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Haviva 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.

Haviva Ner-David
Full image
Photo of Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, courtesy of Rabbi Ner-David.
Place of Birth
New York, New York

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Haviva Ner-David." (Viewed on March 25, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/ner-david-haviva>.


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