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A letter from the Hon Sec Charles Zausmer (of City Road, Cardiff) to Rabbi Asher Grunis. It states:
“In view of the disbanding of the Board of Schechita as and from the 10th March next, this congregation are desirous that you should continue as Rav for the Cardiff Community.
As your salary is at present being paid by the Board of Schechita it will become necessary to make arrangements for your future salary.
I am instructed to inform you that subject to the agreement of the Cathedral Road congregation that you should continue as Rav for the Jewish Community in Cardiff, this congregation is prepared to pay one half of your salary as holder of that position.
I am to say, however, that the contribution of this Congregation to your salary will not exceed £3/0/0 per week (three). We hope that the Cathedral Rd Congregation will join with this Congregation in extending the invitation to you to continue as Rav of the Cardiff Community and that the terms we suggest are acceptable to you.”

The letter heading shows that the President of the Cardiff New Hebrew Congregation was A Rivlin of Newport Road, the Treasurer was Emanuel Roskin of Kimberley Road, the Hon Solicitor was Sam Cohen, the Registrar for Marriages was H Kaye and Life President was I Cohen.

At this time there were two Orthodox synagogues in Cardiff. A letter from the Old Hebrew Congregation of Cathedral Road dated May 1934 states that it was agreed that Rabbi Asher Grunis be “engaged as an Official of the Cardiff Old Hebrew Congregation at a salary of three pounds a week”.

Rabbi Asher Grunis was born in Pietrokov in Poland in 1877. A child prodigy, at the age of nineteen he was appointed Rabbi of Wilczyn in Poland. He married Hannah Baila in 1896 and they had seven sons and one daughter. In 1921 he was appointed the first communal Rav of Cardiff, overseeing the correct application of Jewish religious dietary laws. Five of the sons and one daughter came with their parents to Cardiff and one son, Hirsch, was a minister to the Bangor and Bettws-y-Coed communities before the war. Rabbi Grunis successfully campaigned to permit Jewish children to leave school early in winter on the Sabbath, and prevent Jewish students being forced to take examinations on Saturdays and Jewish Holy days. He also unsuccessfully tried to have kosher food available to Cardiff prisoners throughout the year. He died in July 1937 and he and his wife are buried in Highfields Jewish cemetery. His major work, a commentary titled P’ri Asher (Fruits of Asher), was published posthumously. [Sources: Page 43 of Bimah issue 18 (Pesach 5759 - 1999) and Introduction to the Fruits of Asher by Rabbi Asher Grunis and his son Iyeleg Grunis]

From the Grunis family archives, which are to be deposited in the National Library (Edward J. Safra Campus) at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

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