Andrea Ann Kepes reports in the Nelson Mail October 29, 2011.
In more recent times, the Jewish community here has grown to its current membership of about 100 people, mainly families. They are secular, or non. Orthodox Jews and celebrate the main festivals such as Passover together.
A monthly Friday night Shabbat (Sabbath) meal is held, and the Jewish New Year and Channuka are also communally observed. Many couples are mixed with one Jewish and one non-Jewish partner. Hebrew is as much a dominant language at community events because English and many Jewish visitors and locals participate. A short religious service is held where two candles are lit and blessings recited for the incoming Sabbath. Next there is the passing round of the challah (bread) and a blessing, followed by a Kiddush (blessing) for the wine.
A pot-luck meal follows, usually beginning with the traditional chicken soup. Participants mingle and socialise, enjoying the chance to express their faith and culture, a right so often denied amid a history of persecution. For more information on Jewish community events, please contact the Nelson Multicultural Council, 4 Bridge St, 03 539 0030.
Read the full article by downloading it: