Category Archives: News

Noach

It take just two parashot, or eleven chapters, for God to create the universe, equip the earth with the means to support life, populate this earth with living creatures, bring forth humanity, test its first representatives, establish the principle of mortality, judge the world and flood it, repopulate it and, finally, to ensure that diversity rules over monoculture by humbling the hubris of the builders of Babel. It then takes ten parashot, eighty chapters, to weave the story of a small family, beginning with Abraham setting forth from his father’s home and culminating with Jacob, his twelve sons and daughter and their children settled in Egypt. It takes a further forty-two parashot (a very large number of chapters indeed!) to lead a small people through the desert and, by way of its righteous, devoted and selfless leader, prepare the people for statehood and a holy mission. It just shows that, if you want to do a job well, you need to spend your time over it –  in this case not cosmic or historic, but ‘personal’ time.

Of course, you’ll be relieved to hear me say, before condemning me for sacrilege, that God does not do anything badly and certainly does not make a mistake. Adam and Eve are not failures. Cain may be evil, but he did not live, or even kill, for nothing. The Flood was not a frenzied rubbing out of a blackboard full of errors of calculation, and the Tower of Babel was not a worthless episode of overweening ambition. Bereshit and Noach serve to prepare the ground for a wonderful human experiment: the making of a covenant between the supreme power and a small family grown into a small nation, so that a model of civilisation, human relations and reverence for life and for the divine could take form.

To hear more about Noach and Babel, come along this Saturday at 10:30 when Harvey Kurtfield will endeavour to ensure that we are neither drowned nor thrown off a tower, but rather guided to a future based on wisdom and understanding.

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.

Chief Rabbi and Rebbetzin visit Penzance Jewish Cemetery

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, paid a visit to the Penzance Jewish Cemetery early in the day on Friday, 15 June whilst they were on holiday in Cornwall for a few days.  They were welcomed by Ms. Louise Connell, Director of the Penlee Gallery and Museum, and Leslie and Pat Lipert from Kehillat Kernow.
They were shown around the cemetery and learned some interesting facts about the historic cemetery and some of the people who are buried there. As a gesture of hospitality and sincere welcome, Leslie Lipert, treasurer of Kehillat Kernow and The Friends of Penzance Cemetery, presented the Chief Rabbi with the community’s signature Mezzuzah with its Cornish and religious symbolism.
The visit, done in a private capacity, was part of the many interesting sites the couple visited whilst on their holiday in Cornwall.

Shabbat with the Jacobs

Members of Kehillat Kernow welcomed members of their extended family, Hannah and David Jacobs to Friday night services and dinner at Estelle Moses’ house on Friday the 28th when the couple travelled from their home in London to be with our community for the weekend.

Associated with KK since its inception, David and Hannah have guided our community loyally through the years. Friday night was a sumptuous affair due to Estelle’s special flair for creating ambiance and marvellous food. David conducted the special Friday night service prior to the meal.

On Saturday, Shabbat Emor, David and Pat Lipert conducted the Shabbat service. Following a bountiful Kiddush, Hannah then led us in a discussion of the history of anti-Semitism since Biblical days up to the current state of affairs in Britain.

Chairman Jeremy Jacobson welcomed and thanked this much loved couple for working so hard to provide a very meaningful Shabbat for all our members.

Many thanks to Estelle (and Charlie), who made a huge effort to provide the community with such a special Friday night.

 

To see photos of Friday Night click here.

To see photos of the Saturday Service click here.