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.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op