The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Delphine Horvilleur

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Delphine Horvilleur until we are able to commission a full entry.

Photo of Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur by Rudy Waks, courtesy of Rabbi Horvilleur.

As one of the leaders of the Liberal Jewish Movement in France, Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur is working to bring a progressive mindset to the more traditional French Jewish community. Deeply Jewish but certain that women couldn’t become rabbis, Horvilleur went to Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1992 to study medicine. After Prime Minister Rabin’s assassination in 1995, she changed her focus to journalism, hoping to transform the world through her writing. She moved to New York, studied at the Drisha Institute, and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2008. She then returned to France, where she became (and remains, as of 2017) one of three leaders of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France, a liberal community affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism, as well as rabbi of one of its two Parisian synagogues. She has served as editor-in-chief of Tenou’a: A Review of Jewish Thought and has published two books on religion, Eve’s Costume: Feminism, Modesty, and Judaism (2013), and How the Rabbis Make Children: Sex, Transmission, and Identity in Judaism (2015).

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Delphine Horvilleur." (Viewed on May 28, 2023) <>.


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