Elkan’s view from Netanya


To the considerable relief of parents and grandparents, an emotion not shared in the main by the students, the Chofesh Hagadol, the long summer holiday in Israeli schools, comes to an end next week. This summer has been hotter than most, and although I normally like August in Israel this year has been an exception. Living on the top of the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean I rarely use the air conditioning because a strong breeze comes in from the sea, but to my horror I discovered when I most needed it that the air conditioning was not working. The air conditioning engineer of course was severely in demand. It was quite some time before the gas was replaced and the flat became habitably cool, by which time the very hot winds had disappeared and the breeze had begun again to flood in from the sea.

Rosh Hashanah is just over two weeks away, and the supermarkets are full of the goods of the season. Honey of course is plentiful, but for some reason in this country the consumption of gefilte fish is particularly high at this time of year, a culinary tradition of which Anglo Jewry is unaware. The shops also fill with weird and wonderful fruits, although you can find many of them in Israel for most of the year anyway. Special offers abound on everything, with the slogan “Rosh Hashanah kemo shetzarich – Rosh Hashanah as it should be”.

But Rosh Hashanah is also a time for refurnishing and redecoration, much as it is in December in Britain. The Ikea catalogue landed in my mailbox this morning, with all sorts of wonderful ideas for refurbishing my life. There are now three branches of the store in Israel, and since Israelis love shopping the Netanya branch is among the busiest in the world. They also sell the usual Ikea restaurant food, but Glatt Kosher for the Charedi clientele who eat there, and there is even a shul. I once went there wanting to know what a flat pack Aron Kodesh looked like, but to my disappointment the furniture appeared to have been bought in!

Yet another amazing experience in this amazing country!

High Holidays

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur will be celebrated this year at Roselidden Barn, Roselidden. Visitors are welcome to attend. Donations to help cover costs are welcome. Services are as follows.

Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, 13 September), 29 Elul 6:30 p.m.

Service will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a catered evening meal provided  by Kehillat Kernow to bring in the New Year 5776

Rosh Hashanah (Monday, 14 September, 1st day), 1 Tishri, 5776 at 10:30 a.m.

Service will be followed by a catered luncheon meal provided by Kehillat Kernow.

Kol Nidre, Erev Yom Kippur (Tuesday, 22 September), 9 Tishri 7:00 p.m.

Yom Kippur (Wednesday, 23 September), 10 Tishri 10:30 am

Yischor Service is scheduled for about 4:30 – 5:00 p.m.. A catered dinner to  break the fast will follow the last service which should end about 6:00 p.m.

Clearance of Falmouth Jewish Cemetery

Question: How do you get 265 years of intrusive vegetation cleared in only 3 days?
Answer: Find two two old Jews and give them the job.

David Hearle and Anthony Fagin, members of Kehillat Kernow with a combined age of 144 years, using tools both ancient and modern, stripped back the vegetation and pollarded the self-seeded trees that for aeons had progressively been engulfing the site of the historic Jewish Cemetery in Falmouth. For the first time in generations it is now possible to see all the gravestones. Many still remain standing, albeit it at precarious angles, while others have fallen. Of those that have fallen, several have been vandalised. But at least a proper survey can now be undertaken of the remedial work that needs to be done to repair and re-erect the fallen stones in their proper places and to repair the perimeter walls and other architectural features of the cemetery.

An alliance called Friends of the Ponsharden Cemeteries has been formed with volunteers responsible for restoring the adjoining Dissenters’ Cemetery and also involving representatives of Falmouth Town Council and Historic England. Work is now well advanced on the preparation of a project proposal that will be sent to potential funders in the hope of securing sufficient funding to enable restoration work to start (subject to the granting of formal approval since both sites are Scheduled Monuments).

The eight  photographs in the photo gallery show the clearance work under way, the cleared site and a member of the local fire brigade putting a damper on proceedings having been called out by passing motorists who were alarmed by the bonfire.

Words and pictures by Anthony posted by Leslie

Jewish Community in Cornwall