Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue

The American Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists (AAJLJ) is the voluntary bar association of American Jewish lawyers. We are a national nonprofit association that represents the American Jewish legal community in regard to legal issues that affect, and are of importance to, the community, including; freedom of religion, civil rights, human rights, access to justice, social justice, and defense of the rule of law.  The AAJLJ may also independently comment on legal issues related to the State of Israel such as the BDS movement and provides opportunities for American lawyers to better understand the Israeli justice system and the strength of the rule of law in Israel. 




The man who led OSI in the 1980s and 1990s was Neal M. Sher, known as America’s foremost Nazi hunter for his efforts to prosecute and deport these criminals. The AAJLJ was privileged to count him as one of its founding leaders.

His successes in more than 100 cases included also the unmasking of U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in 1987 as a prominent Nazi, and his exclusion from the United States. Sadly, Neal passed away in October 2021, but the stories of the prosecutions he led can and should be recorded. This is what we are doing in the documentary “The Prosecutor.”

After World War II, hundreds of Nazis fled to the United States, using falsified immigration papers to try to hide their identities and escape punishment for their crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice established the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in 1979 to track them down and deport them. 


Board Members of the AAJLJ participated in the 5th annual AAJLJ mission and met with Knesset members, other current and former Government officials, retired justices, advocates, and attorneys. Our conversations focused on issues such as as Israel as a rule of law nation, antisemitism in the US and elsewhere, civil rights for minorities, and Israel as a democracy and Jewish state. These conversations inform our programming for the next year. We are grateful for those who spoke to us, especially in a time of upheaval.

From left: Elika Barak, Justice Aharon Barak, Stephen Greenwald, Jonathan Sapirstein, and Alyssa Grzesh


July 23, 2023

American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) Supports Israeli Bar's Position in Rejecting Proposed Legislation that Would Remove Authority of the High Court to Strike Down Legislation that Does Not Satisfy Reasonableness Test

The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) and the rest of the world, has watched for months as Israelis have taken to the streets to peacefully protest proposed actions of their government.  Members of the board met in June with Israeli lawyers, justices, government officials and advocates during our mission to Israel and discussed the proposed reforms.  We congratulate Israelis for exemplifying democracy in speaking up. 

AAJLJ fully supports the position of the Israeli Bar Association in rejecting  proposed legislation that would remove the authority of the High Court to strike down legislation enacted by the Knesset, and decisions made by government officials, that fail to satisfy the test of reasonableness now applied by the Court. The removal of such authority would eliminate any checks or guardrails on the government's ability to take actions, including the appointment of unqualified persons to executive positions,  that are unreasonable even in the extreme. Such unfettered authority on the part of the government would constitute a severe breach of the checks and balances that are at the heart of a democratic government.