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Labor Court Judge Steve Adler Retires

Judge Steve Adler, who has arbitrated nearly all of Israel’s major labor disputes in the past 20 years, has announced his retirement.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/27/2010, 7:31 PM / Last Update: 6/27/2010, 7:16 PM

The President of Israel’s Labor Court, American-born Judge Steve (Stephen) Adler, who has arbitrated nearly all of Israel’s major labor disputes in the past 20 years, has announced his retirement, effective later this year.

In a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, Adler wrote that he will leave his post on Nov. 15, 2010. He took the opportunity to express gratefulness “for the opportunity given me over some 35 years to serve in Israel's legal system, as a District Labor Court judge, a chief judge in a District Labor Court, as a judge in the National Labor Court, and as Vice President and then President of the National Labor Court.”

Born in 1941, Adler graduated Cornell University, and received his law degree at Columbia University. He worked for the U.S. Federal Government in the field of labor relations between 1965 and 1968, and made Aliyah in 1968.

After practicing law in Israel for five years, in December 1975, he was appointed a judge in the District Labor Court. He then moved up in the ranks until in 1997, when he succeeded retiring Menachem Goldberg as President of the National Labor Court.

The widely-admired Judge Adler was famous for a series of rulings and arbitration hearings, including limiting employers’ demands for cooling-off periods before ex-employees seek other jobs using the knowledge they learned at the first place of employment; allowing compensation for the self-employed; preventing a teachers’ strike because he viewed it as (partially) political; and more.