Succeeding from Within

First Hasidic Female Judge in the U.S. Creates New Norms

September 12, 2022
Justice Rachel Freier
Judge Ruchie Freier

Judge Ruchie Freier became one of the first Hasidic female lawyers in Brooklyn, and eleven years later was elected as a judge to civil court, making her the first female Hasidic elected official in the U.S.

She balances her high-profile professional life with family, while fully engaging with tradition, culture and Jewish law. Her dignified persona and professional conduct are a further reflection of the person she became as she pursued her career, not compromising, but rather elevating herself, by way of her position.

In pioneering the first all-women’s Volunteer Ambulance Service (VAS), Ezras Nashim, Ruchie integrated the lessons of her youth and Touro schooling, choosing to uniquely impact and service her community. She doesn’t break norms; she gracefully creates new norms that fit well within her cherished tradition.

“I wanted to succeed, but I wanted to do it from within my community.”

Along with her official duties, she serves as an unofficial liaison between Hasidic Jews and the secular world, explaining the realities of the courts to the Hasidim and the culture of the Hasidim to the courts.