2013 AGM

Kehillat Kernow 2013 Annual General Meeting

Held on 10th November 2013 at Acton Vean, Rosudgeon

Present:

Leslie Lipert, Pat Lipert, Harvey Kurzfield, Rachel Brown (Secretary), Adam Feldman, Bonnie Rockley, Anne Hearle, Anthony Fagin, Wilf Rockley, Jacqueline Kurzfield, Jenny Cohen, Susan Soyenka, Liz Berg.

Apologies:

Julia, Jacqui Ricketts, Jackie and Yoran Harris, Gay Jewell, Tony and Susan Ehrenzweig, Louise Garcia.

 Minutes Actions
  1. Welcome read by Chairman
  1. Minutes of the last AGM read by Harvey
  1. Matters arising
    1. A second charity book sale raised £400 for the Hospice
  1. Reviewed minutes of Extraordinary General Meeting re Gaye Jewell’s nomination to the Board of Deputies.
  1. Committee Reports (Summary)
  2. Chairman’s Remarks

Another year has passed and we can look back on a number of important processes that began during the year that will have implications for events taking place during the next year.

The long drawn out drive to obtain a Torah scroll from the Royal Cornwall Museum which began back in 2000, finally succeeded in 2012 with the handing over of a small Torah scroll that, even as I speak, is undergoing a transformation from a relic of a past age into a viable, working artifact which Kehillat Kernow will be able to use on a regular basis; which we, as a community, will be able to say “this is ours!” Our thanks to Leslie Lipert and also to Elkan Levy for their research and persistence in obtaining this and also to our anonymous donor who has enabled the scroll to be refurbished by a professional scribe. Its eventual arrival will be a cause for much celebration.

Our growing band of service takers must also be commended for their dedication and commitment in ensuring that our Shabbat and Festival services are maintained at a high standard.

We are also grateful to the Spectrum organization for continuing to allow us to use the excellent facilities near Truro, enabling us to continue our Shabbat services in a reasonably central location with storage facilities for our books and other materials.

Our membership has grown, slowly. Following my recent visit to a MRJ chairs’ meeting in London, the reaction from other community ‘chairs’ to the level of our subscription rates was quite overwhelming. Indeed, many shul groups have substantially higher sub. Rates but are still struggling to make ends meet due to the high costs involved in maintaining and insuring an actual synagogue building. For a genuinely affordable annual subscription Kehillat Kernow members get excellent value and I’m not sure that the members themselves always recognize this. At this point I would like to congratulate our treasurer for his maintenance and guardianship of our healthy funds.

All our committee members deserve our thanks, including our most recent member, Anthony Fagin, who has also taken on the honorary post of custodian of the Falmouth Jewish cemetery site. His membership of the committee comes about following Louise Garcia emigration to her roots in Eire, a country she knows well from her youth. We wish her well in her new life and her new surroundings.

There are several other strategic events that we have to look forward to over the next few months apart from the scroll’s arrival. Our Australia-based web wizard, Noah Hearle, has been commissioned to revamp our current website in such a way that it will be much more visually exciting, even more user-friendly and much easier for guests to visit and add comments. It will also be easier for appointed committee members to add subtract or adjust written material online.

The newsletter is very well-received wherever it goes and many people outside our community have congratulated us on the format, colour and design so our congratulations to Pat, our editor for all the hard work she puts into that. Remember though, it is a community newsletter so please keep sending articles into Pat for consideration.

We have also continued our association with the Inter-Faith Community of Cornwall (Dor Kemmyn) and several members of the committee have been involved in events which have taken place during the year. Adam Feldman has become a trustee of the forum (along with me!) and Estelle Moses has been co-opted on to the Dor Kemmyn fund-raising team, a move that is sure to cement the good relations between our two organisations!

To anyone who thinks it’s about time this old guy retired I would just like to say that during the last year I have (sadly) conducted at least two funeral ceremonies and (happily) one wedding ceremony and all the monies raised from these events have been directly donated to Kehillat Kernow. I also continue to write the occasional ‘God in the 21st Century’ article for the West Briton which I hope helps to promote a favourable image of KK to the wider community.

Our vice chair, Bonnie, has volunteered to continue as the Jewish representative on SACRE (Standing Advisory Committee on religious Education) for the next four year cycle and we wish her well on that.

We have continued to get excellent support from David Jacobs of the MRJ headquarters in London and he is always very complimentary about what we are able to achieve down here in Cornwall.

The next year will also see us seeking new premises for our High Holy Day services: our Pesach services are set to continue at Trelissick with a rate that has been fixed for the next few years and we hope that members will be able to support this event in even greater numbers.

Finally I would like to thank all those members who are happy in continuing their support of the work that this committee undertakes year after year after year!!!

Shalom

Harvey Kurzfield

b. Cheder

The Cheder is small but perfectly formed. Parents doing well. Bonnie hopes to do more in the cheder and can gather any resources necessary.

c. Treasurer report (full report held on file)

£55,217.19 in all accounts but £9785 spoken for with regard to scroll, fiddler on roof and Keith Pearce

Keith Pearce’s book £4281.17 collected including gift aid. Kehillat Kernow to make a £718.75 contribution. The book is due to come out in the summer 2014.

The scroll is being renovated and will be finished in December 2013.

Leslie has received 8 donations for the Board of Deputies totaling £175. Leslie was hoping for more support so that they may be more likely to contribute towards the cemeteries renovations.

d. Library report (full report held on file)

 

This has been a bonanza year with 129 items donated. 1003 items in total. The list is available on the website and all material is available for lending.

  1. Amendments to the constitution (see bottom of minutes for full details)

Amendment 1-Unanimously Passed and Amendment Carried

Amendment 2- Unanimously Passed and Amendment carried

Amendment 3- Unanimously Passed and Amendment carried

Amendment 4- Liz Berg felt it should state ‘known as rather’ than ‘changed to and updated’. A lively discussion ensued re semantics of amendments. Leslie clarified that he had changed the constitution retrospectively this year and have a new version dated 2013 (he has not changed previous versions). The amendment passed.

 

  1. All current committee members reinstated for next year

 

 

Unanimously agreed
  1. What do you want from your Jewish Community in terms of services and social functions
    1. Bus to Plymouth on 16/3/2013 for Purim
    2. Rosh Kodesh women’s outings
    3. Literary/lecture day (Trudy Gold was suggested)
    4. Friday night services
    5. Sefer Torah celebrations
    6. Theatre trip (Fiddler on the Roof arranged)
    7. Liz to do a talk on Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) on 18 Adar 20 March
    8. Bring back Chavruta-one:one learning
    9. Annual walk led by David Hearle
    10. Matza or Shavout ramble or community picnic

 

Jacqui Ricketts to arrange
Any other business:

    1. Susan Soyenka raised the Penzance Synagogue. She has been researching the synagogue. She stated that she wants to properly ‘list’ the synagogue which was previously turned down by Cornwall council. Susan stressed that she is not asking for resources or attention but only the backing of Kehillat Kernow. Susan discussed the history of the two buildings. A document outlining this history and position of the Synagogue to be circulated to the membership of Kehillat Kernow in the near future for information.
    2. The Star Hotel is listed and states that there is an 18th century building at the rear but this particular building which was used as the Penzance Synagogue is not a listed building.
    3. The current owners of the site want to sell off the building.
    4. Susan wishes it to be listed so that the person who purchased the premises will treat the building with respect and it will be remembered in the town.
    5. Susan has been liaising with Nick Carhill, Head of the Historic Environment Service at Cornwall Council who has advised her that either she or he can submit an application but it would have more of an impact if it was supported by Kehillat Kernow.
    6. A lengthy discussion ensued:
      Anthony Fagin: Felt there was some confusion of terminology as Listing is done by the council and scheduling of historic monuments was the job of English Heritage. Neither scheduling nor listing premises protect the building.
      1. Anthony clarified the concern previously raised at a Kehillat Kernow Council meeting regarding Kehillat Kernow becoming involved as we are already focusing on the preservation of both the Penzance and Falmouth Jewish Cemeteries and this could stretch our resources and local good will.
      2. Liz Berg: Suggested that it may be more beneficial to put a historical blue plaque up near the site of the building
      3. Leslie Lipert: circulated photos to demonstrate the visual insignificance of the building and stated that he does not think that the KK Council should support the application for the reasons stated above by Anthony.
      4. Rachel Brown: raised the risk that ‘listing’ the building may cause difficulty when the Star Hotel sells the premises which could potentially lead to bad feeling for very little gain. She agreed with Liz’s suggestion of a historical plaque.
      5. Anthony Fagin: Clarified the discussion by noting the historical significance with the blue plaque vs. listing or scheduling a building which may cause resentment.
      6. Jacqueline Kurzfield: agreed with the plaque idea.
      7. Jenny Cohen: clarified that the listing of the building would only be a technical amendment and change of the existing wording.
      8. Anthony Fagin: stated that if it’s only a technical amendment then why does it require KK Council support.
      9. A discussion ensued questioning whether Nick Cahill is in error regarding our support.
    1. In summary, the general feeling was that the members of Kehillat Kernow don’t feel that supporting an application to either Cornwall Council or English Heritage would be right as it may cause problems with public relations and/or dilute public good will directed towards the other conservation projects already undertaken. Leslie asked Susan if she would pursue the plaque stating the historical significance of the building and/or site. Susan stated the pub is owned by Heineken and she could approach them regarding a plaque. Despite Kehillat Kernow not supporting this application it was made clear that Susan is free to pursue the application herself with individual support from members if they wish to offer their support.
    2. Harvey stated the Council of Kehillat Kernow was not prepared to support the application to change the listing of the Star Hotel. A vote to override the KK Council decision was offered. Ann Hearle voted to over ride, Others support the council’s decision.

 

 

 

  1. Next Annual General Meeting 16 November 2014 To be confirmed

Amendments to the constitution proposed by the Council

Amendment 1

from

16 The administration of Kehillat Kernow shall be vested in a Council consisting of a minimum of nine and a maximum of twelve Council Members namely:

(i) Chairman; (ii) Vice-Chairman; (iii) Treasurer; (iv) Two Secretaries; (v) Chairman, Religious Committee; (vi) Chairman, Social Committee; (vii) Chairman, Youth and Educational Committee; (viii) Chairman of Communications Committee; and other elected or co-opted members.

to

16 The administration of Kehillat Kernow shall be vested in a Council consisting of a minimum of six and a maximum of ten Council Members which must include the following Offices:

(i) Chairman; (ii) Vice-Chairman; (iii) Treasurer; (iv) Secretary;
and may include:
(i) Religious Adviser; Librarian; (ii) Cheder Officer; (iii) Communications Officer; (iv) Events Officer (v) Newsletter Editor (vi) Administration Officer and other elected or co-opted members who hold no Office.

An individual may hold more than one Office.

Amendment 2

from

31 At least fourteen days written notice of every AGM or EGM shall be sent by post to every Kehillat Kernow member at his last known address. In the case of an AGM there shall accompany such notice an agenda including details of any resolution proposed for consideration at the AGM. The following shall be available for inspection prior to any such meeting:

(a) The report of the Council.

(b) The report of the Treasurer and the audited accounts for the previous financial year.

to

31 At least fourteen days written notice of every AGM or EGM shall be sent by post or e-mail to every Kehillat Kernow member at his last known address. In the case of an AGM there shall accompany such notice an agenda including details of any resolution proposed for consideration at the AGM. The following shall be available for inspection prior to any such meeting:

(a) The report of the Council.

(b) The report of the Treasurer and the accounts (examined independently or audited by registered auditors if required by the Charity Commission) for the previous financial year.

Amendment 3

from

33 At all AGMs and EGMs only those members present whose membership has extended over a continuous period of three months nextpreceding the meeting shall be entitled to vote. Voting shall be in person or by proxy vote. Save, as otherwise provided by these Rules, a resolution shall be carried by a simple majority of those present; in the event of equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

to

33 At all AGMs and EGMs only those members present whose membership has extended over a continuous period of three months preceding the meeting shall be entitled to vote. Voting shall be in person or by proxy vote. Save, as otherwise provided by these Rules, a resolution shall be carried by a simple majority of those voting; in the event of equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

Amendment 4

All references to “The Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (RSGB)” to be changed to “The Movement for Reform Judaism (MRJ)”

N.B. Words changed are in italics and underline

Jewish Community in Cornwall