Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) had an extraordinary impact on the world.

a career in general business, Montefiore quickly gained one of the 12
brokers licenses allowed to Jews on the London Exchange. When Montefiore
retired from business in his early 40s, he was already a wealthy man.

Montefiore’s philanthropic endeavors and his willingness to step
forward to defend his fellow Jews won him great admiration and fame. He
sought the liberty of Syrian Jews imprisoned in Damascus for a blood
libel and went to Russia to beseech the Czar for leniency toward the
Jews. He was viewed by Jews the world over as their protector and

Montefiore and his wife, Judith, supported Jewish and
non-Jewish institutions in England. In Ramsgate, where they lived, they
built a synagogue and a Sephardic yeshiva.

Montefiore is most
revered, however, for his charitable work in the land of Israel, which
he personally visited seven times. He supported industry and education,
but also sought to make the Jews of Israel more self sufficient. Among
the famous Montefiore endeavors are the windmill in Yemin Moshe and the building of the neighborhood of Mishkenot Sha’ananim, both of which were unique for being outside the walls of the Old City.

Sephardic Jew, Montefiore’s observance of Jewish law was strengthened
by his love of the Land of Israel. He was famous for traveling in his
horse drawn carriage with his own Torah and shochet (ritual slaughterer) and for bringing his own dishes and food to banquets.

was knighted by Queen Victoria, served as the Sheriff of London and was
president (1835-74) of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. In 1846,
he received a baronetcy. Sir Moses Montefiore passed away just a few
months before his 101st birthday. 

Sir Moses Montefiore was born on
the 13th of Cheshvan, corresponding to October 28, 1784.

This Treat was last posted on August 3, 2009. 

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