Cardiff Hebrew Congregation

Cardiff, Wales




Page created: 14 March 2016
Latest revision or update: 7 April 2016

Congregation Data


Cardiff Hebrew Congregation

Alternative Names:

Cathedral Road Synagogue

(Was at one time referred to as the "Englisher Shul" to distinguish it from the Cardiff New Hebrew Congregation, which was founded in 1889 by then recent immigrants and therefore known as the "Foreigners' Shul", or "Furriners' Shul").(i)

Last Address:

Cathedral Road, Cardiff, consecrated on 11 May 1897 by Chief Rabbi Adler(ii) (and which continued in use until 1989(iii))

Previous Addresses:

1858 - 1897  East Terrace, Bute Street, Cardiff (redeveloped 1888).(iv) Had seat accomodation for 120 persons.(v) (In 1949, the building was being used as a factory.(vi))

The exact situation prior to 1858, is not totally clear. It is understood by some that, until 1958, the congregation used a premises in Bute Street as a synagogue, having moved there from smaller premises, a room in Trinity Street, which it had used as a permanent synagogue from shortly after 1841.(vii) However, East Terrace is in Bute Street, and it is possible that the synagogue used immediately prior to 1858 was the Tinity Street premises.

According to Cecil Roth, a synagogue was already established by 1847.(viii)

Current Status:

In 1942, became one of the constituents of Cardiff United Synagogue.(ix) The Synagogue in Cathedral Road continued to be used as one of the synagogues of the Cardiff United Synagogue until its closure and sale in 1989.

When Founded:

The traditional date for the establishment of the Congregation is 1840(x)(the community received the grant of a plot of land for a cemetery in 1841), although this was probably a predecessor congregation.

1853 is a date also given, which could be the date the synagogue prior to East Terrace (in Trinity Street? Bute Street?) was established(xi), but again this may still have been a predecessor congregation.

It would appear that it was not until 1858, with the opening of the synagogue in East Terrace, that we see the establishment of a congregation under name "Cardiff Hebrew Congregation", which has been descibed as the "first formal synagogue".(xii)

Incorporated Congregation:

Talmud Torah Congregation in June 1904(xiii)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


Rev. Natham Jacobs - from about 1858, the first minister appointed.(xiv)

Rev. I. Lewis - in 1878.(xv)

Rev. J.H. Landau - from 1887.(xvi)

Rev. Harris Jerevitch - 1908 to 1953.(xvii)

Congregation Numbers:

1847 - 3 full subscribing members out of a popolation of 9 (adult male?) Jews (C. Roth - Provincial Jewry)

1852 - 13 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns)

1860 - 29 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns)

1870 - 32 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns)

1880 - 45 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns)

1890 - 63 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns)

(1896 - 163 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns))

1900 - 93 seatholders (Board of Deputies returns) or 75 seatholders (The Jewish Year Book 1900/01)

1938 - 350 members (The Jewish Year Book 1939)

Cemetery Information:

The Orthodox Community has two Jewish cemeteries - the Old Jewish Cemetery and the New Jewish Cemetery (for details, see Cardiff Cemetery Information)

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Into the Vortex: South Wales Jewry Before 1914, paper by Geoffrey Alderman, p.4; and History on Cardiff United Synagogue's website.

  • (ii) "Into the Votex" by G. Alderman  (see note (i) above), p.4, quoting M. Dennis, 'The Cardiff Jewish Comunity' Cajex ii, March 1952, p.27.

  • (iii) "History" on Cardiff United Synagogue's website (see note (i) above).

  • (iv) Cardiff Jewish Community records and papers, p.1 (listing of material deposited with the Glamorgan Records Office relating to the Community - Reference Code GB 0214 DJR - The National Archives); "Into the Votex" by Geoffrey Alderman, pp.3/4 (see note (i) above); "History" on Cardiff United Synagogue's website (see note (i)  above).

  • (v) Jewish Directory, 1874, A. Myer.

  • (vi) Cardiff Jewish Community records and papers deposited with Glamorgan Records Office (see note (iv) above) p.10.

  • (vii) G. Alderman in "Into the Votex", (see note (i) above) states that "[After 1841,] a permanent synagogue was soon established in a room in Trinity Street, near the market; then it moved to larger premises in Bute Street. In 1858 a synagogue was opened in East Terrace..." and this statement has been copied verbatim by a number of other publication. However, A. Mayer in the "Jewish Directory", 1874 (see note (v) above) refers to the synagogue (at East Terrace?) as having been "rebuilt" in 1856.

  • (viii) Rise of Provincial Jewry. by C. Roth, in section on Swansea .

  • (ix) Cardiff Jewish Community records and papers deposited with Glamorgan Records Office (see note (iv) above) p.10, which refers to the establishment of Cardiff United Synagogue in 1942.

  • (x)"Rise of Provincial Jewry" by C. Roth (see note (vii) above); "Jewish Directory", 1874 by A. Myer (see note (v) above); Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971, Vol.5. p.161.

  • (xi) Jewish Year Book, 1896, p.68.

  • (xii) Cardiff Jewish Community records and papers deposited with Glamorgan Records Office (see note (iv) above) p.1.

  • (xiii) Jewish Year Book, 1906, p.156.

  • (xiv) "Into the Votex" by G. Alderman  (see note (i) above), p.3.

  • (xv) "Into the Votex" by G. Alderman  (see note (i) above), p.4.

  • (xvi) "Into the Votex" by G. Alderman  (see note (i) above), p.4.

  • (xvii) Cardiff Jewish Community records and papers deposited with Glamorgan Records Office (see note (iv) above) pp.1, 26. Rev Jarevitch was born in Russia

  • Cardiff Jewish Community home page

    Jewish Congregations in the former county of Glamorganshire

    Jewish Communities & Congregations in Wales home page


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