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The Bulletin
02.18.21
1.Joy and Thanks
A few weeks ago I shared with you pictures from the arrival of Jews from Ethiopia in Israel. Together with our New England partner communities at SNEC, we immediately made a donation to purchase laptops for dozens of kids who arrived at the Beit Alpha absorption center at the foot of the Gilboa Mountains, central to our partnership region.

With strict quarantine rules we were unable to share with you (and them) some of these gifts, but now we have. Please check out this video of a new Israeli girl and her first-ever computer. And thank you for supporting this effort. We are able to fund such projects because of your generosity.
2.Bonne Indeed
My Facebook friend (New Bedford native Idit Klein) had this Michael Perino story on her page this week and I wanted to share it:

“At the supermarket today, I found a small, elderly woman standing in front of a high shelf holding @BonneMamanUS preserves. She was having trouble finding the flavor she wanted because the jars were set back on the shelf. She couldn’t read the labels. She could barely reach them. I offered to help. After I handed her the raspberry preserves, she thanked me, paused, and then asked, 'Do you know why I buy this brand?' I laughed and replied, 'Because it tastes good?' 'Yes, it tastes good.' She paused again. 'I am a Holocaust survivor.' This was not the conversation I expected on a Sunday grocery run. 'During the war, the family that owns the company hid my family in Paris. So now I always buy it. And whenever I go to the store, my grandkids remind me, ‘Bubbe, don’t forget to buy the jelly.’ ' I told her that that was the best reason I ever heard to buy any company’s product. And then we both smiled behind our masks and went our separate ways.”

My favorite Bonne Maman is fig. What’s yours?
3.Nikki vs. Kamala 2024
Making political projections four years ahead is silly. That said, if we are going to have a battle between two women candidates in 2024, the first shot might have been fired this week by Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the UN and South Carolina governor. Speaking about 45 this week, Haley said “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.” Read more in the JTA article, "Nikki Haley broke with Trump. It could make her a Jewish GOP favorite in 2024."
 
Meanwhile in Milwaukee, after being asked about the threats from white supremacists, President Biden reminded us, “I got involved in politics to begin with because of civil rights and opposition to white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan - and the most dangerous people in America continue to exist. I would make sure that my Justice Department and the civil rights division is focused heavily on those very folks . . . on how to deal with the rise of white supremacy.” Read more in JTA.
4.A New Light for New Bedford
Our very own board member Janet Freedman reached out to me this week with news of her latest publishing project. Here’s her note:
 
"I have been devoting some time to efforts to revive a vibrant news presence in the Southcoast region. The event below is our first public presentation to inform the community of our intentions to launch New Bedford Light, an online 'newspaper.' Please attend and/or use the invitation below to spread the word on this program - and how important local, trusted community news sources are to maintaining our democracy. I am hoping that there will be good coverage of our religious/spiritual communities and interfaith efforts." Please register for this free event taking place Monday, February 22, 3:30-5:00 PM.
 
The New Bedford Light, in collaboration with University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, invites you to a conversation and community Q&A with Charlayne Hunter-Gault. An award-winning journalist and author with a distinguished career in The New Yorker, The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and PBS, she is a trailblazer in her own right. As the first black woman to be accepted to the University of Georgia, she made an invaluable contribution to the struggle for desegregation in U.S. universities. 
 
The conversation and Q&A will be moderated by Dr. Daniela Melo, with questions offered by members of the Greater New Bedford community, including Mandi Costa, Jack Spillane, and a UMD student. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions. 
 
The New Bedford Light is an initiative to create a free, independent, online community-news source for Greater New Bedford. Publication is anticipated to begin later this year.  

 Please follow this link to register for this free event: https://umassd.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gzfkAXulQn-4BOuF727xvQ

The video below tells Charlayne Hunter-Gault's life story.
5.Let's Get Baked
When I was a kid we were friendly with the Alcolombry family of Sami Bourekas fame. The legend was that my father, when he was deputy commander of the Tel Nof air force base, sentenced Itsik Alcolombry (Sami’s son) to three weeks in the brig for crossing the runway with a fuel truck as fighter jets were taking off.

They became good friends after (if you knew my father you would totally understand how possible that is). In the '70s they even formed a company to try to bring Sami Bourekas to the United States. They didn’t succeed and the company did not last long, but that too is folklore.

Needless to say I grew up with bourekas. Very often we had a box of them delivered from the original store in Yaffo (Jaffa) on Friday afternoon. Itsik sometimes brought them himself. So imagine my delight to see Tablet Magazine's "The Story Behind Bourekas" about the popular pastry's rise in Israel.

"Ask any Israeli what are the most iconic local foods, and bourekas will be right there at the top, next to hummus, shakshuka, and falafel. Unlike hummus or falafel, which are local classics, bourekas and shakshuka are fascinating examples of the way Jewish immigrant foods made their way to the mainstream of Israeli gastronomy," writes Janna Gur.

Here's a recipe for the cheese bourekas pictured and a "Beshert" story from Moment because the couple bonded over - what else? - bourekas. 
6.Purim 101
Break out the graggers and the masks. This time next week you'll be getting ready for a Purim party, even if it is just for one and at home. And if you bake hamantashen and eat them all yourself, no one has to know.

For festive food, games and decorating ideas, check out JewishBoston Purim page.
Want to wow family and friends with the breadth of your knowledge? Then "9 Things You Didn't Know About Purim" and the video below - titled "Why Do Jews Wear Costumes on Purim?" - is for you.
7.Table Talk
Remember, this Tuesday, February 23rd, Elisa and Rob Bilnder of The Berkshire Farm Table Cookbook fame host a conversation about the true meaning of buying local and how it reflects our core values. The program is FREE but registration is required through this link.
For Your Calendar
Tuesday, February 23, 12:00 - 12:30 PM
Conscious Eating - The Real Meaning of Farm to Table, a webinar featuring Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, authors of The Berkshire Farm Table Cookbook, who explore the true meaning of eating and buying local and how it reflects our core Jewish values. Registration at this link.

Sunday, March 14 at 2:00 PM
Zoom presentation with Mira Awad
Renowned Israeli-Palestinian artist. Mira will share thoughts, views and her art with us and take questions as well. This event is through our Afula-Gilboa Partnership. Registration at this link.
Tuesday, April 13
Zoom interview with Boaz Konforty and Yaakov Zada Daniel, actors from the hit-Israeli show Fauda.

Sunday, June 6
Zoom presentation with Bari Weiss
From 2017 until 2020, Bari was a staff writer and editor for the Opinion section of The New York Times. Before joining the Times, Bari was an oped editor at the Wall Street Journal and an associate book review editor there. For two years, she was a senior editor at Tablet, the online magazine of Jewish news, politics, and culture, where she edited the site's political and news coverage. She regularly appears on shows like The View, Morning Joe and Real Time with Bill Maher.
Shabbat 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

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