New York State Supreme Court gets its first female Hasidic judge

Bais Ya’akov-educated Rachel ‘Ruchie’ Freier tapped to join the New York State Supreme Court, becoming the first Hasidic woman to ever serve on New York’s top court.

By World Israel News Staff

The New York State Supreme Court welcomed a new judge recently – its first female Hasidic justice.

Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a justice on the New York City Criminal Court, was tapped last December to join the New York State Supreme Court as an acting judge, filling a vacancy on the bench.

As an acting Supreme Court judge, Freier will have to face an election this summer to retain her position.

The 57-year-old Borough Park native was raised in a haredi-Orthodox home in Brooklyn, and attended a Bais Ya’akov high school, where she studied legal stenography.

A married mother of six, Freier first worked in law as a paralegal at the age of 29, before starting her bachelor’s degree at Touro College’s Lander College two years later.

In 2001, Freier entered Brooklyn Law School, graduating four years later and passing the New York State Bar exam in 2006.

Initially working as an intern for then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s Manhattan office, Freier also practiced real estate and business law, before throwing her hat in the ring for a civil court judgeship in 2016.

Running as a Democrat, Freier defeated her Conservative Party opponent nearly three-to-one.

“My story is replete with naysayers every step of the way, whether it was going to college, then law school, opening up a law practice, running for the judgeship,” Freier told CBS News. “Why shouldn’t I try? That God created me as a woman in a Hasidic community with these ambitions and with these dreams, it means that I could make it happen.”

“All the values that I learned growing up about judging everybody, giving someone benefit of the doubt, being patient with people, kindness, compassion, all those values is what I bring with me to the court.”

“The first biggest secret is I live around the corner from my mother, so she was always there to help me. Second thing is my mother always taught us that time is like money. It’s not how much you have, it’s how you spend it.”