Jacob Meltz was born in 1923 in Lvov, Poland. In 1925 he came on Aliyah to Mandatory Palestine with his family and lived in Haifa. In 1940 he finished his secondary school studies at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa and then went to Jerusalem to the Hebrew University for a year where he studied history and philosophy. Meltz was a member of the Hagana. In 1941 he began studying at the School of Law set up by the British Mandatory Government and at the same time working in the Department of Registrar of Companies in Jerusalem. During 1946-1947 he articled in law, first at the Zemora, Crowngold, Rosen law firm and then in the law firm of Bar Shira. In May 1948 he received his license to practice law.
In 1948 Jacob Meltz joined the first Police Officers course. After completing the course, he served as an Inspector in the National Headquarters in Tel Aviv and in 1949 he was promoted to the rank of First Inspector. From the beginning of 1959 he served as Chief Inspector in the Investigations Branch of the National Headquarters. As part of his service he lectured in courses training police investigators on the subject of criminal procedure.
From 1951 he worked as a salaried lawyer in the law offices of Aharon Hoter-Yishai in Tel Aviv. In 1960 he became a partner in the law offices of Aharon Hoter-Yishai and Yitzhak Tunik. In 1965 he opened a private law firm and focused on civil and criminal cases (white collar crimes).
He was the presiding judge in the Disciplinary Court of the Israel Bar Association.
In December 1979 he was appointed a judge in the Tel Aviv-Yaffo District Court. He dealt mainly with civil cases as a single adjudicator and was for two years the presiding judge in a panel that presided over serious crimes.
In 1986 he was appointed an acting judge in the Supreme Court and served in this capacity until the end of the year.
He was a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He was a lecturer in the Y. Zusman Institute for the Continuing Education of Judges.
On February 5th, 1987 Jacob Meltz was appointed State Comptroller and Ombudsman and served in this position until June 30th, 1988.
In 1988 Meltz resigned his position as State Comptroller and Ombudsman and was appointed a permanent member of the Supreme Court.
Additional Public Activities
He was a member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Methods of Investigation of the General Security Service Regarding Hostile Terrorist Activity, which was set up in May 1987.
In 1988 he was the head of the committee that compared the provisions received by victims of terrorist actions and those received by widows and orphans of fallen IDF soldiers.
He was the head of the Meltz Commission, a public commission examining the structure of universities, which recommended a number of reforms in the structure of higher education in Israel. The commission submitted its recommendations in January 2000.
He was the head of Yad Vashem’s Commission for Honoring Righteous Gentiles.
Jacob Meltz died on October 8th, 2006.