Our first entry for 2005 must include a note of sorrow for the devastation caused by the tsunami in the region of the Indian Ocean which affected the coastlines of so many areas. Our prayers for those killed, injured or suffering the loss of loved ones and homes will be repeated during many of our services in the next few months.
Our own news is better. We have received a legacy which we hope will enable us to make tentative steps towards establishing our own premises at some point in the future. This will be a long way off, but it is a dream that may one day come to fruition.
Leslie tells me that we have more Mezuzot in stock. The Cornish Mezuzah is a highly regarded part of our history now and any members (or non-members for that matter) wishing to obtain one, should contact Leslie or myself hkurzfield[at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk.
Our fortnightly services recommence on January 8th and members and visitors are reminded that services normally begin at 10.30am. Visitors who wish to attend any services are asked to contact me at the email address above.
NB: Please note new time for the start of Shabbat services, 10.30am and not 10am. Next Service is on 22nd January, 2005.
Our AGM in November 2004 was not as well attended as in previous years, however, the usual ‘old faithfuls’ put in their usual appearance. Without these ‘old faithfuls’ there is many an organisation which would go under, including ours, so may I express my continuing thanks to those committee members who support all our meetings and help to keep Kehillat Kernow running smoothly.
- Harvey Kurzfield continues as Chairman
- Bonnie Rockley continues as Vice-chair
- Anne H. is our treasurer
- Pat L. our librarian
- Leslie L. our press officer
- David H
- David H (two different surnames)
- Keran G (New committee member)
- Sue C
- Wilf R
All committee members. Our Secretary is Milton J who took over from Kathleen. We look forward to another year of exciting developments and, hopefully, growing membership.
Thanks to the generosity of the Exeter Hebrew Congregation we now have our own Torah Scroll. This was presented to us at the service at Exeter Synagogue for erev Shavuot. Sixteen members of Kehillat Kernow were driven in a very comfortable mini bus (patient driver: David Hearle) straight to the synagogue. We were welcomed very warmly and enjoyed a wonderful service during which our chairman, Harvey Kurzfield, was presented with one of Exeter Synagogue’s Torah Scrolls. This was a truly memorable occasion for all present and the whole community is grateful to Exeter Hebrew Congregation for making this possible. The scroll has now been with us for several weeks and has been used during all our Shabbat services.
On 9th June, 2003 an historic event took place in Truro. For the first time in many, many years (possibly for the first time ever!) the Chief Rabbi paid an official visit to the Jewish Community of Cornwall. Accompanied by Rev. Malcolm Weisman (Ministering Rabbi for small communities) and half a dozen policemen, Chief Rabbi Dr. Jonathon Sacks arrived at the Brookdale Hotel in Truro as part of his tour of the South West. He immediately asked to be introduced to each member present and shook hands and chatted with at least fifty people. Thus he made a roomful of people feel instantly happy and relaxed on their own territory!
I then had the pleasure of introducing him formally to the group as a whole and, at the same time, on behalf of Kehillat Kernow, presented the Chief Rabbi with our own Cornish Mezuzah, an extremely rare and precious gift. He was suitably impressed (I hope).
Malcolm Weisman then said a few words about the tour which had already included visits to Exeter and Plymouth.
Dr. Sacks then gave a talk about the current state of affairs in the World with particular reference to Israel itself, and he exhorted us to continue to give Israel our support, suggesting, that, if it were possible, as many of us as possible should show that support in the most practical way of all – by visiting Israel regularly.
It was not all serious, however, and the more humourous side of the Chief Rabbi’s nature came across as he told us a number of genuinely amusing stories.
At the end of the session he answered a few questions, signed several copies of ‘The Dignity of Difference’, and then was whisked back to London by his security team.
Everyone I spoke to later seemed inspired or moved in some way by the visit. Certainly as a group which finds itself geographically isolated at least, we were enriched. We look forward to a return visit some time in the future.
I have just updated the About Us section with some forward-looking information from Harvey. Its a good update for people new to Kehillat Kernow as the original rendition was created several years ago. A lot of good things have happened since then. I hope that I’ll also be able to add more photos, regular newsletters and such like in the near future. Please email me your suggestions or text/photographic material for inclusion in the site.