Ruth Ben Israel

A renowned expert in Israeli labor law, Ruth Ben Israel drafted the legislation for Israel’s minimum wage and equal opportunity laws. Ben Israel joined the IDF in 1949, becoming an officer and serving as deputy commander of the Stella Maris naval base in Haifa. After her discharge in 1951 she studied at the School for Applied Arts in Paris, returning to Israel in 1954 to create the Meshakem carpet company. When her husband, Gideon, was elected to the Knesset in 1959, she studied law at Hebrew University to carry on his labor law work. She completed her law PhD in 1975 and in 1977 began teaching law at Tel Aviv University, becoming associate dean in 1985 and dean of the law faculty from 1990–1991. Ben Israel wrote the volume on Israeli labor law for the International Encyclopaedia for Labor Law and Industrial Relations and many of her books have become essential reading for law students in Israel. She has worked with the Knesset to create a variety of labor laws and with their Committee on the Status of Women to help draft sexual harassment laws. In 2001 she was honored with the Israel Prize for her many contributions.

Topics: Labor Rights, Law

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Ruth Ben Israel, expert in labor law, photographed in 2014.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Date of Birth

Port Said

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruth Ben Israel." (Viewed on April 21, 2021) <>.


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