Memories of Lily Montagu Watch


It’s very difficult to describe her I mean, she was then eighty. And she always wore sort of long skirts and dressed almost in Victorian style. Always with a black hat and a coat and whatever, always sat in the same pew at the front , but she was so kind when she spoke to you , you know, I said to her once that the sort of Judaism that she was teaching was what I’d been looking for since I was about 14 or 15. And she said, ‘Yes, many people have said that’. I really thought the sun shone out of her buttonholes as they say. I thought she was wonderful. She was always there in the front seat with her sister the two of them together. But I suppose we would have said hello, but I think I was too shy. I just felt so daunted by what position I felt she held which actually wasn’t the case.

Sonja Shindler

Spotlight On

Rabbi Jackie Tabick talks about Lily Montagu’s 80th birthday celebration where Lily reflected upon her life’s work.

Rabbi Jackie Tabick retells an anecdote, shared by a member at West Central, about Lily Montagu visiting congregants in her late eighties.

Ann Kirk BEM recalls her encounter with Lily Montagu.

Rabbi Margaret Jacobi remembers Lily Montagu’s influence on her father Rabbi Harry Jacobi (z’l).

Jennifer reflects on her aunts lily and Mamy (Marian) Montagu .

Jeremy Montagu remembers family seders with Aunt Lily.

Rabbi Richard Jacobi remembers the influence of Lily Montagu on his father Rabbi Harry Jacobi (z’l).


I am afraid I was regarded as somewhat priggish, and superior by my contemporaries. In truth, I was very shy and self-conscious and had the utmost respect for the social qualities which my friends possessed and which I was entirely without. I had not the slightest feeling of superiority –perhaps rather the opposite.

Lily Montagu

(The faith of a Jewish woman, 1943, p.15)