Founding Head of the Rackman Center

Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari is head of the Rackman Center, which she founded in 2001. Prof. Halperin-Kaddari is a member of the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University and, from 2007 through the end of 2018, she served as a member and Vice President of the Expert Committee of the UN Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). While serving on the Committee, in 2013, she initiated and led General Recommendation Number 29 regarding the economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution (Read); and in 2017, conducted CEDAW’s official investigation of the prohibition against abortions in Northern Ireland, which led to a legislative change in July 2019.

Prof. Halperin-Kaddari is a leading international expert on family law, feminist criticism of the law and Jewish law, and the international rights of women. She earned her LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School. From 2003-2008, she served as the Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Authority for the Advancement of Women at the Prime Minister’s Office. Her articles in prominent Israeli and foreign journals on matters of family law, legal pluralism, and feminism and Jewish law, have contributed to a shift in the discourse surrounding these. Her book, Women in Israel: A State of Their Own, was published by Pennsylvania University Press in 2004.

Research grants:

  • Three research grants from the Israel Science Foundation (together with Dr. Rina Bogoch and Eyal Katvan, in 2000 and 2005; and as a single researcher in 2019) in the field of family law.
  • Research grant from the European Union as part of GENDER-NET in Horizon 2020 in 2019.

Publications and awards:

  • Zeltner Award for Young Legal Scholars in 2000.
  • Israel Feminist Award from US/Israel Women to Women in 2002.
  • International Women of Courage Award in 2007, awarded by Condoleezza Rice and the U.S. Department of State.
  • Winner of the 2014 Katan Award for the Advancement of Gender Justice through Voluntary Work in addition to scholarly work.
  • Rappaport Prize for Women Generating Change in Israeli Society in 2016.
  • Knights of Quality Government Award in 2017.
  • In 2018, she was named one of Apolitical’s 100 most influential people in gender policy around the world. Read >


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