Anna Batler

Anna Batler

Anna Batler is a writer and an attorney based out of Washington, D.C. She writes about faith, feminism, spirituality, and religious identity at

After moving to New Jersey from Azerbaijan, Anna attended an Orthodox Jewish parochial school that first inspired her faith while simultaneously prohibiting her from running for student body president because she was not observant. She became an Orthodox Jew when she started attending a public high school and was a regular at religious outreach events. Today, she no longer affiliates with a specific Jewish movement - though she is involved in a local, lay led, egalitarian community.

After college, Anna completed a one year fellowship at Drisha Institute, in New York, where she studied biblical texts and Talmudic law. She has been a Jewish educator at various schools in New Jersey and was a past programming co-chair at LimmudNY.

Anna conducted ethnographic research studying the lives of traditionally religious Christian, Muslim, and Jewish women at Rutgers University. In the process of getting to know the women, Anna attended evangelical Christian rock concerts, Islamic campus festivals, and classes on menstruation purity laws. 

Anna holds a B.A. in English from Rutgers College and a J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School.

Works by Anna Batler
Hillel vs. History at Chanukah
Anna Batler | December 21, 2011
The real miracle of the Chanukah story is our willful forgetting of the historic......
A Concubine on the Fringes
Anna Batler | December 07, 2011
The Torah's sexual ethic emerges in the narratives of Dina and Bilhah. Above all else is......
God Is Not the God I Knew
Anna Batler | December 01, 2011
Jacob discovers that his God had been too small, that his God was a God without borders....
A Thanksgiving Drash
Anna Batler | November 23, 2011
This Thanksgiving, may we dream not about first class citizenship for some, but about......
The Free Rebecca
Anna Batler | November 17, 2011
In this archetypal narrative, we see the myth of the powerful woman and the whipped man....
Telling Abraham's Story for Him -- and for Us
Anna Batler | November 01, 2011
Did God choose Abraham, or did Abraham choose God?...
Toying with Genocide
Anna Batler | October 27, 2011
The image of a child playing with Noah's Ark ought to be jarring. Why isn't it?...
Discomfort and ambiguity toward economic, social, and technological change is, perhaps,......
Dwelling in the Sukkah
Anna Batler | October 09, 2011
In the Sukkah the problem of the human gaze is resolved through the mutuality of simple......
You Say You Want a Revolution?
Anna Batler | September 27, 2011
Those of us seeking revolution and dissent can find a model in Hannah's famous prayer......