Pnina Lahav

Professor of Law Emerita

Law Alumni Scholar

LLB magna cum laude, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law
LLM and JSD, Yale University
MA in Political Science, Boston University

Areas of Interest
Constitutional Law, Gender Matters, International & Comparative Law, Jurisprudence, Law and Foreign Affairs, Legal Biographies, Legal History

During the course of her legal career, Pnina Lahav has published nearly 50 journal articles and three books, including the critically acclaimed Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century. Winner of Israel’s Seltner Award (1998) and the Gratz College Centennial Book Award (1998), she is presently completing a biography of Israel’s fourth prime minister, Golda Meir, a biography that asks how a lone woman surrounded by men makes it to the top.

Among the prestigious research fellowships that Professor Lahav has earned are a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, a fellowship at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a fellowship from the Center for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Lahav also served as a religion fellow at Boston University School of Theology (2010, 2011). Professor Lahav delivered several endowed lectures, including the Lapidus Lecture at Princeton University in March 2015, the Rockoff Lecture at Rutgers University in March 2017 and the Taubman Lecture at the University of California in Santa Barbara in November 2017.

Known as a gifted teacher, Professor Lahav was the recipient of the BU Law Melton Prize for excellence in teaching in 2011. For her excellence in scholarship she was awarded the Life Achievement Award in Israel Studies by the Israel Studies Institute and the Association for Israel Studies in June 2017.

Lahav has taught at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Herzlia, Oxford University and Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in Lyon, France. Lahav teaches Constitutional Law, which “automatically keeps your teaching fresh,” she says. “Each year the Court addresses new issues and revisits old ones. Thus, there is always intellectual challenge and deeper exploration.”  Lahav also teaches a course on the first amendment (her first love) and a seminar on the constitution and foreign affairs, a course she created especially to strengthen students’ knowledge of constitutional law while engaging with issues affecting the international scene.

  1. Pnina Lahav, "'A Great Episode in the History of Jewish Womanhood': Golda Meir, the Women Workers' Council, Pioneer Women, and the Struggle for Gender Equality," 23 Israel Studies 1 (2018).
  2. Pnina Lahav, "The Woes of WoW: The Women of the Wall as a Religious Social Movement and as a Metaphor," in Women's Rights and Religious Law 123, Fareda Banda & Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, eds., Routledge (2016). Publisher
  3. Pnina Lahav, "Zivotofsky v. Kerry: The Supreme Court of the United States, the Politics of American Jewry and the Biblical Balaam," 21 Israel Studies 1 (2016).
  4. Pnina Lahav, "Kol Ha’am: Is There More to Say?" 38 Tel Aviv University Law Review 124 (2015). [Keynote address at the Israeli Society for Legal History]
  5. Pnina Lahav, "Religious Citizenship/Secular Citizenship," in Woman Up 2: A Transatlantic Gender Dialogue 131, Maari Poim & Judit Tanczos, eds., FEPS-FJJ (2015). Publisher
  6. Pnina Lahav, "The Suez Crisis of 1956 and Its Aftermath: A Comparative Study of Constitutions, Use of Force, Diplomacy and International Relations," 95 Boston University Law Review 1297 (2015).
    SSRN | Publisher | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Scholarly Commons
  7. Pnina Lahav, "The Women of the Wall: A Metaphor for National and Religious Identity," 30 Israel Studies Review 50 (2015).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  8. Pnina Lahav, "Can Israel Offer an Israeli Identity?" in Take a Teacher, Make a Friend 98, Michael Zank & Leanne Hoppe, eds., Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies (2014). Publisher
  9. Pnina Lahav, "Introduction," in Symposium Roundtable on the Status of Women in Israel, 18 Israel Studies 1 (2013).
  10. Pnina Lahav, "Israel's Rosit the Riveter: Between Secular Law and Jewish Law," in Symposium Evaluating Claims about the End of Men: Legal and Other Perspectives, 93 Boston University Law Review 1063 (2013).
    Publisher | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Scholarly Commons
  11. Pnina Lahav, "The Women of the Wall: American Jewish and Israeli Feminism," Sh'ma Journal 5 (Oct 2013).
  12. Pnina Lahav, "Women of Wall: A Temporary but Meaningful Milestone: State of Israel v. Bonnie Reva Rus," 9 HaMishpat Online: Human Rights - Insight into Recent Judgments 4 (June 2013). Full text: PDF [article in English] - Journal Title link [article in Hebrew]
    Publisher | Publisher
  13. Pnina Lahav, "American Influence on Israeli Law: Freedom of Expression," in Israel and the United States: Six Decades of US-Israeli Relations 187, Robert Freedman, ed., Westview Press (2012). SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  14. Pnina Lahav, "Justice Miriam Ben Porat, In Memoriam," 17 Orech Ha-Din (The Lawyer) 38 (2012). [Hebrew]
  15. Pnina Lahav, "A Small Nation Goes to War: Israel's Cabinet Authorization of the 1956 War," 15:3 Israel Studies 61 (Fall 2010).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  16. Pnina Lahav, "American Moment[s]: When, How, and Why Did Israeli Law Faculties Come to Resemble Elite U.S. Law Schools?" 10 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 653 (2009).
    Westlaw | SSRN | Publisher | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Scholarly Commons
  17. Pnina Lahav, review of Daphne Barak-Erez, Outlawed Pigs: Law, Religion, and Culture in Israel, University of Wisconsin Press (2007), 27 Law & History Review 460 (2009).
  18. Pnina Lahav, "Seeking Recognition: Women's Struggle for Full Citizenship in the Community of Religious Worship," in Gendering Religion and Politics: Untangling Modernities 125, H. Herzog & A. Braude, eds., Palgrave (2009). SSRN
  19. Pnina Lahav, "The Changing Role of the Supreme Court," in Israeli Politics 135, Robert Freedman, ed., Westview (2008).
  20. Pnina Lahav, "An Interview with Justice Miriam Ben Porat (retired)," 26 Ha-Mishpat 73 (2008). [Hebrew]
  21. Pnina Lahav, "Censoring the Eichmann Abduction: Making History," 98 Zmanim 58 (2007). [Hebrew]
  22. Pnina Lahav, "A Chandelier for Women - A Tale About the Diaspora Museum and Maurycy Gottlieb's 'Day of Atonement' - Jews Praying on Yom Kippur," 11 Israel Studies 108 (2006).
  23. Pnina Lahav, "The Republic of Choice, the Pledge of Allegiance, the American Taliban," 40 Tulsa Law Review 599 (2005).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  24. Pnina Lahav, "Theater in the Courtroom, the Chicago Conspiracy Trial," 16 Law and Literature 381 (2005).
    Westlaw | SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  25. Pnina Lahav, "History in Journalism and Journalism in History: Anthony Lewis and the Watergate Crisis," 29 Journal of Supreme Court History 163 (2004).
  26. Pnina Lahav, "Archetypal Trials and the Management of Dissent: Some Insights from Marketing Theory," 4 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 763 (2003).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  27. Pnina Lahav, "Facing Occupation: The Relevance of the American History of Slavery to Israel," 16 Bar Ilan Law Studies 561 (2003).
  28. Pnina Lahav, "Professor Ehud Sprinzak, In Memoriam," 19 Israel Studies Forum 148 (2003).
  29. Pnina Lahav, "The Chicago Conspiracy Trial as a Jewish Morality Tale," in Lives in the Law 21, Austin Sarat et al., eds., University of Michigan Press (2002).
  30. The History of Law in a Multi-Cultural Society: Israel 1917-1967, Ron Harris, Pnina Lahav, Alexandre Kedar & Assaf Likhovski, eds., Ashgate (2002).
  31. Pnina Lahav, "Introduction to Israeli Legal Historiography," in The History of Law in a Multi-Cultural Society: Israel 1917-1967 1, Pnina Lahav, Ron Harris, Alexandre Kedar & Assaf Likhovski, eds., Ashgate (2002).
  32. Pnina Lahav, "The Pains and Gains of Writing Biography: Reflections on Writing the Biography of Chief Justice Simon Agranat," in The History of Law in a Multi-Cultural Society: Israel 1917-1967 147, Pnina Lahav, Ron Harris, Alexandre Kedar & Assaf Likhovski, eds., Ashgate (2002).
  33. Pnina Lahav, "A 'Jewish State ... to Be Known as the State of Israel': Notes on Israeli Legal Historiography," 19 Law and History Review 387 (2001). [Forum: Assessing the Field, New Departures in Israeli Legal History, Part Three]
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  34. Pnina Lahav, "The Chicago Conspiracy Trial: Character and Judicial Discretion," 71 University of Colorado Law Review 1327 (2000).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  35. Pnina Lahav, "Up Against the Wall: Women's Legal Struggle to Pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem," 16 Israel Studies Bulletin 19 (2000).
  36. Pnina Lahav, "The First Decade of Israeli Law, The Courts of Law," in The Courts of Law, Fifty Years of Adjudication in Israel __, D. Heshin et al., eds., Ministry of Defence (1999).
  37. Pnina Lahav, "Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press," in The Courts of Law, Fifty Years of Adjudication in Israel __, D. Heshin et al., eds., Ministry of Defence (1999).
  38. Pnina Lahav, "In Memoriam-Memorial Tributes for Professor Elizabeth B. Clark," 78 Boston University Law Review 236 (1998).
    Westlaw | Scholarly Commons
  39. Pnina Lahav, "Law and the Transformation of Israeli Society," 3 Israel Studies 1 (1998). [Guest editor with an Introduction]
  40. Pnina Lahav, "Personal and Collective Identity: Judaism and Modernity in the Shalit Case," in Cultural Pluralism in a Democratic and Jewish State __, Menachem Mautner & Avi Sagy, eds., Ramot (1998).
  41. Pnina Lahav, "Who is a Jew: Tales of Fathers and Daughters," in Celebrating Elie Wiesel: Stories, Essays, Reflections 297, A. Rosen, ed., Notre Dame University Press (1998).
  42. Pnina Lahav, "Israeli Military Leadership at the Yom Kippur War, Reflections on the Art of Reflection," in Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Religion and Government 171, K. Avruch & W. Zenners, eds., SUNY Press (1997).
  43. Pnina Lahav, Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century, University of California Press (1997). Revised and expanded version published as Yisrael Ba-Mishpat, Am-Ovid (1999). [In Hebrew]
  44. Pnina Lahav, "The Legacy of Chief Justice Simon Agranat," 42 Hapraklit 1 (1995).
  45. Pnina Lahav, "Conceptions of Sex Equality in the Debate over the Women's Equal Rights Law," Zmanim 149 (1994).
  46. Pnina Lahav, "The Jewish Persona in Legal Discourse," 2 Reconstruction 103 (1994).
  47. Pnina Lahav, "The Jewish Perspective in International Law," 87 American Society of International Law Proceedings 331 (1993).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  48. Pnina Lahav, "Rights and Democracy, the Court's Performance," in Israeli Democracy Under Stress __, E. Sprinzak & L. Diamond, eds., Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. (1993).
  49. Pnina Lahav, "The Eichmann Trial, the Jewish Question, and the American-Jewish Intelligentsia," 72 Boston University Law Review 601 (1992).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Scholarly Commons
  50. Pnina Lahav, "Jurisprudence and Biography: The Case of Simon Agranat," 8 Israel Studies Bulletin 8 (1992).
  51. Pnina Lahav, "Modern Jewish Women: Between the Two Mehizas," 3 S'Vara, A Journal of Philosophy and Judaism 46 (1992).
  52. Pnina Lahav, "National Security and the Media," in Security and Democracy 173, Avner Yaniv, ed., Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. (1992).
  53. Pnina Lahav, "The First Amendment at Home and Abroad," 9 Communications Lawyer 5 (1991).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  54. Pnina Lahav, "The Intellectual Foundations of Civil Liberties in Israel," 24 Israel Law Review 1 (1991). Also appeared in 16 Tel Aviv University Law Review 475 (1991). [Hebrew]
  55. Pnina Lahav, "Foundations of Rights Jurisprudence in Israel: Chief Justice Agranat's Legacy," 24 Israel Law Review 211 (1990).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  56. Pnina Lahav, "The Press and National Security," 28 Israeli Democracy __ (Winter 1990).
  57. Pnina Lahav, "Romanticism and the Golden Age," 33 Politika 3 (1990).
  58. Pnina Lahav, "Censorship," in International Encyclopedia of Communications, Oxford University Press, 245 (1989).
  59. Pnina Lahav, "The Supreme Court of Israel: Formative Years, 1948-1955," 14 Tel Aviv University Law Review 479 (1989). Reprinted in 14 Ha-Ziyonut (1989). [In Hebrew] Also reprinted in 11 Studies in Zionism 45 (1990). [English]
  60. Pnina Lahav, "A Barrel Without Hoops: The Impact of Counterterrorism on Israel's Legal Culture," 10 Cardozo Law Review 529 (1988). Republished in 33 State, Government and International Relations 19 (1990). [Hebrew] Also republished as "Military and Politics in the Jewish Democratic State," in 1 Democracy and National Security in Israel 306, B. Neurberger, I. Ben-Ami & A. D. Epstein, eds., Open University of Israel (2007). [Russian]
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  61. Pnina Lahav, "Holmes and Brandeis: Libertarian and Republican Justifications for Free Speech," 4 The Journal of Law and Politics 451 (1988).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  62. Pnina Lahav, "Holmes, Brandeis and the American Jurisprudence of Free Speech," 26 Zmanim, Tel Aviv Journal of History 86 (1987). [Hebrew]
  63. Pnina Lahav, "'Lion' of the Law -- Chief Justice S. Agranat at 80," The Jerusalem Post Magazine (Aug. 29, 1986).
  64. Pnina Lahav, "The Jurisprudence of Chief Justice Simon Agranat," in Essays in Honor of Shimon Agranat 9, R. Gavison & M. Kremnitzer, eds., Graf-Pres (1986). [Hebrew]
  65. Pnina Lahav, "Conclusion: An Outline for a General Theory of Press Law in Democracy," in Press Law in Modern Democracies 339, Pnina Lahav, ed., Longman (1985).
  66. Pnina Lahav, "Israel's Press Law," in Press Law in Modern Democracies 265, Pnina Lahav, ed., Longman (1985).
  67. Pnina Lahav, Press Law in Modern Democracies, Pnina Lahav, ed., Longman (1985).
  68. Pnina Lahav, "The Dilemma of Dual Loyalty," The Jerusalem Post __ (Feb. 1984).
  69. Pnina Lahav, "The Intellectual Development of the American Doctrine of Judicial Review," 10 Tel Aviv University Law Review 491 (1984). [Hebrew]
  70. Pnina Lahav, "Comparative Press Laws," in World Press Encyclopedia, Facts on File Publication, 23 (1982).
  71. Pnina Lahav, "American Influence on Israel's Jurisprudence of Free Speech," 9 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 21 (1981).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  72. Pnina Lahav, review of John Lofton, The Press as Guardian of the First Amendment, South Carolina Press (1980), 16 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 561 (1981). Westlaw
  73. Pnina Lahav, "The Art of Comparative Constitutional Law," in Symposium Conference on Comparative Constitutional Law, 53 Southern California Law Review 697 (1980). [Comment]
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  74. Pnina Lahav, Human Rights, E. Kamenka & A. Erh-Soon Tay, eds., Edward Arnold (1978), 15 Israel Law Review 457 (1980).
  75. Pnina Lahav, "Golda's Ambiguous Legacy," 6 Lilith 16 (1979). Also published in Jewish Digest 23 (Apr 1980).
  76. Pnina Lahav, "Israel's Constitution," in Supplement to Constitutions of the Countries of the World 2005-3, Albert Blaustein & Gisbert H. Flanz, eds., Oceana (1979).
  77. Pnina Lahav, "Governmental Regulation of the Press: A Study of Israel's Press Ordinance - Part II," 13 Israel Law Review 489 (1978).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  78. Pnina Lahav, "Governmental Regulation of the Press: A Study of Israel's Press Ordinance -Part I," 13 Israel Law Review 230, 489 (1978).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  79. Pnina Lahav, "Freedom of Expression in the Decisions of the Supreme Court," 7 Mishpatim 375 (1977). [Hebrew]
  80. Pnina Lahav, "Raising the Status of Women Through Law: The Case of Israel," 3 Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 193 (1977). Also appeared in Women and National Development: The Complexities of Change 193, Wellesley Editorial Committee, University of Chicago Press (1977).
  81. Pnina Lahav, "Who's Afraid of 'Absolute Rights'?" 7 Mishpatim 541 (1977). [Hebrew]
  82. Pnina Lahav, "World Jewry and the Ballot," 12 Israel Law Review 318 (1977).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  83. Pnina Lahav & David Kretzmer, "A Bill of Rights for Israel: A Step Forward?" 7 Mishpatim 154 (1976). [Hebrew]
  84. Pnina Lahav, "Political Censorship: Some Reflections on its Validity in Israel's Constitutional Law," 11 Israel Law Review 339 (1976).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  85. Pnina Lahav, "Reflections on the Potential of Draft Basic Law: Rights of the Person," in Collection of the Lectures Delivered at the Seminar for Judges 1975: The New Civil Legislation __, S. Shetreet, ed., Sacher Institute Hebrew University (1976). [Hebrew]
  86. Pnina Lahav, "The Right to Know, Freedom to Publish and Official Secrets," 6 Mishpatim 562 (1976). [Hebrew]
  87. Pnina Lahav, "The Chef de Section: Structure and Function of Haiti's Basic Administrative Institution," 4 Occasional Papers 51 (1975). [Antilles Research Program, Yale University]
  88. Pnina Lahav, "The Division of Legal Labor in Rural Haiti," 8 Verfassung Und Recht in Ubersee 465 (1975).
  89. Pnina Lahav, "The Status of Women in Israel - Myth and Reality," 22 American Journal of Comparative Law 107 (1974).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  90. Pnina Lahav, Freedom of Expression during National Security Crises, Yale Law School (1973). [J.S.D. dissertation]
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