First Female Chauffeur for an Israeli Cabinet Minister Starts Work

Health Minister Yael German says she hopes that her hiring of Sapir Gavriel will herald a breakthrough for other women who want to be government drivers.

The first female chauffeur for an Israeli cabinet minister took the wheel Wednesday for the first time, transporting Health Minister Yael German.

Sapir Gavriel, 22, of Rishon Letzion, served as a driver in the army. She says friends alerted her to German's Facebook appeal for a suitable woman to be her official chauffeur.

"I went to Facebook and suggested myself for the job," Gavriel relates, adding, "The next day at noon they called me. I was in seventh heaven."

Gavriel, one of several candidates who responded to German's Facebook posting, clinched the position after an interview. German announced her choice on Facebook and said she hoped that her hiring of Gavriel will herald a breakthrough for other women who want to be government drivers.

"It's not only making history; it's fun and a great honor," Gavriel said. She will drive German's own car, a Toyota Prius hybrid; German says her request for a hybrid or fully electric vehicle was turned down by the Government Vehicle Administration.

"I was surprised when they turned me down and wanted to force me to take a BMW. I'll continue to use my own car until they find a solution and purchase a 'green,' economical and less expensive car," German said.

Tomer Appelbaum