Rabbi David Hartman received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik of Yeshiva University and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from McGill University. After spending years as a rabbi in Montreal, Hartman moved to Israel. Once there he founded the Shalom Hartman Institute, created to foster a greater understanding among Jews of diverse affiliations and to help encourage a more tolerant Israeli society. In October 2000, Hartman was awarded the prestigious AVI CHAI Prize in Israel, "in recognition of his educational, philosophical and public activities, especially his founding and direction of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem," as stated by the Prize Committee.
For over 20 years, Hartman was Professor of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as a visiting professor at the Universities of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles.
He has also served as an advisor to Zevulun Hammer, a former Israeli Minister of Education and to several Israeli prime ministers dealing with the subjects of religious pluralism in Israel and the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.