The Bulletin
1.Annual Campaign and My Personal One
Next week Federation’s fiscal year ends and with it our 2019-20 annual campaign. It has been a bizarre year for all of us, but the most significant piece that stood out was (perhaps unsurprisingly) you.

While we still have about two dozen members who haven’t yet made a commitment towards the campaign, the vast majority of us did and at levels similar to past years. Thank you. If you haven’t yet, there will likely be a letter in your mail box, in-box or both in the next few days. Personally I paid my donation to the campaign (like I usually do) around Passover along with a separate donation to our Passover food drive.

We realize this pandemic has affected everyone and in very different ways. What we also know is that the needs of our community remain and if anything they have and will continue to increase. Remember, payments are not due until December 31st. If you want to be counted please let us know soon.

I also found the time during the lockdown to expand my personal expression into an area I have never before explored. I collaborated with some absurdly good Israeli musicians and co-wrote a song (check out the credits at the end of the video). The song, like our campaign, is for a very important cause. I’m equally proud of both - so much so that I thought I’d share it with you as part of this year’s final "ask." (I look forward to your feedback about the song. And please don’t sugarcoat.)

If you have already made your gift or pledge to the annual campaign, thank you. If you have not, please consider doing so in the coming days. We are stronger together.
2.History in the Making
"In the midst of today's cataclysmic events, it is hard not to view 2020 as a year that will change the course of human history. And while it may, there have been many other years that felt - and were - equally significant.
Moment Magazine invited 30 thinkers to tell us about many different years that altered the course of Jewish history so I invite you to check out "The Year Everything Changed."
3.This Happened Yesterday
In the very early days of the pandemic our community, along with 11 other Southern New England Communities that make up SNEC, made several strategic donations to institutions and initiatives in need at our partnership region in Israel. Between us we donated $50,000 with a little more than half of that amount going to HaEmek Hospital in Afula.

With our donation the hospital purchased AirSeal, a unique life-saving medical device. During surgical procedures, the computer controlled AirSeal removes air from affected body cavities through a filtration system protecting operating room staff from harmful infection.

Yesterday I spoke to the hospital's chief of surgery and with one of the surgical nurses after they completed the very first procedure using AirSeal. They were grateful with their words, but I think the look in their eyes (this was on Zoom of course) was even more profound. They asked if I could pass this along to you.
4.The Man Who Knew Too Much
Norman Finkelstein has an opinion. Contrary to yours? He likely doesn’t care.

An activist , professor, political scientist and author, Finkelstein's primary fields of research are the  Israeli–Palestinian conflict  and the politics of the  Holocaust . He’s had a public feud with Alan Dershowitz (an academic opponent), but unlike the tenured Harvard professor Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul.

"Finkelstein is a martyr of a particular type: a man who sets himself on fire at a dinner party and wonders why no one offers him a glass of water. In the course of our conversations, we spoke about the life of Gandhi, Finkelstein’s Holocaust survivor parents, his mentor Noam Chomsky, and the idiocy of conspiracy theorists who suggest that a small group of neo-conservative Jews manipulates American foreign policy in favor of Israel."

Isn’t this fun stuff?
5.She Said, He Said
Winona Ryder and tabloid controversy isn’t a headline. Shoplifting, a relationship with Johnny Depp, a Golden Globe, two Oscar nominations, not a bad return. There's one other thing you don’t usually find on IMDb: Ryder’s father, Michael Horowitz, lost most of his family in the Holocaust.
This week the stakes are higher as she returns to the front page as the victim of antisemitism. In a controversy dating back to 1996, Ryder claims that Mel Gibson said she looked “too Jewish” and asked if she was an “oven-dodger.” A claim that he denies. Considering Gibson's history with antisemitism, the sometimes suspect Winona seems credible here.

In a statement to the Jewish Journal , Ryder said: “I believe in redemption and forgiveness and hope that Mr. Gibson has found a healthy way to deal with his demons, but I am not one of them. Around 1996, my friend Kevyn Aucoin and I were on the receiving end of his hateful words. It is a painful and vivid memory for me.”

6.A Life of Firsts
" Rosalind Poll Brooker (1928-2016) was born in Fall River to Anna and Israel Poll on Sept. 28, 1928, but she is New Bedford’s daughter. Rosalind’s life in New Bedford was filled with firsts, as she became the first woman elected to its City Council, later to become its first female president. She also was the first female City Solicitor. The Poll family moved to New Bedford when Rosalind was very young, and Rosalind attended the Mt. Pleasant School and New Bedford High School. Despite contracting polio at age 2 and post-polio syndrome later, Rosalind fought through her physical challenges and excelled in school."

Though the article does not specifically mention she was Jewish, it makes for great reading about a local legend: " Rosalind Poll Brooker's life was marked by many firsts ."
In 2005, a new public meeting room on the third floor of New Bedford City Hall was named in her honor. Here is her obituary .
7.The Expanding (Waistline) List
Some of our go-to Jewish food bloggers made this list. Maybe some of yours too. I look forward to mining all the others for new takes on Jewish eating at its inspired and creative best.

I mean, with names like I Will Not Eat Oysters, A Jew's Bouche and The Kosher Tomato there's got to be some entertainment value here.

Let's jump in and start with Pass the Challah's Nish Nosh Salad

Kosher blogger Samantha writes, "Every time I make this salad, it’s gone. GONE. Which is actually kinda embarrassing given my upbringing. I learned from my grandma at an early age that you MUST make AT LEAST triple the amount of food that you really need. AT LEAST. If you’re having 3 people for dinner, cook for 9. If you’re having 9 people, cook for 27. If you’re having 27 people, cook for a million."
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  
Jewish Federation of 
Greater New Bedford

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