The Montefiore Endowment

Sir Moses Montefiore's Deed of Foundation of 1866, together with his will of 1882 and its codicils, provided for the future transfer of the assets and administration of the Ramsgate Synagogue and the Judith Lady Montefiore College to the Board of Elders of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, London. Following Sir Moses's death in 1885, the Elders assumed responsibility for what became known as The Montefiore Endowment.

In 1989, the Board of Elders, in consultation with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, transferred its interest to a registered charity, The Montefiore Endowment at Ramsgate. This was governed by independent trustees elected by the Board of Elders.

In 2007, the trusteeship, permanent-endowment property and non-permanent endowment property (including liabilities) were transferred from The Montefiore Endowment at Ramsgate to The Montefiore Endowment, a new charitable company limited by guarantee. The company is run by a board of directors (trustees) assisted by an advisory Council.

Among the aims set out in the governing instrument of the Charity is

The promotion of the advanced study of the Holy Law as revealed on Sinai and expounded by the revered Sages of the Mishna and the Talmud.

In addition to maintaining the Synagogue and Mausoleum at Ramsgate, together with the Montefiore collections deriving from them, the trustees now emphasise the educational aspect of their work.

This includes:

  • Teaching practice for students at Hasmonean School; and supporting carefully selected Hasmonean and other school leavers at yeshivah and seminary in Israel on condition that they will serve the community, at least part-time, on their return to England.
  • Running the London Montefiore Semicha Programme
  • Supporting higher Torah education at the London School of Jewish Studies
  • Supporting the Montefiore Kollel at Sha'are Tefillah, Manchester
  • Sponsoring M.Phil/Ph.D candidates and research in advanced Torah learning at University College, London

The Montefiore Endowment's current policy is based on its trustees' interpretation of the way in which Sir Moses himself might have wished his Endowment to be administered in the very different circumstances of today's world - all subject to regulation by the Charity Commission in accordance with its Scheme of 1989.

The Montefiore Endowment currently owns and maintains the Montefiore Synagogue and Mausoleum at Ramsgate together with collections of manuscripts, books, artefacts, ritual textiles and ritual silver. It administers and funds the Judith Lady Montefiore College, which was moved from Ramsgate to London in the 1960s.

Though not a part of the original bequest, the Endowment also assumed responsibility for Ramsgate's Jewish cemetery after the decline of its local community.

Directors and Trustees

  • Alan Bekhor
  • Lucien Gubbay M.A. (Oxon) (Chairman)
  • Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy O.B.E.
  • Isaac Levy B.A. (Cantab.), Solicitor
  • Ronald Musry
  • Pamela Sinyor (Solicitor)
  • Rick Sopher M.A. F.C.A.

Honorary Officers and Consultants

  • Chairman: Lucien Gubbay
  • Chairman of Investment Committee: Rick Sopher
  • Consultant for IT: Dr Roger Bilboul
  • Custodian: Ruth Basrawi
  • Consultant for Conservation: Jack Taylor

Council

  • Ruth Basrawi JP
  • Roger Bilboul Ph.D. (London)
  • Rabbi Israel Elia B.A.
  • Judge Clement Goldstone Q.C.
  • Charlotte Green M.A. M.Sc.
  • Jeremy Gubbay B.A. A.C.A.
  • Daniel Kessler B.A. (Oxon)
  • The Hon Sir Gavin Lightman Q.C.
  • Professor Stephen Miller Ph.D.
  • Daniel Sacerdoti B.A., A.C.A.
  • Jonathan Sacerdoti M.A. (Oxon)
  • Jack Taylor
  • Joe Sinyor M.A. (Cantab.) M.B.A.
  • Jeremy Smouha M.A. (Cantab.)

Investment committee

  • Chairman: Rick Sopher M.A. F.C.A.
  • Joe Sinyor M.A. (Cantab.) M.B.A.
  • Ronald Musry
  • Jeremy Smouha M.A. (Cantab.)

Officers

  • Secretary: Howard Miller
  • Accountant: Dilip Shah
  • Librarian: Sally Style B.A.

Registration numbers

The Montefiore Endowment is a registered charity (no. 1113038) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England (no. 5604295). Our registered office is at 2 Ashworth Road, London W9 1JY.

Pictures

The Chairman at the Conference of Sephardi Rabbis, June 2008
The Chairman at the Conference of Sephardi Rabbis, June 2008