The Bulletin
1.A Narrow Bridge
We all know the folk song “Kol ha-olam kulo gesher tzar m’od v’ha-ikar lo l’fached k’lal" or “The whole world is a narrow bridge, and the essential thing is not to fear at all.”

On Sunday this was on display when 25,000 people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in solidarity. No Hate No Fear was on everyone’s minds, in their hearts and there for all to see. Communities as far as Chicago, Ohio and Florida sent delegations. The story was prime time news on every major news outlet.

The march was organized by the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and was attended by governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer and by Jews of all denominations and affiliations. Secular, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chabad all banded together against hate. Anti-Semitic crimes were up 21% in New York last year. In the aftermath of the attacks in Monsey and Jersey City such “wall to wall” response is an inspiring first step.

I want to ask members of our community to join us on Sunday, April 26, at the Holocaust memorial in Buttonwood Park for our annual Yom HaShoah observance. This year more than ever our march from the monument to Tifereth Israel for the evening program has meaning. This year, that walk is our Brooklyn Bridge.

And finally, of the very many accounts of the march (and I read half a dozen or so), if asked to suggest one, I'd probably pick this one from the New York Jewish Week . See for yourself.
2.Arch Terrorist Gone, But What Now?
"Qassem Soleimani was an arch terrorist with American blood on his hands," tweeted former Ambassador Nikki Haley. "As a former State Dept. official your job is to find peaceful solutions, not start wars," someone wrote in response. True, and true.

The world is probably a better and safer place without Iran’s leading terrorist, but at what price? And will Tuesday night’s missile attack on the two bases in Iraq be the coordinated proportional response some have made it to be or simply the next move in the Potomac/Tigris two-step?

Time will tell. Like all things Middle East, it may take years to be able to truly measure. And let’s face it, it is only a matter of time before Israel is sucked into this equation with the Iran-backed Hezbollah in control of Lebanon. In the picture believed to have been taken in Beirut a couple of weeks ago, Soleimani is seen with Hezbollah’s chief Nasrallah.
3.Proportional? Not So Much
Pundits here argue that the Electoral College is an anachronism. Experts in Israel have their own grievances with politics as usual - specifically with proportional representation.

When Tal Schneider, chief political correspondent for the daily Globes visits our community next month, I think anyone reading this will be even more prepared for what will be a fascinating evening.
"The chief advantage of proportional representation seems to be the warm feeling of every voter that their vote matters regardless of whether their neighbors lean a very different way. Yet in practice, PR typically leads to weak, chaotic, or non-existing governments" writes Neil Rogachevsky.
Will change come in the coming elections, the 3 rd in less than a year? Don’t bet on it.
4.Topical, Sadly
"Tragedy transformed Devorah Halberstam into New York City's most outspoken expert on anti-Semitic crime. Are we listening?" asks Tablet Magazine in the in-depth article "The Prophet."

From the piece: "In 1994, tragedy propelled Halberstam into a unique fate after her oldest child, 16-year-old Ari, was murdered in a brazen ambush on a van full of young Jewish boys crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Ari’s death devastated Devorah, who at the time was working as a secretary in Brooklyn while raising five children. Her grief turned into an obsession when the authorities asserted that her son’s killer, a man named Rashid Baz, was simply beset by a random fit of road rage—and happened to have military-style weapons in his vehicle.

"Halberstam devoted herself to finding the truth. She discovered that Baz, a Lebanese immigrant, was motivated by an Islamist political ideology and a strong desire to kill Jews—both of which were amplified in his Brooklyn mosque. By giving up luxuries like sleep, she found time between work and taking care of her children to teach herself about counterterrorism, a field still so new in the mid-’90s that there were hardly any resources."  
5.Daughter Knows Best
Letty Cottin Pogrebin has a way with words and … stuff. After a lifetime of adding without subtracting, the author had some hard choices to make when her daughter staged an intervention. Read the Moment Magazine article about "The Life-Changing Magic of Clutter." Can you relate?

"Because my daughter Abigail is a very clever woman, she first made it sound like a gift: 'Our friend Jane just started a personal organizing service. I’m buying you a wonderful all-day decluttering session.'

'No thanks.' My blood ran cold at the thought. 'I love clutter.'

Next, she made it sound like a mitzvah: 'I promised Jane some business. I’ll work along with her, empty out all your drawers and cabinets, and you’ll decide what you really need or love.'

'I need everything. I love everything.'

At that, she presented me with an existential imperative. 'Now’s the time to sort through everything while you’re still active and alert.'

I surrendered, for her sake. But it was a grueling ordeal, each object freighted with meaning and memories. Jews have a complex relationship with our things." 
6.The Egg Salad Wizard of Oz
Her famous father is a heart health icon and Daphne Oz is busy making delicious (and not unhealthy) food for us to try in our own homes. Check out her Israeli egg salad. Why didn't I think of that?
Tuesday, February 4, 5:00-6:30 PM
Lecture: "Jews in Brazil" by Shirley Nigri
UMass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library

Wednesday, February 12, 5:00 PM
Lecture: Tal Schneider, award-winning chief political correspondent of the Israeli daily Globes , will speak about Netanyahu and Trump's “reciprocal” politics and Israel’s third election in less than a year.
UMass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library
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  
Jewish Federation of 
Greater New Bedford

467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA, 02747

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