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Disgrifiad

Newspaper article from the Western Mail dated 30 November 1990, discussing the decline in Cardiff's orthodox Jewish community, titled "Declining in numbers - but not in faith". In particular, the article refers to the closure of the Cathedral Road synagogue and the small number of worshipers who continue to hold services in a house near the old synagogue. The article also refers to the decline in numbers attending the Penylan Synagogue, as well as the Cheder (religious school). Norman Cohen, Senior Warden at Penylan Synagogue, is quoted in the article saying: "We are fighting a losing battle here..." and Alan Schwartz, Senior Warden at Cathedral Road, is quoted saying: "You see the writing on the wall and know we can't last forever."

The Cardiff United Synagogue was established in 1942 when the Cardiff Hebrew Congregation and the Cardiff New Hebrew Congregation were united into a single organisation. The early years of the Cardiff congregation remain shrouded in mystery, but it is known that a Jewish cemetery was founded in 1841 and a purpose-built synagogue was built for the Cardiff Hebrew Congregation in 1858 in East Terrace. As the congregation outgrew the premises, a new synagogue was opened on Cathedral Road in 1897. In 1889, a group of recent immigrants left the “Englisher shul” to form the “foreigners’ shul” formally known as the Cardiff New Hebrew Congregation. Having initially worshipped at Edward Place and Clare Road, the New Congregation moved to purpose-built premises on Windsor Place in 1918. After the 1942 reunification, the Cardiff United Synagogue continued to use both the Windsor Place and the Cathedral Road synagogues until 1955 when the former was sold, and a new synagogue was built on Ty-Gwyn Road in Penylan. The Cathedral Road synagogue was eventually sold in 1988 and the Ty-Gwyn Road synagogue in 2003 with the congregation moving to its current premises in Cyncoed Gardens.

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/card/index.htm).

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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