Bennett Arron’s Cymru Knish

In this special programme, Welsh-Jewish comedian Bennett Arron takes a look at Jewish life in Wales from its early history through to the present day.

In a tour which includes Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Bangor and Cardiff, Arron meets a range of people who explain both the Orthodox and Reform traditions in the country. Michael Mail, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, is featured.

The programme starts with a lesson in history about the roots of the early Jewish settlements in North and South Wales. Explaining this is Dr Cai Parry Jones who is the author of the book Jews of Wales – A History.

Bennett goes on to visit the two Jewish synagogues in Cardiff and hears stories about notable Jewish figures in different parts of Wales.

We hear about the 1911 riots in Tredegar and how two Jewish people from the same family were involved in different ways in the aftermath of the Aberfan disaster in 1966.

A thread through the programme is the decline in the number of Jews living in Wales while Bennett is surprised along the way as he connects with his own Jewish history. And for the first time, he also tastes a Knish, a traditional Eastern European Jewish snack food.

Producer: Andrew Edwards. An MIM Production for BBC Radio Wales. Republished here with consent.