From Beit Yaakov ultra-Orthodox School to the Supreme Court – Ono Graduate Tells Her Story

Esti Ohana, who graduated from Ono Academic College with a degree in law and has since clerked for Israel’s Supreme Court, recently addressed a gathering of the National Committee for the Employment of ultra-Orthodox Women.  Ohana will soon began her new position as the first female ultra-Orthodox counsel in the Supreme Court Appeal’s Division of the State Attorney’s Office.

During her speech, Ohana, the first ultra-Orthodox female legal clerk on Israel’s Supreme Court, discussed memories of her childhood, her legal education and her message to the ultra-Orthodox community.

Ohana noted the importance of her legal education at Ono Academic College saying, “I was worried that my studies might conflict with my ultra-Orthodox lifestyle. However, thanks to the ultra-Orthodox track at Ono Academic College that allowed for some studies in women-only settings, I was able to fulfill my dream and study law at the highest level, without sacrificing the values on which I was raised.” Ohana continued to recount with excitement how she flourished throughout her educational experience at Ono.

Ohana concluded by noting the steps that both secular and ultra-Orthodox Israelis must take to improve society:

  • The secular Israeli needs to understand and acknowledge the burning desire of the ultra-Orthodox student who aspires to be immersed in the world of Torah all of his or her life. On the other hand, the ultra-Orthodox Israeli needs to understand the immense humiliation experienced by a secular woman who is required to sit at the back of the bus.  A bridge of opinions and understanding can be built with the help of ultra-Orthodox women and men who possess a rich inner world, who will help shape the common civic culture, and who will make their voices heard. I know this is exactly what I will start doing two months from today [when I begin my new job at the State Attorney’s Office], and I look forward to working with talented people of all backgrounds, who will join me in building this all-important bridge for our future, and the future of our children.

For the complete speech click: