Moses Montefiore purchased the first land outside the Old City Walls of Jerusalem with the assistance of Yehuda Touro. He built a wall around the property and named it: Kerem Moshe and Yehudit.
Moses Montefiore built a windmill, to reduce the cost of flour for the local population. It only worked for a few years but it became one of the symbols of modern Jerusalem.
Mishkenot Sha’ananim was founded to provide dwellings for the poor. It became the foundation stone of modern Jerusalem.
Moses Montefiore and Joseph Sebag Montefiore, his nephew and heir, laid the foundations for a further row of houses at Mishkenot Sha’ananim.
The trustees of the Montefiore Testimonial Fund and Joseph Sebag Montefiore, founded the neighborhood of Yemin Moshe.
The Beit Yisrael Synagogue was built in Yemin Moshe. It was refurbished in 1975.
The Great Sephardi Synagogue was built in Yemin Moshe. It was rededicated in 1974.
Mishkenot Sha’ananim stood firm during riots by Arab marauders.
The British blew the top off the Montefiore Windmill, so it would not be used as a vantage point by the Haganah. Residents of Mishkenot Sha’ananim and Yemin Moshe were evacuated.
Both Mishkenot and Yemin Moshe were on the frontline in the War of Independence. Avraham Kirshenbaum z’l, a third generation resident, was killed in the defence of Mishkenot Sha’ananim. The Israeli soldiers that took Mount Zion gathered at Mishkenot before the advance. The cover fire from those defending Mishkenot enabled the operation to succeed.
1948 – 1967
Mishkenot Sha’ananim and Yemin Moshe were on the border between Jordan and Israel and residents were subject to regular sniper fire from Jordanian soldiers. Many left their houses and the area became run down.
Teddy Kollek, the Mayor of Jerusalem, initiated a restoration and development program of Mishkenot Sha’ananim and Yemin Moshe.
Teddy Kollek and the Jerusalem Foundation, unveiled the new Mishkenot Sha’ananim in the presence of the President of Israel, Professor Ephraim Katzir. This included:
The Mishkenot Sha’ananim Guest House, a residence for people in the creative arts, including writers, artists and musicians.
The Jerusalem Music Center, with the active participation of legendary musicians, the cellist Pablo Casals and violinist Isaac Stern.
The ‘Mishkenot Sha’ananim Restaurant’, owned by Moises Peer. It was arguably the first high quality restaurant in Israel and was especially famous for its wine selection. It had the finest wine cellar in the Middle East.
The carriage used by Moses Montefiore on his travels, was brought to Yemin Moshe and displayed next to the windmill.
A small museum on the life of Montefiore was set up in the windmill.
The Montefiore Carriage was burnt and destroyed by vandals.
A model of the Montefiore Carriage was reconstructed.
The Jerusalem Center for Ethics was established at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court Judge.
The Mishkenot Sha’ananim Restaurant closed partly because of the effects of the Intifada.
The Jerusalem Foundation opened the new Mishkenot Sha’ananim Cultural Center. This included:
- The Konrad Adenauer Conference Center, used for hosting regular conferences, festivals and workshops .
- The Dwek Gallery for exhibitions.
- The Montefiore Restaurant (dairy, kosher).
Montefiore Winery was launched to celebrate the 150th year anniversary of the founding of Mishkenot Sha’ananim.
The book ‘Holomot and Ruach’ (Dreams & Wind) by Reuven Gafni was published. It tells the story of Mishkenot Sha’ananim 1860-2010.
The Montefiore Windmill was restored so it again ground flour. The rededication was attended by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Montefiore family.
The Jerusalem Press Club and Touro Restaurant were opened on the site of the previous Mishkenot Sha’ananim Restaurant.
A three day international conference was held on ‘Moses Montefiore: The Man Behind The Windmill.’