In his dual status as Chairman of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and as Chairman of the historic Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel has played a key role in advancing the agenda of Greek Jews and in tackling racism and antisemitism.
Since 2001, when he was first elected Chairman of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, and for 18 consecutive years he has been envisioning and fighting for a strong Community; a community that would regain its former glory following its near annihilation during the period of the German occupation. In 2010 and in 2016 respectively he was elected Chairman of the Central Board of Jewish Communities, the supreme body of the Jewish Community in Greece, a position he still holds to this day. In recognition of his work, in 2013 he was elected Vice-Chairman of the International Board of Jewish Communities.
Through a wide range of activities, David Saltiel has succeeded in highlighting key issues regarding Greek Jews such as the inclusion of Greek survivors of the Holocaust in the Compensation Scheme under Article 2-Fund of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany in 2002 and the adoption by the Greek Parliament of the Day of Remembrance of the Greek Jewish Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust in 2004. In 2002, he took the initiative to organize the burial in Thessaloniki of the bones of Colonel Mordechai Frizis, who was the first senior officer to be killed in the Greek-Italian war and a symbol of the hundreds of Greek Jews who fell for their homeland. He has succeeded in obtaining recognition for the expropriation of the old Jewish cemetery and payment of compensation to the Community, as well as proof that the Jewish community of Thessaloniki paid ransom to be freed from forced labor prior to its displacement at Auschwitz. In cooperation with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, he succeeded in having two monuments erected within the university campus and achieved the reopening of a Chair of Hebrew Studies.
He plays a key role in the construction of the Holocaust Museum in the area of the Old Railway Station of the city, while during his Presidency the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki has more than doubled its spaces.
His efforts have been internationally recognized and he received a number of honorary titles. The President of the Italian Republic awarded him the title of Cavaliere in 2008 and of Officer of the Order of the Italian Star in 2019. In 2011 he received the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French Republic, and in 2017 the Cross of Merit of the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic by His Majesty the King of Spain in 2018. In February 2020 the President of Greece Prokopios Pavlopoulos awarded David Saltiel with the medal of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix.
He is the proprietor of a chain of commercial shops in Athens and Thessaloniki. He is a founding member and member of the Board of Directors of EURICOM Hellas, a company founded in collaboration with EURICOM ITALIA S.P.A, which owns a rice processing plant in Halastra, near Thessaloniki. David Saltiel is also involved in the tourist industry. The first hotel belonging to DAVITEL S.A. opened in Thessaloniki in 2005.
He was born in Athens on October 29, 1947. He studied watch making and gemology in Athens. He is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and English.
He was married to the late Lukia Mallah-Saltiel. He has one daughter and three grandchildren.