04 February 2024
On, 1 February 2024, Former Deputy President of Israel's Supreme Court Justice Prof. Hanan Melcer assumed the auspicious role of Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations, a voluntary position with a five-year term. Prof. Melcer replaces Deputy President of the Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, the Interim Chairman of the Commission, who filled this position after the former Chairman, Justice Yaakov Turkel, Z'l, passed away last year.
Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan expressed his gratitude to Prof. Melcer for accepting this significant role.
Prof. Hanan Melcer, aged 72, was born in Israel. In 1973, he graduated with honors from Tel Aviv University. Melcer served in the Israel Defense Forces and was discharged from reserve duty as a Lieutenant Colonel. In August 2007, he was appointed as a Supreme Court Justice in Israel. In 2017, he was then appointed as the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, serving in that role until his retirement in 2021. Prof. Melcer has served as a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and as a senior lecturer in administrative law at Bar Ilan University. Currently, he holds the position of Associate Adjunct Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"It is a great honor for me to be appointed to this position, especially considering that both of my parents survived the Holocaust," remarked Prof. Melcer. "My father, Advocate Yosef Melcer, Z'l, was rescued by Oskar Schindler, recognized by Yad Vashem in 1962 as Righteous Among the Nations, while my mother, Yocheved Melcer (née Wexler), Of Blessed Memory, survived Auschwitz."
The Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem consists of historians, academics, and Holocaust survivors, all of whom volunteer their time. The commission operates independently and reaches decisions through a process similar to a jury. To date, Yad Vashem has recognized over 28,000 individuals as Righteous Among the Nations – non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.