Renata is the only female security guard stationed at one of the Ministry of Defense's 16 checkpoints in the northern Samaria region of the West Bank. While dozens of women applied for the job, she was the only one to meet all its requirements.
Renata, 24, joined the checkpoints unit after completing her mandatory military service as a combat soldier in the Border Police.
"When I came to the tryouts, I was told: 'There are no women here. You can be a checker,'" Renata recalls. The checkers are unarmed, and their job is to question people wishing to pass through the crossing.
Nevertheless, Renata was determined to be an armed security guard, who also conducts physical searches on suspects when the need arises.
The training fod the job includes a physical course incorporating firearm lessons and Krav Maga (a hand-to-hand self-defense fighting method developed for the IDF).
Renata was neither discouraged by the attempts to convince her to renounce her dream, nor by the intense physical training.
"I turned down being a checker and insisted on being an armed security guard. The training was extremely hard, but I was so proud of myself when I finished it," Renata says excitedly.
"To be the first female security guard in the unit is an accomplishment. I immediately called my family in Russia (upon completing the course), but along with the joy and pride I felt, concerns arose again," she says.
Renata was stationed at the north Samaria region, where several attempted terror attack were thwarted by the security guards.
"I'm not scared. I feel this is my mission. Some contribute to the country by (developing new) technologies, others contribute through trade and culture and I'm here at the checkpoint," she explains.
Renata immigrated to Israel from Moscow at the age of 15 as part of the Naale program (which helps Jewish youth from the Diaspora make aliyah without their parents) and resides in a kibbutz in the north of the country. Her parents and sisters are still in Russia.
From a young age, Renata defined herself as a Zionist. "In Moscow, I attended a religious (Jewish) school and was very interested in what was going on in Israel," she says.
"When I began the Naale program, it was clear to me I wanted to make aliyah, even by myself," she adds.
After immigrating to Israel, Renata went to a boarding school in Kfar Silver. In 2014, she enlisted in the Border Police, completed her basic training and served in the coastal plain area.
"I really enjoyed (my service) in the Border police. I felt like I'm contributing to the country. It's true my family was a bit nervous, but that was what I wanted and they accepted it," Renata notes.
"Being a woman in an all-male environment is challenging, but they look out for me. I'm sure more women have what it takes (to serve as checkpoint security guards), and I'm waiting for them to join me," she concludes.