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A booklet for the official opening of the South Wales, Monmouthshire and West of England Home for Aged Jews at Holme Towers, Penarth, on 5 December 1948. The opening was followed by a reception and dinner organised at Drill Hall, in Dumfries Place, Cardiff.

The Drill Hall was erected in 1867, by the trustees of the third Marquess of Bute, mainly as a base for the volunteer force (which became the Territorial Army). The building was designed by Alexander Roos in the Byzantine style and was made available for events including public meetings and concerts. The Drill Hall was demolished in the 1970s to make way for dual carriageways in Stuttgarter Strasse and Dumfries Place. Currently, office blocks Dumfries House and Marchmount House stand roughly on the site of the Drill Hall.

At the top of the booklet’s cover is the Star of David in between the Hebrew year 5709 and the year 1948. Beneath this is the phrase “Cast us not away in our Old Age”. The care home was to be opened by the Very Rev. Rabbi Israel Brodie and detailed as being “associated with” Maurice A. Rapport, Esq., and L. A. Jacobs, Esq. The cover states that a Golden Key was to be presented by the President, Mr Henry Silver. The guests of honour are detailed as Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs R. G. Robinson) and Mrs I. Brodie. Three signatures also feature on the cover: those of Alderman R. G Robinson, Israel Brodie and Mrs I. Brodie.

The booklet contains a photograph of the exterior of the home, a photograph of some of the residents around a dining table and a brief history of the Home. This explains how the Home was founded at a Public Meeting called by Mr Henry Silver at the Cardiff Institute in 1945 and details the official opening of the first home at 10, St. John’s Crescent, Cardiff, in 1946. Due to large amount of applications, the house moved to a larger building: Holme Towers, Penarth, which had very beautiful surroundings. The remaining pages of the booklet feature a food menu, details of the toasts, a list of the trustees, two more photographs of residents and a list of committee members, which included the Board of Management, the Welfare Committee and the House Committee.

Israel Brodie was made Chief Rabbi in 1948 and founded the European Conference of Rabbis, using this to help rebuild the religious life of the European Jewry in the years following the Holocaust. He was heavily involved in the Freemasons and in 1969 was also the first Rabbi to be given a Knighthood. Brodie was to attend future celebrations involving the Home, such as its twenty second annual garden party. Maurice A. Rapport Esq. was a founder of Rapport Ltd, a watchmaking company.

Pencare (formerly known as 'The Trustees of Penylan House') is a charity, which offers care for elderly people of the Jewish faith and is currently based in Cardiff, although the catchment area for the home covers South Wales and the West of England. Pencare has been working with Linc Cymru to redevelop their care home, Penylan House, to ensure high quality care to Cardiff's elderly Jewish community and extending the care to elderly people not of the Jewish faith.


Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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