Gila Svirsky was born in 1946 in New Jersey. She received a degree in philosophy from Brandeis University and an M.A. from Hebrew University. Ms. Svirsky is the winner of the following awards: the Solidarity Prize of Bremen, together with Sumaya Farhat-Naser, in 2003; the Hermann-Kesten-Medal, together with Sumaya Farhat-Naser, awarded by the P.E.N. Association of Writers in Germany in 2002; in 2004, she was honored by the New Israel Fund for her "contribution to strengthening Israeli democracy".