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Description

A document of the history of the cheder, the Jewish children's school, of the Cardiff New Synagogue (now known as the Cardiff Reform Synagogue). It gives details about the school from the beginning of the Synagogue in 1948 until 1992.

The document provides information on the number of children registered with the religion school for every year that is noted; it also includes information on different events such as the renovation of classrooms, the creation of a parents' association and other activities. Although the number of the cheder's pupils grew slowly at first, by 1961, there were ninety pupils. However, in the early 1980s the number dropped considerably resulting in a total of twenty-five pupils by 1983. Several Rabbis tried to increase the school's poor attendance rate. In 1980, Rabbi Cohen made regular attendance to the school a condition for becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The final part of the document details the different teaching methods used at the school ranging from textbooks to craft activities and videos.

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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