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Description

The letter is from the Rabbinical Commission for the Licensing of Shochetim. The letter informs the Newport Hebrew Congregation that licences for 1959 are due and contains further details about acquiring the license.

Shechita is the ritual slaughtering of animals for producing kosher meat and poultry. A shochet is the person who performs shechita.

The Rabbinical Commission for the Licensing of Shochetim is headed by the Chief Rabbi and is responsible for providing licenses to perform Shechita. In 1933 the Slaughter of Animals Act was introduced and required that all animals be stunned before slaughter unless it was for religious slaughter. In this case slaughter without stunning must only be performed by a Jewish person licensed by the commission.

Newport Monmouthshire Hebrew Congregation was founded in 1859 by orthodox Jews meeting at a temporary synagogue in Llanarth Street. A synagogue at Francis Street was opened in 1869 and consecrated by the Chief Rabbi Dr Herman Adler in 1871. In 1934 the congregation moved to their Nathan Harris Memorial Hall in Queen’s Hill which was converted to a synagogue. In 1997 this synagogue was closed, and the congregation moved to their Prayer House by the Jewish Burial Ground on Risca Road. Within 20 years the congregation had dwindled to a few members able to attend and this too had ceased to hold services.

Sources:
https://www.shechitauk.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/A_Guide_to_Shechita_2009__01.pdf;
https://chiefrabbi.org/history-chief-rabbinate/;
https://www.theus.org.uk/;
“History of our Shul. The First Hundred Years", published by Newport Congregation in 1959;
Oral history interviews with members of the Newport Mon Hebrew Congregation, recorded in 2018 by JHASW.

Depository: Gwent Archives.

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