There is a dispute regarding where the final resting place of Sir Moses Chaim Montefiore and his wife should be. Descendents of the philanthropist and the mayor of Ramsgate in the UK do not see eye to eye. Montefiore was niftar in 1885, in his 101st year.
He was buried in a mausoleum alongside his wife in Ramsgate. He was a man who dedicated himself to helping Jews worldwide, especially in Eretz Yisrael. His attachment to Israel was known and today, there are descendants who insist that it was his wish to be interred in the Holy Land.
However, the mayor also stands at the head of the organization that perpetuates his legacy, and he and his supporters insist the family is wrong, and the late British citizen wanted to be buried where he lived. The mayor explains that at that time, Israel was Palestine and he never expressed any desire to be buried there.
Some descendents wish to have their remains transferred to Israel for kvura next to the Jerusalem windmill he built to provide employment, a windmill that bears his name. The Yemin Moshe windmill also providing inexpensive flour for the poor.
According to Simon Sebag Montefiore, Moses Montefiore was a Zionist before the word was created, and he was a staunch advocate of Jews returning home. “He was there seven times and I think he should go back for an eighth and final time” he explained.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)