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  • Photograph of the Merthyr Synagogue, printed in the South Wales Echo, Merthyr Tydfil, 8 November 1984

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Description

A black and white photograph of the Merthyr Synagogue, printed in the South Wales Echo, dated 8 November 1984.

The synagogue is a grade two listed building. It had fallen into disuse by 2006; in 2019, it was bought by the Foundation for Jewish Heritage for restoration.

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.

Sources.

- BBC, Former Merthyr synagogue to become Jewish heritage centre (2019) [accessed 23 September 2020]

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

Newspaper article courtesy of Media Wales.

Depository: Merthyr Tydfil Central Library.

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