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Prof. Miriam Ben-Porat
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Prof. Miriam Ben-Porat dead at 94
Former Supreme Court judge and state comptroller passes away in Tel Aviv

Prof. Miriam Ben-Porat, a former Supreme Court judge and a state comptroller died Thursday. She was 94.

 

Ben-Porat's life was one of milestones: She was one of the first women to study law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, one of the first to be admitted into the Israeli Bar Association, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court and the first woman in Israel's history to be named state comptroller.

 

Ben-Porat was born in 1918 in Vitebsk, Russia. She grew up in Lithuania and immigrated to then-British Mandate-controlled Palestine in 1936.

 

She joined the State Prosecutor's Office in 1949 and in 1959 she was sworn in a Jerusalem District Court judge.

 

Ben-Porat was named president of the Jerusalem District Court in 1975. Between 1964 and 1978, she also served as a law professor at the Hebrew University, specializing in contracts and commercial law.

 

In 1977, she became the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. In 1988, Ben-Porat became the first woman to be elected by the Knesset as state comptroller, a position she held for two terms, ending in 1998.

 

In 1991, Prof. Ben-Porat was awarded the Israel Prize for her contribution to society and the State of Israel.

 

In 1993, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1995, she was named Champion of Quality Government by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel and in 2000, she was given an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College.

 

In 2005, she was voted the 155th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a Ynet poll.

 

Ben-Porat is survived by her daughter and three grandchildren.

 

 

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