The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Haviva Ner-David

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

Photo of Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, courtesy of Rabbi Ner-David.

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David chronicled her struggles to become an Orthodox woman rabbi in her celebrated book Life on the Fringes: A Feminist Journey Toward Traditional Rabbinic Ordination before finally achieving her dream in 2006. Born Haviva Krasner-Davidson, Ner-David applied to Yeshiva University’s rabbinical program in 1993 but never received a response from the university. Undeterred, she wrote about her aspiration to the rabbinate in her book Life on the Fringes, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2000 and earned a PhD in Talmud from Bar Ilan University in 2006. That year, she was granted private ordination by Rabbi Aryeh Strikovsky, making her one of the first Orthodox women to claim the mantle of rabbi. She went on to become director of Mikveh Shmaya, the Masorti mikveh at the Hannaton Educational Center in the Galilee. In 2014 she published Chana’s Voice: A Rabbi Struggles with Gender, Commitment, and the Women’s Rituals of Baking, Bathing, and Brightening.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Haviva Ner-David." (Viewed on October 4, 2023) <>.


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