Cardiff offers snapshot of a diverse community

Des Golten

Des Golten

Illustrated life stories of 59 Cardiff Jewish community members are on display at a local museum as part of the Hineni exhibition organised by Cardiff Reform Synagogue.

“Hineni” is Hebrew for “Here I am” and organiser Colin Heyman says the potted histories and intimate pictures “celebrate the diversity of Jews”.

The project is a collaboration with Butetown History and Arts Centre and received £33,000 in Lottery funding. The hope is that after its staging at Cardiff Story Museum, the exhibition will be shown around the UK and beyond.

Among the subjects is 90-year-old Des Golten, who came to the UK from Czechoslovakia in 1939.
“My parents were members of Cardiff Reform Synagogue,” he explained. “I have been a member for so many years, I am an integral part of the community.

Stella LIghtman

Stella LIghtman

“For me, the exhibition is about my friends. I know everybody in it. For others, I hope it communicates the huge contribution the immigrant Jewish community made to Cardiff. At the beginning of the war, factories on the outskirts run by immigrants employed 60,000 people.”

Former teacher Stella Lightman moved to the “very warm, very welcoming” community with her husband from Stoke Newington. She hoped the exhibition “will evoke a feeling of tolerance and understanding. I have experienced antisemitism in the past, so it was something I was very keen to be part of.”

Last updated: 12:18pm, August 30 2012