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This photograph shows a rectangular embroidered challah cover created by Owen. The cover is decorated with a star of David along with religious symbolism of pomegranates and floral motifs around the border as well as within the star points and centre.

The cover is likely to have been created in Cardiff as Trude spent most of her adult life living in Cardiff.

The cover is likely to have been created around the 1970s- 1980s as this was when Trude was most productive in her needlework.

The cover is most likely to have been created because it was commissioned by a member of the Cardiff Jewish community, as Trude’s work could be seen in both Reform and Orthodox communities.

Trude Owen (1926-2003), born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, was a member of the Cardiff Jewish Reform community. Trude was renowned for her embroidery work, often combining her love for Jewish history and gold work into pieces like tallit bags, Torah mantles and Ark curtains to baby and wedding blankets. When she was nearing forty, she took a short course at the Royal School of Needlework and was 'hooked'. Owen went on to create twenty-five curtains for Arks in Synagogues around the United Kingdom. Her husband photographed every one of her pieces. Here shows a collection of photographs of Trude Owen's needlepoint work ranging from the seventies to the late eighties.

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.


‘New Synagogue at Bristol College’, in The Jewish Chronicle, 8 February 1974, p. 8 in, People’s Collection Wales

[Accessed 9 March 2023]

Trude Owen, Letter to Shoshana, 3 December 1980, p.1 - 2 in, People’s Collection Wales

[Accessed 9 March 2023]

Depository: Glamorgan ArchivesSources:

This was uploaded by Heledd Holloway as part of the Jewish History Association of South Wales/Cymdeithas Hanes Iddewig De Cumru (JHASW/CHIDC) 'Sharing skills: enabling communities to preserve their heritage' project.


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