JCR-UK

Llandudno Jewish Community and

Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation

Llandudno, Conwy, North Wales

 

 

 


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Town of Llandudno

Llandudno is a seaside resort, known for its healthy sea and mountain air, with a population of about 21,000, on the coast of North Wales, about 55 miles west of Liverpool and 5 miles north-west of Colwyn Bay.

Until 1974, it formed the urban district of Llandudno in the county of Caernarvonshire. From 1974 until 1996, it was part of the district of Aberconwy in the then newly-formed county of Gwynedd. In 1996, Aberconwy was transferred from the county of Gwynedd and merged into the new county borough of Conwy, a unitary authority (in the ceremonial, or preserved, county of Clwyd).

Llandudno Synagogue, sketch by Olwen Hughes
A sketch of Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Synagogue, by Olwen Hughes 1986
kindly provided by Bernard Croop

The Llandudno Jewish Community

There were Jewish residents in Llandudno from late nineteen century and, even before the founding of an organised Jewish community, a number of kosher hotels and guest houses had been established in this seaside resort.(ii)  The congregation was first organised in 1905 and in about 1908, the first synagogue was established, primarily through the efforts of Morris Wartski. Wartski had moved his family to the town from Bangor, to take advantage of 'the healthy sea air' and opened a jewellery shop (having previously opened one in Bangor). The business very quickly expanded and, through the efforts of his sons and their descendants, developed into the world famous Wartski jewellers and antique specialists of today (for additional information, see the History below). During World War II, there was an influx of Jews into the town, primarily as evacuees from large cities. However, as the Jewish communities gradually dwindled throughout North Wales following the war, the town's synagogue became the sole remaining synagogue in the region.

Congregation Data

Name:

Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation

Former Name:

Llandudno Hebrew Congregation
(until the merger with Colwyn Bay Hebrew Congregation in the late 1970s(v))

Address:

28 Church Walks, Llandudno LL30 2HL (from 1948).(vi)

The congregation previously met the Masonic Hall, Mostyn Street, Llandudno(vii)

Date Founded:

Although sources give the date of founding of the congregation as 1905,(viii) it appears that the synagogue was not opened until about 1908.(ix)

Current Status:

Active. The synagogue doubles as a Chabad-Lubavitch Retreat Centre (without which it would be difficult to maintain a minyan). The congregation is the last remaining synagogue North Wales and accordingly serves as the centre for the remaining Jewish residents in the other towns of the region.

Ritual:

Orthodox - Ashkenazi

Alternative Congregation:

During World War II, as a result of the influx of evacuees and other Jews into Llandudno, the population increased to the extent that a second (temporary) synagogue was established, in the schoolroom of the then Wesleyan Ebenezer Chapel (now the Emmanuel Christian Centre), Lloyd Street.(x)

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

Rev. Emanuel Berry - from aat least 1909 until 1944 (except 1913/1914 and 1924/1925)(xiv)

Rev. J. Schachtel - from about 1924 until about 1925(xv)

Rev. J.H. Finn - from about 1945 until about 1946(xvi)

Rev. Michael Isaacs - about 1946(xvii)

Rev. Bernard Landau - from 1947 until 1951(xviii)

Rev. Montague Levy - from 1952 until about 1953(xix)

Rev. Max Moddel - from about 1953 until 1962(xx)

Rev. L. Chiswell, BA - from about 1964 until about 1965(xxi)

Lay Officers:

The data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books,(xxvi) except generally, where an officer's first name is given, this has been obtained from other sources. Where the data is missing for any year, this could indicate that such office was vacant for the year in question, or more likely, the data was not provided to the publishers or they chose not to use it.

Presidents

1910-1946 - Morris Wartski(xxvii)

1948-1949 - H. Wartski

1949-1951 - Solomon Croop

1951-1954 - S.M. Benjamin

1954-1955 - Danny Langley

1955-at least 1956 - L. Greenberg

Vice Presidents

1950-1954 - Danny Langley

Treasurer

1950-1956 - P. Davies

Chairmen

1948-1949 - Solomon Croop

1955-1956 - C. Manson

Wardens

1948-1950 - Solomon Croop and C. Manson

Hon. Secretaries

1929-1938 - S.M. Benjamin

1947-1955 - Israel Benjamin Croop

1955-1956 - Israel Benjamin Croop and Joseph M. Lazar

1956-1985 - Joseph M. Lazar

Membership Data:

National Reports & Surveys(xxviii)

1977 - 10 male (or household) members and 3 female members

1983 - 10 male (or household) members and 3 female members

1990 - 17 members (comprising 6 households, 7 individual male and 4 individual female member)

1996 - 20 household members

2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)

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.

 

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

 


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

on JCR-UK

on Third Party Websites

Llandudno Synagogue (interior) by Olwen Hughes
A sketch of Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Synagogue, by Olwen Hughes 1986
kindly provided by Bernard Croop 

 Congregational & Marriage Records

Registration District (BDM):

  • Conwy (since 11 June 2007)

  • Previous registration districts:

    • Conway - 1 July 1837 to 1 April 1937.

    • Conway Bay - 1 April 1937 to 1 April 1974.

    • Dyffryn Conwy - 1 April 1974 to 1 July 1975.

    • Aberconwy - 1 July 1975 to 11 June 2007.

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

  • Link to Register Office website

 

Llandudno Jewish Cemetery Information

There were no Jewish cemeteries in North Wales, the closest such cemeteries being in Liverpool and Manchester, until the establishment of the follow cemetery:

  • Llanrhos Lawn Cemetery, Jewish Section, Conway Road, Llanrhos, Llandudno, LL30 1RN.  This was established in 2010 at the Conway Borough municipal cemetery in Llanrhos to be run along Liberal Judaism lines. (Llanrhos is a village just to the east and south of Llandudno.) It is the only Jewish cemetery in North Wales.

(For additional information, see also IAJGS International Jewish Cemeteries Project - Llandudno)

 

Llandudno Jewish Population Data
(numbers from 1984 include Colwyn Bay)

Year

Number

Source

1956

50

Jewish Year Book 1957

1965

45

Jewish Year Book 1966

1984

17

Jewish Year Book 1985

1985

16

Jewish Year Book 1986

1986

20

Jewish Year Book 1987

2003

15

Jewish Year Book 2004

 

Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) The pamphlet (with map), A Jewish History of Llandudno (2020), published by The Bangor Fund, notes 1 & 2.

  • (iii) and (iv) Reserved.

  • (v) Although the Colwyn Bay Synagogue closed in about 1977, the first listing of this congregation under the name "Llandudno and Colwyn Bay" was in the Jewish Year Book 1985.

  • (vi) The premises were originally a house called "Red Court" until converted into a synagogue. See also the Reminiscences of Bernard Croop and photographs of the opening of the synagogue.

  • (vii) This appears to be where the synagogue was first established in about 1908 (A Jewish History of Llandudno, note 5) but it was not listed as the address of the congregation until the Jewish Year Book 1915.

  • (viii) Jewish Year Book. from 1948 give the date of establishment as 1905.

  • (ix) This date appears in The History, note 5.

  • (x) The History, note 9.

  • (xi) to (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Based Jewish Chronicle reports and Rev. Berry's obituary. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1915 through 1924 and 1926 through 1940. There were no ministers listed prior to 1915 and there were no editions published in the war years subsequent to 1940.

  • (xv) Based upon Rev. Shachtel's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1925.

  • (xvi) Based upon Rev. Finn's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1945/46.

  • (xvii) Based upon Rev. Isaacs's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1947 and Jewish Chronicle reports.

  • (xviii) Based upon Rev. Landau's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1951. There was no minister listed in the 1952 edition.

  • (xix) Based upon Rev. Levy's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1953.

  • (xx) Based upon Rev. Moddel's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1954 through 1963. There was no minister listed in the 1964 edition..

  • (xxi) Based upon Rev. Chiswell's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1965. There were no subsequent listings of ministers for the congregation.

  • (xxii) to (xxv) Reserved.

  • (xxvi) 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.

  • (xxviii) Although no data was available for the war years, as Morris Wartski was listed as president both before publication ceased (until Jewish Year Book 1940) and after it resumed (in the 1945/6 edition), it is assumed that he also served throughout the war.

  • (xxviii) 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 Communities (Past & Present) in the county borough of Conwy

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: 22 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 16 November 2020
Latest revision or update: 4 December 2020


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