All posts by Jeremy

Seder Night – Cancellation

After much discussion, with heavy hearts, the Council has decided to cancel this year’s Seder. There are basically two related reasons for this decision. 

Firstly, Covid cases have been rising at an alarming rate in Cornwall, which now has the highest number since the pandemic started and also the second highest percentage numbers in the UK. Just within our small community we currently have nine confirmed cases. There is a risk for those who are in some way vulnerable, and among those who have booked for the Seder there are several. The Council does not think it right to take what we now see as a considerable risk at this time. 

Secondly, among those in our community who have recently been diagnosed with Covid, three of them are Council members who have a role in the Seder’s preparation and two of them are the chief organisers. Of course, some or all of these people will hopefully be recovered by 15 April and will almost certainly not be infectious. The problem is that it is now that the preparations are happening and the Council isi afraid that they are simply not well enough to work at present. Despite this great thanks to Anne and David for  doing so much already and even continuing to work while feeling ill up until today. 

Any monies sent in payment for places at the Seder will be returned. 

We are all terribly sad to have to cancel our first Seder for three years. Those of you who have attended a KK Seder in the past know that they are a highlight of our ritual year and renowned across the land….

Let us all say, “Next year, in Trelissick!”

Pesach in Cornwall

After over two years in the wilderness, we are breaking free from the shackles of the pandemic and emerging step by step into freedom. Pesach this year will be doubly sweet, a reminder of the emergence from slavery, and a return to a life which we are freer to enjoy, while remembering our responsibility to use our freedom to make the world a better place. 

The first night of Pesach will be on Friday 15h April and we will be celebrating it in traditional style. There will be the familiar story, given new life by the reading of our Deputy Chair Adam Feldman, together with Murray Brown and with contributions from other members. We will have the traditional seder plate, and a wonderful buffet organised by Anne and David Hearle and lovingly cooked and prepared by some of the talented chefs of the community. 

Our seder is a wonderful occasion for both children and adults. Who will find the afikomen this year? If you are to be in Cornwall for Pesach this year, you may wish to join us, in which case please email .  Please note, however, that available places will be limited.

Looking for food for Pesach? There are several suppliers, but many people use Sabeny. Visit their website, or email them for their food list, or call them on 203 6973410.

Holly and her trees

Young KK regular Holly Hancock was unable to attend the Tree Planting at Paul (see below), so she and her dad planted their own trees for the Jewish refugees. They were thinking particularly of their family who left Germany during the Second World War to escape what what was happening to Jews and to make a better life in the UK. 

Holly’s grandmother is happy that Holly is engaging with her faith,  a faith which her grandmother felt obliged to hide for many years. Let the trees, Holly and other young people in her position, all full of promise, grow to make the world a better and more beautiful place. 

One of the trees planted by Hollly Hancock and her father

Tree Planting in Penwith

Digging it in – a joint effort by David Hearle and Melvia Williams (who knew the Jewish Refugee children as a child).
Meanwhile local children supervise!

On 30 January, 2022 Kehillat Kernow, the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), the Cornwall Faith Forum (CFF) and local people converged on the historic Cholera Field at Paul, near Mousehole in Penwith to plant an oak tree. The tree is one of eighty being planted around the UK to mark places where Jewish people have been given homes and shelter. Paul is one of these places as, together with Mousehole, it offered homes to 100 children and 5 teachers from the Jews Free School in East London in 1941 when they were evacuated because of the Blitz. Their stories are recorded in From East End to Lands End  by KK member and local author Susan Soyinka 

The tree was planted by another KK member, David Hearle, with help provided by children from Mousehole School. One Mousehole resident,  Melvia Williams, who remembered the Jewish children’s arrival ‘as if it was yesterday’ attended the ceremony and spoke of a warm coming together of the two groups of children. Besides the tree planting itself, the ceremony included welcome speeches by CFF Head and Priest in Charge at Paul Church Andrew Yates and by KK Chair Jeremy Jacobson, talks by AJR representative (and coincidentally KKK member) Dr Bea Lewkowicz and by Susan Soyinka, plus the recital of Psalm 104 by everyone, a moving rendition of El Malei Rachamim by KK Vice-Chair Adam Feldman and, finally, the Priestly Blessing recited in Hebrew by Adam and in English by Andrew.

After the ceremony, which was attended by around 100 people, Kehillat Kernow, together with Paul Church, invited the attendees to an informal lunch of Cornish pasties (vegetarian included!) tea, coffee and wine. The ceremony was a great success, bringing together communities and organisations in an affirmation of chayim (life) and chesed (loving kindness). 

The End of Exile for Kehillat Kernow

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We are back! For the first time in two years, Kehillat Kernow finally met together face-to-face for a Shabbat morning service. It was an emotional affair and also a challenging one as we tried to remember how we had done things in the past. When should we cover the Sefer Scroll with the mantle? What was the tune we used for this section of the Amidah? Should we dress the Torah Scroll before the Haftorah or after? We struggled a little, but we got there in the end. We completed the service, reading, praying, singing with the same intensity as before, perhaps more, as we revelled in the occasion. Kiddush lunch which would in the past have lasted a half-hour or so, went on for well over an hour as we chatted and chatted and chatted. A wonderful occasion, tinged with sadness at the absence of our greatly missed service leader among service leaders, our guide and touchstone but tinged also with joy that we were able to honour her in our observance of Shabbat.

(KK Friends and Members can see more photos of the occasion here.)