Sacher, Harry

   British Zionist. Harry Sacher, Simon MARKS and Israel SIEFF were a remarkable trio of young men who became the Zionist disciples of Dr Chaim WEIZMANN when he was a chemistry lecturer at Manchester University before World War I. The three of them were to be not only lifelong friends and colleagues but brothers-in-law, since Marks and Sieff married each other’s sisters, and Sacher married another Marks sister, Miriam. Born in London, he studied law but switched to journalism and worked as a leader-writer on the Manchester Guardian, with an interval on the Daily News. In 1916, during the diplomatic struggle that led to the BALFOUR Declaration, he co-edited with Leon Simon a collection of essays, Zionism and the Jewish Future (1916). He also enlisted a useful ally in Herbert Sidebotham, a leading political journalist who had been chief leader-writer for the Manchester Guardian. Sidebotham and Sacher published a fortnightly bulletin, Palestine, which was a model of its kind in its concise, lucid and persuasive presentation of the case for British sponsorship of a Jewish National Home. In 1920, at the outset of the Mandatory period, Sacher settled in Jerusalem and opened a successful law practice. In 1927, with the Zionist Movement in a critical financial state, he was one of a three-member committee vested with executive powers. This caretaker government served for three years, until the Arab riots of 1929 and the political crisis that followed. In 1930 Sacher returned to London, and joined his brothers-in-law as a director of Marks and Spencer. He continued to be active in Zionist affairs and the Weizmann Institute, and remained one of Dr Weizmann’s closest confidants and advisers. His writings included Israel, the Establishment of a State (1952.) and Zionist Portraits and Other Essays (1959).
   Miriam Sacher was one of the leaders of WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization), of which her sister Rebecca SIEFF was president. Their son Michael (1917–86) served as national chairman of the JPA fund-raising campaign in Britain and as a member of the Jewish Agency executive. The younger son, Gabriel (b. 1920), was chairman of British ORT.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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