All posts by Harvey Kurzfield

Seth’s Barmitzvah

Seth Hampshire celebrated his Barmitzvah last month. The service was held at Carnon Downs village hall where over 100 guests turned out to witness the event; these included most of the members of Kehillat Kernow, friends and family and members of the wider community. We even had a gentleman from Radio Cornwall complete with microphone!

Tony Reese from the Exeter Hebrew congregation had kindly brought down a Torah Scroll for the occasion so it was going to be a real test for Seth. And how did he do? Brilliantly!

He did us all proud! The service was conducted by David Hampshire in his usual, inimitable style and everyone enjoyed the proceedings.

Our two elder statesmen, Milton and Leslie, performed the duties of joint wardens, with Leslie being given the honour of raising the Torah Scroll for all to see. (The fact that he is shortly to have an operation on his shoulder is, I hope, purely coincidental! We do, however, wish him well.) Several members of the congregation were called up including Harvey, Kathleen (Seth’s proud mum), and young Elisha who had his Barmitzvah in Plymouth a couple of years ago now.

There are some photos of the event which I will send to Noah and hopefully, in the fulness of time, they will appear in the photo gallery.
After the service and kiddush, vegetarian food was served in the hall.

It was a very happy and memorable event in the short history of Kehillat Kernow.

Chanukah Party

On Thursday 6th December Kehillat Kernow held its annual Chanukah Party. This year’s party was tinged with sadness as we were also saying farewell to our good friend Arnie who will shortly be returning to the United States after a tour of duty over here. Arnie was presented with a beautiful, pewter Kiddush Cup along with a large custom-made card signed by all those present at the party.

Also in attendance were a number of guests previously unknown to the group and we look forward to welcoming them to future services and other events.

Members and guests brought in some delicious food and after lighting the candles and singing Moatz Zur we ate, had cups of tea and, eventually were persuaded to dance the Hora!

Everyone agreed that it was a great night, especially the children who received presents from Booba Bonnie!

Our next Sabbath service is on 14th December in Truro when Ben will be leading the proceedings. We look forward to seeing a good turnout.


On 13th October Kehillat Kernow held its Annual General Meeting. Below is a copy of the Chairman’s remarks for the past year. I would like to begin with some words of thanks or praise to several people in the community. As always, and I think I speak on behalf of everyone in Kehillat Kernow, I would like to thank David Hampshire for his hard work and spiritual inspiration in leading many of our services, both for Shabbat and for festivals. Indeed, it is through his

Visit to Exeter Synagogue

On Saturday 12th October, Arnie Oskin and I visited Exeter Synagogue for a traditional service. Although I have lived in the south west for 30 years I am astonished to admit that I had never previously visited this beautiful synagogue. Arnie, an American currently living and working in Cornwall for the last year, was able to direct me straight to Synagogue Place in Exeter. Here we were greeted with enthusiasm by Frank Gent who also took the service. Gradually the little synagogue hall filled and the service began at 10.30am. Frank explained everything very carefully so that we all knew which page to follow. Everyone felt as if he or she was being addressed personally. It was a most memorable service. As visitors Arnie and I were both called up to perform various functions and I had the pleasure and honour of reading the Haftorah, a particularly beautiful poem from the book of Isiah.
After the service there was a light lunch upstairs.

We hope that visitors from Devon will visit our services if they are ever down this way. In the meantime I would recommend that if you have the opportunity that you pay a visit to Exeter Synagogue. You can check the Exeter Synagogue website for details of dates when services are held.