The Bulletin
1.Two Jonathan Tales
"If more people are thinking the unthinkable these days, it’s hardly surprising. At one time, the mighty institutions of non-Orthodox Judaism in the United States thought of themselves as unique and irreplaceable. No longer. In a moment in history when everything familiar about our lives has been tossed aside or turned inside out by the pandemic, speculation about possible mergers between Reform and Conservative Judaism, as well as the smaller Reconstructionist and Renewal movements, is no longer something too outlandish to even consider." Jonathan [Tobin] provocatively asks  "Will the movements survive the pandemic?"  for JNS .

Travel up the road to Brandeis and ask Professor Jonathan [Sarna] and you will hear  Enough Doom and Gloom: American Judaism Is Much More Resilient Than You Think”  as he offers in the Forward.
2.The End of Zoom Minyan?
Governor Charlie Baker included houses of worship in the first phase of Massachusetts’ plan to resume operations after bringing coronavirus infections under control.

A handful of religious leaders said they would reopen quickly, but  as in other states  that have begun to allow gatherings, rabbis are not among them.

From the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis:

"Jewish tradition teaches that the value of pikuach nefesh, saving a life, comes before all else. The state’s new safety standards raise many questions for clergy, lay leaders, and synagogues. We know our synagogue members are saddened that we cannot gather together for communal worship. We understand the disappointment when life cycle events cannot happen as planned. At the same time, the health and safety of synagogue members, clergy, and staff must be the preeminent Jewish value as we chart a new way forward."

If one looks at this issue with the Jewish calendar and the practices of most American Jews in mind, the weeks ahead are traditionally very light as far as attendance goes (assuming Shavuot next week comes too early). It gives Jewish institutions more than three months to slowly and safely re-open.
3.No One Told Naftoli Life Was Going to Be This Way
As Massachusetts rabbis warn not to rush and re-open synagogues, the heart goes out to all bar and bat mitzvah boys and girls out there who are missing out on this important rite of passage. But not our boy Naftali who is perhaps the first to ever celebrate a virtual bar mitzvah. 

Enter James Corden, a foosball table and Monica herself and his life is most certainly not stuck in second gear. As I write this Bulletin the attached video has already been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Enjoy and mazal tov!
4.All to Do About a Hyphen
If you know me even a little, you might have noticed that I am very fond of the hyphen. In fact, in the digital world (and a world with people having 2-3-4 last names) it is arguably the king of all "grammarly" things. That said I have always wondered why it was used in one of our [sadly] most used words. When I first wrote it (remember, this English language is not my first language) I wrote antisemitism only to find out it is (or was) supposed to be written anti-Semitism.

Turns out my favorite general in the war against anti-Semitism, Professor Deborah Lipstadt,   feels the same and is in fact leading the "lose the hyphen" charge. As of  t oday  I officially declare this Bulletin a hyphen-free zone when it comes to antisemitism because for me - like the Six-Day-War (did you see those cute hyphens) - the war was won in the first hour of battle in the air.

For more  from Ha’artez:

“For Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, the hyphen means a great deal – and she argues that it’s time to get rid of it. William Shakespeare famously asked 'What’s in a name?' But when it comes to the conversation about anti-Semitism, the question is far more specific: What’s in a hyphen?

"In January 2019, the acclaimed historian published the book Antisemitism: Here and Now . Together with explanations of its history, background, resurgence and a playbook on how to battle the phenomenon, the book included a clarion call to change the way the word is written. Lipstadt wrote emphatically that it should no longer be written ' anti-Semitism .' Instead, the hyphen and uppercase S should be banished and it should be one word: antisemitism… the hyphen has proved hard to dislodge… The Associated Press Stylebook sticks by 'anti-Semitism,' and in turn most newspapers and websites – including this one – hang onto the hyphen. 

"But Lipstadt is determined to continue her crusade, she tells Ha'aretz in a telephone interview. 'The hyphen is over. We are way overdue when it comes to losing the hyphen. Its presence completely distorts the meaning of the word,' she says."
5.The Daily (e)Mail
JewishBoston is here to save the day! Or at least make someone else's day with free quarantine e-cards for you to send to friends and family.

"Reach out and touch." Like Diana said.
6.May the Schwartz Be With You
That famous Mel Brooks line headlines our new Bulletin mini-series that starts  today . Our former board president Marty Lipman has been visiting some local sites during this period, isolating not just at home but also in the car. I invite you to share your own stories about people and places and friends. (Yes I stole that line from John Lennon - guilty.)

The Schwartz School  is a special education school in Dartmouth serving students ages 3 to 22 years old with multiple disabilities and complex medical needs year round. Since 2014 the school has been a part of the Providence-based Meeting Street organization.

"Opened in 1947 when a parent, Agnes 'Posa' Raposa, discovered that there were no local services available for her son who was born with cerebral palsy. She dedicated her life to helping children with disabilities and together with other parents was the driving force behind the foundation of the Cerebral Palsy Council of Greater New Bedford. The Council established the region’s first educational and treatment opportunities for children with cerebral palsy, and soon added therapies and a number of other programs. As the reputation of these services spread, parents sought care for children with a variety of disabilities. In 1971 the Cerebral Palsy Clinic was renamed The Schwartz Center for Children in honor of Dr. Isaac H. Schwartz, the founding medical director of the Center, for dedicating nearly 25 years to children in the area." (Source:  Our History - About Meeting Stre e t ) 

Dr. Jonathan H. Schwartz, a psychiatrist practicing in New Bedford, is the son of the late Dr. Isaac H. Schwartz and was board president at the time of the new $4.5 million facility in Dartmouth opening.

" There is the Meeting Street at the Schwartz Center for Handicapped Children on Old Westport Road in Dartmouth. It was originally the Schwartz Center named after a pediatrition who had his office on Court Street in New Bedford. The office was on the first floor of his house. His son Jonathan is a physciatrist practicing in New Bedford. The Schwartz Center was on Rockdale Avenue. 

"Sy Goldstien, a retired dairy farmer who fought in WWII in North Africa and Italy was visiting Israel. He visited a facility supporting handicapped children and was impressed. When he came home he went to the Schwartz Center. He said you have a very small facility here. I have some land behind my house on Old Westport Road that I don't need. (He needed just enough for his vegetable garden). Why don't you take my land and build a nice facility? And that is what happened. Recently the Schwartz Center merged with Meeting Street of Providence.

"Prior to walking into the Schwartz Center Sy had no connection with it or anyone connected to it. He was inspired by the program he saw in Israel and thought he could help the Schwarz Center. The acknowlegement of Sy is a stone with the words Goldstien Campus 2006. The street into the campus is called Posa Place named after a beloved employee named Raposa ." ---Marty Lipman
7.College Scholarships Available - Apply Now

If you are a member of the Federation, please encourage your college student (child or grandchild) to apply for a Federation scholarship. It's easy. Email and we'll send you an application. Your Federation supports education!
For Your Calendar
On June 17 at 7:00 PM we will hold the Federation’s annual meeting via Zoom. This year, since we are limited by the digital platform, we are also looking forward to it as an opportunity to engage many from the comfort of their homes and screens. Toward that end we have already lined up performers, greetings from surprise guests, moments of culture and education, and more. So please mark your calendar. This one you don’t want to miss.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Memorial Day,


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