David Melul Benarroch, founder and patron of the Museum named after him, was born in Melilla on April 20th, 1928. In 1946 he arrived in Bejar to study at the School of Industrial Engineering (now part of the University of Salamanca). He spent several years in the city, and finished his studies in Tarrasa. He then moved to Barcelona, and moved into the building that housed the city’s Jewish Center, located in Avenue of Rome. There he met his wife, Adelina Nacmias. They had five children: Daniel, Rafael, Raquel, Mario and Víctor. In Barcelona David Melul started his business, beginning by an innovative textile factory focused to household products: Hispano Tex.
Mr. Melul was the first honorary Consul from Israel in Barcelona, and also became president of the city’s Jewish community. Concerned with the environment and wishing to contribute to the cultural and social development, Mr. created and contributed to many philanthropic projects to strengthen and disseminate Jewish history; for example the Hatikva School in Valldoreix and a the Jewish Lyceum in Melilla.
He never cut his ties with Bejar, indeed he visited the city frequently. It was during one of those visits, in the late 90’s, that the idea of the Jewish Museum was born. The Museum was to celebrate the city’s Jewish past and to keep the memory of Bejar’s Jewish residents alive.
David Melul passed away in Melilla, land of his birth, on October 15th, 2007.