Lord Reading takes Israeli citizenship

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Lord Reading takes Israeli citizenship

British aristocrat and peer who is one of Israel's most ardent supporters says he is 'more determined than ever' to advocate for the Jewish state

Holding the passport of the State of Israel
Holding the passport of the State of Israel

A leading British aristocrat has decided to take out Israeli citizenship — and despite the recent Middle East fighting, the Marquess of Reading says he is “more determined than ever” in his support for Israel.

Simon, Lord Reading, says he and his wife Melinda presently have Israeli visas in their passports and will transition those into full Israeli citizenship when he next visits, which he hopes will be in October.

The peer is one of Israel’s most ardent supporters: most recently he was involved with the dedication of a new Magen David ambulance in the name of Prince William, which will be stationed in Nazareth.

The marquess’s great-grandfather — the only Jew to become a marquess — was Lord Chief Justice between 1913 and 1921 and was a leading influence on the government’s Balfour Declaration. He was also British Foreign Secretary, the last Liberal to hold that post.

But it is the maternal side of his family — the Monds — who have inspired Lord Reading to take the step to citizenship. His grandmother, Eva Mond, married the second Marquess of Reading and — though raised in her mother’s Christian faith — became an active Zionist and even converted to Judaism in 1933.

She held court at a beautiful building on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, a house which became known as Villa Melchett. Eva’s father was the first Baron Melchett. At the villa, Eva (who died in 1973) entertained the leading figures of the Jewish world and those Christian supporters of the Zionist dream, such as Orde Wingate.

Now — though the family no longer own the villa — Lord Reading has become friendly with the current owners, the Eisenberg family. He says they “embrace the vision” which he has, of bringing potential supporters of Israel from around the world to stay at Villa Melchett, which is not far from Tiberias.

The marquess, 79, says that by taking out Israeli citizenship, he is “reconnecting with my Jewish roots”. He is utterly unfazed by suggestions that the present climate makes it difficult for him to make this move. “It is more vital than ever”, he says.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: