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Description

Letter from the Women's Voluntary Service for Civil Defence (or WVS - now the Royal Voluntary Service) to the Cardiff New Synagogue Ladies' Guild, dated 10 May 1961. The letter expresses thanks to the Ladies' Guild for the baby dresses, which were "beautifully made" and were to be sent by the WVS to refugees.

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/Community/card1/index.htm).

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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