The Bulletin

1. How Do You Spell Pogrom Backwards?
Volodymyr Zelensky.
Yes, the newly elected president of Ukraine is a Jewish comedian. Ukraine's prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, is Jewish too and if he stays on after Zelensky is sworn in, Ukraine will be the only country (outside of Israel) where the heads of state and government are Jewish. Attention Jewish mothers (and fathers) out there, forget David, Theodore and Benjamin - Vlodymyr is the happening name.
"Will Ukraine's New President Be Any Good?" asks The Forward.  Watch and wonder.

Despite what seems to be a rather successful electoral trend, Ukraine's Rabbi Kaminezki says a big part of the new president's job remains helping local Jews overcome "very high anxiety levels" in a community still traumatized by pogroms and the Holocaust.
Read more in this New York Times article, "Ukraine's Newly Elected President Is Jewish. So Is Its Prime Minister. Not All Jews There Are Pleased."
2. Worldwide Solidarity

Jerusalem lit its Notre Dame with French colors in solidarity with the burned Paris cathedral last week. Tel Aviv's city hall was lit up with Sri Lanka's flag after the devastating loss of life (at least 290 people were murdered and more than 500 were wounded in a series of suicide bombings possibly orchestrated by ISIS).

3. Us and Them Thinking

My friend and Twersky Prize winner Andrew Silow-Carroll shares an opinion piece in this week's JTA Editor's Column that is sure to elicit plenty of opinions: "Is 'goy' a slur?"

"Pour out your fury on the goyim," we all read last week, inspiring this piece. What do you think?
4. A Question of Religion and State vs. Tolerance

Bill 21, officially known as An Act Respecting the Laicity [secularism] of the State, would prohibit public employees in certain positions of authority from wearing religious symbols such as kippahs, hijabs, and turbans while on the job.
"Some supporters may be driven by fear or animus toward recent Muslim immigrants. For them, the bill offers a way to stigmatize the presence of visible Muslim communities in Quebec. For others, however, the bill draws on a local tradition opposing organized religion in public life. Whatever the exact mix of motivations driving the bill, it places observant Jews in the crossfire, and has inspired concerns and political resistance in Quebec's Jewish community," we read in the
Tablet Magazine article "Kippahs in the Crossfire."  
I can't help but wonder about the guideline for a necklace with a crucifix? What about a Lotus tattoo? A bindi? And would Christians need to miss work on Ash Wednesday?
For me, all religious expressions are personal and are the very core of liberty. While secular as can be, I'd hate to see anyone feel uncomfortable (not to mention lose a job) because they can't express theirs.

5. Kick It Out

Football (the real kind, not the one Americans play with their hands) has for years been challenged by racism. While we are aware of issues of discrimination in American sports - most recently through the actions of Colin Kapernick, but going back to Jesse Owens, the 1968 Olympics games and more - it is a unique story when the two meet as they will here in New England. Next month London's Chelsea will play the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in an exhibition game titled Final Whistle on Hate.
Against a backdrop of antisemitism and discrimination worldwide, club owners Roman Abramovich and Robert Kraft (both Jewish) have teamed up against hate crimes, harnessing the power of sport and bringing people together to tackle hate and prejudice.
Primary beneficiaries from the game will include the World Jewish Congressthe Tree of Life Synagoguethe Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Educational Trust. Abramovich and Kraft will each donate an additional $1 million in support of the cause.
6. Albert Garih to Speak at Annual Yom HaShoah Observance

At age 6, Albert Garih and his two sisters were placed at a Catholic boarding school to evade the Nazis. They were separated by gender, so Albert only saw his sisters in church on Sunday.

Want to hear more about this child survivor's story? Join us for the annual Yom HaShoah observance on Sunday, May 5, 6:15 at the Holocaust Memorial in Buttonwood Park, followed by a 7:00 PM talk by Mr. Garih, a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum speaker.

First Person with Albert Garih, May 10 2018
First Person with Albert Garih, May 10 2018

7. Scholarship Applications Available

Children and grandchildren of Federation members are invited to apply for scholarships for undergraduate and graduate programs from teh Federation adn New Bedford section of the National Council of Jewish Women.

To request an application write to office@jewishnewbedford.org or call (508) 997-7471.
Wednesday, May 1, 4:00 PM 
Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture by author Louise Borden 
Stories from World War II: The True Escape of Curious George and Raoul Wallenberg, Rescuer in the Holocaust
UMass Dartmouth, Carlton College of Business, Room 149  
Sunday, May 5, 6:15 PM
Annual Yom HaShoah Observance
6:15 PM Holocaust Memorial, Buttonwood Park
7:00 PM Tifereth Israel Congregation Main Sanctuary
Guest speaker: Albert Garih, child survivor  
Sunday, June 2, 7:30 PM
Rabbi Bernard H. and Minna Ziskind Memorial Lecture
Speaker Francine Klagsbrun, author of more than a dozen books, including The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day and Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce. She was the editor of the best-selling Free to Be . . .  You and Me and is a regular columnist for The Jewish Week and on the editorial board of Hadassah magazine. 

Chag Sameach Shabbat Shalom,


The Bulletin is a weekly email from Amir Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford.  I welcome your feedback at amir@jewishnewbedford.org.

Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, 467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA 02747
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