Content can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes, such as for personal use or in educational resources.
For commercial purposes please contact the copyright holder directly.
Read more about the The Creative Archive Licence.


A newspaper clipping from Merthyr Express, dated 17 June 1939, announcing the death of Reverend Eli Bloom.

Eli Bloom, who was 67 when he died, served as a Rabbi at Merthyr for 38 years. He was born in Riga, Latvia, and trained in Russia, London and Manchester. He moved to the United Kingdom in the late 1800s. Following ministerial roles at Cork and Wrexham, he became Rabbi for the Merthyr Hebrew Congregation in 1901. He was a popular lecturer at other places of worship. Bloom was survived by his wife Sarah (who was also born in Riga) and seven children. His eldest son Solomon (or Sammy) was, for a time, the only surgeon in Merthyr Tydfil. The Merthyr Express extract ends with a tribute written by Mr L. Hamilton, President of the Merthyr Hebrew Congregation, who mourns his friend.

About Merthyr Jewish community.

Merthyr Tydfil was once home to one of the largest Jewish communities of the south Wales Valleys. First Jews are believed to have arrived there in the 1820s and the first synagogue was established at the rear of 28 Victoria Street, (Joseph Barnett's pawnbroker's shop), c. 1948. In 1852, work began on a larger, purpose-built synagogue at the back of the Temperance Hall in John Street, which opened in 1853. The thriving community soon outgrew the premises and a new synagogue opened on Church Street in 1877. From the 1920s to the mid-1930s, the Merthyr Tydfil Hebrew Congregation had up to 400 members, but with rapid changes in the economic conditions and the exodus that followed, the membership dropped to 175 by 1937. Services were held in Merthyr until the late 1970s.


- JCR-UK: Jewish Communities & Records, The former Merthyr Tydfil Jewish Community, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales: Personal Encounters (2016) [accessed 22 September 2020]

- JCR-UK: Jewish Communities & Records, The Merthyr Tydfil Hebrew Congregation & Jewish Community, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales (2016) [accessed 23 September 2020]

- The Melting Pot: The Heritage and Culture of Merthyr Tydfil, Dr Solomon ‘Sammy’ Bloom (2020) [accessed 22 September 2020]

Newspaper article courtesy of Media Wales.

Depository: Merthyr Tydfil Central Library.

Do you have information to add to this item? Please leave a comment

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to leave a comment