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September 2nd, 2014
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Lifestyle Jewcy News A Model Soldier: America’s Next Top Model Becomes IDF Tank Instructor

A Model Soldier: America’s Next Top Model Becomes IDF Tank Instructor

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Article courtesy of Israel 21c’s “Israelity” BlogShe may be able to stun the enemy with her beauty. But for a former ‘America’s Next Top Model’ who has immigrated to Israel and joined the IDF, her secret weapon isn’t her looks but her devotion to Judaism.

19-year-old Esther Petrack was actually born in Israel to a French mother and American father, but they moved to France and then Boston, where she grew up observant and attended Brookline’s Maimonides High School

Petrack became an American celebrity in 2010 as a contestant on ANTM, attracting special attention not just for her looks but for being an observant Jew. She was criticized by some in the Orthodox world for being screened saying she would compromise her religious values for the show, but later said that her words were taken out of context by the producers.

After the series was completed (she didn’t win), Petrack spent her gap year between high school and college in Jerusalem, studying Hebrew and working as a waitress. . She also signed with the Israeli fashion agency A.D.D. and worked with Grip for its Winter 2010/2011 collection. Although she had plans to attend Barnard College this year, Petrack fell in love with her native country and decided to move here permanently.

“There wasn’t a question I would be joining the army,” Petrack told Haaretz last week, even though as an observant woman, she could have qualified for an exemption and instead perform voluntary national service.

She has been assigned to the IDF’s Armored Corps and is being trained to become a tank instructor, where she is expected to serve her two-year tenure. “Being in the army gives you such a feel for Israel,” she said.

And whoever is learning about tanks from her is going to have an especially difficult time concentrating on the instructions.

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