The Prime Minister's female haredi pilot

Nechama Spiegel-Novack, married mother of four, becomes first haredi woman to fly Prime Minister abroad.

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El Al
El Al

For the first time ever, a haredi woman will pilot the plane carrying the Prime Minister for a state visit abroad.

Nechama Spiegel-Novack, a married mother of four and a member of the haredi community, will fly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from Israel to Greece. The Prime Minister will attend a two-day summit in Thessaloniki, alongside the leaders of Greece and Cyprus.

In 2015, Spiegel-Novack was accepted by the El Al pilot training program, and completed her training several months ago.

According to a report in Yediot Ahronot, Spiegel-Novack studied in a Jerusalem school affiliated with the haredi Bais Yaakov network and currently resides in a haredi town near Jerusalem.

At the age of 20, Spiegel-Novack began training as a pilot in the US. After she received her pilot’s license in the US, Spiegel-Novack tried to earn her wings in Israel, applying to the El Al airline’s pilot training program.

While technically qualified, for years Spiegel-Novack did not have sufficient hours in the air to enter the program. Most candidates for the El Al program gain the flight time during their service in the Israeli Air Force.

Finally, in 2015 Spiegel-Novack was accepted into the El Al program. During her training, Spiegel-Novack gave birth to her fourth child, taking time out from the program before coming back to complete it earlier this year.