Smoira, Moshe

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SMOIRA, MOSHE (1888–1961), Israeli jurist, the first president of the Supreme Court of Israel. He was born in Koenigsberg, Prussia, into a Russian-ḥasidic family which had settled in Germany. He was enlisted into the German army during World War i. Between 1919 and 1922 he headed the first Hebrew school in Germany. He settled in Palestine in 1922. Between 1923 and 1948, he lectured on civil procedure at the Mandate law school. He became an expert on labor problems and participated in the drafting of the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance and in determining the legal status of the kibbutzim. Smoira was president of the Jewish Bar Association, as well as president of the honorary court of the World Zionist Organization. Upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, he was appointed the first president of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem and held this position until 1954. Smoira was active in various institutions, including the board of governors of the Hebrew University.

[Benjamin Jaffe]