Judith Lady Montefiore College

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Judith Lady Montefiore College
יְשִׁיבָת אֹהֶל מֹשֶׁה וְיְהוּדִית
EstablishedSeptember 6, 1869; 152 years ago (1869-09-06)[1]
FounderSir Moses Montefiore
51°20′24″N 1°25′42″E / 51.339997°N 1.428278°E / 51.339997; 1.428278Coordinates: 51°20′24″N 1°25′42″E / 51.339997°N 1.428278°E / 51.339997; 1.428278

Judith Lady Montefiore College (Hebrew: יְשִׁיבָת אֹהֶל מֹשֶׁה וְיְהוּדִית, romanizedYeshivat Ohel Moshe ve-Yehudit) is a Jewish theological seminary founded in 1869 by Sir Moses Montefiore in memory of his late wife, Lady Judith Montefiore, at Ramsgate, Kent.[2] Though closed in 1985, the College re-opened in London in 2005.

Early history[edit]

The College initially took the form of a beit midrash attended by elderly men of learning who studied the Talmud there, under the directorship Dr. Louis Löwe. The Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation in London assumed the administration of the College after Montefiore's death in 1885, and the College languished after the death of Löwe in 1888.

After Moses Gaster was appointed principal in 1890, the College was re-organized into a modern rabbinical training college.[3] The former members of the institution were dismissed, and students between the age of 16 and 21 with a B.A. or comparable university degree were invited to move into the College for a period of five years to become academically trained rabbis.[4] The College ordained its first two students, William Henry Greenburg and Henry Barnstein, on 4 November 1895, to much controversy.[5]

Judith Lady Montefiore College was moved to London in 1961 (its building demolished in 1964), and closed in 1985.[6] The site of the college is now owned by Ramsgate Town Council and maintained by volunteers as a dedicated woodland.[3]


The College was re-opened in London in 2005 as a centre for higher Torah education.[7] Its semikhah (ordination) programme was opened in January 2006 on the premises of and in co-operation with the Bevis Marks Synagogue.[8] The four year programme is accepted by the Rabbinical Council of America,[9] and is now operated in collaboration with the Israel-based Kollel Eretz Hemda.[8] Since November 2016, Montefiore has offered a program for dayanim (rabbinic judges), also in collaboration with Eretz Hemda.[8]


  1. ^ Loewe, L., ed. (1890). Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore: comprising their life and work as recorded in their diaries from 1812 to 1883. Vol. 2. Chicago: Belford-Clarke.
  2. ^  Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1904). "Judith Montefiore College". The Jewish Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. p. 390.
  3. ^ a b "College history". The Montefiore Endowment. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  4. ^ Pelger, Gregor (2014). "Wissenschaft des Judentums and the Jewish Cultural Transter in Nineteenth-Century Anglo-German Networks". In Ellis, Heather; Kirchberger, Ulrike (eds.). Anglo-German Scholarly Networks in the Long Nineteenth Century. Leiden: Brill. pp. 168–169. ISBN 978-90-04-25311-7.
  5. ^ Rubinstein, William D.; Jolles, Michael A.; Rubinstein, Hillary L., eds. (2011). The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 495–496. ISBN 978-0-230-30466-6. OCLC 793104984.
  6. ^ Roberts, Marcus (2012). "Ramsgate". National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Montefiore College". The Montefiore Endowment. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b c The London Monefiore Semicha Programme: Training a new generation of rabbis for the Anglo-Jewish community (PDF). Judith Lady Montefiore College. 2018. p. 6. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  9. ^ "List of Approved Yeshivot" (PDF). Rabbinical Council of America. December 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2021.