We’re expanding our Encyclopedia of Jewish Women and we need your help! Know an extraordinary Jewish woman whose story should be told? Nominate her to be included!
Close [x]

Show [+]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Jill Hammer

Jill Hammer co-founded the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute to offer women alternative ways of connecting with Jewish tradition by focusing on the sacredness of the body and the earth. Hammer graduated from Brandeis University in 1991, earned a PhD in social psychology from the University of Connecticut, and received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001. As a woman—and particularly as a lesbian—she explored the concept of God as female or dual-gendered (including drawing on goddess imagery from other religions), and questioned why Jewish tradition shifted away from allowing women to be prophets and judges. Soon after ordination, she became the director of spiritual education at the trans-denominational Academy for Jewish Religion in Riverdale, New York. In 2005 she and Taya Shere co-founded Kohenet, and as of 2016, Hammer continues her work at both institutions. Among her published works are Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women (2001), The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons (2006), and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook (2010).

Jill Hammer
Full image
Jill Hammer.
Date of Birth

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jill Hammer." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/hammer-jill>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs