Swansea Hebrew Congregation

Swansea, South Wales



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Congregation Data


Swansea Hebrew Congregation


The congregation now uses a rented hall at its former premises in Ffynone Street, Swansea.

The main synagogue building in Ffynone Street, built 1955, was sold in 2009 to the LifePoint Church.

Previous Addresses:

Congregational Building, Cornhill House, Christian Street Swansea, Swansea. (Temporary premises following the destruction of the Congreation's synagogue in 1941 and the construction of a new synagogue.)

Goat Street, Swansea (plot purchased 1857, synagogue completed and opened in 1859; destroyed in a German air raid in February 1941 )

1818-1859 Wateloo Street, Swansea. The plot of land was acquired under a ninety-nine year lease in 1818 upon which the synagogue was erected, with capacity for 60/70 congregants. (i)

1789-1818 Wooden building in The Strand, Swansea. (ii)

c.1740-1789 Wooden building in Wind Street, Swansea, near the docks, built by David Michael behind his house, with capacity for about 40 congregants.(iii)

Current Status:

Although the Congregation is still functioning, as a result dwindling membership, prayer services are no longer held on a regular basis.

Date Founded:

The traditional date for the foundation of the community is 1780, but this appears too late, as it was in 1768 that a plot of land was granted for as cemetery, and there is evidence of a synagogue building since at least 1740.

Incorporated Congregations:

Swansea Beth Hemedrash (in 1955);

Llanelli Synagogue (in 1984);

Port Talbot Synagogue (in about 1950s).


Ashkenazi Orthodox


A provincial synagogue under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.


Rev. Moses Hyamson - 1884 to 1888 (iv) (Congregation's first minister)

Rev. Harris L. Price - Jan. 1889 to 1891(v)

Rev. Jacob Phillips - 1891 to 1893 (vi)

Rev. Phillip Wolfers 1893 to 1899 (vii)

Rev. S. Fine - 1899 to ? (viii)

Cantors & Shochets:

Rev. I. Piser - 1851 to ? (ix)

Rev. J. Tuchman - 1859 to 1874 (x)

Rev. Lazarus Slevanski - 1874 to 1876 (xi)

Rev. Israel Levanton - 1876 to ? (xii)

Rev. Israel Miron - 1881 to ? (xiii)

Registration District (BMD)


Worship Number: 64800

Membership Data::

1845 - 11 Ba'ale Batim (including 2 non-resident) and 13 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)

Number of seatholders according to Board of Deputies Returns:













In 2009 there were less than 20 active members (Jewish Chronicle, 3 September 2009).

Cemetery Information:

The congregation has two cemeteries. For details see Swansea Cemetery Information on the Swansea Jewish Community home page. See also Swansea Jewish Cemeteries Database.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The Rise of Provincial Jewry, 1950 by Cecil Roth.

  • (ii) Ibid. (Provincial Jewry).

  • (iii) Ibid. (Provincial Jewry).

  • (iv) Swansea by Bernard Goldblum ("Goldblum Article"), pp.7/8. Paper presented 6 July 1975 at Conference held at University College, London, on Provincial Jewry in Victorial Britain, convened by the Jewish Historical Society of Great Britain, prepared by Aubrey Newman. (Page numbering relate to printed version and are not relevant to on-line version.).

  • (v) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.8.Rev. Price was previously in Manchester.

  • (vi) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.8. Rev. Phillips was previously in Tredegar and, after Swansea, became minister in Sunderland

  • (vii) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.8. Rev. Wolfers was previously in Hanley and moved from Swansea to Cardiff.

  • (viii) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.8.Rev. Fyne was previously in Newport.

  • (ix) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.3.

  • (x) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.6. Rev. Tuchman moved from Swansea to Sheffield.

  • (xi) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.7. Rev. Slevanski was previously in Norwich.

  • (xii) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.7.

  • (xiii) Ibid (Goldblum Article) p.7.

  • (xiv) The Jewish Year Book 1900/01 gives the number of seatholders as 60.


Database, Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation and the Swansea Community

see Swansea Jewish Community home page

Swansea Jewish Community home page

List of Synagogues destroyed or damaged by German air raids during World War II

Jewish Congregations in the former county of Glamorganshire

Jewish Congregations in Wales, according to current unitary authorities

Jewish Communities & Congregations in Wales home page

Page created: 18 April 2003
Latest revision or update: 12 November 201

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