Montefiore’s flour windmill is a landmark in Jerusalem, built in 1857 in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood, then in Ottoman-ruled Palestine. Today the windmill serves as a small museum dedicated to the achievements of Moses Montefiore.
On Wednesday, the new cupola and blades were lifted to the top of the windmill, after a six months international restoration project of the 1857 landmark, which has become one of Jerusalem’s symbols. Its beauty restored, the windmill now stands proudly, its blades rotating lazily in the light summer breeze on a hill directly across from Mount Zion.
British Jewish philanthropist Moses Montefiore devoted his life to promoting industry, education and health in the Holy Land. He built the windmill with funding from the estate of an American Jew, Judah Touro, who appointed Montefiore executor of his will. Montefiore mentions the windmill in an 1875 entry in his diaries, noting that he had built it 18 years before on the estate of Kerem-Moshe-ve-Yehoodit, and that it had since been joined by two other windmills nearby, owned by some Greeks. The project, bearing the hallmarks of nineteenth century artisan revival, aimed to promote productive enterprise in the Jewish community.