Short Biography courtesy of:
W.Bro Leon Zeldis 33
Honorary Assistant Grand Master
The Grand Lodge of the State of Israel
Montefiore Lodge #78, Founder member.
Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885)
Montefiore was born in Livorno, Italy. He was an active Mason, having been initiated in Moira Lodge in 1812. His brother-in-law, Nathan Meyer Rothschild, had been initiated ten years earlier in the Emulation Lodge. Montefiore and Rothschild had married sisters, daughters of Levi Barent Cohen.
He was knighted in 1837 by Queen Victoria. That same year, Benjamin Disraeli was elected to Parliament as a Tory.
In August of 1840, together with the French Lawyer and high-ranking Masons Adolphe Cremieux (1796-1880), he led a delegation to Turkey and secured the release of the captives of the Damascus blood libel. He also persuaded the Sultan of Turkey to issue an edict forbidding the circulation of blood libels.
In 1863, supported by the British government, Sir Moses Montefiore petitioned the Sultan of Morocco, Muhammad IV, to guarantee the safety of Morocco's Jews. His efforts were successful.
A year later, in 1864, he intervened in order to gain the release of Rabbi Meir Leib ben Jehiel Michael Malbin, Chief Rabbi of Bucharest, who had been wrongly accused of disloyalty to the authorities.
His connection with the Land of Israel is well known, and his horse carriage, as well as his windmill can still be seen in Jerusalem.
Upon reaching the ripe age of 80 years, "gil hagvurah" in Hebrew tradition, English Jewish Masons founded in 1864 the Montefiore Lodge #1017 in London. Later, in 1888, a second Montefiore Lodge (#753) was founded in Glasgow and in 1996 our Lodge, Montefiore Lodge of Installed Masters #78, was consecrated in Tel Aviv.