Commemorative card bearing Sir Moses Montefiore’s photograph above a coat of arms, all enclosed within a curved border of leaves and ribbons inscribed with the names of cities and countries: Jerusalem, Damascus, Constantinople, St. Petersburg, Rome and Morocco, and at the bottom, the motto “Think and Thank.” Beneath the picture is his facsimile signature, the event title, an inscription in Hebrew and a biographical paragraph in German. This card commemorates the 100 th birthday of Montefiore, a year before his death in 1885. This is an interesting and unusual piece of Judaic ephemera.
Montefiore, the most famous British Jew of the 19th century, began his career as a businessman. After his retirement in 1824, he dedicated himself to civic and community affairs, as well as to living a religiously observant life. He undertook projects to help the Jews in Israel launch economic and agricultural ventures and visited Israel several times. From 1837-38 he served as sheriff of London and was knighted by Queen Victoria, later receiving a baronetcy in 1846 for his humanitarian work. He used his prestige to advocate abroad to stop the persecution of Jews, traveling to Romania, Russia and Morocco. His 100th birthday was a public holiday for Jewish communities around the world.
“Sir Moses Montefiore.” Department for Jewish Zionist Education. 1992-2004. http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/people/BIOS/monte.html (27 July 2004).