Tziporah Heller

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Tziporah Heller
Tziporah Heller.jpg
Tziporah Heller at a Siyum HaShas event in Jerusalem, July 2012
Born Tziporah Krasner
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Residence Jerusalem, Israel
Occupation Jewish studies teacher, author, speaker
Years active 1980–present
Employer Neve Yerushalayim
Spouse(s) Rabbi Avraham Dovid Heller

Tziporah Heller is an American-born Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox") Jewish studies educator, author, and speaker based in Jerusalem, Israel. She is a senior faculty member at the Neve Yerushalayim College for Women, principal of the Bnos Avigail seminary on the Neve campus, and a lecturer for the online Jewish college, She specializes in textual analysis of Biblical literature and Jewish philosophy, and exploration of the role of women in Judaism. The author of eight books, she is also a weekly columnist for the Hamodia newspaper.

Early life and education[edit]

Born Tziporah Krasner in Brooklyn, New York, she studied at the Bais Yaakov elementary school.[1] From 1966 to 1967, she attended the Rav Wolf Seminary in Bnei Brak.[2]


Following her marriage in 1967, she and her husband, Avraham Dovid Heller, resided for two years in the Galilee community of Segev, in an effort to establish a kolel there.[3] After their return to Jerusalem, her husband became a lecturer at Ohr Somayach, and, later, the administrator of Yeshiva Pachad Yitzchok, located near their home in Har Nof.[3] In 1970, she began teaching at the Neve Yerushalayim College of Jewish Studies for Women in the same neighborhood, becoming a full-time faculty member in 1980.[4] In 2015, she became principal of the Bnos Avigail seminary on the Neve campus.

Heller specializes in textual analysis of Biblical literature and Jewish philosophy, with a focus on the commentaries of Rambam and Maharal. She also lectures on women in Judaism, and "the lives of women in the Bible and Prophets".[5] She is noted for her ability to bring "lofty concepts" down to a practical level, embellished with true-life stories and a sense of humor.[6][7] Her views on the role of women in Judaism are frequently cited.[8][9][10][11]

She is also a lecturer for the online Jewish college,[6] and a weekly columnist for the Hamodia newspaper. Her 2000 book, This Way Up: Torah essays on spiritual growth, was culled from her columns in that newspaper in the 1990s.[12] She conducts international speaking tours twice yearly.[6] She has thousands of students around the globe,[3] and her approbation is valued in the Jewish publishing world.[13][14][15][16] In 2011, she was nominated for the Jewish Community Heroes award presented by the Jewish Federations of North America.[17]


In 1967, she married Avraham Dovid Heller (1944–2013), and the two made aliyah to Israel.[3] They raised a large family, and hosted many guests for Shabbat and Jewish holidays.[3][17]

Heller's son-in-law, Shmuel Goldstein, was seriously injured in the 2014 Jerusalem synagogue attack.[18] Following the attack, Heller widely disseminated a letter that she had written to her family and friends describing the event,[19][20] and also spoke to the media.[18]



  1. ^ Heller 1993, p. 71.
  2. ^ Massry, Sarah. "Worth the Price? Is going to seminary in Eretz Yisrael a luxury or a necessity?" Ami Living, May 20, 2015, p. 114.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ansh, Tamar (1 October 2013). "Harav Avraham Dovid Heller, z"l". Hamodia. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Levine 2005, p. 104.
  5. ^ "About Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller". Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "Community News From Around The World". Five Towns Jewish Times. 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller Speaks at SKA". SKAppenings. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Levine 2004, p. 104ff.
  9. ^ Miller, Yvette (2011). "Finding Heroes for Our Children". 
  10. ^ Rubinstein 2002, pp. 230–231.
  11. ^ Shalit 2007, pp. 104–105.
  12. ^ Heller 2000, p. vi.
  13. ^ Gray 2004, p. 6.
  14. ^ Hager 2006, p. 8.
  15. ^ Einhorn & Zimmerman 2001, p. 7.
  16. ^ Bell 2012, pp. 12-14.
  17. ^ a b "Tziporah Heller, Brooklyn, New York". Jewish Federations of North America. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. 
  18. ^ a b Silverman, Anav (28 November 2014). "Counting the Blessings". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 December 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ "A Grandmother's Report from Har Nof". The Forward. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  20. ^ "Details of Yesterday's Attack in Har Nof From Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller". Yeshiva World News. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2015.