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Disgrifiad

A book containing the minutes of the meetings held by the Executive Finance Committee of the New Cardiff Synagogue (later Cardiff Reform Synagogue). As the synagogue was founded in 1948 these are some of the earliest recorded meetings that took place while the synagogue was still in its infancy. Rabbi Graf was the rabbi of the synagogue throughout these meetings.

Pages of interest:

Image 1:

26 January 1949.
The committee discussed who should act as Mohel (perform circumcisions) for the Synagogue and decided to write to Reverend Zucker to ask if he was willing to do it. The covenant of circumcision or B'rit Milah is the oldest ritual in Judaism and signifies the welcoming of baby boys into the Jewish community.

Image 2:

3 March 1949.
As they had received no response from Reverend Zucker regarding his possible appointment as Mohel, the committee considered offering the position to Rabbi Reinhart instead. In addition, Rabbi Graf’s appointment as a Minister was discussed.

Images 3 and 4:

20 June 1950.
The committee agreed that the Minister is only meant to use funds for nominal expenses and should have to consult one or both of the wardens before spending them on anything else. It was also agreed that he should attend executive meetings when he was invited to partake in them.

Image 5:

31 March 1952.
The minutes mention that rumours about Mr Rufus Isaacs have been spreading throughout the Synagogue. As the rumours are related to Kashrus - a set of Jewish dietary laws contained in the Torah. It was decided to invite both Mr Isaacs and Rabbi Graf to a meeting.

Image 6:

8 June 1952.
The committee discussed how the Kashrus rumours were negatively impacting the Synagogue and that the rabbi [Rabbi Graf] was required to attend the next meeting to help decide what was to be done about the matter.

12 June 1952.
The Kashrus rumours were discussed again, this time in the presence of Rabbi Graf, but the committee members felt that little progress was made. However, they decided that the next time a significant visitor came to the Synagogue to give an address (with the hope of increasing membership) they could have the speaker address the issue. The phrasing of the minutes suggest that the issue really affected the congregation: 'At this meeting the Speaker can answer with tact the question regarding the Kashrus and the 'Forbidden Food'. This may perhaps clear the air'.

The Cardiff Reform Synagogue was founded in 1948 as the Cardiff New Synagogue. The following year, it became a constituent member of the Movement for Reform Judaism. Born in reaction against the more restrictive traditions of the Orthodox Judaism of Cardiff Hebrew Congregation, such as the prohibition of driving on the Sabbath and the ban on interfaith marriages, the new Synagogue appealed to the immigrants who had fled the war-torn Europe, where the Reform movement was already well-established. The congregation worships in a converted Methodist Chapel on Moira Terrace they acquired in 1952.

Sources:
'The History of the Jewish Diaspora in Wales' by Cai Parry-Jones (http://e.bangor.ac.uk/4987);
JCR-UK/JewishGen (https://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/Community/card1/index.htm).

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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