The Bulletin

1. Death of a Journal

I was honored to have served as publisher of the Journal Sh'ma for three of its 50 years. It was announced this week that the 751st issue this November will be the very last one. Over its lifetime Sh'ma had several publishers, each trying their best to sustain this intelligent voice that was never (like many intelligent voices) going to reach a vast readership to financially sustain it.  
At the end of my term as publisher back in 2009, I handed it over to the Lippman-Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, a move that added another decade of publishing success. Perhaps the most important part of that transition was that Susan Berrin, a gifted editor I had the pleasure of working with, remained. Susan wrote this brilliant farewell to the journal she loved and edited for nearly half of its life. I suggest you read it. In his article for RNS - "When a Jewish Magazine Dies" - Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin shares more of the journal's history and legacy. Read that one too. He even mentions George Harrison.
2. Three Main Rifts

Moment Magazine talked to Robert Malley, the president of the NGO Crisis Group, for some insight into the politics of the always volatile Middle East in "Open Interview - Will the Middle East Erupt?"
"Everything in the Middle East is related to everything else, so it's difficult, if not impossible, to contain a crisis in one place. Borders are porous, ideologies transcend boundaries, weapons flow... Right now there are three main rifts: Shiite Iran vs. Sunni Saudi Arabia and its allies; Israel vs. Iran and its allies, including Hezbollah and Hamas; and the Sunni vs. Sunni conflict with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on one side and Qatar and Turkey on the other. The combination means the tinder is very dry. Any action anywhere could lead to conflagration everywhere," observed Malley.
3. A Name in Bloom

I read this week that the Red Sox hired a new Chief Baseball Officer. His name is Chaim Bloom, which immediately took me to the Sarah Silverman SNL skit below.

YosefAbramowitz SarahSilvermanJoke194
SNL Silverman-Abramowitz Joke
For the actual baseball story about the kosher-observing Tampa Bay Rays intern turned Boston Red Sox chief check out: "With Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox Expect a More Collaborative Leader."
4. Aka-Mile

This week I read that Akamai Technologies literally went the extra mile to put all its employees under one roof, designing its new building with one long hallway. "Aka-Mile," the one-mile pathway that winds through 19 floors of the new headquarters building the technology company is opening in Kendall Square, accomplishes that.  
The news reminded me of Daniel Lewin, the American-Israeli mathematician and entrepreneur who founded the company and died trying to save others by fighting the hijackers and bringing down American Airlines Flight 11 on 9/11. Danny previously served in one of Israel's elite commando units. He was posthumously named one of the most influential figures of the internet age. If you take a drive up the road you'll find Danny Lewin Square at the intersection of Main and Vassar Streets in Cambridge. Here's more on this far-from-usual man: "The Legacy of Danny Lewin, the First Man to Die on 9/11."

5. That Acceptance Speech

Alex Borstein won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series back in September for her role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. More than the win, what resonates is the powerful (and, yes, comedic) acceptance speech she gave - one for the ages (and still showing up in social media streams). If you haven't seen it, check it out below.  

Alex Borstein Powerful emmy acceptance Speech Best Supporting Actress Marvelous Miss Maisel
Alex Borstein's Emmy acceptance speech:
"Step out of line."

6. A Business Model Fail

Zac Posen, designer of gowns and red carpet dreams, had a not so good day this week when the decision was made to close up shop. He rode the wave in style, creating a worldwide fashion phenomenon when his peers were attending frat parties and eating cold pizza for breakfast.

 "Even Project Runway Couldn't Save Zac Posen" wrote The New York Times and from a young Jewish blogger there's "Sitting Shiva for Zac Posen's Brand."
7. Read, Cook, Eat

Some of us (not me) are already thinking ahead about cooking for holidays . . .   

Epicurious offers inspiration with its "Our Seven Favorite Jewish Cookbooks" article (2010). And for a more recent take, there is the Forward's "Top 11 Jew-ish Cookbooks Coming Out This Fall" (2018).

If anyone makes Israeli-English chef, restaurant owner, and food writer Yotam Assaf Ottolenghi's Roasted Butternut Squash with Lentils and Gorgonzola, feel free to bring me your leftovers. 

8. Scene from the Region: Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day

"And I, I.D. Number 30743, Lieutenant-General Yitzhak Rabin (retired), a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, a soldier in the army of peace; I, who sent regiments into the fire and soldiers to their deaths, I say to you, Your Majesty, the King of Jordan, and I say to you, American friends: Today we are embarking on a battle that has no dead and no wounded, no blood and no anguish. This is the only battle that is a pleasure to wage - the battle for peace."
(From Rabin's speech at the peace treaty with Jordan in Washington, D. C.)
Yitzhak Rabin served as Israel's prime minister, IDF chief of staff during the Six-Day-War, and ambassador to the United States. On the eve of November 4, 1995, Rabin was murdered by an Israeli Jewish man, Yigal Amir, at a peace rally in the center of Tel Aviv. Moments before his assassination he joined tens of thousands as they sang a song for peace.  
The following year a law was passed making the 12th day of Heshvan an official day in his memory. This day is recognized in schools and communities in Israel and is dedicated to educational activities commemorating Rabin's legacy and the importance of democratic values.
In the picturebelow, students from Emek Harod Elementary School remember Rabin. The school participates in our School-Twinning Program and is partnered with the Shir-Shalom Religious School in Upper Fairfield.

Wednesday, November 13, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Lunch lecture: "Preserving Czech-Jewish History: Honorable Friendship During the Holocaust"
Dr. Ilana Offenberger, professor of Holocaust History, UMass Dartmouth
BCC, Jackson Arts Center (H), Rm. 209


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.

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