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  • Minutes of the Cardiff United Synagogue Burial Board meetings, Cardiff, 7 June 1944 – 5 May 1958

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Description

The first entry in the Minutes of the Cardiff United Synagogue Burial Board is dated 7 June 1944 and the last 5 May 1958. The meetings took place at the Cathedral Road Synagogue either at Isaac Samuel Memorial Hall or Isaac Baron Memorial Sukkah; Windsor Place Synagogue Assembly Hall; or the secretary’s office.

Images 1 and 2.
The first meeting of 07 June 1944 starts with listing those attending the meeting and a welcome from the Board and the Chairman, Cecil Berg. Topics discussed: progress of the newly formed Chevra Kadisha; notification procedure to follow in case of death; benefits the members of the Burial Board are entitled to in case of death; payment of the burial costs; and reservation of graves.

Images 3 and 4.
The meeting of 12 November 1947 discussed the wages of the cemetery attendant, Mr Fenule [?]. The Chairman proposed an increase in Mr Fenule’s wages to show appreciation for his services. It was pointed out, however, by other Board members, that Mr Fenule was carrying our private contracts for the renovation of graves and memorials, and that as he was a full time servant of the Burial Board, he should make no charge for his services in this respect. It was debated if Mr Fenule should be instructed to discontinue taking on private contracts for the renovation of graves and memorials. No resolution was accepted to this effect and the matter was dropped. Finally, it was decided to recommend to the Council that the wages of the cemetery attendant are to be increased from 1 December 1947.

Image 5.
Meeting of 9 October 1956. Topics: regulated depth of a grave, cemetery caretaker asking for a rise in salary; and election of H. Rapport as a treasurer of the Cemetery Improvement Fund.

Image 6.
The minutes of 13 November 1956, report that “in future the Ladies’ Guild would sew Tachrichim, which would save considerable expense to the Burial Board”.

Image 7.
Meeting of 26 June 1957 discussed numbering of graves; a refund to Mrs Black; burial charges of the Home for the Aged Jews (Penylan Home); and a quotation for linen.

Image 8.
Meeting of 5 May 1958 addressed the costs for new gates of the Highfield cemetery as the existing gates have badly deteriorated.

About Cardiff United Synagogue.

The Cardiff United Synagogue was established in 1942 when the Cardiff Hebrew Congregation and the Cardiff New Hebrew Congregation were united into a single organisation. The early years of the Cardiff congregation remain shrouded in mystery, but it is known that a Jewish cemetery was founded in 1841 and a purpose-built synagogue was built for the Cardiff Hebrew Congregation in 1858 in East Terrace. As the congregation outgrew the premises, a new synagogue was opened on Cathedral Road in 1897. In 1889, a group of recent immigrants left the “Englisher shul” to form the “foreigners’ shul” formally known as the Cardiff New Hebrew Congregation. Having initially worshipped at Edward Place and Clare Road, the New Congregation moved to purpose-built premises on Windsor Place in 1918. After the 1942 reunification, the Cardiff United Synagogue continued to use both the Windsor Place and the Cathedral Road synagogues until 1955 when the former was sold, and a new synagogue was built on Ty-Gwyn Road in Penylan. The Cathedral Road synagogue was eventually sold in 1988 and the Ty-Gwyn Road synagogue in 2003 with the congregation moving to its current premises in Cyncoed Gardens.

Notes and 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/card/index.htm).
- Chevra Kadisha, literally a “sacred society,” is a group of men and women that performs the final rites for the Jewish deceased; see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevra_kadisha.
- Tachrichim are traditional simple white burial furnishings, usually made from 100% pure linen, in which the bodies of deceased Jews are dressed; see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachrichim.

Depository: Cardiff United Synagogue, Cyncoed Gardens.

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