100 Most Influential Women

Bar-Ilan University (BIU) had the highest number of women recognized in Women magazine's Academia and Education categories among all Israeli universities. Women, which is published by the newspaper Makor Rishon, selected 12 Bar-Ilan affiliated women on its recent listing of religious Zionist women in Israel who have reached the highest ranks in their fields. The magazine compiled its list for the March 7th edition with the assistance of experts in various fields, Facebook readers, and Friends of Makor Rishon leaders.

In the Education category, the three Bar-Ilan affiliated women chosen were:

·         Rabbanit Naomi Shapira, lecturer at the BIU Midrasha for Women and founder of a spiritual femininity center.

·         Rabbanit Pnina Neuwirth, lecturer at the BIU Law School and writer of the "Women in the Bible" column in Makor Rishon.

·         Rabbanit Michal Tikochinsky, head of the Midrasha for Women in Beit Morasha in Jerusalem who is pursuing her doctorate in the Talmud Department of BIU.


In the Academia category, six BIU women were chosen. They were:

·         Prof. Miriam Faust, Deputy Rector of BIU and Head of the Brain and Language Laboratory at The Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center.

·         Prof. Pnina Klein, 2011 Israel Prize winner and one of the world's leading researchers in childhood development. She works at BIU's School of Education.

·         Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Deputy President of BIU and former Dean of BIU's Law School. She specializes in international law and constitutional law.

·         Prof. Sarit Kraus, a researcher in BIU's Computer Science Department whose research developed automatic systems in security at Los Angeles International Airport.

·         Prof. Tamar Ross, professor emeritus at BIU who deals with the challenges that modernity places before traditional thinking.

·         Prof. Zemira Mevarech, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at BIU who won international acclaim as a researcher in education. She specializes in mathematical and meta-cognitive methods of teaching.

·         Prof. Shula Michaeli, Dean of the Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Science at BIU, who has succeeded in deciphering unique mechanisms in parasites, which will make possible the development of new drugs to combat parasitic diseases such as sleeping sickness, Chages' disease and leishmaniasis.


In the Judicial Category, the magazine chose:

·         Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Director of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women. She is a member (and former Vice Chair) of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) - the only Israeli to ever serve on this committee.

Although their Bar-Ilan connections were not mentioned in the list write-ups, there were two Knesset members with strong BIU affiliations chosen in the Politics Category. They were:

·         Dr. Aliza Lavie, elected to the Knesset in 2013 as a member of the Yesh Atid Party. Prior to her election, Lavie was a lecturer at the Bar-Ilan Communications School, where she focused on gender issues in Judaism and Israeli society. Her best-selling work "A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book" won a National Jewish Book Award.

·         Tzipi Hotovely has been a member of the Knesset for the Likud Party since 2009. In 2013, she joined the new government of Israel as Deputy Minister of Transportation. She completed her LLB and LLM degrees in Law with distinction at BIU. Between 2003 and 2005 she served as editor of Bar-Ilan's Journal of Law. She studied at the Midrasha at BIU.


To learn more about the many ways these influential Bar-Ilan women strengthen Israel and Jewish life, or to support their work, please call Howard Charish at 212-906-3910 or email howard.charish@afbiu.org