Noach

It take just two parashot, or eleven chapters, for God to create the universe, equip the earth with the means to support life, populate this earth with living creatures, bring forth humanity, test its first representatives, establish the principle of mortality, judge the world and flood it, repopulate it and, finally, to ensure that diversity rules over monoculture by humbling the hubris of the builders of Babel. It then takes ten parashot, eighty chapters, to weave the story of a small family, beginning with Abraham setting forth from his father’s home and culminating with Jacob, his twelve sons and daughter and their children settled in Egypt. It takes a further forty-two parashot (a very large number of chapters indeed!) to lead a small people through the desert and, by way of its righteous, devoted and selfless leader, prepare the people for statehood and a holy mission. It just shows that, if you want to do a job well, you need to spend your time over it –  in this case not cosmic or historic, but ‘personal’ time.

Of course, you’ll be relieved to hear me say, before condemning me for sacrilege, that God does not do anything badly and certainly does not make a mistake. Adam and Eve are not failures. Cain may be evil, but he did not live, or even kill, for nothing. The Flood was not a frenzied rubbing out of a blackboard full of errors of calculation, and the Tower of Babel was not a worthless episode of overweening ambition. Bereshit and Noach serve to prepare the ground for a wonderful human experiment: the making of a covenant between the supreme power and a small family grown into a small nation, so that a model of civilisation, human relations and reverence for life and for the divine could take form.

To hear more about Noach and Babel, come along this Saturday at 10:30 when Harvey Kurtfield will endeavour to ensure that we are neither drowned nor thrown off a tower, but rather guided to a future based on wisdom and understanding.

Cornwall Jews and Muslims talk story

Over forty members of Kehilat Kernow and members of the Islamic Community Centre gathered together at Carnon Downs on Sunday, 7th October, for a session of story-telling representing their traditions. Members of Christian communities and members of the Faith Forum also attended.

Jeremy Jacobson, Chairman of KK, introduced the afternoon social event along with Dr. Dureid Rifai, head of the Islamic Community Centre.

The afternoon event highlighted the various traditions we all bring to our communities and how much all of us have in common.

A series of stories told by Jeremy, Harvey Kurzfield, (with help from two members of our community and a member of the Islamic community), Rachel Brown, Isaac Feldman, Ahmed, Miranda  (Atilano) Brown, Dr. Rifai, and David Hearle followed.

The afternoon exchange culminated with a sweet and savoury buffet prepared by both communities.

Click here for pictures.

New Booklet on the life of Lemon Hart

A new publication on the life of Lemon Hart, one of Cornish Jewry’s most famous ancestors who lived in Cornwall in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, has now been published by the Penlee Gallery and Museum Penzance.

Written by local amateur historian, Keith Pearce, an expert on the history of Cornish Jewry, the biographical booklet contains much new information not previously published before on Lemon Hart and his family. Hart, most famous for his rum which still bears his name, has been the subject of much colourful mythology related to slave ownership, slave ships and plantations, and that he supplied the British \Naval ships with their ‘tot’ ofrum.  This publication  attempts to separate fact from fiction so that a more accurate picture of Hart can be established.

The booklet is available through Penlee House, local, national and online booksellers for £5.00.

High Holy Days in Cornwall

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur will be celebrated this year as follows.

Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, 9 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 5779.

Rosh Hashanah (Monday, 10 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, 18 September), 9 Tishri 7:00 p.m.

Yom Kippur (Wednesday, 19 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 6:30 p.m.

Visitors who will be here during this period are welcome to attend our celebrations and services. Donations to help cover costs will be appreciated.  At the same time, we participate in the MRJ High Holy Days Ticket Scheme for anyone aged between 18 and 27, but without the tickets!  In other words, if you are Jewish and aged between 18 and 27 just come along without worrying about making a donation.

A highlight for this year is that we will be blessed with the services of Student Rabbi Lev Taylor, who is coming down from the wilds of London to work with Harvey and Adam  on Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur, so another reason to add to those you already have to come along and join in our most sacred days.

Lev grew up in Reading Liberal Jewish Community and has been part of synagogues in Barcelona, London and Istanbul. He worked for seven years as a campaigner in the charity sector before training to be a rabbi. He is now going into his second year of study at Leo Baeck College. Lev strongly believes in making Judaism more inclusive and accessible. The day will include opportunities for everybody to participate. In place of the Additional (Musaf) service on Yom Kippur, Lev will lead a study session, looking at the life of one of the greatest rabbis in the Mishnah.

Chief Rabbi and Rebbetzin visit Penzance Jewish Cemetery

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, paid a visit to the Penzance Jewish Cemetery early in the day on Friday, 15 June whilst they were on holiday in Cornwall for a few days.  They were welcomed by Ms. Louise Connell, Director of the Penlee Gallery and Museum, and Leslie and Pat Lipert from Kehillat Kernow.
They were shown around the cemetery and learned some interesting facts about the historic cemetery and some of the people who are buried there. As a gesture of hospitality and sincere welcome, Leslie Lipert, treasurer of Kehillat Kernow and The Friends of Penzance Cemetery, presented the Chief Rabbi with the community’s signature Mezzuzah with its Cornish and religious symbolism.
The visit, done in a private capacity, was part of the many interesting sites the couple visited whilst on their holiday in Cornwall.

Jewish Community of Cornwall