Born in Israel to a religious Jewish family, Nili Davidovitz moved to New York with her family as a teenager and attended the Bais Yaakov ultra-religious high school for girls. Upon graduating, Nili studied computer science at Queens College, fulfilling a long yearned dream to work with computers and further her passion for software development. Although this was not a common path for young religious Jewish women, Nili decided to follow her dreams regardless of societal expectations.
Her professional career began by working at the prestigious Lavi Project (a single-engineered fourth-generation jet fighter developed in Israel in the 1980s), then moved to other companies in various fields. She eventually climbed the corporate ladder to become the Vice President of R&, an online education software company. Throughout those years, Nili married a young Torah scholar who had decided to dedicate his life to Torah learning and for whom a professional career was not an option. As a result, they made their living based off Nili’s income. They were married for 22 years and had 5 children before eventually getting a divorce. Her divorce marks the first time when Nili felt rejected from the haredi community and realized the difficulty of being a lone parent in a community that gives you no support. It is at this very low point in Nili’s life that she decided to consecrate her life to helping Haredi women.
Today, Nili is the founder and CEO of one of Israel’s top software development companies, Daat, which exclusively hires and empowers Haredi women. Daat grants these women the unique possibility to have a successful carreer while leading a religious lifestyle. Daat works with some of Israel’s largest companies including Bank Leumi, Clal Insurance, Cellcom, Straus Group and many others.
Start-Up Nation for All Its Citizens? Arab and Haredi Women in Israeli High Tech