The Bulletin

A Jewish Boy in a Patriots Nation

So if you didn't see it on Sunday night or on each and every newscast in the following days, let me be the first to tell you that Julian Edelman made one of the craziest catches in Super Bowl history. Why this matters, of course, is not that Edelman was a key player in the historic come-from-behind victory or the first overtime Super Bowl ever, but that he is a member of the team and the Tribe.

It's true. Mostly. While he may not be an actively practicing Jew, he has family connections and five Jewish moments. "Well, I'm not completely Jewish, if you know what I mean. I know people want me to be. My father is Jewish. My mother isn't. I've been asked this before. I guess you could say I'm kind of Jewish but not really," Edelman has said in the past.

Good enough for this week, I'm thinking. See the Super Bowl wunderkind and his coach in post-game action: Julian Edelman and Bill Belichick discuss their historic Super Bowl win with Jimmy Fallon.
What You Read Here

I have said this before, but it bears repeating. Apart from local stories (our favorite coverage to share), what you find in this space is reflective of news and buzz and commentary that is populating the Jewish media on any given week. I pick articles published in (mostly) Jewish media like The Forward, JTA, The Los Angeles Jewish Journal, Moment Magazine, Tablet Magazine, The Times of Israel and even a fun site called Jewniverse. I select them because I think they are interesting and worth reading. It makes us a more informed Jewish community. Together with Michelle, who reads almost as many publications and feeds as I do and regularly makes suggestions, I am dedicated to this segment of the Bulletin.

I receive your comments each week and they often include responses to one or some of those suggested articles. I do want to clarify one important thing, though: The opinions in those articles belong to the writers and not me. My personal views (and I have them) are not on display here and for the most part I don't think they should be. When I can add a personal anecdote to enhance the current news, all the better. At no time am I advocating an "official" Federation or personal viewpoint. I leave the inference and perception and opinion to you, our reader.

Anti-Semitism Underground

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
- Elie Wiesel

At a time when the New York Police Department has seen a dramatic rise in hate crimes following the election, with the majority of incidents directed at Jews, Mr. Wiesel's words are more relevant than ever.

In recent days, a Jewish woman was shoved, called "dirty Jew" on New York subway. With reports of swastikas drawn in the snow and white supremacist pamphlets distributed in Connecticut mailboxes and Jewish community centers receiving bomb threats, it is heartening to learn that subway riders scrubbed off anti-Semitic graffiti as "decent human beings".
Yerida: An Immigrant's Story

Years ago, Prime Minister Rabin called Israelis who immigrated  or settled in other countries (mostly the US) cowards. He actually used harsher words. Yerida, like in the headline of this piece, means to descend and is derogatory. The word has biblical roots and is used in the story of the Israelites leaving for Egypt.

Another former prime minister, Ariel Sharon, once told me to my face that I should move back. He wasn't singling me out when he said that. He said all Jews and particularly all Israelis should. Back in 1992 at a round table in the offices of The Forward, after telling the staff about the heroic accomplishments of my uncle who is to this day the most decorated soldier in the country's history, he looked straight at me and TOLD me to go back. No one ever accused Arik of being shy. This story from Moment Magazine"The New Israeli Americans," has many parts to it that are very familiar to me from personal experience. Many are not. It was less comfortable in 1990 than in 2003 and I'm sure harder in 1970. I suspect in 2017 it is easier.    
Do Israelis Really See It This Way?   
Yossi Klein Halevi is an astute journalist and his writing on the topic of settlements and Israeli society ("How Israelis See the Settlements") is worth reading regardless of one's political opinion. This article is even more significant because it appeared in The Wall Street Journal, instantly making its reach much greater. I agree that many Israelis feel this way and hope you get a better view from reading it

NOTE: If you experience difficulty opening the link (subscriber-only message) and would like to access the article, simply type in your search engine "Wall Street Journal How Israelis See the Settlements" and follow the link there. Sorry for the inconvenience. 
Jews on Campus -- A Different Take

I read this week that Columbia University is the worst place to be a Jewish student. I don't agree. My son graduated from Columbia last year and doesn't agree either. For starters, a quarter of the students are Jewish and the school is located on THE UPPER WEST SIDE. My son jokingly said to me that the worst college to be Jewish in America is probably at ... the worst college in America.

Susan Wolfe, immediate past president of the Hillel at Stanford University, takes an interesting approach to what got us here in an opinion piece for Moment Magazine, in which she talks about
how liberal streams of Judaism turned the next generation against its birthright.
America First. Israel Second?

Regardless of where you stand politically, if you are a friend of Israel you should find the new viral video America First. Israel Second? more than a little amusing and perhaps downright hysterical. Check it out.

Monday, February 27
12:00 - 1:30 PM (lunch included)
Jewish Culture Book Club, reading The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
UMass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library, Room 314


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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