The Bulletin


1.Best Day Ever

In Bulletins prior to October 7th there was a lot of concern for the complicated standing of the State of Israel in the eyes of American Jews. On Tuesday, the largest ever gathering of Jews in America met at the National Mall for the March for Israel. Estimates say 290,000 attended. There were Jews from all denominations, Israelis, victims and their families, first responders, students and many supporters who aren’t Jewish.

Here are some of the most memorable things said:

“We all have third-degree burns on our souls. Our hearts are bruised and seeping with misery but the real souls suffering are those of the hostages … why is the world accepting that 240 human beings from almost 30 countries have been stolen and buried alive?”

Rachel Goldberg, mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was wounded and kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from the Nova Music Festival on October 7.


For more meaningful moments from Tuesday read "15 Critical Comments from the March for Israel Rally in Washington, D.C."


Andrew Silow-Carroll, opinion columnist for JTA, also was there and shares his thoughts on the gathering here: "In Washington, Jews manage to rally around an intentionally murky message. Will the unity last?"


"It’s the rare Jewish event that can attract doves and hawks, black-hatted Orthodox Jews, queer Zionists waving rainbow flags, secular Israelis and busloads of suburban synagogue-goers of all denominations. And that’s perhaps why — despite the grieving Israeli families, the missing hostages, the unrelenting bombardment of Gaza — the rally took on a festive mood at times. People seemed genuinely relieved to loudly and safely celebrate their attachment to Israel in a crowd where Israel’s existence wouldn’t be called into question, its right to defend itself was taken for granted and wearing a Star of David didn’t mark them as 'colonialists' or worse." 


Pictured are Rabbi Kanter and his son Eli, bookends to Lois Kestenbaum McGinnis, Judy Brown and Gary Brown. 

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2.Cause and Effect

Sarah Katz, writing for Jewish Journal, has a lot to say about how the court of public opinion has pivoted since October 7th in "Hamas, Israel and the Victimhood Ploy."

"Misled once again by the idea that Israel seeks to commit genocide in Gaza despite consistent population growth, the United States, Israel’s long-time ally, has seen antisemitic acts rise by 400% in under a month. Unlike in previous wars with Hamas, these strikes by Israel came in response to 242 Israeli and foreign hostages still held in the Gaza Strip as well as the usual ongoing rocket attacks. Yet, thanks to Hamas’s victim complex and collective post-colonial guilt in the West, the image of Israel as the aggressor prevails.

"When applied to Israel and Palestine, Israel as the 'powerful Western oppressor' and Palestine as the 'brave non-white victim' have captured the hearts and minds of many esteemed institutions. This oppressor/victim binary tends to dismiss any reference to the culpability of any Palestinian entity in events preceding Israeli retaliation." 

And while we are on the topic of turning tides here is a satirical approach by the talented team of "Eretz Nehederet," which means a wonderful country - one of Israel’s funniest crews and their take on the BBC coverage.

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3.What Do You Want Is the Question

Rob Eshman, senior columnist for the Forward, shares his take on "how to talk to people who hate Israel."

"I’m talking about the criticism coming from people we know and love. Your kid in college. The colleague you used to trade recipes with. The people you marched and organized beside to protest the Muslim ban, or after the murder of George Floyd. The in-law who clicked 'Like' on some anti-Israel Instagram post. As the war drags on, casualties mount, and the hostages remain captive, talking about Israel becomes even more difficult and freighted — and even more important.

"But how can you talk to people who hate Israel, even when they’re people you love? Is there any way Thanksgiving won’t end in a screaming match?

"My answer is … a question. When I realize I’m speaking with someone whose views on Israel are very different from my own, I always ask, 'What do you want?'

"Because the one immutable fact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that the day after every battle, every terror act, every act of retribution, the other side is still there. People who don’t have a pragmatic argument for how two people can live together can argue all they want about the past and present. But they will have no future. And a future is something everyone wants."

4.The World's Most Influential Antisemite

When you are the wealthiest man on Earth you get to buy different toys than most of us do. I can splurge on a guitar, you might want to travel first class or buy a new car - but not Elon. He bought Twitter now X.

When I play a wrong note on my guitar (sadly it happens a lot) my neighbors and my girlfriend are the only ones who suffer. But when Elon does - as he did this week - we all suffer. “You have said the actual truth," he commented in response to a post that borrowed from the Tree Of Life terrorist who murdered 11 Jews. It reads, “I’m deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest shit now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much.” The user continued, adding, “You want truth said to your face, there it is.”

This is hardly the first time Mr. Wealthiest has jumped into this cesspool. There is little left but to perhaps never buy a Tesla, delete your Twitter account and tear your hair out. This man is beyond education and the fact that Bibi Netanyahu personally met with him a few weeks ago is in line with the other friends he keeps in Russia and Hungary. For more, read here.

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5.Her Name Is Barbra

Have you heard? Barbra Streisand has a book she wants you to read. The New Yorker has a review, "Barbra Streisand's Mother of All Memoirs."

Barbra, it seems, need not worry about fading into obscurity or becoming irrelevant. Jenny Singer in Forward takes a humorous look at "How Barbra Streisand became a meme-able legend for a new generation."

"So what does Streisand mean to the young and young-ish, the debt saddled, the vape-ists, those for whom 'cassette' sounds like a beautiful French baby name? Yes, people born after 1980 understand that Streisand is an EGOT and 43-time Grammy nominee. We know that she is an icon of Jewish glamor and comedic genius. But to younger generations, she might be just as notable for cloning her dog." 

6.In Thanks

Chances are next week at this time you will not be reading The Bulletin but rather gathering with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. I hope the gravy is plentiful and the debates are in the rear and not the fore. To that end, we are recognizing the American holiday here in our little corner of the internet with some recipes for the day.

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No-Cook Cranberry Relish

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Make-Ahead Gravy

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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

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7.We Continue Our Support

A week before Thanksgiving we continue to support Israel. Beyond opinions and parades our community continues to support the needs by making generous donations. If you haven't made your donation yet please find a time this week. Imagine taking a seat at your Thanksgiving table next week knowing that you have. I have no doubt it will feel so much better.

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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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