Llanelli Jewish Community

Carmarthenshire, South Wales




Page created: 16 January 2012
Latest revision or update: 23 August 2016

Press Reports relating to the Llanelli Jewish Community
1902 - 1986

Compiled by Harold Pollins

Information within square brackets is from the compiler

The spelling of this town's name, for much of its history, was officially Llanelly, as it is in these press reports. It is now Llanelli, having been changed in  the mid-1960s.)

Jewish Chronicle, 22 August 1902, page 21

At a meeting held by the Jews of Llanelly on Sunday last, it was resolved to hold services for the ensuing holidays. These will be the first Jewish services held in the ancient Welsh town. A subscription list was opened to defray expenses, and the sum of £10 10s. was collected. The following gentlemen were elected as officers: President, Mr. W. Lyons; Treasurer, Mr. I. Benjamin; Hon. Secretary, Mr. J. Joseph; and Mr. H. Rubenstein and Mr. Polokovski on the Committee.

Jewish Chronicle, 2 January 1903, page 10

The success which attended the services during the last High Festivals encouraged the promoters to arrange for permanent services, which have since been regularly held at the residence of Mr. Rubenstein. The advantage of holding service in a regular synagogue having now made itself felt, a local Committee has been formed, and subscriptions are being collected in aid of the Building Fund. Up to the present £54 has been raised.
[If held in Murray Street residence of "Mr Rubenstein" then could have been referring to either Morris Rubenstein who in 1901 was at 5 Murray Street, or Harries (sic) Rubenstein, who according to the London Gazette of had premises in 5 Murray Street. Whether the premises were just business ones or suitable for a synagogue is unknown. Nor is it known when he took over the Murray street premises. According to the censuses, Harries(sic) Rubenstein was at 20 Upper Park Street in 1901 and at 32 Stepney Street, Llanelly, in 1911. It is presumed that the two Rubensteins were related but it is not known how. HP]

Jewish Chronicle, 17 July 1908, page 28

The foundation-stone of the new Llanelly Synagogue was laid on Tuesday afternoon by Mr. Hyam Goldberg, of Swansea. Bouquets were presented to Mrs. and Miss Goldberg. The ceremony was conducted by the Revs. I. Solomon, of Llanelly, and H.J. Sandheim, of Swansea. Psalms cxviii. And c. were read. Mr. I. Benjamin, President, then presented a silver trowel to Mr. Goldberg, who laid the foundation-stone. The Rev. H.J. Sandheim delivered an eloquent address, exhorting the congregation to render the synagogue a centre of beneficent activity. The prayer for the King and Royal Family was following by the reading of Psalm cl. The National Anthem was then sung, the second verse of which was rendered by Rev. M. Lubner, of Swansea. A reception followed, at which letters of apology for non-attendance and good wishes were read from the Chief Rabbi, the Mayor of Swansea and a large number of Christian clergymen in the town. Several of the latter included verses in Hebrew in their letters. Mr. Hyam Goldberg, in the course of an address, impressed upon his hearers the importance of keeping their place of worship worthy of the town. He congratulated the Wardens on the result of their efforts, and hoped the congregation would always be guided by capable men. He expressed regret at the fact that there was no centralisation of forces among the congregations of South Wales, and hoped to see some attempt at affiliation. There was also a great need for the provision of a good religious education, which must be within the reach of the poorest in the town. He congratulated the congregation on the good feeling that existed between Jews and non-Jews in the town, and advised them to throw themselves into the public life of the community. The Rev. D. E. Rees, a Christian minister, said he had been interested in the ceremony which had just taken place. He was a Welshman brought up in Cardiganshire, and met very few English people till he was sixteen years of age, but he was well acquainted from early childhood with the Jewish people through the Bible. He concluded with the verse Shema Yisrael [in Hebrew]. Mr. I. Benjamin proposed and Mr. H. Rubenstein seconded, a vote of thanks to Mr., Mrs. and Miss Goldberg. About £60 was received, including £25 from Mr. Goldberg.

Jewish Chronicle, 21 May 1909, page 14

On Tuesday afternoon Dr. Adler proceeded to Llanelly for the consecration of the synagogue there. The synagogue, which is a bright building capable of seating about 200, was opened by Mr. Barnett Goldberg of Swansea. Mr. Goldberg was presented with a gold key suitably inscribed. The service was conducted by the Revs. M. Lubner, of Swansea, and S. Solomon, of Llanelly, and the choir of the Swansea Synagogue … After Mincha, Dr. Adler delivered a sermon, appealing for funds to assist the reduction of the remaining debt of £600, and urging the congregants to make their new synagogue a powerful asset to the community … Donations to the amount of £100 were announced by the Chairman, the Rev. H.J. Sandheim … Among the many handsome presents to the synagogue are two large brass tablets with the Ten Commandments in black letters, the work of Mr. S. Miron, one of the members.

London Gazette, 2 July 1912, page 4812

Dissolution of partnership between Harries and Maurice Rubenstein, Paper Hanging Dealers, Harries in Llanelly and Maurice in Pontypridd and Aberdare. [Harries's addresses in Llanelly given as 5 Murray Street and 32 Stepney Street.]

Jewish Chronicle, 3 December 1915, page 8

From Llanelly comes the news that a new Hebrew congregation has been formed. According the last edition of the “Jewish Year Book” the total number of Jews in this Welsh town is seventy, men, women and children - and these already have one synagogue. If we reckon the number of adult males at half, a very high figure, we shall get something like seventeen members per congregation. And yet we have still to go on asking for some scheme of Communal Re-organisation!

Jewish Chronicle, 10 March 1916, page 3

WANTED Shochet, Reader and Teacher (with knowledge of English); single man preferred; salary 30s. Per week and perquisites. Apply to Secretary, R. Palto, 33, Station-road, Llanelly.

Llenelly Mercury & South Wales Advertiser, 20 May 1919, page 8

‘In the year 1902, when the Jews were but few in number here, the Llanelly Hebrew Congregation was inaugurated, and they for some time followed their devotions in Murray Street. Subsequently, as they increased in number, they were constrained to move to Castle Buildings, where they worshipped for some considerable time. Latterly they have gone over to Swansea to pursue their religious devotions.

Jewish Chronicle, 12 March 1986, page 32

Sifrei Torah were presented by the Llanelly Hebrew Congregation to the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation on permanent loan. Services are no longer held in Llanelly. 

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