The Bulletin

1. As Far Away as Possible from the Principal's Office

Headlines like these are why Holocaust education remains a central part of our Federation's mission and that of so many Jewish organizations: "Florida school removes principal who wouldn't describe the Holocaust as 'factual'." "Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened," he responded, in part, to a parent advocating for Night to be added to the school's curriculum. Deniers never cease to amaze.

The email exchange happened last year but it took this long for public pressure to get this "educator" to be "reassigned to a District position." Like my son who texted me a couple of hours ago as he was leaving Yad Vashem said, NEVER FORGET.

2. No Filters

No stranger to readers of the Bulletin, Deborah Lipstadt, while vacationing in Israel, got some press when in an interview she criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for his close ties to leaders in Poland and Hungary who are doing nothing to halt anti-Semitism in their countries.  
When one of the world's leading scholars on the Holocaust speaks I pay attention, even when it comes from her Facebook page (yes, we are friends). "I gave this interview after too much coffee and too little sleep. The filters were down and I spoke my mind."
3. Home Is Where Gal Is

I rarely need a reason to fanboy Gal Gadot here in the Bulletin or anywhere. This week I'm happy to share that wonder woman, who mostly lives in L.A. now with her husband and two daughters, kept Israel near and dear on a recent visit to the old neighborhood (Tel Aviv).
Gadot talked about anti-Semitism in response to a question and added, "Israel is important to me, very. In general, I wish for our country to really be in a good place, and that there will be quiet, stability, peace, and tranquility. Because I believe in the end that all the people want it. There are no people who want war, God forbid, and their children to go to the army. So I try to strengthen these messages, the good, and the desire for peace and quiet."
4. Champions

When you win the World Cup in a sport I actually follow I'm going to find a way to get you into the Bulletin. I have been a huge fan of the US National team for nearly 30 years and neither Rose Lavelle (my favorite among this group of winners) nor Megan Rapinoe (the leader of the group) are Jewish. But it turns out Megan Rapinoe's girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird, is indeed Jewish. "The longtime point guard for the Seattle Storm, Bird is a three-time world champion and a two-time WNBA champion, and boasts four Olympic gold medals. Essentially, Bird is the Megan Rapinoe of basketball," writes Jenny Singer in Forward. Can they make a split screen Wheaties box?

5. What? Me Worry?

Well, maybe a little. I never liked comic books and growing up in Israel there wasn't much of that culture. But when it came to Mad I always asked for a copy when anyone was traveling to America. It was part of how I learned English (a fun part, like Beatles lyrics and soccer on the BBC). Now I worry that future generations will not reap the benefits I had as a kid reading Mad. The humor magazine announced it is shutting down after nearly 70 years of publication. Mad, I will remember you well.

"Aficionados of Jewish humor will particularly miss the publication, which had an outsider's irreverent point of view that reflected a particularly Jewish kind of humor, which was not surprising in light of the fact that its founder, William M. Gaines ( the family name was originally Ginzberg), and many of its contributors were Jewish. It has influenced generations of Jewish comic artists, comedians and writers," wrote Hannah Brown in The Jerusalem Post.

"Mad was famous for attacking sacred cows and poking fun at hypocrites in every sector of society, including politicians and entertainers, with an outsider's glee and sense of having nothing to lose, key components of Jewish humor. It was able to do that in part because of a critical editorial decision Gaines made early on not to sell advertising in the magazine, which meant that it was beholden to no one and free to offend everyone."

6. Dying for Another 1,000 Years

Count on Tablet Magazine to bring you in-depth coverage of things you didn't know were a thing. For instance, there is "How Sweden Became the Epicenter of Yiddish Children's Media." 

"In 1999, Yiddish was declared an official national minority language in Sweden, alongside Finnish, Romani, Meänkieli, and the Sami languages. There's federal funding in Sweden for media produced in all its national minority languages - so Sweden, of all places, is now a major source of new Yiddish children's books, TV cartoons, web media, and music videos," reports Marjorie Ingall.

As Isaac Bashevis Singer himself once said, "The Yiddish language has been dying for a thousand years and I'm sure it will go on dying for at least a thousand more."

7. When I'm 79

Sir Richard Starkey, Ringo to everyone on planet Earth, did not secretly convert to Judaism when you weren't looking. But on his birthday he makes the Bulletin on account of being married to a Jewish woman (Barbara Bach) as is band mate Sir Paul, whom you may also know. (I'm a Beatles fan in case you missed it and will stop at nothing to include the Fab Four.)

So there's your justification for reading more in another fan's blog post: "Ringo Starr Spreads the Message of Peace and Love as He Celebrates His Birthday in Grand Los Angeles Style."
8. Beetles Not Beatles This Time

How to feel when "The Volkswagen Beetle Says Auf Wiedersehan"? The iconic car with a history stretching from Nazi Germany to the Summer of Love stopped production this week. But that's happened before, so - who knows? - this may not be such sweet sorrow but only an "until we meet again" moment.

I suspect, though, that more than a a few people in Israel will commiserate at the annual Israeli Beetle Club meeting in Kibbutz Yakum.
9. Tomato - $24 - You Gotta Be Kidding

I'm a big fan of Israeli chef Eyal Shani, who has built an international empire of carbs and now has a new NYC restaurant HaSalon (the Living Room) that features creative Israeli food and music by Bach and a DJ. This week, however, this new restaurant (or the prices there to be more accurate) aggravated NY Post critic Steve Couzzo enough to go after the $24 tomato and $149 striped bass. OY. If you plan to go, know that there is no menu and there are no walk-ins. Reservations required.

Through July 31
Art of Summer 2019 Judith Klein Art Gallery
127 West Rodney French Blvd., Door #31, New Bedford


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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