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Description

Letter to the Cardiff New Synagogue Ladies' Guild, dated 3 October 1962, enclosing minutes of the General Committee Meeting of the Reform Synagogue of Great Britain (RSGB) Association of Women's Guilds, which was held in London on 19 September 1962. The minutes record discussions on a number of issues relating to the newly formed RSGB Association of Women's Guilds. In particular, the meeting approved the association's draft constitution (enclosed with the minutes), which describes the association's rules, including those in relation to membership, officers, objects, and subscriptions.

The Associated British Synagogues, later renamed the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, was formed by representatives from UK Reform Synagogues in 1942, aided in part by the influx of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, many of whom were well suited to the philosophy of the British Reform movement. In 2005, the association changed its name to the Movement for Reform Judaism.

The Cardiff New Synagogue Ladies’ Guild, a women-only volunteer group, was established in 1950. The ladies of the Guild organised religious, fund raising and social activities for the Synagogue – from the annual garden parties, to the food of festivals and to talks held in members’ homes, as well as acts of tzedakah (justice or charity) and community welfare. The Ladies' Guild ceased to exist in 1986. In its place, a new guild formed that was open to both men and women, which focussed more on fundraising for the Synagogue.

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 immigrants who had fled war-torn Europe, where the Reform movement was already well-established. The congregation worships in a converted Methodist Chapel on Moira Terrace, 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/Affiliations/Reform.htm);
JCR-UK/JewishGen (https://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/Community/card1/index.htm).

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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