||Ben David (Davidson) Assael
Assael Ben David (Davidson) was born in Rishon Lezion. He learned in the elementary school ("Chaviv") in the township and in Mikveh Israel. He is a graduate of the seminary for teachers "David Yellin" in Jerusalem.
He studied Botany in the University of Leipzig in Germany and Agronomy in Toulouse, France.
He is an active member of the "Haganah". He is a versatile athlete and a member of the Maccabee soccer team in Rishon Lezion. His love for sports and geography, were the two characteristics that had accompanied him throughout his life. Already during his studies at the seminary, he joined the association "Hameshottetim" and urged his colleagues to take a track - then rare - to Massada. After completing his studies at the seminary, he became a teacher in the children's village "Shfeya" and an active member in the teachers' committee in Samaria.
After the Nazis took power, he was sent by the Jewish Agency to prepare the youth in Germany for immigration to Eretz Israel. Upon returning to Israel, he worked as a teacher in Shfeya and Kiryat Anavim.
On September 1938, he leaves with his wife and their eldest son to Toulouse, France, where he is studying in the Faculty of Agriculture and gets an "Agronomist" degree.
In the year 1941, he enlisted to the British Army and served in the Jewish Brigade.
In battles of the Brigade he got wounded in his eyes and was appointed to serve as the welfare officer of the brigade.
In the IDF as a Lieutenant Colonel, and as per a directive of David Ben Gurion, Prime Minister, he established the Unit of Welfare and later, the Canteen Service. After his discharge he was appointed Vice General Manager of the Ministry of Agriculture and for thirteen years in this capacity, he cultivated the agricultural education in the country, initiated the exhibition of the first decade which took place in Beit Dagan and was co-founded of the Rural Education Unit, consisting of all the agricultural schools in the country.
In the year 1963, he came to America on behalf of the Zionist Organization. He initiated in New York the parade of esteem to Israel; a parade that became a tradition. When he returned, he was appointed to be the manager of the Sports Authority and in spite of the deep recession that prevailed in the country he managed to convince the Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, to fight unemployment by building sports facilities and pools around the country. He cultivated the Wingate Institute, initiated the establishment of Yad Eliahu Sports Arena in Tel Aviv and served as chairman of the Basketball Association.
After the Six Day War (1967), he was asked to serve as a staff officer for agriculture in Judea and Samaria and helped Palestinian farmers to cultivate field crops.
Upon his retirement, he joined The Nature Protection Society as director of construction and led to the building of field schools and their maintenance. During the evacuation from Sinai, he managed to move the facilities from the field school "Yamit" to the school "Alon Hatavor." In the field school Chof Ha-Caramel he established the "Gail House" in memory of the nature lover photographer who was killed in the terrorist attack on the shore road. In the Nature Protection Society he served for twenty years and retired from - at the age of 85.
When he passed away, he was buried in his hometown of Rishon Lezion. On the anniversary of his death, the "Nature Protection Society" inaugurated an observatory post "Asahel" in field school "Har Ha-Negev".
From his publications: - Ben - David Assael (1957). Auxiliary Farms in Israel. Published by the agricultural section, of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jewish Agency - the common agricultural training center. Brochures No. 14.
- Ben - David Assael (1999). "And tell your son ...": The Story of the field schools of the Society for the Protection of Nature. Tel - Aviv: The Society for the Protection of Nature.
- Ben - David Assael (2000). Gail Rubin, the Nature Photographer of Israel. In cooperation with: Gabriel Barkai and Eli Schiller (editors), Landscapes of Eretz-Israel, (author) Azaria Alon.
Jerusalem: Ariel Publishing, Tel - Aviv: the Society for the Protection of Nature.
- Ben - David Assael (2001). The History of the Sports Authority from 1960 to 1970, the first ten years.