Levi Cooper

Levi Cooper, the Maggid of Melbourne, currently teaches Hasidut, Maimonides, Midrash, and Halakhic History at Pardes. He has also taught Bible, Talmud, and Philosophy of Halakha. He previously served as the director of the Fellows program and the director of the Kollel, as well as heading the Pardes Educational Seminar to Turkey.

Originally from Australia, Levi holds an LL.B., LL.M. and Ph.D. from the Law of Faculty, Bar-Ilan University, and is a member of the Israel Bar Association. He has been awarded post-doctoral research grants from Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, The Inter-University Academic Partnership in Russian and Eastern European Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Jewish Galicia and Bukovina Organization at the University of Haifa. In 2016, Levi was an Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law and St. Hugh’s College. In 2022, Levi was an Academic Visitor at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt.

In addition to his work as Pardes, Levi is a Teaching Fellow at the The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, where he teaches courses in Jewish law and legal history. 

In 2020, Levi was awarded the prize for the best legal history article by the Israeli History and Law Association, for his article Jewish Law in the Beit Midrash of Hasidism.

Levi serves as the spiritual leader of Kehillat HaTzur VeHaTzohar in Zur Hadassa, a mixed religious and secular neighbourhood outside Jerusalem. He served in the IDF’s Golani Brigade and continues to do Reserve Duty as a commander in an infantry unit. Over the years, Levi’s communal work has included being a member of the Tzohar rabbis organization, an educational advisor to the Jewish community of Istanbul, Turkey, and an educator with Heritage Seminars. He has served on the Readers’ Association of the National Library of Israel and is one of the founders of the Lavi Primary School in Zur Hadassa. 

Levi has authored academic articles in Law and in Judaic studies, and many of his articles are available online. He has prepared educational materials for use in high schools, including workbooks for Advance Placement courses in Midrash and in Mishnah. He served as contributing editor for Jewish Educational Leadership, the journal of Bar-Ilan University’s Lookstein Center (2003-2018). Since 2005, Levi publishes a regular column in The Jerusalem Post.

Levi’s doctoral dissertation explores the interaction between Hasidism and Halakha, and his current research focuses on Jewish legal history in the late modern period and the interplays between Jewish legal writing and broader legal, intellectual, and cultural contexts.

Levi is married to Sarah and they have 6 children.

Online learning: Click here to view online learning material from Levi on Elmad, online learning powered by Pardes.

Sample publications:

  • Books: 
  • Regular columns in the print media: 
    • Jewish Educational Leadership, The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, contributing editor (2003–2018)
    • The Jerusalem Post. “World of the Sages” weekly column exploring Talmudic passages and their contemporary relevance (2005–2009)
    • The Jerusalem Post. “Maggid of Melbourne” monthly column on Hasidism (2010 – present)
  • Blog posts: 


Many of Levi’s publications are accessible online: 



You can list to the Maggid of Melbourne’s Shot of Torah podcast series on Elmad:


Or read Levi’s Hasidic Lore pieces on Elmad: 


Contact: levi@pardes.org.il