All posts by Pat Lipert

Welcome to Sukkot

Ten days after Rosh HaShannah, Chairman Jeremy Jacobson led services for Erev Sukkot on zoom on the 14th of Tishri.  Those who zoomed into Jeremy’s thoughtful service, saw their dining room table laden with fruits from Mai and Jeremy’s garden, saw the inside of Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman’s special Succah and watched Mai wave the etrog and lulav. 

The service stressed the importance of Sukkat commanded by Torah, to dwell in booths for seven days in remembrance of the 40 years spent in the desert when the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt. The two elements of the festival, Jeremy stressed, were about abundance and thanksgiving for a plentiful harvest as well as a reminder of the fragility of life. 

And so, like so many Jewish observances, this service and festival was a mixture of how temporary, unpredictable and uncertain  all life is, how important the concept of spiritual in-gathering and renewal are, and how important it is to celebrate what we have and  how good life can be.

Hag Sameach! 

Renewal and Commitment: KK High Holy Days

Roselidden Farm was the in-person venue for our first High Holy Day services in two years. It was one of the most moving and spiritually uplifting Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur festivals many of us can remember with Adam Feldman at the helm along with Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman leading the services.  The weather was warm and sunny making al Fresco lunches and kiddushes, repleat with traditional apples and honey, honey cake and raisin challot possible. 

The prayer room was filled with fresh breezes as doors were and windows were flung open. The spirit of loving kindness permeated everything.

Masked and seated safely apart from one another, ironically, we couldn’t have been closer as we watched our Torah being raised on high, heard the haunting melodies and listened to the wisdom of our Sh’liach Tsburrim guide us through the services and deliver excellent, thoughtful and heart-rending commentaries. And if that were not enough, we were blessed with the catering expertise of our own Melanie Feldman who made both the luncheon, sponsored by Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman on Rosh HaShannah Day and the Breakfast dinner on Yom Kippur. 

Thanks to Chairman Jeremy Jacobson who organised so much of the Days of Awe, Rachel and Roger Chatfield who enabled all services to be zoomed as well for those who could not be with us in person, and to all those who worked behind the scenes and helped with the housekeeping before and after. 

To paraphrase a famous quote, never was so much done by so few for so many.

KK Members reUnited among the Bluebells

On Sunday, May 2nd, members of Kehillat Kerow met face to face for the first time  in 15 months under glorious blue skies and even more grand bluebells at Enys Gardens outside Penryn. Adam and Melanie Feldman came up with the idea for  safe outdoor gathering and fifteen enthusiastic walkers, from ages  two to almost 90, members enjoyed catching up with each other sans Zoom. Each group brought provisions, for what’s a Jewish occasion without a nosh?   A picnic near  a picturesque walled garden amongst the flowers and blossoming trees completed the splendid reunion. Oh happy day; we found a way to meet again. 

(Pictures by Estelle Moses and Leslie Lipert)

Jewish Entertainment for a Sunday Afternoon

In case you’ve been adrift on Sunday afternoons at the end of the month at 5pm, Kehillat Kernow has been offering a series of entertaining events for its members since August. You can participate or not, but do join in for the fun, the kibbitzing and good information which emerges every time members of KK have a get together.  All you have to do is ZOOM IN!

In August we had a jolly good time with Cornish Island Discs where favourite musical pieces from all genres and periods were heard and talked about. The end of October, 25th, a Jewish-Cornish version of the popular television show, Just a Minute, will match wit and humour as we see how long we can keep an extemp topic going.  The end of November will feature Favourite Books that have influenced some of our members. The selections promise to give you new insight into people you think you already know as well as some good reading recommendations. The end of December, A Jewish Journey of Names and Identity will be presented where participants discuss their personal Jewish and secular names and their historical, spiritual and familial significance.

The idea for these KK programmes came up as a result of the annual European Days of Culture and Heritage sponsored by B’nai B’rith UK which is running from September through December this year focussed around the topic, Jewish Journeys.

Come and join us on these Sunday sessions;  if you wish to attend, please contact our Security Officer

Zoom into a Thriving Kehillat Kenrow

Since the beginning of March, Chairman Jeremy Jacobson has been organising members of Kehillat Kernow to prepare for the long period of self-isolation due to Covid-19, and to make contact, communication and inter-action viable, on-going and meaningful to our Jewish lives.  As a result, our small Jewish Cornish community is alive, well and offering a range of options to ride out the pandemic.

During March, April and now almost through May, Jeremy, with the help of shul members, has not only organised social/cultural events (Quiz afternoon, chat sessions, a KK WhatsApp group, Jewish Britain: Your favourite object in the Jewish Museum), Festival and Commemorative services (Erev Shavuot, Yom HaShoah), but also initiated regular Friday Night/Kiddush services and on-line end- of-the-month Shabbat Services. Meeting the needs of individual community members in self-isolation has also been organised to ensure that more vulnerable members have access to food, medicines and other necessaries to ensure their well-being.

A KK Weekly Bulletin, produced by Jeremy,  is being emailed to every member of the community to inform us of upcoming events, relevant news from Reform Judaism, services on offer, information about mental health, and specific KK Council news.

We may not be able to have person-to-person contact yet, but through Zooming, Internet Information, emails and the telephone, weekly and daily help and access to all of us in the community is available.

Thank you Jeremy and all the specific member of our community who are working so hard to make this happen, exemplifying the best of what it means to be Jewish. We are thriving!