Educational Resources

This Digital Resource Library was created by the Jewish Museum London learning team. The Library brings together objects, video and audio that relate to the Jewish experience in Wales from collections across the country and is specifically designed for teachers and students.

Photograph (Object)

Copyright/attribution: St Fagans National Museum of History

What do you see?

We can see a man wearing a hat and a striped shawl. We can also see a large group of people wearing hats. Look closely, what can you see?

What do we know?

This is a photograph of the opening of the Pontypridd Community Hall by ‘Granny’ Freedman.

Pontypridd was originally a small rural village in the 1700s. However, during the industrial revolution, it grew into a thriving market town and was the main hub for other coal mining towns further up in the Rhondda valleys. This industrial boom attracted a lot of merchants to set up businesses in the area which contributed to a thriving Welsh community.

The Jewish community in Pontypridd dates back to at least the 1840s and the Jewish congregation continued into the 1970s. The community in Pontypridd was one of very few Jewish communities in South Wales that had its own cemetery. The growth of Pontypridd attracted many Jewish businesses from the 1800s onward, but as the mines closed from the 1980s, the businesses opted to move to bigger cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester.

What do you wonder?

We might wonder what sorts of activities and events took place at the Pontypridd Community Hall? We might wonder what role ‘Granny’ Freedman had in the Jewish community? What do you wonder?

Discussion Questions

What does it mean to belong to a community?

How many different communities do you belong to?