9 2014

Women's Division Lunch and Learn

12:00PM - 1:30PM  

Jewish Community Center 702 N 22nd Street
Allentown, PA 18104

Contact Judy Diamondstein

Join the Women's Division of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley for a Lunch & Learn program with Michal Barkai, founder and director of the Alma Preparatory School for Female Leadership in Israel, which provides pre-army education for young girls from Israel’s socio-economic peripheries.

Ms. Barkai grew up in Tel Aviv, where she graduated from the Lady Davis High School with honors. She served for two years as a Commander for new recruits in basic training, before serving an additional year as the Officer of Human Resources Inspections on behalf of the Advisor to the Chief of Staff, a position she still holds as a member of the IDF Reserves.

In this capacity, she identifies and handles cases of sexual harassment and discrimination against women in the IDF.

Ms. Barkai holds a bachelor of law degree from the Hebrew University, but decided quickly after finishing law school that her heart lies in social services. A long-time volunteer, she had been inspired by her work with young women in the army, in addition to her previous volunteer service with the Advocacy Delegation for Israeli and Palestinian Women and the Israeli Scouts movement. She became the Youth Director for Kibbutz Ein Gedi and the Informal Education Director at the Ein Gedi Boarding School. She also lectured on Gender Studies at the Melach Ha’aretz Pre-Army preparation program for boys at Ein Gedi.

In 2011, Ms. Barkai embarked on her journey to found and direct the Alma Preparatory School for Female Leadership, which helps young girls advance their maturation, broaden their world views, and qualify for higher level units in the IDF, which improves Israelis’ career trajectories for a lifetime. Alma, which receives support from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley through the Jewish Agency for Israel, was named a runner-up in the Educational Innovation competition by the newspaper “The Calcalist” and the municipality of Bat Yam.

Ms. Barkai is also a board member of the Program for Young Leadership of the Center for Zionist Strategies –for whom she published a position paper on the issue of prostitution in Israel – and a member of the Committee for National Security Doctrine of Israel (a committee of the governmental Office of Strategic Affairs). Ms. Barkai is also currently studying toward a Master’s degree in Sociology of Education from the Hebrew University.

Program is $12, including lunch. Men and women welcome. Please RSVP to 610-821-5500 or