names first female major general". Yediot Ahronot.
  3. ^ a b c Katz, Yaakov (26 May 2011). "IDF makes history: First woman to be made major general". Jerusalem Post.
  4. ^ "Brig. Gen. Orna Barbivay to be first woman major general in IDF" (Press release). Israel Defense Forces. 26 May 2011.
  5. ^ Harkov, Lahav (1 January 2019). "IDF's First Female General Will Join Yesh Atid". The Jerusalem Post.
  6. ^ Piotrkovsky, Shlomo (23 June 2011). "אורנה ברביבאי הועלתה לדרגת אלוף" [Orna Barbivai raised to Aluf rank] (in Hebrew). Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  7. ^ Harkov, Lahav (1 January 2019). "IDF's First Female General Will Join Yesh Atid". The Jerusalem Post.
  8. ^ staff, T. O. I. "United Gantz-Lapid party to be called 'Blue and White'; no women in top 6". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 2019-02-21.