JCR-UK

the former

Bangor Hebrew Congregation

& Jewish Community

Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales

 

 

 


JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

City of Bangor

Bangor is a small cathedral city in north Wales, with a population of about 20,000. It lies at the northern entrance to the Menai Strait from the Irish Sea, opposite the isle of Anglesey, about 70 miles due west of Liverpool.

Until 1974, it formed the municipal borough of Bangor in the county of Caernarvonshire. From 1974 until 1996, it was part of the district of Arfon in the then newly-formed county of Gwynedd. In 1996, the county of Gwynedd was reduced in size and became a unitary authority (and a ceremonial, or preserved, county).

Jewish History Map of Bangor
Extract from "A Jewish History of Bangor"
to view full text of History and copyright notice, see below.

The Bangor Jewish Community

There are reports of Jewish residents in Bangor from at least 1820.(i) Other Jews began to settle in the city in subsequent decades(ii), but it was not until the 1890s that a synagogue was established in Bangor, possibly the first Jewish congregation in North Wales since the Medieval times(iii). Among the early Jews to settle in Bangor was Morris Wartski, who came from Turek, Poland in 1882 and established his first jewellery shop in the High Street in 1895, which, through the efforts of his sons and their descendants, became the world famous Wartski jewellers and antique specialists of today (for additional information, see the History below). The Bangor Jewish community (never greater than a few dozen) began to decline in the 1950s, the synagogue closing in the 1960s and the congregation being disbanded in the 1980s.

Congregation Data

Name:

Bangor Hebrew Congregation

Address:

Arvonia Buildings, High Street, Bangor, consecrated on Sunday, 8 July 1894(v), consisting of two rooms in an apartment block, in use until closed in 1963.(vi)

The congregation previously met at the home of Morris Wartski, 21 High Street, Bangor.(vii)

Following the closure of the synagogues, services continued to be held, in particularly on Friday evenings, at the Tabernacle Church, Garth Road.(viii)

Date Founded:

The congregation was founded by Morris Wartski and Lewis H. Aronson.(ix) It began holding services in the home of Mr. Wartski in about 1893, the synagogue being opened in July 1894.(x)

Current Status:

Formal services appeared initially to have ceased by about 1952,(xiv) although the congregation retained the synagogue, which continued to be used 'for an occasional kaddish’.(xv) However, after the congregation relinquished the synagogue in 1965, it held regular Friday evening services possibly until the 1980s,(xvi) after which the congregation became defunct. The synagogue at Llandudno (the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation) now serves as the centre for any Jewish residents of Bangor and other towns in North Wales.

Ritual:

Orthodox - Ashkenazi

Ministers:
(To view a short profile of a minister whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. Jacob Rosenzweig (the congregation's first minister) - from 1894 until 1905(xx)

Rev. Bernard (Barnett) Paletz - from 1905 until about 1907(xxi)

Rev. Abraham Levinson - from 1907 until 1911(xxii)

Rev. David Isaac Devons - from 1911 until 1918(xxiii)

Mr. G. Greyewsky - from about 1918 until about 1920(xxiv)

Mr. Ticktin - from about 1920 until about 1921(xxv)

Rev. Max Franks - from about 1921 until about 1922(xxviii)

Rev. B. Morris - from about 1926 until about 1928(xxix)

Rev. Hirsch Grunis - from about 1931 until about 1933(xxx)

Rev. L. Korn - from about 1933 until at latest 1934(xxxi)

Rev. I. Richards - from about 1934 until about 1938(xxxii)

Rev. David Wolfson - from about 1938 until about 1942(xxxiii)

Lay Officers:

Generally, the data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, first published in 1896/97,(xxxiv) except for earlier information, which has been extracted from Jewish Chronicle reports. Generally, where an officer's first name is given, this has been obtained from sources other than Jewish Year Books.

Presidents

1894-1899 - Lewis H. Aronson

1899-1909 - Morris Wartski

1909-1914 - Isadore Wartski

1914-1915 - H. Levy

1915-1917 - H. Reuben

1917-1926 - Isadore Wartski

1926-1927 - H. Meyers

1927-1931 - J.R. Reuben

1931-1933 - H. Reuben

1933-1934 - A.M. Levy

1932-1938 - Isadore Wartski

1938-1946 - Israel Pollecoff

1946-at least 1955 - Isadore Wartski

Treasurers

1894-1909 - Morris Wartski

1909-1913 - Lewis H. Aronson

1916-1918 - Z. Levitas

1920-1926 - Philip Pollecoff

1926-1927 - H. Reuben

1927-1931 - Nathan Pollecoff

1931-1933 - H. Meyers

1933-1934 - J.R. Reuben

1934-1936 - I. Reuben

1947-at least 1956 - Israel Pollecoff

Hon. Secretaries

1894-189? - S.A. Cohen

1896-1909 - Isadore Wartski

1909-1910 - M. Barnett

1910-1912 - R. Levy

1912-1914 - Alec. Barnett

1916-1917 - Z. Levitas

1917-1918 - Rev. David. I. Devons

1918-1926 - Nathan Pollecoff

1926-1927 - A.M. Levy

1927-1931 - Nathan Pollecoff

1931-1932 - H. Meyers

1932-1933 - A.M. Levy

1947-1980s - Israel Pollecoff

Membership Data:

Jewish Year Books (number of seat-holders)

1896

1897

1899

1905

1910

1919

12

18

20

25

20

23

National Reports & Surveys(xxxv)

1977 - 7 male (or household) members and 7 female members

1983 - 3 male (or household) members and 6 female members

Cemetery Information:

There were no Jewish cemeteries in north Wales, the closest being in Liverpool and Manchester. However, in 2010, a Jewish cemetery (along Liberal lines) was established in Llanrhos, Llandudno.

Notes & Sources - These now appear towards the foot of this page, instead of the foot this box. However, the note can also still be viewed in a pop-up box when the cursor is held over the note number.

 


Search the All-UK Database
(including JOWBR UK records)

The records in the database associated with Bangor include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Bangor during the 1820s (1 record), 1830s (2 records), 1840s (9 records), 1850s (12 records), 1860s (7 records), 1870s (4 records), 1880s (2 records), 1890s (2 records) and 1900s (2 records).
 

 


Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Bangor Jewish Community

on JCR-UK

on Third Party Websites

 

Other Bangor Jewish Institutions

Other Jewish institutions that existed in the Community include the following:

  • Jewish School. The following are details of the number of registered pupils for the relevant years (extracted from Jewish Year Books 1898/99 through 1924):

    1899

    1903

    1911

    1923

    25

    30

    24

    16

  • Bangor Jewish Friendly Society, established November 1897.

  • Naturalisation Society.

 

 Congregational & Marriage Records

Registration District (BDM):

  • Gwynedd (since 11 June 2007)

  • Previous registration district:

    • Bangor (previously Bangor & Beaumaris) - 1 July 1837 to 6 July 2009.

  • Any registers would now be held by current register office.

  • Register Office website

 

Bangor Jewish Population Data
Year Number Source

 

1896 30 Jewish Year Book 1896/97
1897 40 Jewish Year Book 1897/98
1899 100 Jewish Year Book 1899/1900
1901 50 Jewish Year Book 1901/02
1905 75 Jewish Year Book 1905/06
1910 70 Jewish Year Book 1911
1919 65 Jewish Year Book 1920
1945 20 Jewish Year Book 1945/46
1946 30 Jewish Year Book 1947
1947 45 Jewish Year Book 1948
1950 54 Jewish Year Book 1951
1953 34 Jewish Year Book 1954
1962 12 Jewish Year Book 1963
1965 20 Jewish Year Book 1966
1968 16 Jewish Year Book 1969

 

Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) The pamphlet (with map), A Jewish History of Bangor (2019), published by ESRC, note 2, refers to Michael and Joseph Hyman having a watch-making business in the High Street by 1820.

  • (ii) The Aronson family, one of the community's founding families, was first mentioned in a Jewish Chronicle report of 29 September 1843 and Morris Wartski, settled in the city in 1882 (A Jewish History of Bangor, note 3).

  • (iii) However, it is also possible that this honour belongs to the Wrexham Old Hebrew Congregation. See discussion on this point HERE on Wrexham Synagogue page.

  • (iv) Reserved.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 13 July 1894.

  • (vi) A Jewish History of Bangor, note 5. This was the address listed for the congregation from the first Jewish Year Book (1896/97) through 1964.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 3 February 1893 and 4 May 1894

  • (viii) A Jewish History of Bangor, note 6. This was the address listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1965 through 1984 (the last listing of the congregation).

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 May 1894.

  • (x) Jewish Chronicle report of 13 July 1894.

  • (xi) to (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Jewish Year Books 1952 through 1965 stated that regular services were no longer held, although adding, from 1957, that a minyan (prayer quorum) was available when required.

  • (xv) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 January 1959.

  • (xvi) Jewish Year Books 1966 through 1985 refer to services taking place on Friday evenings.

  • (xvii) to (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Jewish Chronicle report of 13 July 1894 refers to Rev. Rosenzweig as the newly elected "Reader" and Jewish Chronicle report of 23 June 1905 refers to his move to Belfast. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1896/96 (the first such publication) through 1904/05.

  • (xxi) Jewish Chronicle report of 24 November 1905 makes first reference to Rev. Paletz of Bangor and he is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1905/06 and 1906/07, taking up his next post in Bristol in 1907.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 3 May 1907 refers to Rev. Levinson's election and Jewish Chronicle report of 13 January 1911 refers to his move to Edinburgh. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1907/06 through 1911.

  • (xxiii) Jewish Chronicle report of 12 May 1911 refers to Rev. Devons's election and Jewish Chronicle report of 6 September 1918 refers to his appointment as minister in Coventry. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1912 through 1918.

  • (xxiv) Based upon the listing of Rev. Greyewsky (incorrectly spelled Grawesky) as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1919 and 1920. The Jewish Chronicle report of 29 November 1918 refers to him as Grayewsky.

  • (xxv) Based upon Mr. Ticktin's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1921.

  • (xxvi) and (xxvii) Reserved.

  • (xxviii) Based upon Mr. Frank's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1922 and 1923 and Jewish Chronicle report of 4 November 1921. There were no ministers listed in the editions from 1924 through 1926.

  • (xxix) Based upon Rev. Morris's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1927. There were no ministers listed in the editions from 1928 through 1931.

  • (xxx) Based upon Rev. Grunis's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1932 and 1933.

  • (xxxi) Based upon Rev. Korn's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1934.

  • (xxxii) Based upon Rev. Richards's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1935 through 1938.

  • (xxxiii) Based upon Rev. Wolfson's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940. He was also listed in the 1945/46 edition but as a . Jewish Chronicle report of 6 February 1942 idescribed Rev. Wolfson as Colwyn Bay's recently appointed minister, it is believed that the entry in the 1945/6 yearbook is an error, unless Rev. Wolfson was serving both congregation, for which there is so far no evidence.

  • (xxxiv) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year - the year of publication - until autumn of the next year. From 1909, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1925 through 1928, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1924 and continued in office until 1928. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here. Jewish Year Books were not published during World War II subsequent to 1940. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of lay officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.

  • (xxxv) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

 

 
Jewish Congregations in the former county of Caenarvonshire

Jewish Congregations in Wales, listed according to current unitary authorities

Jewish Communities & Congregations in Wales home page


Page created: 21 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 10 November 2020
Latest revision or update: 24 June 2021


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