The Bulletin

1. Ugly in Our Midst

Open expressions of anti-Semitism have become the new normal. A Federation member came to see me yesterday to deliver the disturbing news that there is a "Nazi house" in Dartmouth. The resident is known to police who can do nothing about the propaganda displayed there.

Earlier this week a Framingham school had to respond to anti-Semitism after students created a Snapchat group called "Kill the Jews." The Christa McAuliffe Charter School issued a statement that said it is looking to start a conversation on how to prevent similar incidents in the future. The initial reaction from the mayor, "ENOUGH!" is a good start. 
In our community  I am proud to point out that we have taken some proactive steps to address this with our Trunks of Tolerance, made available to local middle schools. More needs to be done and the approach for every community and every school district must be that of WHEN and not IF it happens. It is not enough to never forget. We must educate and advocate and in the coming days and weeks and months. Our work in this space will continue. The Messenger which will come out next month will also include features about the subject. Stay tuned.
2. To Trick? Or Not?

Most American Jews get in the spirit and trail their kids down leaf-strewn streets without too much internal debate. They'll wear costumes for adult parties too. For others, though, this holiday gives pause. More on the subject in Tablet Magazine's "The Halloween Dilemma."  Snacking between doorbell rings? WhatJewWannaEat offers a recipe for Black and White (Err Orange) Cookies.

Interested in the pagan origins of one of my least favorite holidays? Read more at History.com.

3. The Choice Is Sophie
When I was in third grade Golda became Israel's prime minister. Growing up it was a natural thing for me that a woman was prime minister (even if men outnumbered women in most sectors). Turns out that is not exactly the case. By the time Margaret Thatcher became prime minister I had already graduated high school. This week Sophie Wilmes - who also happens to be Jewish - became the first-ever woman to serve as prime minister in Belgium. Mazal Tov to Sophie and welcome to the club, Belgium. 
4. A Million Guitars
"I have always tried to volunteer and contribute in any possible way to help underprivileged kids (overcome) their delinquency. In the last few years, I did this with youth in the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat in East Jerusalem." --Friend of New Bedford and Israeli rock star David Broza from a Q&A with Reform Judaism Magazine
In the conversation (here's a link to the full magazine article), David also speaks of his new nonprofit venture A Million Guitars. He was recently featured on NBC news with that project.   
5. The Hypocrisy March Goes On
My least favorite American politician, Ilhan Omar, was yet again exposed as the hypocrite she is when she was one of only two members of Congress not to vote in support of the Armenian Genocide Bill.
It's not just me. The Armenian Council of America accused Omar of using "official genocide denialist rhetoric to justify her silence" and suggested that the lawmaker, who regularly speaks out on issues of human rights, was behaving hypocritically. If you read this Bulletin you already know this is not the first time she has done so and I'll venture we will not have to wait long for the next.      
For the record, more than 1.5 million Christian Armenians were systematically killed by Turkish Muslims during WWI in the then Ottoman Empire. That's genocide and it is not up for debate. Omar shames Muslims everywhere with her behavior. People of Minnesota, you can do better.
6. From Gal to Irena

It has been a while since my last Gal Gadot installment and for that I apologize. But since that time Wonder Woman has teamed up with her husband Yaron Varsano to produce Irena Sendler, a film that follows the story of a Polish woman's heroic efforts to save thousands of children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust. The film will be the first project taken on by the couple's newly formed production company Pilot Wave.
Just when we thought she couldn't possibly be more lovable.
7. Scene from the Region: Afula's Shlomi Yehiav, a Former Young Emissary to New England, Leads Israeli Students

By the time Shlomi Yehiav returned from a year of service as a Young Emissary in New England back in 2006, his Jewish-Israeli identity and commitment to social service had been shaped. The time spent as a Young Emissary helped him understand the responsibility of his generation for the future of Israel. Born and raised in Afula, he graduated high school before volunteering for the year of service abroad.
After his return from Rhode Island and his military service as an officer in a combat unit (where he still serves in reserve), Shlomi started academic studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A public policy graduate student, he was first elected chairman of the Hebrew University Union of Students and this year was elected the national chairman of the National Union, representing 350,000 students. In this role, he hopes to improve social mobility and reduce socio-economic gaps to provide young Israeli students of all backgrounds with better opportunities to reach, afford and complete their academic studies. Shlomi with the Young Emissary Class of 2006 below. 

Wednesday, November 13, 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Lunch lecture: "Preserving Czech-Jewish History: Honorable Friendship During the Holocaust"
Dr. Ilana Offenberger, professor of Holocaust History, UMass Dartmouth


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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