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This architect's impression of the synagogue to be built in Cathedral Road, Cardiff, and opened in 1897, was used to accompany articles in the Jewish Chronicle on both 1 May 1896 and 14 May 1897. This synagogue replaced the earlier one in East Terrace, Bute Street.

The need for a new synagogue was laid out on page 2 of the Jewish Chronicle of 28 February 1896:


FOR many years past the Cardiff Jewish Congregation has carried on Divine Service under great difficulties, owing to the inadequate size of the present Synagogue. Erected in 1858, and enlarged in 1874, this Synagogue is situated in a locality which is now quite unsuitable for a House of Worship. The almost phenomenal growth of Cardiff, the capital of the Principality, has been attended by a more or less corresponding increase in the Jewish community, with the result that the congregation has outgrown its place of worship, which is now too small to furnish seats for all its members.

Beyond this, there is no sitting accommodation for the children, there are no free seats nor spare seats for the large number of Jews resident in the surrounding districts, who are compelled to come into the town for Divine Worship on the various Festivals.

So pressing has become the demand for accommodation for worshippers, more particularly on the Festivals, that for some years past the Congregation has been compelled to rent a Hall in the Town, where supplementary Services have been held. In May, 1894, upon the occasion of his visit to Cardiff, the Rev. Dr. Adler, the Chief Rabbi, was so impressed with the absolute necessity for a new and larger synagogue in a more suitable locality, that he personally impressed these views on the members of the congregation. In order to give effect to the Chief Rabbi's recommendation a Building Committee was formed.

This Committee experienced great difficulty in obtaining a site in a suitable position, but one was eventually found and secured in one of the finest thoroughfares of Cardiff.

The Congregation, being desirous of haying a thoroughly well designed building, retained the professional services of Delissa Joseph, Esq., F.R.I.B.A., of London, who has prepared plans which received the unanimous approval of the Congregation. The lowest tender of £5,164 has been accepted. To bring the cost down to this amount, the most rigid economies had to be exercised and various necessary works have had to be either considerably modified or postponed.

The Cardiff Congregation, although numerous, is not wealthy; the recent increase is due, to a large extent, to the advent of many coreligionists, who cannot render any appreciable pecuniary assistance in providing the amount required, but for whose religious needs it is none the less imperative to provide.
The Committee has already received promises of donations from present and former Jewish residents of Cardiff amounting to over £1.000, and by the proposed sale of the present Synagogue it is hoped to realise a further £700.

It is anticipated that the total expenditure in connection with the new buildings will be about £6,000. Having regard to the absolute necessity for the proposed new Synagogue and the inability of the Jewish residents in Cardiff to bear the whole expense thereof, the Committee confidently APPEAL to all their coreligionists for material support in meeting the responsibilities they have felt it incumbent on them to incur after receiving that which was practically a mandate from the Ecclesiastical Head of the community.

Donations, which will be duly acknowledged in the Jewish Press, will be gratefully received by
The Very Rev. the Chief Rabbi, 22, Finsbury-square, E.C.
Col. Albert E. W. Goldsmid, 41st Regimental District, Cardiff.
Delissa Joseph, Esq, 14, Addison-road, Kensington, W., and
Mr Phil. Phillips (Treasurer of Building Committee), 24. St. Mary-street, Cardiff.
A. E. W. GOLDSMID, President of the Building Committee."

An earlier article in the Jewish Chronicle, on page 22 of 10 January 1896, documented the planning of the synagogue:


A general meeting of the Cardiff Hebrew Congregation was held, last Sunday, at the Hall of the Jewish Institute. Mr. Hyman Goldman, the President of the Synagogue, in the Chair. Mr. Delissa Joseph, the Architect, having submitted the plans of the proposed new Synagogue, the meeting proceeded to consider the recommendations of the Building Committee, which sought authority to raise £3,000 on mortgage, to issue an appeal for further subscriptions, and to sign a contract at £5,164 for the proposed new building.
COLONEL GOLDSMID, the President of the Building Committee, urged the meeting to adopt the proposed plans and to erect a building worthy of the Jews of Cardiff and of the fine site in Cathedral Road, which had been leased from the Marquis of Bute.

Mr. ISAAC SAMUEL, Chairman of the Building Committee, submitted a financial statement, which indicated that the income of the Synagogue showed a surplus entitling the congregation to undertake the additional liability of the interest of the proposed mortgage. He also gave an account of the manner in which the amount for the proposed building was proposed to be raised.

Mr. B. JACOBS, the Honorary Secretary of the Building Committee, then read a list of donations promised, principally locally, amounting to nearly £1,000 ; and it was stated that this sum, together with the proposed mortgage, and the amount to be realised by the sale of the present Synagogue, would leave a further sum of about £1,300 to be collected, to make up the total amount of £6,000 required for the new building and incidental expenses.

The resolutions were supported by several speakers, including Mr. P. Phillips, the Treasurer of the Building Fund, and Mr A. Cohen, Treasurer of the Synagogue ; and they were then put to the meeting seriatim and were declared by the chairman to have been carried nem con.

Arrangements have accordingly been made for signing the contract and commencing the works within the next few days."

This image was extracted from the archive of the Jewish Chronicle:

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