Delphine Horvilleur

Delphine Horvilleur is helping transform the traditional French Jewish community through her work as a leader of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France. The grandchild of Holocaust survivors, Horvilleur grew up with a strong sense of Jewish tradition. She studied journalism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, then moved to New York, where she took an intensive course of Jewish study at the Drisha Institute before beginning her studies at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. After her ordination in 2008, she returned to France, where she became (and remains, as of 2017) one of three leaders of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France, a liberal community affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism, as well as rabbi of one of its two Parisian synagogues. In her work to bring a more progressive and inclusive mindset to the Jewish community, Horvilleur often draws upon both the values of secular French culture and the historical context that explains why Judaism developed along certain lines in France. This understanding of Jewish history and tradition influenced her two books on religion, Eve’s Costume: Feminism, Modesty, and Judaism (2013), and How the Rabbis Make Children: Sex, Transmission, and Identity in Judaism (2015).