Latest revision or update: 23 October 2016
Town of Llanelli
Llanelli is a town in South Wales with a population of about 50,000, situated on the on the northern coast of the Burry Inlet, near the entrance to the Bristol Channel, about 13 miles east of Swansea.
Until 1974, Llanelli formed the municipal borough of Llanelli in the county of Carmarthenshire. From 1974 until 1996, it was part of the district of Llanelli in the newly-formed county of Dyfed. In 1996, Llanelli was merged with neighbouring authorities to form the reconstituted county of Carmarthenshire, a unitary authority (within the ceremonial, or preserved, county of Dyfed).
The spelling of this town's name, for much of its history, was officially Llanelly. It is now Llanelli, having been changed in the mid-1960s.
Llanelli Jewish Community
The Llanelli Jewish community is the most westernly Jewish community in South Wales and its origins appear to date back to the 1880s when Jews first began to settle in the town (see Into the Vortex by G. Alderman), although it was not until 1902 that services were held, for the high holy day. The synagogue (as detailed below) was built in 1909 and, for a time, there was a rival congregation, formed in 1915.
The Jews of Llanelli were generally considered to among the most religious in the provinces and high proportion of its sons became rabbis and ministers of other congregations throughout Britain. For this reason, Llanelli was referred to as the "Gateshead of Wales".
Llanelli was the town in which Michael Howard (now Baron Howard of Lympne), leader of Conservative Party from November 2003 to December 2005, grew up and went to school, his family having moved there from his birth town of Gorseinon (now part of Swansea). Born Michael Hecht on 7 July 1941, the son of Rumanian Jewish immigrants, Michael Howard was the first Jew to lead one of the principal British political parties. (Benjamin Disraeli, leader of the Conservative (Tory) Party in the nineteenth century, had been baptized at birth, and when Herbert (later Lord) Samuel was leader of the Liberal Party from 1931 to 1935, it had already ceased to be one of the two major parties.)
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