BORN MIDDLESBROUGH, DECEMBER 10, 1941. DIED JERUSALEM, JUNE 7, 2014, AGED 72
HIS Zionist convictions made lawyer David Saville far more than a professional advocate. Having made aliyah in 1967 and requalified, he became a true advocate of aliyah itself, converting many lawyers or law students to the Zionist cause.
In Israel, he became aware of the difficulties for foreign lawyers seeking to requalify, and he set up what developed into Bar Review courses for new and potential immigrants from English speaking countries, and from other parts of the world. Saville received the President’s Award in 1982 in recognition of his efforts.
David graduated at University College London and qualified as a lawyer. Educated at Carmel College, the now-defunct Jewish boarding school founded and headed by Rabbi Kopul Rosen, he joined Jewish Youth Study Groups, which pointed him towards Israel, although neither was explicitly Zionist.Two years after he made aliyah, he married Myriam Dreyfuss, a new immigrantfrom France.
In addition to the biannual review courses in Jerusalem, from which I personally benefited, having made aliyah in 1978 and requalified as an advocate, David spearheaded outreach courses for Jewish lawyers in South Africa and the US, and also held courses for hundreds of Israelis who had studied law abroad. Over a thousand advocates, who attended more than 80 courses, qualified in Israel due to his efforts. Many of them became lecturers themselves. For decades, any lawyer or law student considering aliyah was referred to David, who used his inimitable powers of persuasion, not only to explain that aliyah was the only proper thing to do, but also that the Bar exams were not difficult.
There are numerous instances, where what started as a telephone call to David from a lawyer holidaying in Israel and considering aliyah ended with that lawyer being persuaded that he had to attend lectures starting that very day – and passing the Bar exams a few weeks later.
It was of no matter to him that requalified lawyers might be professional competitors; his law office provided legal services to a wide variety of clients, and he appreciated that each client wanted to choose the lawyer most suitable for the matter in hand. This is true Zionism – persuading people to make aliyah and enabling them to make a living in their chosen profession.
David’s desire to make life in Israel better was not restricted to professionals. A large number of elderly and disabled people benefited from his visits and those of his family.
David Saville stands as an inspiration to anyone who considers himself a Zionist. He is survived by Myriam, their seven children and 38 grandchildren. Philip Marcus is a retired Judge of the
Jerusalem Family Court.
David Saville: aliyah advocate