The Photographer Who Dreamed of Joining the Israeli Army

When she immigrated to Israel at the age of 22, photographer Debbie Zimelman was too old to join the army. 30 years later, she finally finds closure

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Credit: Debbie Zimelman
Daniel Tchetchik
Daniel Tchetchik
Daniel Tchetchik
Daniel Tchetchik

Debbie Zimelman immigrated to Israel when she was 22 years old. She was already considered too old to enlist in the Israeli army. After living in Israel for 30 years, there was only one formative Israeli experience that she had missed out on: Being a soldier.

Zimelman placed a request with the IDF and received permission to photograph women who had volunteered to serve in combat units. The resulting work is compiled in her book, “Women on the Front Lines: Inside the Combat Units of the Israeli Army,” which offers a deeper look into the modern phenomenon of women in combat through interviews and magnificent photos.

Blog editor: Daniel Tchetchik. From Exposure: Haaretz Photo Blog. Follow on Facebook

About the blog: Daniel Tchetchik has been working for Haaretz since 2003, taking photographs for the Gallery and Week's End supplements. He initiated and edits the Haaretz Photo Blog. His work has been exhibited in Israel's leading museums and in a number of exhibitions and fairs abroad.

Materials can be sent to Works with a 2,500 pixel width and a short text

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Election ad featuring Yair Lapid in Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel's Negev region.

This Bedouin City Could Decide Who Is Israel's Next Prime Minister

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister