Page created: 15 January 2012
Latest revision or update: 21 October 2013
Press Reports relating to the Brynmawr Jewish Community
1889 - 1986
Information within square brackets is from the compiler
Please note that there will be hyperlinks to the longer articles
Jewish Chronicle, 6 September 1889, page 13
There was considerable interest in Brynmawr in a Jewish wedding
there last week, between Isabella Harris and Michael Ash. Rev J.
Phillips and Rev M. Weinstock of Tredegar officiated.
[Isabella Harris lived in Tredegar in household headed by Herman
Chronicle, 13 September 1889, page 13
A Glamorganshire weekly paper, under the heading ‘A Jewish Wedding at Brynmawr’,
gives a verbatim account of the marriage address by Rev J. Phillips of Tredegar.
Chronicle, 4 October 1889, page 14
The congregation was formed a year ago and is having difficulty in finding a
suitable place of worship. The President, Mr Barnett Isaacs has placed one of
his houses at the disposal of members and defrayed the cost of adapting it for
the purpose of a synagogue. The New Year services were conducted by Rev D.
Resovski [sc Roskin] assisted by N. Abrahams of Brynmawr. The synagogue was
crowded by visitors from all parts of Wales. Treasurer I. Isaacs and Mrs Isaacs
looked after welfare of visitors.
Chronicle, 11 October 1889, page 11
During the Kol Nidrei services a large number of Christians stood outside the
temporary synagogue ‘listening in respectful silence’. At the close of Kol
Nidrei, chanted by Rev A.D. Resovski assisted by Louis Black and N. Abrahams, ‘a
sympathetic cheer was raised by the non-Jewish listeners’.
Chronicle, 19 June 1891, page 18
A Yigdal specially arranged for Pentecost by Rev T. Spireck [sc Spivack] was
sung in the Brynmawr synagogue on the evening of the festival.
Jewish Chronicle, 25 March 1892, page 18
Rev I. Sunlight
elected Chazan and Shochet.
Chronicle, 31 March 1893, page 19
Reference to Rev F. Sunlight, late of Brynmawr, as the candidate for the
Coventry synagogue, being re-opened.
Chronicle, 18 May 1894, page 16
On his Pastoral Tour the Chief Rabbi visited Brynmawr and was conducted by the
principal Jewish inhabitants to the Synagogue Chambers where he examined the
children. At the evening service he gave an address to a large number of Jews
from Brynmawr, Blaina, Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Blaenavon.
Chronicle, 1 June 1894, page 5
Chief Rabbi's pastoral tour. 'He visited for first time the small communities
scattered in the townlets and villages perched on the bleak hills of South
Wales. The congregations of Aberdare, Tredegar, Brynmawr, Pontypridd, Penycraig,
and Tony Pandy [sic], consist almost exclusively of Russian immigrants...'
Chronicle, 15 February 1895, page 2
Appeal on behalf of Z. Schulman who was expelled from Lisbon [sic], Russia, and
was appointed Shochet in Brynmawr. He is compelled to give that up because of
acute rheumatism. Has a wife and 8 children and it has been proposed a fund be
created to set him up as a provision dealer. The Chief Rabbi has been able to
get a grant of £30 from the Russo-Jewish Committee.
Chronicle, 13 March 1896, page 22
Report of a marriage which aroused much interest among both Jews and non-Jews.
Bride was May Isaacs, niece of Mr & Mrs Isaacs of Brynmawr (‘much respected
residents’) and Ben Cohen of Southampton. Service conducted by Rev J. Abelson of
Cardiff assisted by the local minister, Rev W. Woolman. The chupah, of chenille,
was specially made and has been presented to the Tredegar synagogue. The banquet
was attended by 150 guests. In the chair was Dr G.H. Browne JP, and the
vice-chairmen were Mr M.J.S. Lyons and Major Willputts of Ebbw Vale. At the ball
which followed there were 400 guests. The food left over was distributed to the
poor on the following day at the Market Hall.
Chronicle, 25 September 1896, page 20
The congregation held services during the holidays at the Town Hall. Revs H.
Burkeman of Jerusalem and S.Woolman officiated. Mr J. G. Goldfoot presented a
handsome silk curtain for the Ark.
30 July 1897,
Obituary of J. Barnett Isaacs, a native of Brynmawr. He migrated to South
Africa and established a successful photographic business in Johannesburg. He
was appointed to represent the journal ‘Black and White’ and he sent reports and
illustrations of the conflict between British troops and natives of Mashonaland.
He was on a visit to Brynmawr and died last Saturday. He was buried at Cefn Coed,
Merthyr Tydvil. [Note: not found in Deaths Index].
Chronicle, 4 November 1898, page 4
Advert. Wanted by the Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation a competent young man
(married) to act as Hazan, Shochet, Mohel, Hebrew Teacher. Particulars from the
President, B. Isaacs, Brynmawr.
Chronicle, 12 May 1899, page 23
Chief Rabbi's Pastoral Tour.
Brynmawr. Chief Rabbi arrived on Wednesday week. He examined the children in
Hebrew and religion. They were satisfactory and demonstrated the excellent work
of Hermann H. Roskin who has only been there for a short time. He attended
evening service in the temporary synagogue and said they should erect a
permanent structure as at the High Festivals there were 120 worshippers. The
amount required is £600. After the service a meeting raised £150 for the
Chronicle, 3 November 1899, page 21
'Indecorum in a Provincial Synagogue'
Mr D.Rotter, 1381 Neath Road, Swansea, writes: On 14 October he spent Sabbath in
Brynmawr and in the morning went to shool. It was not early but there was no
minyan. The nine of them read Shacharit then at 10.45 a 10th man arrived and the
Hazan, Mr Bloch, started Ayn Comeyha and took the Sepher Torah out of the Ark,
when the late arrival made him put it back because he had not said Shacharit. At
this, he and another stranger left, and decided to write to the JC to prevent a
recurrence of this indecorous conduct.
Chronicle, 10 November 1899, page 19
B. Isaacs, president, and I. Brest, treasurer, write to deny the assertion. The
correspondent is aiming to create a split in the congregation as he did at
Swansea and attempted at Pontypridd.
Chronicle, 2 March 1900, page 19
At a crowded meeting on Sunday last at the synagogue, Charles H. Halpern gave an
address on Zionism. B. Isaacs presided. A branch of the English Zionist
Federation was created and 30 members were enrolled. Elected: President, G.
Weiner, Treasurer M. Samson, Hon. Sec C. Brest.
Chronicle, 13 July 1900, page 2
Synagogue & School Building Fund
List of donations. Largest £110.10s from 'a Polish Jew' of London.
From Brynmawr: B. Isaacs, I. Isaacs, I. Brest, I. Goldfoot, D. Chill, B.
Jackson, S. Isaacs, B. Simons, S. Samuels.
Chronicle, 27 July 1900, page 2
A plot of land for the synagogue has been granted by a Christian friend to whom
a nominal rent of £1 p.a. is paid. Building operations have already begun and
hope to be completed in next five months. It will accommodate 80 males and 50
women. Of the total of £700, so far £400 has been raised. Arrangements are being
made to obtain the services of a visiting minister.
Chronicle, 10 May 1901, page 29
Monthly social meeting of the Brynmawr Chovevei Zion Society. Hermann H. Roskin
spoke on 'Practical Zionism'. Discussion including M. Samson, C. Norvick, H.H.
Chronicle 21 June 1901, page 19
‘Opening of the Brynmawr Synagogue'
Chronicle, 28 June 1901, page 23
‘The Consecration of Synagogue in Brynmawr'
Chronicle, 19 July 1901, page 25
The third social meeting of the Brynmawr Chovevei Zion Association was held on
Sunday at the Synagogue Chambers. President: A.D. Roskin. Resolution adopted:
'That this meeting do pledge itself to support Dr. Herzl's movement with all
Chronicle, 25 October 1901, page 34
Councillor L. S. Abrahamson, President of the Newport Hebrew Congregation, has
presented the Brynmawr Synagogue a handsome and valuable breastplate in memory
of his mother Mrs C. Abrahamson of Cardiff.
Chronicle, 3 January 1902, page 34
Brynmawr Zionist Association has membership of 100. Meets fortnightly, Formed in
Chronicle, 4 April 1902, page 27
The first annual Zionist ball was held at the Drill Hall on Monday.
Chronicle, 4 July 1902, page 30
Naturalisation in June. Isaac Brest, 35 Beaufort St, Brynmawr.
Chronicle, 8 August 1902
Naturalisation in July. Isaac Goldfoot, 4 & 5 Edgar Place, Brynmawr.
Chronicle, 23 January 1903, page 31
At the weekly meeting of the Literary and Social Society. A.D. Roskin in the
chair. Miss J. Roskin read a paper on 'Jewish Daughter's Grievances'.
Chronicle, 23 January 1903, page 31
Ref to Rev A. Berenbaum of Brynmawr [?]
Chronicle, 13 February 1903, page 2
Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum. At General Court, election of 17 boys 8 girls
and i out-pensioner. Elected: Asher Cohen of Brynmawr, son of Rebecca Cohen,
Chronicle, 6 March 1903, page 27
Naturalisation in February. David Chill, 30 Worcester Street, Brynmawr.
Chronicle, 18 September 1903, page 34
Monthly meeting of the Brynmawr and Abertillery Zionist Society. Resolution:
'That this meeting of the Brynmawr and Abertillery Zionist Society expresses
unbounded confidence in Dr. Herzl and the officers of the Zionist movement,
pledges itself to further the cause as laid down by the Basle Congress, and
further expresses gratitude to the English government for the offer of British
East Africa for colonisation purposes'.
Chronicle, 6 November 1903, page 31
Annual meeting of the West Monmouthshire and Breconshire Jewish Orphan Aid
Society, held in the Vestry of Brynmawr Synagogue. The annual report of the
Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum mentions that the collection by this society
was gratifying in view of the small number of Jews in the district. In fact they
came fifth in order of branches in the whole of the UK and Ireland.
Chronicle, 18 December 1903, page 30
Brynmawr. Last Sunday Mr G. Weiner (Nantyglo) entertained the children attending
the Hebrew classes and their parents in his residence.
The children were examined by Hermann Harris (Blaina), A. M. Berenbaum
(Brynmawr), and M. Samson (Blaina) who highly commended Rev G. Bloch for his
instruction of the children. Prizes were given to the most successful scholars
by the Brynmawr and Abertillery Zionist Society, the congregation, and several
of its members.
Chronicle, 30 September 1904, page 25
A Ladies' Committee has been formed in connection with the Brynmawr and
Abertillery Zionist Society to canvass the district for subscriptions towards
the National Tribute for the children of Dr Herzl.
Chronicle, 11 November 1904, page 2
'WANTED by the Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation a SHOCHET and CHAZAN who must be a
good Teacher; salary to commence 25/- weekly, with perquisites. Apply not later
than 21st inst., to A. Shane, 35, Bailey-street, Brynmawr. Successful
candidate's expenses only defrayed'. [repeated 18 November 1904, page 2]
Chronicle, 9 December 1904, page 2
'BRYNMAWR HEBREW CONGREGATION
At the request of myself and several of the principal members of the above
Congregation, the Rev. G. Bloch remains at Brynmawr. Barnett Isaacs, President'.
Chronicle, 6 January 1905, page 27
S. Brest of
Brynmawr is student at University College, Cardiff.
Chronicle, 28 April 1905, page3
Brynmawr. Rev G. Bloch preached his inaugural sermon on 2nd day of Passover
Chronicle, 14 September 1906, page 20
Report of meeting of the Central Committee of the English Zionist Federation.
'A motion, in the name of the Brynmawr and Abertillery Zionist Society,
deploring the inactivity of the English Zionist Federation, and urging
reorganisation, was withdrawn'.
Chronicle, 4 October 1907, page 26
Barnett Abrahams, aged 16, has been awarded Brecon County Scholarship for 3
years at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire.
Chronicle, 13 December 1907, page 40
'The ball for the purpose of liquidating the debt on the Brynmawr Synagogue was
held last week at the Drill Hall, and was a social and financial success'.
Chronicle, 28 February 1908, page 28
'Following a public meeting held at Brynmawr at the instance of the President,
the Rev. Dr. Gaster, last summer, resolutions were passed to reorganise the
local Zionist societies and to support the movement with vigour. The beginning
was made by the Brynmawr and Abertillery Zionist Society'.
Chronicle, 3 July 1908, page 35
A meeting of the Brecon and Monmouthshire Ahm Israel Branch of the Ito was held
Chronicle, 14 May 1909, page 31
Annual meeting of the Brecon & Monmouthshire Ito Society was held at the
Brynmawr Synagogue schoolroom last Sunday, Ben Roskin in the chair. A.D. Roskin
gave an address on 'Itoism'.. Many new members were enrolled. Elected: Hon
President, Tom Richards MP; President, Ben Roskin; Treasurer, I Brest; Hon Secs,
J. Isaacs and N. Roskin. Mr H.H.Roskin BSc of Middlesbrough was elected delegate
to the forthcoming conference in Leeds.
Chronicle, 4 March 1910, page 14
Board of Deputies
'The PRESIDENT announced his intention to visit Brynmawr to settle some communal
differences that have arisen there'.
Chronicle, 10 May 1910, page 29
At the monthly social meeting of the Brynmawr Chovevei Zion Society, Herman H.
Roskin spoke on 'Practical Zionism'.
Chronicle, 5 August 1910, page 15
Letter from G. Weiner, Nantyglo, Mon.
Letter complains that the President of the Board of Deputies, D. L. Alexander,
is unsuitable to settle disputes in provincial communities. Should be dealt with
by the Beth Din. His experience is not encouraging, e.g. he dealt with dispute
in Great Yarmouth and the congregation has now been dissolved. There are other
examples, and 'The latest is that of the Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation'. One cure
in the various cases has been to remove the paid official and it is the hazan
who is made the scapegoat.
'In our own case, a breach of the peace in a public thoroughfare occurred on the
very morning of Mr. Alexander's award becoming known, in which a number of our
co-religionists were implicated; a batch of police-court summonses is already
issued, the direct outcome of the award'.
Chronicle, 12 August 1910, page 12
Barney Abrahams aged 19 obtained 1st class Honours in French at University
College, Cardiff. Held open scholarship and exhibition for total of over £200,
Chronicle, 12 August 1910, page 13
Letter from Isaac Isaacs, Brynmawr, in reply to Weiner.
Isaacs has supported the community for 25 years during which he has been
offered, and refused, office on several occasions. Mr Weiner complains that
Alexander was not the right authority to adjudicate. but Weiner was one of the
party which appealed to the Board of Deputies for assistance. The other party
had already submitted their case to the Chief Rabbi who advised them to accept
the assistance of Alexander. This was not a religious dispute but a secular one
and there was no one more suitable than Alexander to give a just award after a
hearing lasting five and a half hours in which the paid official was represented
by a solicitor.
Six years ago the same dispute was settled by the Chief Rabbi. The element that
complained then is the same that now complains of the award 'and even held an
opposition Minyan for eighteen months afterwards'.
The disturbance of the peace in Brynmawr was not connected with the award. Those
implicated in it are insignificant members of the community.
Chronicle, 12 August 1910, page 13
Letter from NEMO
Re the decision of the President of the Board of Deputies that the services of
the minister be dispensed with. Should not the newly-formed Committee of
Ministers take the matter in hand 'and endeavour to mete out justice to a
conscientious and painstaking official?'... the congregation has not had such an
efficient official as teacher and shochet since its formation. He has been in
service for twelve years, and no word of complaint has been uttered as regards
the performance of his duties'.
Chronicle, 19 August 1910, page 6
'To the Jews of Brynmawr.
The Jewish residents in Wales have every reason for strong complaint against the
recent disgraceful proceedings on the part of some members of the Brynmawr
Congregation. There have been disputes between the rival factions in the
Congregation. These disputes have been referred to the arbitration of the
President of the Board of Deputies, but in spite of the peaceful act, the
disputants have come to blows, and a special police court has had to be held to
deal with a number of summonses for assault and battery ...'
Chronicle, 19 August 1910, page 20
Letter from G. Weiner, replying to Isaac Isaacs's letter.
The points submitted to Alexander for his arbitration were:
1. Refusal of the ex-Treasurer to hand over money to his successor
2. Mr Isaacs's friends breaking the locks of the synagogue, causing a brawl
3. The refusal of Mr Isaacs and friends to contribute to the funds of the
synagogue for which they were threatened with exclusion
It 'baffles the comprehension of one who does not possess the legal mind' that
Alexander adjudicated on the relations between minister and congregation.
A few months before the award Rev A. A. Green had tried to settle matters but
his award was not accepted by Mr Isaacs and his associates.
All the reports of police-court proceedings emphasised the direct connection
between the award and the breach of peace, For example, the local weekly The
Merthyr Express, last Saturday. prefaced their item: 'Brynmawr Jews fall out.
Words lead to blows. Sequel to arbitration proceedings'.
Chronicle, 19 August 1910, page 20
Letter from MATWAS, Brynmawr
'The "insignificant members" (as Mr. Isaacs calls them) who were implicated have
for several months formed the "factious and fighting element" of the party
opposed to the official and even joined in an opposition minyan till the award
was known, after which they appeared in shool [in italics] in full force.
'Many a time I have been present when the President - the oldest member of the
congregation and a respected citizen of Brynmawr - has been openly insulted and
threatened while in the performance of his duties. Even now it is impossible to
walk from one end of the road to the other without being assailed with insults
and mocking abuse from an adherent of the "opposition party".
'Is it not still more scandalous that an official who has served the
congregation faithfully for so many years, who has taught our children so ably
and so efficiently that they have been a credit to the whole of Wales, should be
treated as a mere puppet to be discarded at leisure. No-one can deny his
efficiency and competency as a Shochet and teacher, especially his latter
capacity, yet the reward for all his services is that he and his family are to
be sacrificed as martyrs to the jealousy of a discontented section of the
Chronicle, 26 August 1910, page 7
Long satirical column on 'Brynmawring'.
' "To Brynmawr" ... will mean a state of affairs in a Jewish place of worship
where the members indulge in free fights during the service, where the most
bitter hatred is nursed by member against member, where wrangles are carried out
in the public courts of justice, where the House of God is turned into a
cockpit'. He referred to other disputes in other communities.
Chronicle, 23 September 1910, page 1
Simon Robinson, fifth son of Mr and Mrs J. Robinson, 4 Lion Street, Blaenavon,
will read a portion of the Law at the synagogue, Brynmawr, on Saturday, 24
1911, page 13
Alexander's award of 20 July did not restore peace. Proceedings were instituted
in the Chancery Division of the High Court, and further acts resulted in
proceedings in the local Police Court. Subsequently the whole matter was
referred to the Chief Rabbi who issued his award on the 6th ult, at Merivale
Hall, Bournemouth, where he was staying. He directed certain named persons to
consent to the withdrawal of a Police Court summons, finds the plaintiffs were
justified in taking proceedings in the Chancery Division to enforce Alexander's
award, and directs that all proceedings in the action shall cease. Further that
no proceedings be commenced or prosecuted by any of the persons named in the
schedule against any other of the same persons in respect of any matter relating
to the affairs of the congregation or synagogue or in respect of any
disturbances which took place in the synagogue up to the date of the award,
except for the purpose of enforcing the award.
Chronicle, 10 March 1911, page 2
"BRYNMAWR HEBREW CONGREGATION requires a teacher-reader and shochet under the
jurisdiction of Dr. Adler; must be able to translate. - Full particulars from L.
Levy, Hon. Sec., 10, Market-square, Brynmawr".
Chronicle, 10 March 1911, page 14
A ball under the patronage of D. L. Alexander KC was held in the Drill Hall on
Wednesday week [1st]. Nearly 200 people residing in the district attended.
Stewards: C. Brest, Nat. Marks, M. Birenstein, N. Robinson, E. Roskin, S.
Goldfoot, and J.Peck. Executive were: Chairman Louis Levy, Treasurer J. Goldfoot,
Hon Sec C. Brest.
Chronicle, 25 August 1911, page 8
Re the disturbances in Tredegar and elsewhere.
In Brynmawr there are 135 Jews in a population of 6.334, a percentage of 2.06.
This is the 3rd largest proportion of any town in the UK - Leeds and Manchester
are higher. [Population in Tredegar 150]
Chronicle, 25 August 1911, page 10
The rioting spread to Brynmawr on Tuesday [22nd]. Apparently one window of
Cohen's jewellery shop was broken. Plenty of police and soldiers about.
Chronicle, 8 September 1911, page 13
Letter from Hermann H. Roskin, Beaufort, Mon.
'In Beaufort, Brynmawr, and Abertillery it was the citizens themselves who
prevented the looters from doing any damage'.
Chronicle, 20 October 1911, page 15
During the recent disturbances the Jewish residents of Brynmawr suffered very
little. They attribute this largely to the actions of Police-Sergeant Price who
organised a strong body of special constables. Jewish tradesmen have presented
him with a purse of gold. The Breconshire Watch Committee has given him
permission to accept the gift.
Chronicle, 16 February 1912, page 31
A Jewish ball under the patronage of D. L. Alexander KC was held at the Drill
Hall on 7th inst. Ball Committee; Chairman Mr Louis Z. Levy; Treasurer Mrs I.
Goldfoot; Hon Sec A. Brest. Stewards were J. Peck, C. Brest, M. Birenstein, N.
Robinson, S. Goldfoot, and J. Morris. MCs were Nat Rubenstein, E. Roskin, and N.
Chronicle, 15 January 1915, page 27
At a meeting of the Leicester Congregation the Rev A. Solomon of Brynmawr was
elected 2nd Reader, Assistant Teacher, and Shochet.
Chronicle, 21 May 1915, page 19
At meeting of Brynmawr Congregation Rev Mr Goldwater [presumably H. R.
Goldwater] of York was elected Teacher, Shochet, and Reader.
Chronicle, 4 February 1916, page 4
'Fund for the Relief of the Jewish Victims of the War in Russia'
Donations received 23 January to 30 January
Brynmawr Jewish Community
Mrs N. Abrahams; Mrs G. Ballin; Rev G. Bloch; Messrs M. Berenbaum; L. Berenbaum;
I. Brest; A. Brest; - Cammerman; A. Cohen; H. Cohen; -Erlich; B. Isaacs; S.
Isaacs; Mrs A. Jackson; Messrs -. Leckerman; S. Leckerman; -. Marks.; J. Morris;
J. Myers; -. Podger; E. Robinson;
S. Rosen; M. Samson.
Chronicle, 10 March 1916, page 22
Ben Cohen re-elected President and Mr Myers (Nantyglo) elected Treasurer.
21 July 1916,
Jack M. Isaacs, son of Mr and Mrs S. Isaacs of Brynmawr, has passed Final Bar
Examination of the Manitoba Law Society, with Honours.
Chronicle, 6 October 1916, page 23
A handsome set of bells has been presented to the Brynmawr Synagogue by Mrs
Isaac Goldfoot in memory of her late mother, Mrs Sarah Letowitch. A handsome
silver pointer has been presented by Mrs Sarah Brest. Both are members of the
Chronicle, 16 November 1917, page 18
On Wednesday week Rev H. R. Goldwater of Brynmawr and Rev F. Fredman of
Newbridge lectured on 'The Aims and Merits of a Society' to the Brynmawr and
District Jewish Society. Mr J. Morris presided. Mr A.D. Roskin of Ebbw Vale
proposed and Mr M. Samson of Blaina seconded votes of thanks to the speakers.
Chronicle, 10 January 1919, page 21
The local community has suffered the loss by the deaths of one of its oldest
members and also Arthur Goldfoot. He was Treasurer of the Young Jews' Society.
Also at meeting of congregation said goodbye to Ben Cohen, leaving for
Southampton. Has been President and Treasurer for 4 years.
Votes of condolence to family of late Barnett Isaacs, Senior Trustee, President,
and one of founders of congregation, and to Mr & Mrs Goldfoot on loss of son.
Chronicle, 1 August 1919, page 23
Ref to meeting of Zionist Society. Moses Samson presided. £100 raised for the
Chronicle, 7 November 1919, page 32
Brynmawr Congregation has purchased a plot of ground for burial purposes for
Brynmawr and neighbouring districts.
Chronicle, 14 November 1919, page 32
Conference of Brynmawr, Tredegar, Ebbw Vale, and Newbridge and District
Congregations was held at the Synagogue Schoolrooms, Ebbw Vale in connection
with the new Burial Ground of the Brynmawr Congregation. Decided on the
proposition of A. I [sic] Roskin seconded by H. Broder (Tredegar) and supported
by G. Abrahams (Ebbw Vale) and J. Morris and I. Brest (Brynmawr) to form a Joint
Burial Board Committee and a Building Committee of the above congregations to
formulate rules and plans for the cemetery. Thanks to Mr Abel Myers of
Abersychan for his gift of the plot, valued at £250.
Chronicle, 5 December 1919, page 34
The Jewish community of Brynmawr and surrounding country has long felt the need
for a Burial Ground. This came to knowledge of Mr Abel Myers who volunteered to
give a sufficient sum to secure the ground, and the Brynmawr Congregation will
erect the buildings and appurtenances. This obviates the need for a general
appeal for funds and affords burials at low cost. Mr Myers offered this in
memory of his parents and he is to be a Trustee.
Chronicle, 9 January 1920, page 36
On Sunday a memorial tablet was presented by the sons and daughters of the late
Mr & Mrs Nathan Myers of Abersychan to Brynmawr synagogue, consecrated by the
minister Rev H. R. Goldwater. Also a tablet of the Ten Commandments in white
marble and gilt lettering, presented by Mr & Mrs I. Goldfoot in memory of their
Chronicle, 18 June 1920, page 20
The first interment, in the new Burial Ground of the Brynmawr congregation took
place last week, of Mr S. Goodaye, King Street. He was father-in-law of Rev H.
R. Goldwater, minister of the congregation. Funeral arrangements were by J.
Morris, president, and G. J. Ballin, hon secretary.
Chronicle, 13 August 1920, page 20
At meeting of the Joint Burial Board, presided over by A.D. Roskin (Ebbw Vale),
it was decided that the new Jewish burial ground at Brynmawr will be consecrated
on Thursday 19 August. Mr A. Myers, 'the generous donor of the land, will
dedicate the building and the grounds'. Elected: Hon President, A. Myers (Abersychan);
Chairman, J. Morris (Brynmawr); Vice-Chairmen, B. Roskin (Llanhilleth), and J.
Cohen (Tredegar); Treasurer G. Abrahams (Ebbw Vale); Hon Sec G. J. Ballin
Chronicle, 13 October 1922, page 28
Mr J. Cohen of Manchester House, Tredegar, received £10 for his services on the
Holy Days at Brynmawr and has distributed the money to a number of yeshivot.
[Also 5 October 1923, page 28]
Chronicle, 27 October 1922, page 37
The Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation has obtained the services of Max Fine of
Abergavenny to assist Rev H. R. Goldwater as Baal Shacharit.
Chronicle, 28 September 1923, page 25
Rev G. Bloch of Ebbw Vale elected shochet and teacher to the Brynmawr
Chronicle, 9 November 1923, page 33
At meeting of congregation E. Marks was elected Treasurer
Chronicle, 14 March 1924, page 20
J. Morris, President of Brynmawr congregation, has been elected a member of the
Executive of the Brecon & Radnor Liberal Association.
Chronicle, 13 June 1924, page 26
Meeting of congregation. Presentation of illuminated address and gold watch to
Rev G. Bloch, the minister. Has done faithful service for 25 years. Regret at
his departure for America. Presentation by Isaac Brest and H. Peck. Other
speakers: J. Cohen, G. Abraham, I. Sidle, J. Lattle, J. Samson, S. Solomon, B.
Erlich, Reuben Brest and B. Krout.
Chronicle, 16 January 1925 page 20
There are 4 Jewish teachers in Breconshire. In report about Jewish teachers
having time off for Jewish holydays.
Chronicle, 31 July 1925, page 27
Messrs Brest Bros have presented 2 prayer tablets to the Brynmawr Synagogue in
memory of their mother and grandmother. Mr Isaac Brest has redecorated the
synagogue and Ark in memory of his mother. [She was Sarah Rebecca Brest who died
aged 84 on 23 January 1925: JC 10 January 1925, page 2.]
Chronicle, 16 October 1925, page 23
Dr H.D. Isaacs formerly of Brynmawr has been appointed Demonstrator at the
Medical School of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.
Chronicle, 15 October 1926, page 30
Rev I. Chaitowitz of Brynmawr has accepted call to become minister of Pontypridd
synagogue. [9 September 1927, page 12, ref to Rev Ivan Chaitowitz of
Chronicle, 15 July 1927, page 11
Obituary of Isaac Gordon of New Tregedar. A Trustee and representative on the
Brynmawr and District Burial Board.
Chronicle, 19 August 1927, page 8
Obituary of A.D. Roskin aged 76. 'He founded the Brynmawr, Tredegar and Ebbw
Vale Synagogues and established the co-ordination of Jewish activities in the
Western Valleys'. Related to Mendele Mocher Sepharim.
Chronicle, 23 March 1928, page 12
Obituary of Marks Fine of Abergavenny. 'The sudden death of Mr. Marks Fine, of
Abergavenny, has bereft the Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation of one of its oldest
and most esteemed members. For a period of over twenty years he acted as
honorary Baal Korah [in Hebrew] and Chazan Shemi [in Hebrew] to the
Chronicle, 7 March 1930, page 16
Annual meeting of the Chebra [sic] Kadisha held on Sunday at the Synagogue
Schoolroom. Presided by J. Morris. The Treasurer J. M. Peck. presented accounts
which showed a considerable surplus. Elected President, J. Morris;
Vice-President J. Cohen; Treasurer J. M. Peck; Solicitor David Morris; Secretary
G. J. Ballin.
Chronicle, 1 August 1930, page 2
At the examination for persons intending to become Teachers of Hebrew and
Religion. Pass List July 1930. Middle Grade : A. Solomon, Brynmawr Hebrew
Chronicle, 19 December 1930, page 18
Central Committee for Jewish Education.
Grants for Provincial Schools
Agreed to renew grant for (inter alia) Brynmawr
Chronicle, 10 April 1931, page 2
Death of Isaac Goldfoot
Chronicle, 1 May 1931, page 35
At meeting of the Hebrew Congregation David Morris, Solicitor, elected Registrar
in place of late Isaac Goldfoot.
Chronicle, 9 October 1931, page 23
Mr J. Cammerman and Mr L. Fine entertained the congregation on their being
Chathan Torah and Chatan Bereshith. Sympathies expressed to the president on the
death of Mrs Morris by Rev I. Starr, S. Solomon, B. Erlich, Brest, and others.
Chronicle, 17 March 1933, page 36
Mrs R. Morris, of Brynmawr, formerly of Swansea, was presented at Swansea with a
cheque in recognition of her work as secretary of the Swansea Chevra Kadisha.
Chronicle, 28 July 1933, page 32
At Tredegar Messrs H. Broder and J. Cohen appointed at Treasurers to the
Brynmawr and District Jewish Burial Board and G. Rosenbaum, J. Cohen, and A.
Baddiel were elected to serve on the Committee.
27 April 1934,
Death on 20 April of Gershon Joel Ballin of Bailey Street, Brynmawr.
Chronicle, 27 April 1934, page 14
Obituary of G.J. Ballin, by Jacob Morris, President of the Hebrew Congregation.
He died at Blaina and District Hospital. He was active in communal affairs. He
was for a number of years the Secretary of the congregation, Jewish Burial
Ground, the Chevra Kadisha and the Zionist Society.
Chronicle, 22 June 1934, page 42
At general meeting of the Brynmawr and District Jewish Burial Ground David
Morris of Newport and Cardiff elected Secretary in place of the late G. J.
Chronicle, 7 September 1934, page 54
Meeting of the Hebrew Congregation. Elected: President J. Morris; Treasurer and
Secretary A. Brest; Representative on the Board of Deputies C. Peck of London.
Chronicle, 12 April 1935, page 34
Profile of Rev M. Bloch, inducted as Minister and Reader at Borough Synagogue.
He was born in Brynmawr in 1904 and educated at University College, Cardiff.
Chronicle, 24 July 1936, page 12
Reference to Rev Isaac Chaitowitz who has been Minister at Pontypridd for 10
years. Before that he was at Brynmawr.
Chronicle, 25 July 1941, page 21
Obituary of Rev Getzel Bloch
Great loss to Orthodoxy. Came to UK almost half a century ago. Served as Chazan
and Shochet of Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr and later served as a senior official of
the London Board of Shechita. His great contribution was as a teacher and he
taught several generations of young men who became officials and responsible
laymen in the community. A member of a well-known Anglo-Jewish ministerial
family including: late Rabbi S, Bloch (Birmingham, Sunderland, London); late
Revs S. Bloch (Glasgow) and G. G. Bloch (Ilford); Rev M. Bloch (Portsmouth and
The Borough); Rev C.M. Bloch (Portsmouth); and Rabbi Dr E. Kirzner.
Chronicle, 27 March 1942, page 14
Obituary of Gustave Abrahams, Ebbw Vale. For many years Secretary & Treasurer of
the old Ebbw Vale Congregation and its Registrar for Marriages. A founder and
Treasurer of the Brynmawr Burial Board. [Submitted by David Moris, Secretary of
the Burial Board].
Chronicle, 11 June 1943, page 10
At meeting of congregation financial statement submitted by Abe Brest. S.
Solomon elected President, Abe Brest Secretary and Treasurer, and John Lewis
(London) representative on Board of Deputies.
Chronicle, 14 December 1945, page 13
Meeting of congregation. Elected: President, S. Solomon; Treasurer J.M. Peck;
Secretary A. Brest.
Brynmawr and District Burial and Chevra Kadisha Board: elected: President, J.
Morris; Vice-President, S. Cammerman; Treasurer. J.M. Peck; Hon Sec, Sim
Robinson; Hon Solicitor, David Morris.
Chronicle, 24 May 1946, page 13
Meeting of Brynmawr and Tredegar Congregation. The Sec A. Brest reported that
Rabbi Schwartz would shortly be leaving for the USA. Dr Cecil Sandler of
Hounslow elected representative at Board of Deputies.
Chronicle, 31 May 1946, page 2
"BRYNMAWR AND DISTRICT HEBREW CONGREGATION
APPLICATIONS are invited for the position of Shochet and Teacher; salary £7 10s.
weekly, plus travelling expenses. Apply A. Brest, Penybryn, Heathcote,
Chronicle, 27 June 1947, page 15
Meeting of Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation held at Synagogue Schoolroom. In chair
Sim Robinson. Elected: President S. Soloman [sic]; Treasurer, J. H. Lyons; Hon
Sec Abe Brest. Tribute paid to J. Peck, retiring Treasurer.
Chronicle, 27 August 1948, page 19
Obituary of Switzer Solomon who was President of the congregation for many
Chronicle, 13 February 1953, page 17
Elected at Brynmawr:
President, M. Cohen; Vice-President J. H. Lyons; Treasurer J. Cammerman; Hon Sec
A. Brest (Penybryn, Heathcote, Brynmawr).
Chronicle, 17 December 1954, page 20
At recent meeting of the Brynmawr and District Jewish Burial Board, the
following were elected: President, S. Cammerman; Vice-President, A. Brest; Hon
Sec & Treasurer, J. H. Lyons; Election was caused by resignation of the
President John Morris who had served Board since inception.
Chronicle, 25 February 1955, page 19
Letter correcting article 'Some Notable Tredegarites' in issue of 4 February.
The Article did not mention Capt H. H. Roskin or his father A. D. Roskin, and
Note to the letter from the Cardiff Correspondent of the JC: He interviewed Capt
Roskin who said he was born in Tredgar and his father, the late Aaron David
Roskin, built the synagogue there about 1884 and was chazan-shochet for a few
months before going into business in Tredegar, Beaufort, and Ebbw Vale until he
retired to Cardiff. The last time H.H. Roskin saw the Tredegar synagogue was in
1953 when it was in process of being demolished.
Chronicle, 3 February 1956, page 13
Obituary of Rev B. M. Starr. Born Lithuania who came to the UK in 1926.After
appoitments in Brynmawr and Swansea, then became minister and shochet at
Stoke-on-Trent in 1948.
Chronicle, 3 October 1958, page 6
'Tramp to Synagogue
The tiny Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation, Brecon, Wales, had an unusual visitor to
one of its Holyday Services - a Jewish tramp. He informed the Secretary, Mr. A.
Brest, that he was an out-of-work building labourer on his way from Cardiff to
Manchester. After the service congregants provided him with a good meal and
later gave him some cash to help him on his way'.
Chronicle, 25 March 1960, page 34
Death of Capt H. Roskin in his 78th year. Born Tredegar. Went to Cardiff
University BSc, then Oxford MA. Founded Cardiff AJEX 1933. Called to bar 1922.
In WWI served in Yorkshire Regiment on NW Frontier. Lived in Cardiff.
Chronicle, 20 October 1961, page 21
Article by Chaim Bermant on Cardiff.
'Many young people leave Cardiff, but others come in from the valleys. Aberavon
and Aberdare, Brynmawr and Merthyr, Pontypridd and Porthcawl, Port Talbot and
Tonypandy, all send their tribute to the capital, because there is no Jewish
life in the valleys. But many who were Jews in the valleys have come to Cardiff
only to be lost'.
Chronicle, 15 February 1963, page 2
Death notice. Jacob Morris, on 9 February. Former President of Brynmawr Hebrew
Congregation. Sons David and Leo and daughters-in-law Joyce and Hannah.
Grandchildren Anthony and Phillip, Diane and Norman (Stoller), great-grandchild
Linzl. Shiva 16 Ridgeway, Newport.
Chronicle, 14 January 1966, page 17
Presentation in Newport to Abe Brest, the hon. secretary of the 'former Brynmawr
Hebrew congregation and Chevra Kadisha which has now amalgamated with the
Newport congregation'. Presented with silver menorah.
Chronicle, 26 August 1966, page 14
'The Brynmawr Hebrew Congregation was established in 1889 [sic], but now the
synagogue in Bailey Street has been sold, for the community has dwindled to
fewer than a dozen people who now belong to the Newport Hebrew Congregation'.
Chronicle, 19 April 1968, page 47
Obituary of Abraham Brest, by Mr J. H. Lyons, hon. secretary and treasurer of
the Brynmawr and District Jewish Burial Board.
He was born in Brynmawr 70 years ago and began his communal activity by
organising a collection to pay off the £65 overdraft incurred in the building of
Brynmawr synagogue. While still at school he wrote the synagogue minutes and
later occupied all the honorary offices. He was active in the Chevra Kadisha and
until his death was its president.
Chronicle, 28 April 1972, page 10
Vandals have desecrated the small Jewish cemetery at Brynmawr. Graves were
overturned and smashed and the door to the prayer-hall was damaged by airgun
Chronicle, 28 November 1975
Greeners Came to the Valley"
Chronicle, 22 June 1979, page 10
Joel Harrid [sic] Lyons of Brynmawr, a Mason. A past first Principal of the
Prince of Wales Chapter, No. 1098, Tredegar, was invested as principal third
Grand Principal for the province of Monmouthshire, the first Jew to receive the
Chronicle, 10 July 1981, page 17
Obituary of Rev Chaim Goldman, Born Bialystock 1895, came to London in 1904. To
South Wales 1925, minister and shochet to Tredegar and surrounding communities
including Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr. In 1931 to Liverpool.
Chronicle, 1 January 1982, page 2
Michael Wallach: 'I had come to Brynmawr, deep in the mining hills of South
Wales, and found the honorary secretary surrounded by the debris of a furniture
store, on the point of leaving for good with his aged mother'.
Chronicle, 8 August 1986, page 15
Profile of Lewis Shane of Leeds, President of the Jewish Historical Society of
England, aged 75. His father Adolf had a draper's shop in Brynmawr.
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