British Philanthropist and Zionist Alfred Mond Is Born

October 23, 1868

An early Zionist supporter in England, Alfred Mond who would later become the first Lord Melchett is born in England. Despite the fact that his parents were Jewish, Mond was not raised as a Jew and in fact was married in the Anglican church and raised his children a Christians.

Mond’s father Ludwig was chemist who had developed a process for extracting nickel and became extremely wealthy after founding a chemical engineering firm. Alfred entered into his father’s firm and expanded it becoming one of the wealthiest men in England.

In 1906, he was elected to Parliament and following the Balfour Declaration in 1917, he became a supporter of the Zionist cause. Despite not being raised Jewish, Mond was frequently the victim of anti-Semitic attacks in Parliament, which contributed to his sympathies towards Zionism. In 1922, he accompanied Chaim Weizmann a trip to Palestine. During the visit, he wrote his wife, “ I have learned much I didn’t know and which, possibly, no one who is not a Jew will ever be able to understand, for it can only be felt… But the Hills of Judea are today as dramatic as in the days of the prophets and the Lake of Galilee smiles in its beauty as when Jesus of Nazareth walked its shores…I have never lived so intensely as a Jew before.”

Mond would go on to become the President of the British Zionist Foundation, an ardent fundraiser for Zionist causes and settlement and was one of the founders and initial chairmen of the Jewish Agency.

The town of Tel Mond, located in the Sharon plain just east of Netanya, was established on land purchased by Mond and his former home there is now a museum. The image below is of a statue of Mond in Tel Mond.