The Montefiore Endowment aims to promote religious values that follow Sephardi custom as taught by the Rambam. This is to present Judaism pleasantly and without aggression, approaching halachic decision-making with mildness and adopting a traditional view which stresses the middle way, avoids extremes and respects the ‘other’.
It stresses the virtue of inclusivity as well as the value of the world around us, and not merely tolerance of it for the purpose of earning a living.
The Endowment believes in the desirability of a broad general education, preferably to university level, combined with a high standard of Halachic learning and unwavering loyalty to Torah values.
High among the aims set out in the governing instrument of the Charity are:
‘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’; and teaching the wider public benefit of ‘tolerance, mutual understanding, social harmony and integration’ in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Law and as demonstrated in the life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
The Montefiore Endowment’s current policy is based on its trustees’ interpretation of the way in which Sir Moses 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 of England and Wales in accordance with its Scheme of 1989.
The Charity’s educational arm is The Montefiore College, established to provide rabbis, teachers and lay leaders for ‘orthodox’ English-speaking Jewish communities. The College runs its own Dayanut Programme, Semicha Course, Diploma Course, and Gap-year Programmes; and sponsors Ph.D Scholarships, Learned Publications, Public Conferences and Leadership Courses. It also supports other organisations and courses with similar aims to its own, including the London School of Jewish Studies and the Manchester Montefiore Kollel.
Manchester Montefiore Community Kollel combines a high-level Halacha learning program . . . with a range of teaching and social activities . . . on many aspects of educational/Rabbinic roles within the community.
Rabbi Stamler, Manchester Kollel
The Endowment sponsors carefully selected Ph.D students at university, relevant learned
publications and a number of other charities and educational courses with similar aims.
Without the backing of the Montefiore Endowment it would not have been possible for me to complete my PhD research project at University College London for which I am deeply grateful.
Rabbi Dr Yoni Birnbaum.
Though not part of its original endowment it also owns and maintains the Ramsgate Jewish cemetery.
The Montefiore Endowment has generously supported University Jewish Chaplaincy for the past few years in respect of an annual event on about ten campuses across the UK. Often delivered by ‘star’ speakers . . . they focus on promoting the ethos of the Montefiore Endowment, encouraging inclusion, religious moderation, traditional values and diversity in the interests of the whole of society.
Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski