An Anglo-Jewish family which can be traced back to one of the earliest of the resettlers in England.David Mocatta:
English architect; born in London 1806; died May 1, 1882; son of Moses Mocatta, translator of "Faith Strengthened." Having shown in early youth a leaning to art pursuits, he made the choice of architecture as a profession, and studied for many years in Italy under competent masters, returning to England to practise his profession. He was engaged on many important buildings, and was frequently employed by the directors of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. On the death of his father he succeeded to an ample fortune, which was subsequently increased to a considerable extent by property bequeathed to him by his brother Benjamin Mocatta. When the late Sir John Soane bequeathed his collection to the nation, David Mocatta was appointed a trustee, Sir John having been one of his teachers before he left Italy.
Mocatta was one of the original Council of Founders of the West London Reform Synagogue. He had been directing architect of the temporary synagogue in Burton street, and he likewise superintended the construction of the building in Margaret street. On the death of Sir Francis Goldsmid he became chairman of the council of the congregation. He was a member of the council of the University College Hospital, and of the Cancer Hospital. He married the eldest daughter of Alexander Goldsmid, brother of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid.
- Jew. Chron. May 5, 1882;
- The Times, May 4, 1882.
English philanthropist and communal worker; born in London Jan. 15, 1828; retired from the firm of Mocatta & Goldsmid, bullion-brokers to the Bank of England, in 1874, and devoted himself almost exclusively to the study of charitable and social questions. The condition of the working classes of all creeds, the improvement of their dwellings, and the administration of charity with a view to promoting the independence of the poor on the lines of the Charity Organization Society, are some of the principal subjects that have engaged his attention. His philanthropic work is conducted on certain well-defined principles, foremost among them being the unification and systematic organization of charity so as to prevent the undue multiplication of institutions. He acted as chairman of the committee appointed to effect the union of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum. In 1871 a Jewish Workhouse was started, which was subsequently amalgamated under his presidency with the Hand-in-Hand Asylum. He has been active also in abrogating the voting system in Jewish charitable institutions.
Mocatta is a vice-president of the Anglo-Jewish Association; served as a member of the Rumanian and Russo-Jewish committees; and in 1882 was deputed by the Mansion House Committee to proceed to the various Continental centers in which the refugees from persecution were congregated. In 1895 Mocatta reorganized the Jewish Home for Incurables. At the beginning of his seventieth year he was presented with a testimonial from over 200 philanthropic, literary, and other institutions of which he was a member.
Mocatta has been specially interested in the promotion of Jewish learning, having been one of the most active members in the Society of Hebrew Literature. Among works partly or wholly subventioned by him may be mentioned Zunz, "Zur Geschichte und Literatur" and "Literaturgeschichte der Synagogalen Poesie"; Berliner, "Juden in Rom"; Jacobs, "Sources of Spanish Jewish History"; the English translation of Graetz, "History of the Jews"; etc. He is himself the author of "The Jews and the Inquisition," London, 1877, of which German, Hebrew, and Italian translations have appeared. In 1900 he was elected president of the Jewish Historical Society of England.
- Young Israel, March, 1897;
- Jew. Chron. Jan. 15, 1897;
- Jewish Year Book, 5661, pp. 304-305.
Author; born in London 1818; died at Reading 1879. His early life was passed in the business pursuits which he carried on in South America. He likewise spent three years in Australia. On settling in England he interested himself in Jewish charitable work. Later in life, like his father before him, he devoted himself to writing. His two best-known works are entitled: "Moral Biblical Gleanings" (London, 1872), illustrating moral principles by Biblical examples, and "The Jewish Armory" (Brighton, 1877, privately printed). Some of the Sabbath readings issued by the Jewish Association for the Diffusion of Religious Knowledge were from his pen. He designed and printed some ingenious pictorial representations of moral truths. His secular works include "Times and Places," London, n.d., and various pamphlets on social subjects.
- Jewish Chronicle, November 21, 1879.
Broker, author, and communal worker; born in London February, 1768; died September, 1857. He was connected with the most influential Sephardic families of his day. His sister Rachel was the mother of Sir Moses Montefiore. For many years he was a partner in the firm of Mocatta & Goldsmid (bullion-brokers to the Bank of England), which had been founded by his father. He retired from business in middle life and devoted himself to study and to communal work. He was a diligent student of Hebrew, and well read in Biblical and Jewish literature. The "Hebrew Review" (1846) as well as the works of Grace Aguilar found in him a generous patron. Theological controversy was a subject which particularly interested him. His "Faith Strengthened" (1851) is a translation from the Hebrew of the famous "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah" of Isaac ben Abraham of Troki. His other translation, entitled "The Inquisition and Judaism" (1845), was a contribution to controversial literature, and comprised a sermon on Isa. xlii. 22 addressed to Jewish martyrs on the occasion of an auto da fé at Lisbon in 1705, and a reply to the sermon by E. Vero (a posthumous work of the author of the "Secret History of the Inquisition"). The sermon was translated from the Portuguese, and the reply from the Spanish. Moses Mocatta compiled also "The Wisdom of Solomon; a Selection from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in Hebrew, with a Corrected Version on Parallel Lines" (1834).
As a communal worker Moses Mocatta rendered conspicuous service to the Shaaré Tikva schools and other institutions of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation. When the schism of 1841 occurred Mocatta was one of those members of Bevis Marks who seceded from the parent community, and helped to establish the West London Synagogue of British Jews, his considerable knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish literature proving of great value to the new movement.
- Jewish Chronicle, Oct. 2, 1857;
- Jan. 4, 1901;
- Leisure Hour, July, 1886.