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Sir Moses Montefiore was a distinguished Jewish figure of the nineteenth century and one of the first truly global celebrities. He was a humanitarian, philanthropist and campaigner for Jewish emancipation on a grand scale. Himself and Judith, his wife, were simultaneously icons of Jewish modernity and models of traditional religiosity. This was a contradiction which, at the time, was perhaps less striking than it is now. This talk explores Montefiore’s life and work and tells the less well known story of his equally extraordinary wife Judith. It invites us to think again about tradition and modernity in Jewish history, about what these terms meant in the 19th century and the way we understand them now.
The lecture will be delivered by Abigail Green. Abigail is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Oxford. Moses Montefiore, Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero won the Sami Rohr Choice Award, was a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, and a New Republic Best Book of 2010. She is now writing an international history of Jewish liberal activism tentatively entitled Children of 1848: Liberalism and the Jews from the Revolutions to Human Rights.
This is the annual Cecil Roth lecture, funded by the Cecil Roth Trust and in collaboration with Joseph Roth. Cecil Roth was one of the greatest Jewish historians of the 20th century. The museum is privileged to host these thought-provoking lectures. He was also one of the original founders of the Jewish Museum in 1932.
The talk will be approximately 45 mintues long with time for questions and answers afterwards.
This event is free with museum entry. Book your space: 020 7284 7384 / firstname.lastname@example.org