The Bulletin

Ben-Gurion in New Bedford

On Monday night, Alon Ben-Gurion (grandson of)came to New Bedford for the Federation's C-3 (Chanukah/Celebration/Campaign) party. Over latkes, guests and board members shared conversation and were recognized for their long-standing support.

Of the many stories and memories Alon shared about his grandfather, David Ben-Gurion, few stand out (to me) more than the one about
grandpa's visit to Ike's White House. Secretary Dulles (the story goes) confronted BG about his connection to that controversial piece of land he had been defending all his life. "Say you pick 10 American kids at random," said BG, "and ask them, 'Who led the people who came on the Mayflower 300 years ago? What did they eat? And what was the sea like?' Chances are most of them won't know the answer. Now pick 10 Israeli kids and ask them, 'Who led them out of Egypt? What did they eat? And, what happened to the sea?' and they will most likely tell the same story. And, that was 3,000 years ago!" Dulles never spoke of it after.

L-R: Cecelia Alkalay, Andrei Klein, Judith Klein, Alon Ben-Gurion; Ellen Hull, Alon Ben-Gurion, Amir Cohen; Ilana Offenberger, Alon Ben-Gurion

As one can imagine, it was not only grandpa that Alon spoke about. There were of course stories of the Russian-born, American-raised grandma, Paula, who was a nurse at Beth Israel in Newark when she met BG. Years later she returned to the hospital for a visit as the wife of a head of state. When she was introduced to a class of nurses, the host told the class that maybe they too might one day marry a prime minister, to which Paula said, " I did not marry a prime minister, I made one."

A Wandering Jew

David Broza, who performed for us earlier this year at the Whaling Museum after a viewing of his film East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, was recently featured in Tablet Magazine. If you're a fan, you'll appreciate this David Broza interview.

"The United States has Bruce Springsteen and Israel has, well, David Broza. Their obvious talents notwithstanding, the singer-songwriters are both well known for their poetic lyrics, their charm and, I'd be remiss not to at least mention, their gruff good looks." And so the interview draws us in.
Hamilton Hype: From Jewish Day School to Broadway

By now you are aware of the Broadway phenomenon that is Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda's creative interpretation of the politician's life has earned praise and popularity, box office gold. To see it, you will need luck and patience and deep pockets, not necessarily in that order.

In the meantime, I'm here to share with you the Jewish angle (because you knew there had to be one). Alexander Hamilton was a Jewish day school boy. Born in Nevis in the mid-1700s, he was barred from an Anglican education because his parents were not married. Instead he attended a Jewish day school where he learned Hebrew and acquired a lifelong affinity for the Jewish people.

His life story is quite impressive. If you've forgotten your early history lessons, refresh your memory with this Hamilton biography.

And if you are really in the mood to read and understand how genius works, check out The New Yorker's in-depth, insider's view of how the musical Hamilton came to be.

Netflix Discovers Israeli Film 

David Broza's wonderful movie East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, mentioned above, is now available on Netflix. Tonight the temperature is supposed to drop to about 5 degrees, so what better than a movie on a cold night when going out is out of the question?

Netflix has also recently added several Israeli films. Tablet's Yair Rosenberg reviews and recommends five of them. This being New England, I suspect we might have a few more cold nights. As a Netflix customer, I plan to personally check them out. If you would like to do the same, here is a link to

Israel's best TV shows and films.
Christmas Meal Volunteers Needed

It's the most wonderful time of the year to practice tikkun olam. When Jews serve Christians a classic holiday meal, it makes for a most beloved holiday tradition in our community. Volunteers are needed to serve turkey dinners to area senior citizens in the parish hall of Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 121 Mount Pleasant Street, New Bedford, and to deliver additional meals to those who are homebound.

If you are interested in supporting Ellen Hull and Stan Levine, co-directors of the annual event, by volunteering a few hours between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Christmas day, please call Ellen at 508-993-5742 or email tucker1300@gmail.com. Servers and drivers needed.

December 25
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
annual Christmas dinner for area senior citizens
Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
121 Mount Pleasant Street, New Bedford


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 amir@jewishnewbedford.org.

Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, 467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA 02747
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