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Description

This newspaper article from the Jewish Chronicle tells of the hardship encountered by the Newport (MON) Hebrew Congregation as the number of Jewish community is dwindling and the average age of the congregants is 75. The article notes that the last wedding was held at the building 15 years previously and the Hebrew school is no longer running as there are no pupils who would attend it. Comments are provided by the honorary vice-president of the community, Ezekiel Nathan, and the secretary, former Cardiff toastmaster, Harry Poloway.

Newport Monmouthshire Hebrew Congregation was founded in 1859 by orthodox Jews meeting at a temporary synagogue in Llanarth Street. A synagogue at Francis Street was opened in 1869 and consecrated by the Chief Rabbi Dr Herman Adler in 1871. In 1934 the congregation moved to the Nathan Harris Memorial Hall in Queen’s Hill which was converted to a synagogue. In 1997 this synagogue was closed, and the congregation moved to the Prayer House by the Jewish Burial Ground on Risca Road. Within 20 years the congregation had dwindled to a few members able to attend and this too had ceased to hold services.

Sources:
“History of our Shul. The First Hundred Years", published by Newport Congregation in 1959;
Oral history interviews with members of the Newport (MON) Hebrew Congregation, recorded in 2018 by JHASW.

Depository: Gwent Archives.

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