I have just added the latest additon of the newsletter for this April: Kol Kehillat Kernow to the Newsletter page.
Thirteen members of Kehillat Kernow took a trip to the Courney Library at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro on Sunday, the 25th of March, to see their collection of Jewish manuscripts. The various scrolls, sedurim and related documents of the Jews of Cornwall, were arranged especially for private exhibition for the community by Angela Broome, librarian.
Of special interest were three Torah scrolls once used by the Falmouth Jewish Community until the end of the 19th century. A fourth scroll, now in Kehillat Kernow’s possession having been donated to our community from the Museum, is used in special services. A minute Megillah, a scroll of The Book of Esther, written in impeccable handwriting by a very gifted sofer, was remarkable for its condition and almost microscopic perfectly lettered script. In addition, an 18th century Italian Haggadah for Pesach, along with a personal prayerbook of Alfred De Pass, a major donor to the museum’s art and cereamic collection, was seen.
Many other items of historical interest were also on display.
Following the visit, members were given a tea in the adjacent café courtesy of Kehillat Kernow. Arrangements for this special visit were done by Chairman Jeremy Jacobson, Secretary Rachel Brown and Angela Broome.
The value of KK’s Arnold and Leatrice Levine Library was more than amply verified on Saturday, 10th of March when members of the community, armed with their reading fare, mostly borrowed from the KK Library, convened at Malpas Village Hall. A four-hour discussion of the books we had read not only provided vast amounts of Jewish information we didn’t know before, but also provoked much thought and lively discussion while feasting over a vast array of gourmet goodies.
All subjects from Jewish history, anecdotes, archaeology, fiction and non-fiction to commentary on man’s relationship to God through the ages were covered.
We began with the musical adaptation of liturgical music composed by Isaac Feldman and went into the intricacies of Abraham’s affect on Christianity and Islam,, the Jewish position in a myriad of societies from 1492 to 1900, heard about some of the more fascinating finds at Masada, spoke of Amoz Oz and Herman Wouk, and ended up with a multitude of examples of cultic and non-cultic deific worship in human beings search for spirituality.
If you are missing out on our Film-Book-Food Club, make sure you re-arrange your schedules because the next event is already in the process of being organised.
Spring is coming and, with it, one of the most wonderful festivals of the Jewish year: Pesach. It is fitting that, at the same time as the world around us begins again to burst into growth, we celebrate the throwing off of the bonds of slavery. We clean our houses, looking for chametz and in the process, sweep away the dust and crumbs at the back of drawers and cupboards, the grey cobwebs in the corners of our kitchens. Pesach is also a time to look inside our hearts and perhaps clear away a few dusty habits and modes of thought grown stiff with complacency. And it is a time to celebrate together the great gift of freedom and the coming together of the people of Israel in a shared covenant with God.
The first night of Pesach this year will be on Friday, 30th March and we will be celebrating it in grand style. There will be the traditional story, given new life by the ever fresh reading of our Honorary Life President Harvey Kurzfield and Deputy Chair Adam Feldman, the traditional seder plate, and a wonderful buffet lovingly cooked and prepared by some of the talented chefs of the community.
Our seder is a wonderful occasion for both children and adults. If you are visiting Cornwall during Pesach and wish to join us, please contact Anne Hearle on 01736 731686 for details.
One last thing. This year the seder begins on Erev Shabbat, so we will be lighting candles for both Shabbat and Yom Tov. Please bring with you your candlesticks, candles and kiddish cup. We will then have two mitzvot for the price of one, plus a beautiful seder table covered with joyous lights.
Holocaust Memorial Services on the 26-28th of January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day were held in Cornwall to acknowledge the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. The Cornwall Jewish Community participated in all these events which were held at Truro Cathedral and the Redruth Baptist Church.
On Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th of January, two days of services took place at Truro Cathedral. The weekend-long programme was a joint effort by Anglican church, the Devon and Cornwall Police and the Cornwall Council. An exhibit, The Power of Words, to educate the public about the impact holocaust experiences have had on the lives of so many people including the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust, in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. Candle-lighting services to mark the loss of Jewish lives were held. KK member Liz Berg and Chairman, Jeremy Jacobson participated in those events.
On Sunday, the 28th of January, A special inter-faith service, organised and sponsored by Andrew Chapple, Elder of the Redruth Baptist Church, and Jeremy Jacobson of Kehillat Kernow. was held.
A specially created Yom HaShoah Memorial Service by the Cornish Jewish Community was led by Pat Lipert, the second to be held at the Baptist church. Many members of Kehillat Kernow attended and participated in this service which also included programme participation from the greater Christian and Baptist community. KK Members who read special prayers, testimonies of witness, poems and liturgy including Jeremy Jacobson, Rachel Brown, Harvey Kurzfield and Adam Feldman.