The Hon. Judge Rachel “Ruchie” Freier made history this week as the first Chassidic woman ever to be elected to take the bench in New York Civil Court. The founder of Brooklyn’s Ezras Nashim all-female ambulance service, Chasdei Devorah and the B’Derech program for at-risk teens turned in a stunning electoral victory in Brooklyn’s Borough Park and Flatbush neighborhoods.
Judge Freier-elect is replacing Judge Noach Dear in the 5th Judicial District Civil Court, State of New York. Dear was recently promoted to State Supreme Court, the main trial court of New York.
As an attorney, she is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, with more than 30 years’ experience in the field of law. Freier specializes in commercial and residential real estate law, and until her election as a judge maintained offices in Brooklyn and Monroe, NY. She also shares space with her husband and children in a family-run real estate business.
Freier has served as a community board member in Borough Park in addition to founding numerous nonprofit organizations, and after also becoming a licensed EMT in 2012; she eventually earned a New York State license as a paramedic as well. As a lawyer, she has served as a volunteer attorney at the NYC Family Court and is a member of various Bar organizations.
The new judge ran a widely popular campaign, appealing to people across the spectrum with her history of working hard “from the ground floor up” to reach her goals, and persevering without cease until she has achieved the objectives she has set for herself.
A wife and mother of six, Freier attended Touro College to earn her B.A. at age 30, after having given birth to her first three children. That took six years, during which she gave birth to another child, and twins. Working as a legal secretary, she then started law school, and began observing court cases “in vivo” during the summer months.
In a 2015 interview with The Jewish Press, Shreier cited the strong support of her husband and her mother as major factors in her success, and noted that her “family always came first.”
Brooklynites in the 5th District clearly were able to relate to those priorities, as well as to her strong desires to help others get what they need, even when it meant putting in time and hard work of her own to do it.Hana Levi Julian