Meet the American on Israel’s Supreme Court


For only the second time in Israel’s history, an American-born jurist will sit on Israel’s Supreme Court. The New York Jewish Week has the profile:

[Neal] Hendel, who wears a knitted yarmulke, attended Yeshivah of Flatbush High School and in 1973 studied Talmud with Rabbi Yoseph Dov Soloveichik at Yeshiva University.

One of his best friends is Jack Nelson of Englewood, N.J. The two met as counselors at Camp Massad, a Zionist summer camp in the Poconos. They attended Hofstra Law School together and were law partners before Hendel made aliyah in 1983.

“He used to argue against the need to make aliyah and I would say, ‘How can you live as a Jew and not make it,” Nelson recalled. “Neal went to Israel on his honeymoon and when he came back, he said he wanted to make aliyah.”

“He is very modest and unpretentious,” Nelson said. “Nobody who loves Neal would be shocked that he has gotten to this position, because he has such depth of character, great intellectual skills and emotional depth. It can almost be said that his modesty and lack of political involvement made him such an attractive candidate [for the High Court].”

He pointed out that Hendel, who was born in 1952, has lived in Beersheva since he and his wife, Marcie, a native Long Islander, made aliyah.

Full story here.

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