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A correspondence between Leslie Corne, Secretary of the Cardiff Reform (New) Synagogue, and Myer Cohen, one of the Cardiff New Synagogue’s founding members, concerning the Bar Mitzvah of Cohen’s son Jeffrey, dated between 15 February 1949 to 31 March 1949.

The initial letter explains the Bar Mitzvah would be taken place on the 2 April 1949 at the Temple of Peace and asks if the minister for the day could be swapped for a Dr Van der Zyl. The following letters confirm this can be done and discuss arrangements for rehearsals in the Ark, (a room in the Temple of Peace), where Dr Van der Zyl was to stay whilst in Cardiff, and arrangements for the Reception after the service, which was held at the Angel Hotel.

There is no name at the bottom of some letters but from the contents it is most likely they were written by Leslie Corne in response to Mr Cohen. Cohen’s first initial letter also has a hand-written note at the bottom dated 16 Feb 1949

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.

'The History of the Jewish Diaspora in Wales' by Cai Parry-Jones (;
JCR-UK/JewishGen (

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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