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  • A wooden walking stick presented to I. Goldsmith by The Friends of Aberaman, 1928

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Description

A black wood walking stick, with a silver metal collar near the top. The inscription engraved on the metal collar reads ‘Presented to Mr I Goldsmith by Friends from Aberaman, 1928.' The walking stick is believed to have belonged to Israel Goldsmith, a Jewish individual living and trading in Aberdare.

In 1928, Israel Goldsmith is recorded as a Russian draper, living and trading at 42 New Street, Godreaman, Aberdare. He had two brothers, Alexander and Joseph, who were also drapers.

Israel had some involvement in the Jewish community in Aberdare. In 1921, he donated to the Federation of Ukrainian Jews in aid of the Pogrom Violations in the Ukraine, along with other members of the Aberdare Hebrew Congregation. Similarly in 1935, he donated to the United Appeal for Polish Jews, alongside other notable Jewish individuals such as Victor Freed and Benjamin Schwartz.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Cynon Valley had a small Jewish community, consisting of some fifty families throughout the towns of Abercynon, Penrhiwceiber, Mountain Ash, Aberaman and Aberdare. Most of Jewish families came to Aberdare from Eastern Europe, mainly Russia. The earliest record of Jewish presence and activity in the Cynon Valley dates to 1858-9. The name of Harris Freedman and the partnership of Lyons and Hyman are listed as trading as pawnbrokers and general dealers in Aberdare.

Initially the Jewish community worshipped in individuals' homes or business premises but in 1887 David Hart allowed the use of his premises at 19a Seymour Street, Aberdare, as a permanent Synagogue. The Aberdare Hebrew congregation was at its largest, with around 90 members, from the 1910s to the 1930s. However, the community declined and services had virtually ceased by 1957, when the congregation was down to 35. In 1966 it was reported that services were no longer held there. The building, now a private residence again, received a blue commemorative plaque in 2015.

Depository: Cynon Valley Museum: ACVMS 2009 1786

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