Vayetze – my favourite

We probably all have favourites of one kind or another: a favourite aunt or uncle, a cousin, perhaps a brother or sister whom we somehow gel with better than our other siblings, assuming we have any. We have classmates we prefer over others, a friend who is somehow more special – even, when we are young, favourite soft toys (mine were – still are – a decrepit rabbit and an ancient bear). As for husbands and wives, nowadays there is no polygamy in our faith, at least not sanctioned by the rabbis or the state! Where it has existed, there will surely have been cases of one spouse being the favourite. Is it then altogether surprising that Jacob loved one wife more than the other? In some translations it says that Rachel was more loved than Leah and this is followed by, “The Lord saw that Leah was hated,” but other translations say instead ‘not loved’ (Bereshit XXIX, 31), which is not the same thing. Besides, Jacob had not asked to marry Leah.  Perhaps we should not be too hard on him here, although he is certainly at fault later, when he favours Joseph over his other sons, just as Rebecca was in favouring him to the extent of deceiving poor Isaac.

Vayetze brims with narrative, themes, and richness. Come along to explore some of these and to listen to and support another brave heart who will be leading the service for the first time this Saturday, namely John Adelson. The service begins, as usual, at 10:30.

Kol Nidrei and Yom Kippur Observances

All the High Holy Day services were well attended this year at Roselidden Farm on the 8th and 9th of October with many visitors from afar and our own community of Kehillat Kernow.  Services were masterfully led by student rabbi, Eleanor Davis, and included on Yom Kippur afternoon, a special discussion of modern sins and their connection with the twenty-two sins cited throughout the service as part of the atonement liturgy in our machzors on this solemn holiday.  

With Jeremy Jacobson’s reading of  the Jonah story in the afternoon  and the concluding Shofar blowing by Adam Feldman, the holiday concluded with Havdalah, and a breaking of the fast with a fine supper arranged by Peter and Jos Haddenfield of Roselidden Farm.

Special thanks to all those who contributed to making this a most meaningful observance and to Mai Jacobson, Rachel Brown and Leslie Lipert who took all the pictures.

PIctures of Kol Nidrei and Yom Kippur can be viewed by clicking onto the Photo Gallery above.

Rosh HaShannah Shines Despite the Weather

It may have been raining on Erev Rosh HaShannah and on the  day of 5780, but the sun certainly shone inside The Barn at Roselidden Farm in Helston when a large number of people from within the Cornish community  and from the greater community gathered together for services and delightful celebratory cuisine, both traditional and contemporary to observe the first part of the High Holy Days.

 Led enthusiastically by KK’s  talented Adam Feldman, the service was warmly received and much appreciated. 

The catering was done by Peter and Jos Hadfield while the traditional wine, whiskey, apples and honey, Challah and honey cakes were  contributed by members of the KK community.

All good wishes for a happy, healthy and good new year: L’Shannah Tovah. Hag Sameah!

Photos of this event supplied can been seen clicking by

Mai Jacobson and/or Rachel Brown

World Cup VS Bar MItzvah

The Fiction, Film, Food Event at Malpas Village Hall on the afternoon of 22nd September proved that both secular and religious rites of passage can somehow be managed with the showing of Sixty-Six for members of Kehillat Kernow and the greater community from the Cornwall Faith Forum. Add some popcorn, scones, brownies, and some Rosh HaShannah goodies, it was a fine combination of the best of British and the best of Jewish.

The funny and moving film told the story of a Jewish boy whose Bar Mitzvah was scheduled on the day of the famous 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Talk about a conflict of interests. A way around this tricky situation is happily resolved and offered much food for thoughtful and light-hearted  inter-faith conversation that belies the adage that sometimes, one can be all things to all people. Organised by Adam Feldman, this popular venue always promises to be of interest to a varied group of pictures. 

Photos can be seen by clicking here.

high holy days

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

Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, 29 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.

Rosh Hashanah (Monday, 30 September, 1st day), 1 Tishri, 5780 at 10:30 a.m.

Service will be followed by a catered luncheon sponsored by Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman.

Kol Nidre, Erev Yom Kippur (Tuesday, 8 October), 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 again be blessed with the services of Student Rabbi, this time, Eleanor Davis, who is escaping from London to conduct 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. Eleanor began as a peripatetic music teacher in Gloucestershire before moving to work in arts administration, spending many years in London’s West End. She has been especially involved in adult education at Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue and for Reform Judaism. “Why should children have all the fun studying Torah?” asks Eleanor. Covering maternity absence led her to four years of creating a weekly e-newsletter (Eits Chinuch) for Jewish educators, which wove Torah together with many and varied topics. That in turn led her to Leo Baeck College to further her search for ways both to bring our whole selves into the synagogue and inspire us to take our Jewishness with us as we go back out into the world.

Jewish Community of Cornwall