The Bulletin

1. Desperate Times Require "The Force"

For months former prime minister Ehud Barak has been Bibi Netanyahu's most vocal critic. Anything but Bibi, corrupt Bibi, it's been too long Bibi, you are morally bankrupting the country, Bibi all have in one way or another been messages bluntly delivered mostly through social media.  
Let us not forget that Barak once held the important defense portfolio in Bibi's government and that 20 years ago he defeated him to become prime minister. At the time, as publishers of the New Jersey Jewish News, the paper's editor David Twersky and I hired the talented Avi Katz to provide this Star Wars-themed post-election cover art. With the news yesterday that Barak will be returning to politics with a newly formed party ahead of the September 17th elections, this cover is once again relevant and on September 18th may even become déjà vu.

2. Operation Finale - There's Always More

Perhaps the greatest of all Mossad operations was the capture of Adolph Eichmann in Argentina. The operation to capture him was the most known part, but there were other pieces involved that made sure evidence was gathered for the trial.
Micha Maor who died Tuesday at 86 was never in Argentina, but in 1960 he broke into the office of the general prosecutor in Frankfurt and copied incriminating documents that were in the German files. One day in 1943 while hiding with partisans in Yugoslavia, Maor's parents told him to run ahead and fast. When he later came back he found they had been murdered by the Nazis.
One other name linked with Maor's story is Fritz Bauer, a German Jew who became a prosecutor in Frankfurt. Bauer "invited" Maor to have a look at his office and even gave him a key.

3. State of Chill

So who is the most recent star caught in our beachy, bucolic neck of the woods? South Coast summers lure James Spader (Marion), Sam Waterston (Mattapoisett), Emeril Lagasse (Fall River) and Tea Leoni and ex, David Duchovny (Padanaram). Now there is Jenny Slate, actress, comedian and author, born in Massachsuetts and currently "deeply in love" with a Westport artist and author. So much so that she gave the Cuttyhunk commencement speech to one student while on island with her boyfriend.

Jenny Slate Gave a Commencement Speech to One Graduate on an Island
Jenny Slate Gave a Commencement Speech to One Graduate on an Island

4. Edelman vs. Hughes

Making the rounds promoting his upcoming documentary 100%: Julian Edelman (premieres Friday, 8:00 PM, Showtime) on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Edelman was gifted a kippah by the host. This following his recent stop in Tel Aviv in support of his boss Bob Kraft's Genesis Award.

But this was hardly the only story about a Jewish athlete this week. For the first time EVER in professional sports the #1 overall pick was Jewish with Jack Hughes picked first by the New Jersey Devils. Hughes led Team USA U-18 to a silver medal in the world championship.

5. In Tel Aviv for Genesis

New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft bounced back from legal controversy to graciously accept the Genesis Prize.

In The Jerusalem Post Kraft explains why being awarded the Genesis Prize has helped him focus his priorities. "Every Sabbath when I used to come home from services with my parents, we used to study the portion of the week and learn Rashi. I was privileged to be born into a family where I was exposed to religion in a way that was an enhancement" he said.

The 2019 Genesis Prize laureate used his acceptance speech to announce the establishment of a foundation dedicated to combating antisemitism. Kraft has already raised over $30 million at its launch by seeding the foundation with a $20 million personal donation and two $5 million gifts, including one by Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
6. Europe - Not Any Longer

In 1920 Europe was home to over half of world Jewry and many of its most creative, dynamic communities; today it contains barely 10 percent of the world's Jews. The decline of Western European Jewry is caused by a confluence of factors. The least lethal threat lies in assimilation, which impacts roughly half of all European and American Jews. But far more unnerving has been rising anti-Semitism.  
Some 90 percent of European Jews, according to recent surveys, have experienced anti-Semitic incidents. Taken together, the forces of history, politics, anti-Semitism and migratory patterns spell the likely demise of Judaism in Europe, particularly its more secular elements. The once widely spread tribe is rapidly concentrating in North America and Israel, together home to roughly 90 percent of all Jews.
Find the bold and provocative piece by Joel Kotkin in full in this compelling Tablet Magazine article.
7. No Joke

When Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidency in a landslide this April, his country became the only country besides Israel with a Jewish president and prime minister. Safe to say he is taking his role these days more seriously than when he was known only as a comedian.

The Wall Street Journal's opinion piece - Understanding Ukraine's Jewish President - gives us more on the man and his country.
Red Dress by Judith Klein
8. In the Eye of the Beholder

What is art? The question discussed in literature, art history and philosophy classes since there have been such things is answered by our own Federation member, Judith Klein.

Please visit Art of Summer 2019 at the Judith Klein Art Gallery, 127 West Rodney French Blvd, Door #31, New Bedford. The group show featuring the work of local artists is running until July 31.
Tuesdays, July 2 and July 9, 2:00 and 7:30 PM
Falmouth Jewish Congregation Summer Jewish Film Festival
Ask Dr. Ruth (7/2)
Promise at Dawn (7/9)

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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