Viva Hammer

On her mother’s side, Viva is a fifth generation Australian.  On her father’s she’s the child of a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and second generation immigrant.  For more family tree, she’s a descendent of the Maharal of Prague and further back, King David (the one who wrote the Psalms).  The latter gentleman is responsible for the colour of her eyes.

Who is the Maharal?

On claim of descending from King David

Viva graduated in Economics and Law from the University of Sydney and immediately flew off to New York.  There, she lived on couches of friends and strangers, and started working in international tax.  Eventually she rented an apartment, but didn’t stay long.  Having children might have stimulated some need to stay still, but New York’s housing culture coordinated well with Viva’s love of moving around.  That, and a career that took her to dull meeting rooms all round the world.  (Once there was a meeting in Versailles, described on the publications page).

Then, Viva got a good job in Washington and she’s been in the same house for 14 years.

In her short life, Viva has been a Rebbetzin, a government girl, a partner at a lawfirm and a consulting firm.  For many years she homeschooled her children.  She wrote the Women’s column for the Jerusalem Post, and has also written for the Washingtonian, Lilith, Forward, Rio Grande Review, Potomac Review, First Things, and lots of other places.

For many years car-free, she now leases an electric car but hasn’t driven it once; other people dive her.

The people who drive her also twisted her arm into rescuing a hyper-allergenic poodle shitzu dog.  The pet likes car rides but hasn’t asked to be homeschooled.

When Viva isn’t doing tax or walking the dog, she is writing a book on why we have children. She welcomes comments on derivatives, couchsurfing, homeschooling, etc, at

To find out more about Viva Hammer’s achievements in tax, visit