Esty Shushan is a Haredi and Mizrachi social activist and entrepreneur, the Founder and CEO of Nivcharot – Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Women for Voice and Equality. A long-time social activist and trail-blazer, she is active in the fields advertising, film, art and media. As a journalist writing for the Haredi press, she used a male pseudonym, after being told that “it was the only way anyone would take her writing seriously.”
In 2012, she launched the social media-based protest movement No Voice, No Vote, calling on Ultra-Orthodox women not to vote for parties that barred women from their ranks. This movement formed the basis of Nivcharot, established in 2015 to raise awareness to issues of Haredi women’s rights and to promote the status and equal representation of women in Haredi society and politics through leadership courses, social media and advocacy.
She founded Meoravut (Engagement), a forum that sparked unprecedented discourse amonf Haredi women on issues of legal rights and political representation. Her short film, Akara (Barren), released in 2014, focuses on how ultra-Orthodox society puts pressure on women to bear children. The film has been screened at film festivals in Israel and abroad.
Esty is active in social media, managing several open and closed Facebook groups that enable an honest exchange of views on subjects such as of divorce, birth control, sexual harassment and abuse, arranged marriages and many other topics that are considered taboo in the Haredi world. She is a sought-after speaker and lectures widely on issues pertaining to Haredi women and society, and Haredi media and cinema. In 2015, she told the story of Nivcharot in a TED talk in Jerusalem.
Esty is the recipient of the 2017 Yaffa London-Yaari Prize, awarded to extraordinary women wo have established innovative projects to advance women’s rights in Israel.
Esty grew up in Safed, in a large Haredi-Mizrachi family. The daughter of a Rabbi and posek (legal scholar) she studied at the Beit Yaakov Seminar. She is married to Maimon, a sofer stam (Jewish scribe) and manager of a Judaica internet shop, and they have four children.
Hila Hassan Lefkowitz
Hila is Nivcharot’s project manager. An NLP trainer, Hila focuses on empowering women to find their voice. She is a studying toward a degree in local government.
Hila is a social activist, advocating for Haredi women’s rights in various Knesset committees. She also works to promote Haredi women to positions of power and influence.
She was born and raised in a Haredi neighborhood and is the daughter of a Shas council representative. She studied at Beit Yaakov, and in the past worked with youth at risk, as a coordinator of cultural activities in an institute for the disabled, and taught computers in informal education settings. In 2018, Hila joined the New Day party in Kfar Yona, but left due to disagreements on religious issues.
Hila is 39, married and the mother of three children.
Tirtsa is a member and activist in Nivcharot. She is a content writer and translator by profession and currently works in digital marketing. As a Haredi social activist, she focuses on healthcare and the welfare of Haredi women. Tirtsa helps promote social projects and educational initiatives that support single-parent families, women in the work force, and more. She is a member of the steering committee of Nekudat Mifne and dreams of creating a unique center that will provide a multi-disciplinary solution to Haredi families in crisis.
Tirtsa is the mother of five and resides in Jerusalem.
Efrat is a Haredi feminist and social activist. She has helped promote many initiatives in the Haredi community to eliminate ethnic discrimination, advance the study of core subjects, and ensure representation of Haredi women in decision making processes. She is a media personality and a panelist on the Knesset Channel evening program, Mishkan Layla.
Efrat is studying toward a BA in political sciences, international relations, and communications. She completed her studies in marketing and advertising at ACC Tirzah Granot. She is a graduate of Beit Yaakov and the Haredi-Sephardi Neve Israel Seminar.
Efrat works at Am Shalem, an NGO that deals with issues pertaining to conversion.
Efrat was born and grew up in Har Nof in Jerusalem. She is 34 years old, married and the mother of 4 children.
Efrat is graduate of Nivcheret, Nivcharot’s Leadership Program.
Efrat holds a management position at an insurance company. She received a Haredi education. Efrat is a feminist, loves to write, and engages in social and political activist. She works to promote justice, equality and social change in the Haredi community and believes that women should not hesitate to prioritize their needs and pursue their dreams.
Efrat is 30 years old, a resident of Petah Tikvah and the mother of two children.
Hila served as an education officer in the IDF. Following her service, she served as a shaliach (cultural emissary) for the Jewish Agency, before returning to settle down in Tel Aviv. In 2014, Hila joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of San Francisco’s Israel office, where she works to promote democracy and pluralism in Israeli society, and equal opportunities for all.
Hila has spent most of her career promoting social issues, especially immigration and absorption, education and employment. She has trained to be a director of community theater (B.A.) and also has an M.A. in Public Policy, both from Tel Aviv University.
A member of the Nivcharot board, Hila joined Nivcharot so that the voice of Haredi women would be heard throughout the public sphere. She believes that society pays a heavy price because this voice is silent, and that we all have the power to create change.
Hila is married to Yoseph and mother to Nivi. She was born and grew up in Kiryat Tivon.