Michal Barkai-Brody grew up in Tel Aviv. 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-Brody holds a bachelor of law degree from the Hebrew University, but decided quickly after becoming an attorney 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.
In 2011, Ms. Barkai-Brody embarked on her journey to found and direct the Alma Academy 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 numerous Federations, Lion of Judah-Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, is an award winning program. Barkai-Brody won three awards in recognition of Alma: the Moskowitz prize for Zionism, the Calcalist prize for entrepreneurship, and a special honours degree from the committee for women's issues at the Knesset.
Ms. Barkai-Brody is also an inspirational speaker on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel, an alumni 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-Brody is also currently studying toward a Master’s degree in Sociology of Education from the Hebrew University.
Plenary: Advocacy in Action