The Bulletin


Inbar Haiman, Hostage

One of 17 Women and 117 Men

Hostages - Day 132

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In a meticulously coordinated operation two of the hostages taken on October 7th were rescued this week. This Times of Israel article has a link to a key moment during the rescue. Welcome home, Louis Har and Fernando Marman.

2.A Message From Julie

A couple of weeks ago members of Jewish Federations showed up in Congress for a well-organized Fly In. It most certainly helped the approval this week of a massive aid package for Israel. This was but one part of the message from Julie Platt, JFNA’s board chair, this week. It is tempting to focus on the partisanship and political games, but the fact is that 70 senators voted in favor.


Julie also reminded us that we have so far raised nearly three-quarters-of-a-billion dollars in a campaign launched in October and that we are making a huge difference in people’s lives. When I see the donations that have come in every week since October 7th, it is a beautiful reminder of our strength and for that I say Kol HaKavod to each and every one of you.

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3.A Biden Doctrine?

Israelis and Palestinians are in no mood for peace talk. That said, foreign policy is always about seeing a few moves ahead. Tom Friedman, in his New York Times column, is perhaps part of the policy’s soft launch since he is very close to the president. And if reading this behind the NYT pay wall proves tricky, check out the summary in this TOI article.

The plan addresses three main elements: 1. Confronting Iran, which has worked for decades as a spoiler in any Middle East peace efforts, particularly through funding of terror groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis. 2. Creating a Palestinian state NOW. 3. Strengthening the U.S. security alliance with Saudi Arabia and normalizing Saudi relations with Israel.

In the Forward, Rob Eshman agrees. "Biden's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan is our best hope. Here's why."

"It has always struck me that there are not two sides to this conflict, but three: People who fight only for Israel, people who fight only for Palestinians, and people who fight for Israelis and Palestinians to live peacefully and fairly in the same land. But we the people of the third group, often dismissed as dreamers, see reality for what it is. And now we may have in Joe Biden a U.S. president with a plan, willing to deliver our message: Two people have to share one land — because no one’s going anywhere."

Where do you fall? Group One or Group Three?

(With your permission, I will be happy to share any responses I receive.)

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4.They Were Never Your Friends

If my 31-year-old son, who graduated from Columbia six years ago, was there now I’d ask him to transfer. If your kids and grandkids are applying to Harvard or Penn, I say DON’T.

Please read "What happens when you teach at Columbia and reject Hamas?" from Tablet. It's about how a professor and his wife saw their lives upended by their decision to denounce terrorism in Israel and antisemitism in America. Prior to October 7th they were just as progressive as everyone else around them. Or so they thought. This is a tale of friends lost and new ones found. "We may have lost some friends, but we gained something much more valuable: a tribe," said the wife.

5.What Would George Say?

I approach articles like Dr. Steven Windmueller’s "Ten Trends That Are Reshaping American Judaism" with a great deal of caution. It is always easier to ask the questions, harder to answer; the analysis is where they usually rise or fall. When you read this Jewish Journal piece be skeptical.

And if you are involved in any survey of an organization you are a part of (Jewish or not) I hope this is beneficial input. Like George Harrison sang, "Think for yourself, 'Cause I won't be there with you."

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6.In Bagel Years

More than 10 years ago I met the search committee of our Federation at New York Bagel Co. for the part-time position of executive director.

I was thinking about that day when I learned that this community staple had been sold. When four years ago ignorant morons wanted to express their antisemitism they picked the New York Bagel sign as their target. Thank you to Steve Ginsberg for nearly 35 years of bagels.

Read more here: "New York Bagel Co. is changing hands. See what's in store for the popular SouthCoast shop."

7.A Feast Fit for a President

It's Presidents' Day on Monday. You could buy a new car, hang out with the grandkids or see a movie. But then you must eat. Might I suggest some recipes the two presidents pictured right favored? (See below.)

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Abraham Lincoln's Chicken Fricassee

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Mount Vernon Ragoo of Asparagus

Abraham Lincoln's Favorite French Almond Cake

For Your Calendar

Tuesday, February 22, 7:00 PM

"Jews in Alaska: The Alaska Jewish History Museum"

[There is at least one person in our community who is an Alaskan Jew.]

Our friends at the Berkshire Jewish Federation invited us to join this Zoom program.

Use this link to register.

Through February 23

Marion Art Center's Winter Members' Show's article describing the show that includes artwork by David Danis, a member of our community.

Visit our website

Shabbat Shalom and Am Israel Chai,


The Bulletin is a weekly email from Amir Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford. I welcome your feedback at 

Jewish Federation of 
Greater New Bedford

467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA, 02747
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