Arutz Sheva interviews first female hasidic judge

Exclusive: Arutz Sheva interviews Judge Ruchie Freier at Bagels n' Greens in New York.

Yoni Kempinski, Chana Roberts,

Judge Ruchie Freier
Judge Ruchie Freier
Yoni Kempinski

Arutz Sheva met Judge Ruchie Freier at Bagels n' Greens in New York for an exclusive interview, and asked her to detail her journey to the Civil Court.

"This didn't happen overnight. It started out with my dream, I wanted to be a lawyer. But I didn't think it was possible," Freier said. "So in the beginning, I was a secretary for lawyers. And I was very happy, I was getting a better job and more money. And then I got married...and I was happy and everything was wonderful.

"Then my husband decided to go to college, and I worked and he went to Touro [College]. And by his graduation, in my heart I started to feel that now it's my turn... I said, 'I'll never know if I can do it if I don't try.' I didn't want to give up anything - I wanted to be a good mother, I wanted to be a good wife.. I didn't want to compromise. I did it very slowly - ten years in school.

"I thought, 'Who's going to come to me? A lady, hasidic..' But G-d runs the world... All my clients were hasidim. Sometimes rabbis would call me, they had questions... I had a very good relationship with everybody, and I was very happy," she continued.

"My uncle was a judge, he recently retired. He told me, 'Ruchie, if you want to be a judge, now's your chance...you'll have to have an election.' This seat goes to a haredi. The Democratic party didn't support me, because they didn't think I'd be able to win.

"I've always tried to be an ambassador...I always pray I'll b able to sanctify G-d's Name, and make a good impression... I think if a man doesn't let his wife study, it's not religion, it's his own personality disorder... My husband is proud of me.

"I am very happy with my role as the Torah defines a woman's role. My main point...is not only can a woman do it, she can do it.. without compromising her religious standards... Stick to it. If you stick to it, people will respect you," Freier concluded.

Yiddish-speaking Freier is the first female hasidic judge in the US. She began studying law at age 30 after realizing she was working for lawyers younger than herself.

She has 30 years of experience in law, as well as certification as a paramedic. In addition, Freier serves on the board of the NYC Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (REMSCO) and has founded several charity organizations.


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