Shimon Agranat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Shimon Agranat
שמעון אגרנט
Shimon Agranat 1962.jpg
Agranat in 1962
President of the Supreme Court of Israel
In office
Preceded byYitzhak Olshan
Succeeded byYoel Zussman
Personal details
Born(1906-09-05)September 5, 1906
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
DiedAugust 10, 1992(1992-08-10) (aged 85)
Jerusalem, Israel
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
AwardsIsrael Prize

Shimon Agranat (Hebrew: שמעון אגרנט; September 5, 1906 – August 10, 1992) was an Israeli jurist and the third President of the Supreme Court of Israel, from 1965 until 1976.


Agranat was born to a Jewish-Zionist family in Louisville, Kentucky in 1906. His parents, Aaron Joseph Agranat and Polya Schnitzer, had immigrated to the United States from Russia shortly before his birth. Agranat grew up in Chicago and attended Jewish schools. He studied law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, and graduated with a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1929. He emigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1930 and settled in Haifa.

Agranat spoke Hebrew, with a strong American accent.[1]

Agranat was married to Carmel Friedlander, the daughter of Israel Friedlander and niece of Norman Bentwich. The couple lived in Nayot, Jerusalem,[2] and had five children.

Agranat died in Jerusalem on August 10, 1992.[3]

Judicial career[edit]

In April 1932, Agranat was certified as a lawyer in Palestine. After completing an internship in Jerusalem, he worked as a private lawyer. In 1940, he was appointed a judge on the Haifa Magistrate's Court. In 1948, he became President of the Haifa District Court.

In December 1948, Agranat was appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court at age 42, becoming one of the world's youngest Supreme Court justices.[4] From 1954 to 1966, while continuing to serve on the Supreme Court, he was a Visiting Professor of Criminal Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was appointed President of the Supreme Court in 1965, and served in this position until 1976, retiring at the age of 70.

In 1974, he headed the Agranat Commission, which investigated the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The findings of this commission led to the resignation of Prime Minister Golda Meir, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, and IDF Chief of Staff David Elazar.[5]

Following his retirement, he taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.[6]

Awards and commemoration[edit]

Agranat Plaza in 2011

In 1968, Agranat was awarded the Israel Prize for his contribution to Israeli jurisprudence.[7]

A plaza at the entrance to the Israeli Supreme Court[8] is named for Agranat.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shimon Agranat, Dead at 86, Was Prominent Israeli Jurist". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 12 August 1992. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  2. ^ Batei Tzioney America, Kol Ha'ir, Ruth Yovel, July 3, 1987 (Hebrew)
  3. ^ Finklestone, Joseph (17 August 1992). "Obituary: Shimon Agranat". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  4. ^ Lahav, Pnina (1997). Judgement in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century. University of California Press.
  5. ^ a b The Frying Pan and the Fire
  6. ^ "Simon Agranat Dead; Senior Israeli Jurist, 86". The New York Times. August 12, 1992.
  7. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1968 (in Hebrew)".
  8. ^ "Israeli Supreme Court decisions search - Israeli Lawyers | Israeli Law Firm Golan & Co". Archived from the original on 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2014-05-15. free decisions database