Anat Hoffman is Executive Director of the Israeli Religious Action Center (IRAC), and is a founding member and Chairwoman of Women of the Wall.
Before she became Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center in 2002, Anat served as a Jerusalem City Councilwoman for 14 years. She became known as an inexhaustible warrior for justice and equality. She worked to ensure that the powerful Orthodox bloc in the City Council did not dictate lifestyle choices for Jerusalem’s secular population; she fought for women’s equal pay for equal work; she sought to guarantee adequate municipal services for the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem; and even in this city divided by religious disagreement, she has struggled for recognition of religious pluralism. Anat specialized in attending to the details of municipal administration, where big decisions are often hidden away in the fine print. She became a familiar figure in the Supreme Court, as she pursued her quest for information that the bureaucracy preferred to keep secret.
Anat was born in Jerusalem and in her teens was an Israeli swimming champion. After army service, she received her BSc in Psychology at the University of California in Los Angeles and pursued graduate studies at Bar Ilan University. She served on the Boards of the Israel Women’s Network, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and many other Israeli organizations for social change.
Anat is a sought-after lecturer, addressing audiences in Israel and in the United States on subjects close to her heart: gender segregation in the public sphere and the struggle for Jews to be able to practice a broad spectrum of Judaism in Israel, social justice, and equal rights for women and minorities. Anat guides IRAC in its work to promote Jewish pluralism, tolerance, and equality, and to combat racism and religious coercion. Anat expanded IRAC’s mission to go beyond the courts and the Knesset, and to engage in helping people directly through social action.