PEKELIS, ALEXANDER HAIM (1902–1946), jurist and communal worker. Born in Odessa, Russia, Pekelis studied at various European universities. In 1932 he was appointed lecturer
Pekelis made an important contribution to the struggle against antisemitism with the formulation of a bold new program for the American Jewish Congress entitled "Full Equality in a Free Society – A Program for Jewish Action." He drafted the bill, enacted two years after his death, which ultimately eliminated the numerus clausus in the medical schools of New York state. Pekelis contributed many articles urging a "jurisprudence of welfare," the submission of "private governments" to constitutional requirements, the establishment of a "Human Rights Agency" by the United Nations and an annual "Supreme Court Yearbook" which would critically examine that court's decisions. Many of his proposals were subsequently adopted.
M.R. Konvitz, ed., Law and Social Action: Selected Essays of Alexander H. Pekelis (1950).