Former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Named Touro Distinguished Professor

Elyakim Rubinstein to Headline Touro Law Program on Democracy and Human Rights

September 04, 2018
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Elisheva Schlam
Executive Director of Communications

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein
Justice Elyakim Rubinstein

(New York, NY)—Elyakim Rubinstein, retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice, has been appointed Distinguished Professor by Touro College & University System. Justice Rubinstein is a career lawyer and diplomat who has served as both Vice President of the Supreme Court and Attorney General of Israel.

Justice Rubinstein will lead a newly-created Touro Law Center program exploring the Israeli legal system as a symbol of Israel’s dedication to promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The program, hosted by the Jewish Law Institute of Touro Law Center, will include four presentations by Justice Rubinstein in conversation with key communal figures, to be held this fall and spring in various locations throughout the New York metro area. 

“We are honored to welcome Justice Rubinstein to the Touro faculty and know that our student community and the public will benefit from his participation this year,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president of the Touro College and University System.

“The program will address the development, over the course of 70 years, of an Israeli legal system that has produced a sophisticated jurisprudence, drawn from the history and wisdom of the Jewish legal tradition. Israeli law and legal scholarship have achieved a reputation for excellence and integrity, serving as a comparable model for other legal systems around the world,” said Harry Ballan,  dean of Touro Law Center.

“Justice Rubinstein’s jurisprudence on the Supreme Court was distinguished by his intellectual honesty, his ethic of caring and his application of Jewish law to address areas of contemporary Israeli life and law. As a peace negotiator, he also displayed an uncommon ability to mediate among a variety of different legal, religious and political viewpoints,” continued Ballan.

In addition to his groundbreaking work in the Israeli legal system, Rubinstein served as peace negotiator under three Israeli prime ministers, participating in the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, chairing the Israeli delegations to the bilateral negotiations with the Jordanians and Palestinians, and negotiating with Syria and Lebanon. He received the Gabriel Peace Prize for his work on the peace treaty with Jordan. He also served as Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as General Legal Counsel to the Ministry of Defense and as Government Secretary for four governments.

The events in the upcoming series include:

October 9, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 125 E 85th St, NYC at 7:30 pm. “Balancing National Security and Civil Liberties in Israel and the United States,” a Conversation between Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and Judge Michael Mukasey, Former Attorney General of the United States.

December 12, Jewish Center, 131 W. 86th St, NYC at 7:30 pm. “Israel and International Human Rights in Global Perspective,” a Conversation between Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and Irwin Cotler, Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and longtime Member of Parliament, and an international human rights lawyer.

Additional events in Manhattan and Long Island will be announced at a later date.

The Jewish Law Institute at Touro Law Center

The Jewish Law Institute at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center offers a scholarly and intellectual framework for the academic study of the Jewish legal experience. The Institute acts as a center for the study and teaching of Jewish law throughout the United States, bringing together leading scholars, teachers, and lawyers, and serving as a clearinghouse for new ideas and independent research.