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Description

These photographs of Abertillery were taken in 1977. Two of them depict a view of the town from a distance while one portrays a building on Castle Street that has hosted a Masonic lodge and the Abertillery RFC. More recently, it has been a pub and a community support centre. The fourth picture depicts the Newall Street Methodist Chapel that was demolished in the 2000s and was also once used as Masonic lodge.

A Hebrew Congregation was founded in Abertillery by the early 1900s but had ceased to exist in the 1950s. The Jewish Chronicle records in 1905 that a Rev S. Kahn had been elected Chazan, Shochet, and Teacher of Abertillery congregation. He was soon succeeded by others, including Rev Snadow who moved on to Newport in 1910. A synagogue with a Hebrew school was erected behind 2 Newall Street around 1910 and had space for 100 worshippers. By 1939, the Abertillery community had shrunk from around 100 members to 14. The Jewish Chronicle reports that in 1942 religious services for evacuee children were held in a private home in High Street.

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/val1_abertillery/Abertillery_Press_Reports.htm);
"The Hebrew Synagogue – Abertillery" by Graham Bennett (https://outoftheblueartifacts.com/the-hebrew-synagogue-abertillery).

Depository: Gwent Archives.

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