Sir Moses Haim Montefiore

Montefiore, Sir Moses Haim (mŏnˌtĭfēôˈrē) [key], 1784–1885, British-Jewish philanthropist, b. Italy. He married a Rothschild and became affiliated with the family's banking business. He accumulated a fortune on the London stock exchange and retired (1826) from business to devote himself to philanthropy and to the securing of political and civil emancipation for Jews in England. He was knighted (1837) while serving as sheriff of London. In 1846, he was made a baronet. As president (1835–74) of the Board of Deputies of British Jews he worked to alleviate discriminatory practices against Jews in Europe and the Middle East. He founded a hospital and girls' school in Jerusalem in 1855 and was influential in stimulating the rise of Jewish nationalism, the forerunner of modern political Zionism. The Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore appeared in 1890.

See biographies by L. Wolf (1884), E. Wolbe (1909), P. Goodman (1925), and A. Green (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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