Belfast Telegraph

Obituary: Israel Shachter

A remarkable connection between Northern Ireland and Israel came to an end last weekend with the death of Israel Shachter at the age of 84.

He was the last surviving child of Rabbi Jacob Shachter, spiritual leader of the Belfast Jewish community for more than a quarter of a century from 1926 to 1954.

The Shachter children, all of whom were Belfast-educated, made a remarkable contribution to the state of Israel.

A former pupil of Belfast Royal Academy and graduate of Queen's University, Israel was one of the country's leading patent lawyers.

He was at the cutting edge of |Israeli innovation, for instance, patenting drip-irrigation techniques, which made the desert bloom.

Brother Haim produced one of the most-used Hebrew-English dictionaries, which helped |standardise the Hebrew language for English speakers.

Rabbi Shachter retired to Jerusalem in the 1950s and was a respected scholar and broadcaster. Israel's brother Joseph and sister Miriam were involved in the educational and literary fields in Israel and in England.

Israel Shachter was chairman of the Israel Patent Attorneys |Association and a senior partner at the firm of Reinhold Cohn in |Tel Aviv.

Mr Shachter last visited Belfast in 2002, when he donated a portrait of his late father by R Taylor Carson to the Ulster Museum.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Israel Shachter reflected on his experience as an immigrant in Israel: “Through all the deepening clouds of disillusionment and at times despondency, I recognise that there has been built up in this country an |incredible and essentially vibrant structure and culture.’’

He is survived by three daughters, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all living |in Israel.

STEVEN JAFFE

Belfast Telegraph

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