Situated in the highest realm of academia, and acting as a grassroots organization, the Rackman Center is a junction between research and activism; between legislative work and litigation; between public advocacy
and individual support; between the domestic and the international; and between the religious and the secular legal spheres.
Established in 2001 at Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law with the goal of improving women’s status and bringing an end to gender discrimination and inequality in Israeli society, The Rackman Center is now proud to be the
forefront organization of legal and social change for women in family
law in Israel, working to fulfill the vision of advancing women’s rights, and bettering women’s standing within family law in general and Jewish family law in particular.
Believing in a dual-track approach for bringing about mobilization and social change, we work from both within and outside the religious world, to change the Jewish legal system using its own internal tools and methodology, and at the same time enable each citizen of Israel a choice of marriage ceremony
which suits their beliefs. Our dual-track approach continues when we cooperate with the government to promote policy reforms, and at the
same time make an independent stand where appropriate. Our position as an academic institution in a law faculty creates a unique synergy between the work we do representing our clients in family law cases and our academic expertise in analyzing the cases, researching scholarship, finding innovative solutions and recommending legal changes. This demonstrates another facet of the dual-track approach, that of enaging in a bottom-up method through individual litigations, and at the same time promoting the top-bottom process of legislative changes and policy reforms. We translate academic research, knowledge and training into action to bring social and legal change.
The work that we do affects agents of change of all levels, starting from legislatures and policy-makers, civil and rabbinical judicatures, lawyers, welfare workers and other divorce professionals, through law students who are the future of this profession, to the individual women and children who are directly assisted by the Center.
The Vision of the Ruth and Emanual Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Woman
The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at the Bar Ilan University Law School was established in 2001 with the goal of improving the status of women and bringing an end to gender discrimination in Israeli society.
Through legal aid, public advocacy, research and woman’s empowerment, we work to fulfill the vision of Rabbi Dr. Emanuel Rackman to advance women’s rights in Israel and better women’s standing within Jewish family law.