Voices and images of the South Wales Jewish community.

Voices and images of the South Wales Jewish community.

All Day | 01/07/2019 - 05/07/2019

“First Jewish community in Wales was established in Swansea in 1768, and the first purpose-built synagogue was built there in 1818.  Jewish communities were established in the main cities, and in many smaller valley towns that were flourishing as a result of the industrial revolution.  The Jewish population in Wales peaked in the 1920s and 30s, and then began a slow but steady decline.


According to The Jewish Yearbook, in 1919 there were 400 Jews in Merthyr; in 1939, there were 175, in 1959, there were 40; in 1999, George Black “The Last Jew in Merthyr”, died aged 82.


The decline of the Jewish community in Merthyr was, for the most part, echoed throughout the whole of south Wales.


The JHASW exhibition aims to capture the spirit of these communities through excerpts from interviews with those who were there; through the stories of their lives, and their parents’ and grandparents’ lives.  Who were they? How did they live? Why did they leave?


The exhibition shows what it meant to be part of a Jewish community in south Wales, and how the members of these communities interacted with their friends and neighbours.”


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