the former

Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation

and Jewish Community

Colwyn Bay, Conwy, North Wales




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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Town of Colwyn Bay

Colwyn Bay (in Welsh: Bae Colwyn) is a seaside resort, with a population of about 29,000, on the coast of North Wales, about 50 miles west of Liverpool and 5 miles south-east of Llandudno.

Until 1974, Colwyn Bay formed the municipal borough of Colwyn Bay in the county of Denbighshire. From 1974 until 1996, it was part of the district of Colwyn in the then newly-formed county of Clwyd. In 1996, Clwyd was abolished as an administrative county and the district of Colwyn was merged into the new county borough of Conwy, a unitary authority (within the ceremonial, or preserved, county of Clwyd).

The Colwyn Bay Jewish Community

The small Jewish community in Colwyn Bay was closely associated with that in Llandudno, some six miles away. A separate congregation was first organised in Colwyn Bay in the early 1940s, presumably by the influx of war-time evacuees from heavily populated cities. However, numbers began to dwindle and for some years before the synagogue closed in the 1970s, some religious services alternated between the Colwyn Bay synagogue and that in Llandudno.(i) The synagogue in Llandudno, renamed the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation, now serves both towns.

Congregation Data


Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation


Zion House, Princes Drive, Colwyn Bay.(ii)

The synagogue, which also included classrooms and a social centre, was consecrated in January 1943 at a service conducted by Rev. I. Bornstein of the Princes Road Synagogue in Liverpool, assisted by Rev. I. Daviat of Liverpool and Rev. D. Wolfson, chazan of the congregation. Rabbi Dr A Altmann, communal Rabbi of Manchester, Salford and District Synagogue spoke. The services for the previous High Holy days had been held at the Presbyterian church, Colwyn Bay.(iii)

Date Founded:


Current Status:

Closed, about 1977.(v) Remaining members generally joined the synagogue in Llandudno, which was subsequently renamed the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation.(vi)


Orthodox - Ashkenazi

Ministers: (To view a short profile of a minister whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. David Wolfson - from 1942 until about 1946(viii)

Rev. Louis Kushell - from about 1948 until 1967(ix)

Lay Officers:

Unless otherwise stated, the data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books.(x)


at least 1943 to 1948 - H. Hyamson(xi)(xii)

1948 to at least 1956 - J. Barker


at least 1945 to 1948 - H. Marks(xi)

1948 to 1954 - B. Sheridan

1954 to at least 1956 - H. Falks

Vice President

at least 1945 to 1948 - J. Barker(xi)


at least 1945 to 1948 - S. Cohen(xi)

Hon. Secretaries

to 1942 - J. Mass(xii)

1942 to at least 1945 - Rev. David Wofson(xi)(xiii)

1948 to 1958 - Sidney Hart

1958 to 1960 - H. Falks

1960 to 1977 - N.I. Barker

Cemetery Information:

There were no Jewish cemeteries in north Wales, the closest being in Liverpool and Manchester. However, in 2010, a Jewish cemetery (along Liberal lines) was established in Llanrhos, Llandudno.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Jewish Year Books from 1968.

  • (ii) Address given in Jewish Year Books from 1945/46, when the congregation was first listed, there being no yearbooks published during the war years.

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle report of 15 January 1943.

  • (iv) First stated in Jewish Year Book 1951.

  • (v) The congregation's last listing was in Jewish Year Book 1977.

  • (vi) The first reference in Jewish Year Books to this change of name was the Jewish Year Book 1985, a few years after the Colwyn Bay congregation appears to have become defunct.

  • {vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Based upon The Jewish Chronicle report of 6 February 1942 in which Rev. Wolfson is described as the congregation's recently appointed minister and his listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1945/46, the previous publication having been in 1940. There were no ministers listed for the congregation in the 1947 and 1948 editions.

  • (ix) Based upon Rev. Kushell's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1949 and 1950 and subsequently as reader until his death in 1967.

  • (x) Jewish Year Books were not published during World War II until 1945/46. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of lay officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956. Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Jewish Year Books were generally published towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1950 through 1955, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1949 and continued in office until 1955. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here.

  • (xi) On 24 July 1945 The Jewish Chronicle reported that at the annual meeting of the congregation the following were elected: Messrs. H. Hyamson, President; J. Barker, Vice-President; H. Marks, Treasurer; S. Cohen, Warden; and the Rev. D. Wolfson, Hon. Secretary.

  • (xii) On 15 January 1943 The Jewish Chronicle reported H. Hyamson as president.

  • (xiii) On 6 February 1942 The Jewish Chronicle reported the Rev. D. Wolfson had been appointed acting Secretary of the Congregation in succession to J. Mass.

 On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Colwyn Bay Jewish Community


 Congregational & Marriage Records

Registration District (BDM):

  • Conwy

  • Previous registration districts:

    • Conway - 1 July 1837 to 1 October 1935.

    • Aled - 1 October 1935 to 1 April 1974.

    • Colwyn - 1 April 1974 to at least 1966.

  • Any registers would now be held by the current register office.

  • Link to Register Office website


Colwyn Bay Jewish Population Data
(numbers from 1984 include Colwyn Bay)






Jewish Year Book 1951


 Jewish Communities (Past & Present) in the county borough of Conwy

Jewish Congregations in the former (original) county of Denbighshire

Jewish Congregations in Wales, listed according to current unitary authorities

Jewish Communities & Congregations in Wales home page

Page created: 20 October 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 20 November 2020
Page most recently amended 21 May 2024

Formatting by David Shulman0

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