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Description

Colour photograph of the Holy Ark and Torah Scroll in the Queen's Hill Crescent Synagogue, Newport, 1934/1997. The photograph shows the Torah scroll covered with red velvet mantels, decorated with Stars of David, embroidered in gold, with two silver breastplates. The photograph also shows four silver crowns mounted on the Torah, together with three yad (literally, "a hand"), which are around six to eight inch pieces of silver fashioned in the shape of a finger, to point to the words of the Torah during readings. The wooden door and curtain of the Holy Ark can be seen at either side edge of the photograph.

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 the 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 the 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:
“History of our Shul. The First Hundred Years", published by Newport Congregation in 1959;
Oral history interviews with members of the Newport Mon Hebrew.

Depository: Gwent Archives.

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