Moses Haim Montefiore was born in 1784 in Italy, Sephardic Jew, he visited the Holy Land for the first time in 1827 for a few days, this visit changed his life.
He then became a Pious man who respects all religious observances Jew.
Three years earlier, he had decided to retire from his business in the United Kingdom, and devoted himself at the age of 40, thanks to his immense fortune, to help the Jewish population of the ” Holy Land ” who lived in great poverty.
He devoted the rest of his particularly long life – he died 101 years old, to the cause of the Jews throughout the world.
He was a great philanthrope, not only He fought against discrimination in his own country but also around the world in Turkey, Russia, Morocco and Persia always aiming to alleviate the condition of the Jews in these countries.
In 1855, Moses Montefiore built the first houses outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem, in an area called ”Yemin Moshe” or ‘Mishkenot Sha’a nanim’ ‘meaning the’ Field of the Blessed ” . This very poor jewish community was living inside the old city, in a crowded area where sanitary conditions were deplorable,
The mill built by Moise Montefiore in 1857, has been recently renovated, it never really worked because of the lack of wind in Jerusalem.
Simon Sebag-Montefiore recounts in his book ” Jerusalem ”
” In March 1840, seven Jews of Damascus were accused of killing a Christian monk and his Muslim servant in order to use their blood for a human sacrifice to Passover. When he had barely returned to London, Sir Moses Montefiore, supported by the Rothschilds, became head of the campaign to save the Jews of Damascene from these medieval persecutions. Montefiore rushed to Alexandria with Adolphe Cremieux, a French lawyer, there they met Mehmet Ali and succeeded to release the prisoners. But a few weeks later, there was a new case of blood libel in Rhodes. Montefiore sailed to Istanbul, where he was received by the Sultan, he persuaded him to issue a decree which refute the rumors of ritual murders. Montefiore experienced its greatest success – this is probably due to his nationality together with his strong diplomacy skills, In that time, it was sweet to be English in the Middle East. ”
Businessman, innovator, investor, founder and director of a bank, its purpose was to promote Industry, Education and Health.
He received many honors during his life time, he became a Knight and a Baronet.
His 100th Birthday was celebrated throughout Great Britain.
He travelled seven times to the Holy Land initially by coach then by boat sometimes accompanied by his wife, Judith, who, despite his poor health followed him. His carriage also renovated, is exposed near the mill.
He was ninety-one years old when he made his last journey to the Holy land.
He died in 1885 in England, Ramsgate (Kent).
There is a famous song in Hebrew on Sir Montefiore
Ha’Sar Montifiori Moshe (Moshe Montefiore Minister)
They also say that he would distribute money to the poor on top of his carriage.