Rosenberg-Friedman, Lilach. “National Mission, Feminine Identity and Female Leadership in a Mythical Masculine Organization: The Story of Ada Sereni, Head of the Mossad: The Story of Ada Sereni, Head of the Mossad Le’aliyah in Italy during the 1940s.” Women’s Studies 43.5 (2014): 589-618.
Before the establishment of the Mossad, Israel’s mythological secret service agency (formed in 1949), another secretive organization operated in the region. This organization, known as the Mossad Le’Aliyah Bet (henceforth the Mossad), was responsible for helping Holocaust survivors immigrate illegally to Palestine. Few people are aware that a woman, Ada Sereni, headed the organizations’ important Italian division from July 1945 to May 1948, an intense period during the struggle for the establishment of the State of Israel. This article seeks to present the characteristics of Ada Sereni’s actions, the new identity she developed during this period, and her complex leadership style.