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Disgrifiad

This newspaper article from the South Wales Argus tells the story of Newport's dwindling Orthodox Jewish community. The article is based on a lengthy interview with the life vice-president of the Jewish Community and president of the Chedra Kadisha (Burial Society), Ezekiel Nathan.

According to the article, young Orthodox Jews increasingly choose non-Orthodox or non-Jewish partners and either convert to other forms of Judaism or assimilate. This has also been the case in Newport where the community consists mainly of elderly members. Another issue has been the financial difficulties encountered by the Valleys with traditional Jewish trades withering away and the new generations moving to major cities.

With the congregation shrinking, the services that take place daily in large communities are only held twice a week in Newport. Still, they often lack the ten men required to conduct a service. In spite of the congregation wanting to adhere to the Orthodox tradition, Mr Nathan tells that they have had to change the rules to grant women bigger role than they would normally were given as certain traditions have become near impossible to uphold.

The sidebar at the bottom of the page recounts the history of the Newport (MON) Hebrew Congregation from its founding in 1859 to the present day, mentioning key people such as Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler and the long-serving leader of the congregation, Rev Abraham Snadow. It also notes the influx of Jews during WWII and their subsequent moving out.

The last paragraph of the main article quotes another Newport Jewish community active, the former president Harry Joseph's speech from "the synagogue's fiftieth anniversary last year". The anniversary of the Queen's Hill Synagogue was in fact celebrated in 1984.

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