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SWANSEA , second largest industrial city and seaport in Wales. Swansea's Jewish community (the first in Wales) was established in the mid-18th century; the first settler known by name was David Michael, who came from Germany in 1741. Religious services were held soon afterward and a cemetery acquired in 1768. The first synagogue was opened in 1780, being replaced by one erected in 1818. As in most British provincial centers, the community consisted of silversmiths, watchmakers, jewelers, and other shopkeepers and craftsmen; by 1850 it numbered around 100–150, increasing to 1,000 in 1914 as a result of immigration from Russia. In 1969 the Jewish population numbered 418 (0.3% of the total). In the mid-1990s the Jewish population was estimated at approximately 245. The 2001 British census found 170 declared Jews in Swansea. Its old synagogue was destroyed in an air raid in 1941 and a new one, which still functions, was erected after World War ii.


C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), index; V.D. Lipman, Social History of the Jews of England: 18501950 (1954), index; R.P. Lehmann, Nova Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica (1961), 156, 192.

[Vivian David Lipman]

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