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  • Two newspaper cuttings from the Jewish Chronicle about the formation of Cardiff New Synagogue, 11 June and 9 July 1948

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Description

Here are two photocopied newspaper cuttings taken from different issues of the Jewish Chronicle. Both articles discuss the formation of Cardiff New (later Reform) Synagogue and the opposition that it faced from the already established Orthodox Community.

The first article was published on 11 June 1948 and predates the formation of Cardiff Reform Synagogue. It reports that while a number of Jewish individuals in Cardiff supported the idea of establishing a Reform Movement in the capital, the proposal was met by some opposition and appeals from the long-established Orthodox Community. The main reason for the opposition was worries that the community would be split by the introduction of the Reform Movement.

The second article was published on 9 July 1948. It consists of two open letters that both address the conflict between the Orthodox and Reform Communities following the establishment of Cardiff Reform Synagogue.

The first letter was written by P. Selvin Goldberg from the Manchester Congregation of British Jews. P. Selvin expresses shock at how the Cardiff United Synagogue (Orthodox) attempted to prevent members of the Reform congregation from accessing kosher meat.

The second letter was written by Charles Berg, Minister at Bournemouth New Synagogue (Reform). Charles addresses certain statements made about the Reform Movement such as how inter-faith marriages are encouraged by it. He states that a non-Jew would only marry in a Reform Synagogue after they had shown their commitment for Judaism by undertaking a long period of study and examination.

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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