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Description

A photograph of Rabbi Charles Middleburgh, with Rabbi Elaina Rothman and Rabbi Tony Bayfield. The photo was taken at Rabbi Middleburgh's induction as Rabbi of the Cardiff New Synagogue (now known as the Cardiff Reform Synagogue) in 2005.

Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh served as Minister of the Cardiff New Synagogue (now known as the Cardiff Reform Synagogue) for 10 years, departing in 2014. He had replaced Rabbi Elaina Rothman, who had retired in 2002. Today, he is a founder rabbi of the Congregation Shir HaTzaphon in Copenhagen and is also the Dean and Director of Jewish Studies at the Leo Baeck College in London.

Elaina Rothman first served as a student Rabbi for two years at the Cardiff New Synagogue in 1990. She went on to become Minister of the Synagogue, later retiring in 2002. She was a rabbinic student at Leo Baeck College and was ordained in 1992.

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);
The Jewish Chronicle (https://www.thejc.com/community/community-news/cardiff-rabbi-s-surprise-departure-1.52664);
JCR-UK/JewishGen (https://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/Community/card1/index.htm);
Liberal Judaism (https://www.liberaljudaism.org/who-we-are/whos-who/rabbi-dr-charles-middleburgh/);
Reform Synagogue (https://mireviewz.com/reform-synagogue-cardiff/).

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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