The Bulletin
1.Twenty Years Ago
We had just finished an early AM, private tour of the White House. I was part of a delegation of Israeli Knesset members to Washington, D.C. We had some extra time before a scheduled visit to the Supreme Court so we headed to the Lincoln Memorial. On the way one of the delegates from Prime Minister Sharon’s office received a call on her cell phone that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. "Terrorists," my father immediately said. A Knesset member at the time, he led the delegation. A little later on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial I saw what looked like a plane that was not on course to Dulles Airport and a minute later the thick black smoke coming out from across the Potomac. The world was never the same again. 

We all remember where we were and where our loved ones were. My 8-year-old was at the Jewish day school in Providence, worried because he knew his grandfather and father were in D.C. We all have these or similar stories.

Writing for Jewish Journal, Tabby Refael, shares her family's experience in "Where Was I on September 11?" "Some Americans who watched the horrific events of 9/11 on television felt anger. Others felt grief. My family and I felt both, but as refugees who escaped post-revolutionary Iran, we worried that the enemies we had left behind had come back for us." 

As Jews we are trained to never forget the 9th day in the month of Av - 11/9 and 9/11 are but a few of those dates forever burned into memory.
2.Rosh Hashana at Shawshank This Is Not
My items on the Afula-Gilboa region are usually about social justice, helping communities and stories that make us feel good about making a difference. What I never shared before is that one of the most secure prisons in Israel is also in our region - one that is home to some of the world’s most vicious terrorists. I passed it driving on Route 71 just this past May.

This week, against all odds, six of the prisoners managed to escape through a tunnel that probably took months to dig. Since they are all former residents of Jenin (a Palestinian town across the wall in the West Bank that you may remember from Fauda, where they held Doron’s kidnapped son) I doubt they are going to be found any time soon. Given their resumes it will not be a surprise if we next hear about them after they are involved in a new act of terrorism - which I hope is a failed one. Here’s more from J Post.
3.Table Rules
When I read the recent SouthCoast Today article "Mahjong Rises in Popularity in the New Bedford Area" my interest was piqued. "According to a Newsweek article by June Brown, mahjong was invented by people from the Jewish religion in early Palestine, 200 B.C.E. It continued to be played until the fall of the second temple in 70 C.E. The game was then reinvented in India by the family of Simon of Tiberias."

Hmm. That's one version of the game's history. The Jewish sources I found didn't go there. My Jewish Learning has a different take in "Is Mah-Jongg a Jewish Game?"

"Mah-Jongg’s precursors may be centuries old, but the game most Americans know dates back only about 150 years. Around 1846, a servant of the Chinese emperor combined the rules of popular card games of the time, and replaced cards with tiles to create Mah-Jongg."

Regardless of ancient history no one can deny that the game was wildly popular with Jews, and particularly Jewish women, for decades. Nice to know it's still a thing.
4.Fashionista's 100th
"Iris Apfel knows something about having projects; she's been working nonstop since 2005, when Apfel, then 84, became an overnight sensation after the Metropolitan Museum of Art put her extensive fashion archive on display. The pieces (which she acquired during her many travels working for her prestigious fabric company, Old World Weavers, which she ran with her late husband Carl Apfel) were styled with her own outfits and signature glasses, showing off her playful, idiosyncratic approach to fashion — and made her an overnight sensation in the fashion world."

The fashion icon turned 100 on August 29th. In this week's People Magazine, she shares her best lessons on love, life and plastic surgery.
5.Forget the O Jerusalem!
"After 50-something years, and to the astonishment of our children and grandchildren, at the end of June my husband and I packed up our things and left Jerusalem, moving halfway across the country to settle in Zichron Yaakov, a quaint, hilltop village overlooking the sea," writes author Naomi Ragen in a thoughtful opinion piece for Moment Magazine. In "Why I Left Jerusalem," she touches on some very real concerns for residents of this holy city.

"Jerusalem, with its crowded roads, big, noisy malls and small apartments crowded together in ridiculously overpriced high-rises, wasn’t for us anymore, nor was an apartment accessible on Shabbat and holidays via an elevator that worked only 15 minutes an hour, leaving us—and our guests—to walk up nine flights if we missed it. Most of all, we wanted to flee the contentious atmosphere of a city divided by judgmental religious zealots—both Jewish and Muslim—and a worsening security situation."
I like eggs (3 over-medium with a side of that which we do not confess to loving, certainly not the week before Yom Kippur). For some people (not just vegans) they are a turnoff. A runny yolk, the smell of hard boiled eggs - no matter the reason they are often vocal about their dislike. It is with a wink to them that I am pleased to share 14 egg salad recipes for Yom Kippur break-fast because one can never pregame egg salad early enough.
For Your Calendar
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."

Thursday, October 7, 4:00 PM Online (Zoom)
All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, A British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen Belson
Lecture and discussion by Dr. Bernice Lerner, senior scholar at Boston University
Bristol Community College Holocaust & Genocide Center

Thursday, October 28, 4:00 PM Online (Zoom)
The Armenian Genocide
Lecture and discussion by Pauline Getzoyan, editor of the Rhode Island Armenian Newsletter
Bristol Community College Holocaust & Genocide Center

Sunday - Thursday, November 14-18, Any time, Online
Screen the film Passage to Sweden online for free
Bristol Community College Holocaust & Genocide Center

Thursday, November 18, 4:00 PM Online (Zoom)
Join documentarian and producer Susannah Warlick to discuss her award-winning film Passage to Sweden
Bristol Community College Holocaust & Genocide Center
Chag sameach,


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