Moser, Jacob

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MOSER, JACOB (1839–1922), early British Zionist and a sponsor of the Herzlia High School in Tel Aviv. Born in Kappeln, Schleswig, Moser moved to England in the 1860s and settled in Bradford, where he was a successful woollens merchant. He and his wife engaged in philanthropic activities there, especially the establishment of hospitals and schools for the poor. He joined the Zionist movement with the appearance of Theodor Herzl and was a member of the Zionist General Council, the board of the Jewish Colonial Trust, the Anglo-Palestine Corporation, the Jewish National Fund, and the presidium of a number of Zionist Congresses. At the Eighth Zionist Congress (1907), David *Wolffsohn announced Moser's contribution of 80,000 francs toward the establishment of the first Hebrew high school (in Jaffa) on the condition that the school bear Herzl's name. This was the largest contribution made by an individual to the Zionist Organization up to World War i. Moser visited Ereẓ Israel in 1908 and 1910 and followed the high school's early steps, adding large sums to his contribution, so that the building could be complete, supplies and equipment could be purchased, etc. He also supported other projects in Ereẓ Israel (e.g., Ben-Yehuda's Hebrew dictionary, the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, etc.). Moser continued his philanthropic activities until his last years. In 1909 he was chosen an honorary citizen of Bradford and served as its lord mayor in 1910–11.


B. Ben-Yehuda (ed.), Sippurah shel ha-Gimnazyah "Herẓliyyah" (1970); Tidhar, 18 (n.d.), 5358 – 60 index.

[Getzel Kressel]