Melila Hellner-Eshed
Melila Hellner-Eshed
Director of Maskilot and Research Fellow

Melila Hellner-Eshed, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at Shalom Hartman Institute. She is a professor of Jewish mysticism and Zohar in the department of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She received her degree from Hebrew University under the tutelage of Professor Yehuda Liebes.

For the past two decades, Melila has been a central figure in the Israeli renaissance of study of Jewish texts by Israeli adults of all paths of life in various frameworks. She initiated and directs the Rabbinic Students Seminar , a program for rabbinic students from all denominations spending a year in Israel. She is also the co-director of the Institute’s Beit Midrash program. She has been teaching and working with Jewish communities in North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union for many years.

Her book And a River Flows from Eden – On the Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar was published by Stanford University Press in 2009.

Melila is on the faculty of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and is active in the ‘Sulha’ – a reconciliation project that brings together Israelis and Palestinians.