Director, Jewish Thought, Sacredness, Religion, and Secularization Cluster
Dafna is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her dissertation focuses on the relations between beliefs, values, and internal politics in the Gerrer Hassidic sect headed by Rabbi Israel Alter, the fourth rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Gerrer dynasty, from the establishment of the State of Israel to 1977. She earned a BA in the Departments of History and Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her MA studies, at the same university, were in the Department of Communications and in the Department of Jewish Philosophy. Her master’s thesis in Jewish philosophy was titled, “Rabbi Abraham Mordechai Alter, the Third Gerrer Rebbe.” In 2014 she received the Arye Lubin Prize for research in Jewish studies. Dafna started working at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute at the end of 2001 and since then she has established many, varied programs, primarily in Jewish philosophy and culture.