Tol’dot

There’s this man. When he was born, he grabbed his twin brother’s heel. Two peas in a pod? They were more like a wasp and a hornet. When he was a young man, he bought his brother’s birthright in exchange for a paltry mess of lentil stew. A few years later, he conspired with his mother to steal his brother’s blessing, making a fool of his father in the process. He ran away and married two women but preferred the younger over the older. He tricked his uncle who kept him for twenty years with a kind of magic. He spoiled one of his sons so much he helped make his other sons jealous to the point of murder.

There’s this man. He was studious and reflective from an early age. He had divine visions, wrestling with God, or an angel, or himself, and gained inspiration and wisdom. He turned his uncle’s treachery and exploitative meanness back on him. He took extreme care of his numerous family. He sought and gained forgiveness from his brother.  He joined with his brother to bury and mourn his father. He reprimanded two of his sons when they took murderous revenge on a whole city. Before he died, he gave each of his sons a special blessing. He was faithful to God.

These men are Jacob, our father, our special father. To join him as he embarks on the first stage of his long life, join us all this Saturday at 10:30. Adam Feldman will be doing the introductions.

Film Food Night-Ushpizin

Happy Beginnings, Happy Endings

Saturday November 3rd was our evening for food and film. Despite the rain outside,  the sun shone inside Malpas Village Hall.  We came, we ate, we watched and  we enjoyed. The Israeli food fest was only equalled by the charming Israeli film, Ushpizin.  Ushpizin means ‘visitors’ (hopefully Tsaddiks, but not in this case), who are welcomed, housed and fed inside your Succah during the 8-day festival of Sukkot.  Despite the poverty of the childless couple, their fervent  prayers are answered and in many ways, “nes gadol hayyat sham.”

We began in joy with an abundance of fine dishes prepared by our members, all with an Israeli theme. Each time we meet, we are all overwhelmed with the amazing array of culinary treats laid out before us. As Gloria Jacobson said, “When is there ever a Kehillat Kernow event that is ever under-catered!”

The film after added to our naches, filled with sadness, hope, joy and a very happy ending. The baddies turned good; the couple were blessed with a son, their lives, like ours, were filled gratitude and the knowledge that despite all, life is very good when you look towards the light.

To see the pictures taken on the night clik here.

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.

Jewish Community of Cornwall