MembersRemembering the Pioneers

The rebirth of the Jewish nation in its ancient homeland has inspired the world.

By David Lazarus |
Photo: Public domain

The 70th anniversary of this miracle is the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to those early pioneers who helped turn the Prophet Isaiah’s words into a living, breathing reality.

In 1880, there were about 40,000 Jews living in the Land of Israel among some 400,000 Muslims. Philanthropist Moses Montefiore, the first Jew to be knighted in Britain, was among those working to bolster the Jewish community in the Promised Land. At that time, most of the Jews lived in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The main entrance to the city for the Jews was through the crowded Arab markets of the Damascus Gate. The unsanitary conditions and rampant lawlessness made it practically impossible to live outside the city walls. Montefiore sought to change this by building the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of the Old City. In 1860, the neighborhood of “Mishkenot Sha’ananim” was established. Following its success, more neighborhoods were built in the New City of Jerusalem.

Another extremely prominent figure during this time was Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845 to 1934)....

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