As co-founder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, Jill Hammer blends ancient and modern spiritual practices to offer women alternative ways of connecting with Jewish tradition. Hammer earned a PhD in social psychology from the University of Connecticut before receiving 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 stopped allowing women to be prophets and judges. She became the director of spiritual education at the trans-denominational Academy for Jewish Religion in Riverdale, New York, and in 2005 she and Taya Shere co-founded Kohenet, where women participate in classes and retreats to earn ordination as Hebrew priestesses. As of 2016, Hammer continues her work at both AJR and Kohenet. Among Hammer’s 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).
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jill Hammer." (Viewed on August 4, 2021) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/hammer-jill>.