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  • Minute book of various groups of the Newport Hebrew Congregation from 2 February 1924 to 22 January 2004

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Map 1st Edition (1868-1892) 2nd Edition (1899-1908) 3rd Edition (1920-1932) 4th Edition (1938-1954) Tithe Map
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Description

A label on the cover states, "Starts from 1922. MINUTE BOOK. (From 5th June 2002) (In new Shul)". The first meeting is dated February 2 1924. It appears that they were trustees of a Charity Commissioner's Scheme sealed on 9th February 1923. Trustee annual meetings usually elected a chair, agreed minutes of previous meeting and accounts and then discussed any financial matters, e.g. arrangements with the Charities Commissioner, or investment or insurance decisions. On 19th March 1993 it was decided to combine trustee and general meetings.

Subsequent minutes discuss the decision to sell the synagogue at Queen's Hill, and options for a replacement. Decisions were made by votes at a general meeting. On 17th April 1994 four options were discussed, including amalgamation with Cardiff. It was decided to “sell the building, and opt for smaller premises”. At an extraordinary general meeting on 2nd October 1994 it was decided to “change the Tahara [preparation for burial] house at the cemetery to make into an appropriate meeting room.”

The final minute is for 22nd January 2004, when a sub-committee meeting discussed the details concerning the ceremony for the opening of the synagogue extension due to be held on 22nd February.

The back of the book records attendance at meetings. There are 13 trustees listed in 1932, 14 in 1945 and 7 in 1993.

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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