2016-11-09 / Obituaries

David Paul Jacobs, was a founder of Cong. Beth Tikvah


David Paul Jacobs of Moorestown, who in 34 years as a public defender in New Jersey represented clients ranging from accused drug offenders to accused murderers, and who was one of the founders of Cong. Beth Tikvah in Marlton, passed away on Oct. 21.

He was a rabid Phillies fan, as well as an adventurous traveler whose destinations included Egypt, Norway, Iceland and the Galapagos Islands.

Mr. Jacobs was born in the Bronx in 1944. He attended Bates College and Rutgers- Newark, and graduated from Rutgers Law School in Newark in 1969.

During law school, he studied civil procedure under Ruth Bader Ginsberg, now a justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Jacobs joined the Office of the Public Defender in Mount Holly in the early 1970s. He retired from full-time status in 2004, but continued to work parttime for the office’s Pre-trial Intervention Program until his death.

Victor Friedman, judge of the N.J. Superior Court from 1978 to 2000, had many occasions to work with Mr. Jacobs over the years, recalling him as an exceptional lawyer.

“He had a superior intellect, a complete grasp of criminal law and a very strong work ethic, as well as the ability to set forth his ideas powerfully to the court and to juries. David Jacobs will no doubt be long remembered for advancing the cause of justice and the reputation of the legal profession.”

In 2008, the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender issued a certificate recognizing the Moorestown attorney for his work opposing the death penalty in New Jersey.

As one of the founders of Cong. Beth Tikvah in 1977, Mr. Jacobs went on to assume multiple roles in the synagogue, including vice president, member of the Board of Trustees and Ritual Committee chair.

His family recalled that he played a huge role in home observances of the Jewish holidays, including creating a Passover Haggadah that participants continue to chant from every year at large, extended Seders that frequently go on for hours.

He also wrote a Haggadah for an interfaith Seder sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey, and he served as a vice president of the JCRC for many years in the 1990s.

Every Wednesday for the past 10 years, Mr. Jacobs volunteered as a reader for Learning Ally, which provides support for people who are blind, dyslexic or visually impaired. He specialized in legal and Civil War texts.

He was the beloved husband of Sylvia. He is also survived by his sister Deborah Jacobs and her partner Peg, his children Daniel and Elissa, their wives Nicole Celona-Jacobs and Kate Fillin-Yeh, and his grandchildren Anna Bea, Ben, P.J. and Suzanna.

The family requests memorial contributions to Cong. Beth Tikvah, 115 Evesboro-Medford Road, Marlton, NJ 08053, or Learning Ally, 20 Roszell Road, Princeton, NJ 08540. PLATT MEMORIAL CHAPELS, Inc. s

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