SHARE:  
The Bulletin
07.22.21
1.Chunky Monkey's Brain Freeze
In the late '80s when Ben & Jerry’s first started to expand from two Jewish hippies in a Vermont garage to an international conglomerate, their first destination was Israel. As luck would have it the first location on Dizengoff was across the street from my then-apartment. The second location in Rishon was across from my office.

For a soccer charity game between my newspaper’s team and a bunch of local politicians, our team was sponsored by Ben & Jerry's and wore those recognized green shirts. I played with the number 13 and tore my hamstring with virtually my first kick of the game that went over the crossbar. Perhaps that unlucky start (I was wearing 13) was a harbinger of things to come.

In the 30-something years since I have had many Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz cones. When I moved to Providence my house was – you guessed it – across the street from Ben & Jerry’s and I could see the line on free cone day and avoid the rush. Want more? My son (like Ben & Jerry’s founder) is Ben Cohen (yes, there are thousands of Ben Cohens, I know).

My unique relationship with the brand aside, their decision this week to not sell in the West Bank is one of surrender and cowardice in my opinion. I will not suggest that you (or anyone) boycott the company or its parent Unilever because boycotts and pendulum swings are in and of themselves forms of prejudice, even if their stated intent is to correct a wrong. I will also suggest that before you engage in a personal social media post or an impassioned speech at the Friday night table you should know the facts and not lose sight of them.

Personally I believe the Ben & Jerry’s board is biased. I think this decision is stupid and I am one who supports a two-state solution. Like with Soda Stream a few years back, this decision will result in many Palestinians (not just Israelis) losing their jobs. I also think this is yet another example of cancel culture because in the eyes of the Ben & Jerry’s board (and their like), you are cancelled and can no longer participate in the conversation if you are Israeli or Jewish because of their view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The cancel culture logic is: Palestinians are oppressed and Israel is the reason. Therefore no Israeli can be right and since Israel is where Jews are, no Jew can either. There isn’t even room for debate. As such my opinion (and yours) is cancelled.
 
For more about this story here’s:
"After Ben & Jerry's snub, President Herzog calls Israel boycotts 'a new kind of terrorism.' “'The BDS campaign does not pursue peace and seeks to undermine the very existence of the State of Israel. It is aiming its arrows at the Israeli economy,' from The Times of Israel.
 
A report of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s visit to the Ben & Jerry’s factory from JNS.
 
 
And one final note: Locally we all know that the best ice cream (like the best bagels - see the next item) is served at family-owned places. Who’s in for a sundae at Oxford Creamery? 
2.Dartmouth Boston
Last week we featured an opinion piece from a JewishBoston writer who shared her top five bagel sources in the Boston area. She invited feedback and got it. This week there's "Boston's Best Bagels: Readers Weigh In."

Check out the bagel at the top of the list . . .

"Off the Beaten Path: New York Bagel Co.
This choice comes from an enthusiastic reader who emailed, 'May I suggest that you try New York Bagel in Dartmouth if you happen to be in this area? Although well off the beaten path (60 miles south of the epicenter of JewishBoston), with an ambiance that is unimpressive, its bagels are excellent. Indeed, our son and daughter-in-law, who live in Newton, stock up whenever they visit us. To support our bona fides as judges of bagels, my wife (originally from Dorchester) and I grew up in Brookline—indeed, our very first date was at Jack and Marion’s—and remained in the Boston area for our respective careers, after which we retired to the south coast of Massachusetts.' Can’t argue with that!"
3.Bird Ready to Soar

"Bird, one of many Jewish athletes going for gold this summer, will be competing in her fifth Olympic games this summer. The 12-time WNBA All-Star has won gold at the last four Olympics with the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team," we read in JTA.

“I think that’s the best part, to be honest, to have your peers be the one to see your career and pick you to be the one to lead us in,” Bird said.
4.60 years a BFF
"My beshert moment on that unforgettable day wrapped me in so many memories of my childhood in the '40s . . . My best friend was Bernice Goldfeder from the time I was five until moves and marriages separated us."
Random luck that brought them together again? Stars aligning? You decide. Moment’s Janet Nussbaum writes about two best friends reunited after decades in "Beshert: Finding My Childhood Bestie - 60 Years Later!
5.Not My Unorthodox Life
If you even skim Netflix every few days, you probably spotted the latest installment of what I think is the infatuation the entertainment world has with Orthodox Jewish life.

While personally I find [the infatuation] bizarre if not creepy and products of it like Shtisel average at best, my job and even more the responsibility I feel for this Bulletin requires that I maintain a casual interest in such phenomena.

So let me start by saying that My Unorthodox Life lost my interest quickly. It is (I lasted less than one episode) a reality TV mix best described as one part Unorthodox (the worst part), one part Project Runway (the dumbest and most superficial) and two parts Housewives of Orange County (or New Jersey, you pick), the lowest common denominator part.

Still want to watch? Go ahead. But my take is that despite the focus on a successful businesswoman who left the Orthodox community and the inclusion of many members of her family who embrace the change on their own terms, the main message is not one of personal freedom and expression but one that is entirely about sensationalism. There is of course a chance that it is all peaches after Episode 1. Please let me know of you ever get that far.
For Your Calendar
Sunday, August 15, 7:30 PM
Jacqueline Saper's captivating story about life before, during and after the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Sunday, September 26, 8:00 PM
Ron Blomberg, the first-ever designated hitter in baseball history, answers questions about his historic career as a ball player and his journey since as a Jew, including coaching in the Israel Baseball League in "Slugger in the Sukkah: The Designated Hebrew Dishes About His Years Playing Baseball and His Life as a Jew."
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

508.997.7471
467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA, 02747