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Early Synagogues

The first purpose built synagogue was opened on a plot of land between Goat Street and Waterloo Street in 1818.

Early Synagogues
The Cambrian newspaper reported the laying of the foundation stone on 23 May 1818:

"Among the various improvements in Swansea we have this week to notice the laying of the foundation for the erection of a neat Synagogue, in Goat-street, for those ancient people the Jews, being the first and only one ever raised in the Principality. The ceremony was performed with solemnity by the Elders, Messrs. L. and J. Michael, Mr Cohen, and Mr. Mosely. Various coins were deposited by many of that persuasion."

It accommodated about 70 men on the ground floor, with an upstairs gallery for the women of the congregation. The synagogue stood adjacent to Mr Rogers's foundry close to the corner of Oxford Street. Above the entrance was a sign in Hebrew bearing the words "This is the gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter".

In 1859 the original building was replaced by a larger synagogue in Goat Street, which had room for about 250 people. This synagogue would serve the needs of the community for the next 82 years.

The day-to-day life of Swansea's synagogue was never dull. Disputes over membership fees and privileges, the hiring and firing of ministers and the election of office holders ensured that synagogue affairs were often lively and occasionally heated.

Read how the events of 1941 affected the Swansea Hebrew Congregation The Ffynone synagogue

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