Dr. Dafna Schreiber

Director, Jewish Thought, Sacredness, Religion, and Secularization Cluster

Dafna has a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She studies Hassidism with a focus on the Gerrer Hassidic sect. Her dissertation concerns 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 and an MA in the Departments of Communications and Jewish Philosophy – all at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 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.

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