11.
27.
2019

The Bulletin



1. No Laughing Matter

"When I say racism, hate and bigotry I'm not referring to the names of Stephen Miller's Labradoodles," starts Sacha Baron Cohen in his key note address at the ADL's 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate. But from that point on he is anything but funny. Serious, composed, articulate.
 
Read his address here or watch it below. "When Borat was able to get an entire bar in Arizona to sing Throw the Jew Down the Well, it did reveal people's indifference to anti-Semitism." It sure did. It is encouraging to see Cohen use his influence for education, inspiration and change.
 
Interestingly he also took on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google for allowing the spread of hateful and inaccurate content, criticizing the algorithms they use to engage readers. "It's why fake news outperforms real news," he said. "The rantings of a lunatic seem as credible as the findings of a Nobel Prize winner." While  Facebook initially declined to comment it later made a statement that Cohen misrepresented its policies and offered, "Hate speech is actually banned on our platform."
 
More important than who is right and who is wrong is the fact the Cohen started the conversation. I thank him for that.
 
ADL International Leadership Award Presented to Sacha Baron Cohen at Never Is Now 2019 
ADL International Leadership Award Presented to Sacha Baron Cohen at Never Is Now 2019
 
2. Netanyahu - What Next?
 
If you wonder what is next for Netanyahu, if Israel will have a third election in less than a year, whether he can continue after being indicted and many more questions, join the club.

Much clarity a week later I can't really provide. I would like to add (not a surprise to me) that some Likud members are starting to question his leadership of their party and that I expect that noise to get louder and louder. One of the better pieces for anyone trying to unpack all this comes from Miriam Berger in the Washington Post. Have a go.
3. Be Like Mike
 
Perhaps the best way to write about Michael Bloomberg entering the already crowded field of Democratic candidates running for president (well, the nomination first) is that of the Jerusalem Post. With humor. 

It is a dream for white nationalists to have two Jewish candidates to troll. But in all seriousness this is a former New York mayor who happens to be a billionaire and who is not taking any contributions. So he won't owe anyone anything.

I was surprised he is running as Mike (I could not resist the headline) and am very curious to see what comes out of this bid. What do you think?
4. Talk Turkey
 

"Thanksgving. They got it from us."

That about sums up the content of this JNS piece: "The attitude of gratitude: Jewish insights to share at your Thanksgiving table.

"The founding fathers were thinking of declaring Hebrew as one of the country's official languages, alongside English. What's more, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams considered having the official seal of the new country feature Moses leading the Jews across the Red Sea. 'Early America was drenched with the Hebrew Bible,' he adds. 'So American fascination for and support of Israel started back then.' "

And from Tablet, we have "Giving thanks in America: how Jewish immigrants showed love for their new country." "The two communities (recent immigrants and those who came earlier) took eagerly to this most American of holidays, both on its own terms and, most especially, in relation to what some of their number defined as its biblical pedigree. Long before the New World gave rise to Thanksgiving, the Israelites of the ancient Near East, it was proudly said, had celebrated a national 'day of gratitude': Sukkot."

So there you have it. And you thought it was about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans formerly known as Indians.
5. From Pumpkin Challah to Bagel Stuffing

Looking for "7 Easy Ways to Add Jewish Flavor to Your Thanksgiving Table"? The search is over. From pumpkin challah to bagel stuffing to sweet potato kugel, it's there and it's not too late. So if you're tired of the same old, same old, make a last minute market run and change it up tonight. Your guests will thank you.



6. Pop Goes the Weasels

That outrageously sweet orange soda no one admits to drinking that goes by the name Fanta has a most unique origin story.

"It's February 1944, and Berlin is attempting to recover from American aerial bombing. But life and industry continues on the city's outskirts. In farmhouses, bottles clang and a mix of ex-convicts, Chinese laborers, and other workers fill glass bottles of what was likely a cloudy, brownish liquid. This is one of Coca-Cola's makeshift bottling operations, and they are making Nazi Germany's signature beverage. Even during war, Germans want their Fanta."

Sit back with a fizzy one and read on in "How Fanta Was Created for Nazi Germany."
FOR YOUR CALENDAR


A New Bedford High School Drama Club Production
December 6th and 7th, 7:00 PM
December 8th, 2:00 PM
NBHS Bronspiegel Auditorium, 230 Hathaway Boulevard
Tickets available at the door:
$10.00 students/seniors; $12 general admission

Based on a true account, Letters to Sala is adapted from the book Sala's Gift by Ann Kirschner. This is the heart-wrenching story of a young girl's survival during wartime Germany over five years, seven Nazi labor camps and over 350 hidden letters. Sala Garncarz Kirschner kept her secret letters for over fifty years, concealing her painful history in a box.   


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B'Shalom,

Amir

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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