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Description

A letter from Cardiff New (now Reform) Synagogue to Mr Edwards of the Ministry of Food, St Andrew's Arcade Cardiff, sent 19 June 1948. The writer opens the letter by explaining how the Cardiff New Synagogue differs from the current Cardiff United Synagogue, which is a more orthodox synagogue. The letter goes on to discuss concerns of an amendment of a rule for members of the United Synagogue. This states if members subscribe to or support a Synagogue formed without consent of the Council of Synagogues or of which the Beth Din (court of rabbis) disapproves of, their membership would be terminated, along with privileges attached to this. Namely, the ability to purchase kosher meat from Jewish Butchers. The writer then expresses their concerns on this later matter and asks Mr Edwards for his views on the matter.

There is no name and no signature at the bottom of the letter but the names of Myer and Sylvia Cohen (both members of the Cardiff New Synagogue) appear at the top.

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.

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/card1/index.htm).

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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