Curriculum Kernewek

Cornwall Agreed Syllabus 2011

syllabus logo
+ Guide to Judaism and Baha'i
Guide to Judaism

Judaism is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions. Jews believe that God made a covenant with the Jewish people and laid down laws for them to follow. Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews differ about whether the laws should be strictly adhered to or if they are simply guidelines that should be interpreted and followed.

It is thought that Jews first came to Cornwall from the Rhineland area of Germany and Holland in the 1720s. Jews settled in Penzance and Falmouth which were busy ports as a result of the packet ships and mining boom. The Jews became shopkeepers, ship chandlers, watchmakers, jewellers and tailors. Some were pedlars who travelled around the countryside during the week but returned home for the Sabbath. The new trades and services offered by the Jewish community were welcomed by local people and a number of the Jewish settlers became members of the Freemasons, rubbing shoulders with men of importance and influence within the communities.

The ports provided safe and prosperous places for the community to settle and the Jewish communities in Penzance and Falmouth established synagogues and burial grounds. By the 1840's there were around fourteen Jewish families living in Falmouth and around sixteen families living in Penzance.

By 1850, the communities were feeling the effects of the withdrawal of the Packet Ship service by the Post Office and the decline of the mining industry. Several members of the congregations left Falmouth and Penzance in pursuit of work, with some migrating overseas and others heading to areas with expanding economies or larger Jewish Communities. With decreasing numbers the communities were no longer viable and the synagogues were closed and sold.

Now it is hard to find signs that the Jewish communities existed at all. The burial grounds can be visited by arrangement but the synagogues have long been converted to other uses. The 2011 census data showed 389 Jews living in Cornwall and around 80 of these are members of 'Kehillat Kernow' – the Jewish Community of Cornwall. The organisation was established in 1999 and meet regularly for Shabbat services at a school near Truro. Members of the Jewish Community participate in the Cornwall Faith Forum and support 'Dor Kemmyn' (meaning Common Ground in Cornish) the interfaith initiative to build a new shared centre for Cornwall's spiritual communities.

Guide to Baha'i

Baha'i believe that God has sent messengers, or prophets, to mankind including Moses, Jesus, Muhammed and many more. They consider the most recent messenger sent by God to be a man called Mírzá Husayn `Alí Núrí (1817-1892), known as Bahu'a'llah. He taught unity and equality amongst all people irrelevant of their ethnicity or gender.

On a trip to London in 1910, 27 year old Daniel Jenkyn, a shipping clerk from St Ives, met with someone of the Baha'i faith on the train to London and converted. Daniel was keen to share his faith and decided to walk to Liverpool, sharing his message with the people he met on the way. He also took his message to Holland and is alleged to have been the first Baha'i to do so. Back in the UK Daniel attended several meetings held by Abdu'l-Baha and began to make contact with other like-minded believers in Cornwall. He died of influenza in 1914.

Bernard Leach set up his pottery in St Ives in 1920 and developed an international reputation for his work. He received the Baha'i message from a fellow artist at Dartington Hall and later became Baha'i himself. A number of Baha'i visited him in St Ives.

The 2011 census showed 39 Baha'is living in Cornwall and there is an active Baha'i community which holds weekly meetings at Connor Downs, near Hayle.

The Baha'í Faith:

+ proclaims the unity of God and of all his Prophets

+ recognises the basic oneness of all religions and the oneness of the entire human race

+ states that religion must go hand in hand with science, and that it constitutes the ultimate basis of a peaceful, ordered and progressive society

+ exalts work performed in the spirit of service to the rank of worship

+ condemns all forms of prejudice, whether religious, racial, class or national

+ upholds the principle of equal opportunity, rights and privileges for men and women

+ advocates compulsory education for all

+ provides solutions to economic problems on national and international levels

+ aims to establish and safeguard a permanent and universal peace, the supreme goal of mankind