Kehillat Kernow (Cornwall Community)

& Truro Jewish Community

Truro, Cornwall




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Borough of Truro

The city of Truro, in South West England, has a population of about 13,000. It was a municipal borough, with city status (the only city in Cornwall), until 1974, when it was merged with neighbouring localities to form the local government (non-metropolitan) district of Carrick, within the county of Cornwall.  In April 2009, the district of Carrick and all other local government districts in Cornwall were abolished, and Cornwall became a unitary authority.

Truro Jewish Community

Jewish communities were established in Cornwall in the eighteenth century, mainly in Falmouth and Penzance, but there was also a small communitiy in Truro and a few Jewish families in some other small Cornish towns. These communities died out by the end of the nineteenth. In Truro, there is no evidence that a synagogue was established and services were presumably held in private homes. The community did not appoint a minister, but did have a shochet, at least during the 1820s.

In recent years a Reform Jewish congregation has been formed by Jews living in and around Truro.

Congregation Data


Kehillat Kernow (Cornwall Community)(i)


The congregation holds regular fortnightly Shabbat services. These services are conducted by volunteer members and from time to time student rabbis of Leo Baeck College as well as from visiting rabbis.(iii)

The venue for services, which are generally held in or near Truro, can be obtained by contacting the community, via its website.

Current Status:


Date Founded:

1999(iv) although an earlier congregation had existed in Truro in the 1970s and had been disbanded.(v)




Affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism (formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain), of which it is an associate community.




None Listed


Kol Kehillat Kernow

Membership Data:


2014 - approximately 100(iv)

National Reports and Surveys:(vii)

1977 (earlier congregation) - 25 male (or household) members and estimated 25 female members

2010 & 2016 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1090562), Kehillat Kernow (The Jewish Community Of Cornwall). The governing document is the congregation's constitution adopted 15 November 2000, as amended 27 November 2000, 27 November 2011 and 10 November 2013.(viii)

Registration District:

Cornwall since 1 May 2007(ix) - link to register office website

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The name mixes Hebrew and Cornish. ‘Kehillat’ means (Jewish) Community in Hebrew and ‘Kernow’ is the ancient (Cornish) form for Cornwal.

  • (ii) Reserved.

  • (iii) Congregation's website, last accessed 28 August 2019.

  • (iv) Congregation's website, last accessed 6 July 2017.

  • (v) Synagogue Affiliation in the United Kingdom in 1977, published by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

  • (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

  • (viii) Charities Commission's website (in beta trial stage) and open charities website, both accessed 21 July 2019.

  • (ix) The former Registration District for Truro was Truro, from 1 July 1837 until 1 May 2007. Any registers would now be held by current register office, which is situated in Truro.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Truro include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database  (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Truro during the 1770s (1 record), 1780s (1 record), 1790s (3 records), 1820s (8 records), 1830s (7 records), 1840s (2 records) and 1850s (7 records).



Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Jews of Cornwall


  • Selected Bibliography:

    • The Jews of Devon and Cornwall by Evelyn Friedlander and others,  2000.

    • The Lost Jews of Cornwall by Kieth Pearce and Helen Fry, 2000

    • The Jews of Cornwall, A History, Tradition and Settlement to 1913 by Keith Pearce, 2014.

    • Other Cornwall Bibliography

On third party's website


Truro Jewish Cemeteries Information

  • A small Jewish burial ground is believed (though not conclusively) to have existed in Truro, but abandoned in the 1840's. No visible remains exist and no information is known as to who was buried there.

  • Kehillat Kernow has been allotted special areas, specifically for Jewish burials, within the following existing municipal cemeteries in Cornwall:

    • Fairpark Cemetery, Rialton Road, St. Columb Minor, near Newquay;

    • Campdown Cemetery, Crinnis Road (at end of Beach Road), Charlestoown, St Aistell; and

    • Paul Cemetery, Paul, near Penzance.

  • For historic Jewish cemeteries in Cornwall, see separately under Falmouth and Penzance.

(See also IAJGS International Cemeteries Project - Cornwall)


List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Cornwall

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 22 May 2006
Latest revision or update: 19 May 2021

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