Shmuel Shilo was born in New York in 1936. He completed his doctorate degree in law at the Hebrew University under the supervision of Prof. Menachem Elon, joining the Faculty of Law in 1970. As a Faculty member, Shilo has specialized in Jewish law and inheritance law,
serving over the years as head of the Institute for the Study of Jewish Law. He also served as head of the Yaakov Herzog College in Alon Shvut. In 1973 Shilo was awarded the Ben Meir Prize for the study of Jewish law.
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