The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Naomi Levy

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

Rabbi Naomi Levy, photograph courtesy of Naomi Levy.

After suffering tragedies in her own life, Naomi Levy used her skills as a rabbi and writer to give others the tools to move on. Levy graduated from Cornell before joining the first class of women admitted to the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1984. After ordination, she became the first female Conservative rabbi on the West Coast when she led Congregation Mishkon Tephilo in Venice, California from 1989–1996. Her bestselling first book, To Begin Again (1998), drew on her memories of her father’s murder when she was fifteen to offer insights into resilience and faith. In 2004 she founded Nashuva, an experimental outreach synagogue for unaffiliated and previously disengaged Jews. Regularly named to both the Forward 50 and Newsweek’s 50 most influential rabbis, Levy teaches both laypeople and rabbis to craft personal prayer at Nashuva as well as the Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. In 2010 Levy’s third book, Hope Will Find You, described her rejection of her daughter’s potentially fatal diagnosis and her decision to live in the now.

More on Naomi Levy

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Naomi Levy." (Viewed on December 6, 2023) <>.


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