The Bulletin

Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund
-- Our Help Is Needed

As we enjoy the final (and long) weekend of this summer, thousands of Louisianans are living in shelters, having been hit hard by the worst US natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Our short campaign to assist them ends Monday. I ask that you take a moment to consider making a donation now. (One hundred percent of your donation will go to the Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund.) Jewish communities everywhere are responding with donations to this fund established by The Jewish Federations of North America.

All donations will be passed to the Baton Rouge Jewish Federation for local distribution.
As members of the Jewish Community, we are fortunate to have such a strong network to not only help us raise funds but to distribute them through trusted local hands.
Checks should be made payable to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford. Feel free to add Baton Rouge in the note section. If you prefer to make an online donation, simply click on the "Donate" tab in the left column of our website.
Thank you in advance for your support.
The First Event of the Year: On the Map
- September 25th at UMass Dartmouth

On February 17, 1977, the streets emptied and restaurants went dark throughout Israel as the entire nation was watching basketball. Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel's basketball champions, were matched against the mighty Russian Red Army team, CSKA Moscow, in the European Cup Basketball Championship.  Stacked with every good Russian player, CSKA had previously won the European title four times and refused to play in Tel Aviv. The game was set for a neutral arena in Belgium.

Led by captain Tal Brody of New Jersey, Israeli-born players Moti Aroesty and Micki Berkovic, and American Jews Lou Silver, Bob Griffin, Maccabi triumphantly defeated the Soviets, 91-79.
After the game, Brody was interviewed, shouting to the world in Hebrew, "We are on the map! And we are staying ON THE MAP -- not only in sports, but in EVERYTHING!" Israel, its borders contested, surrounded by enemies, was now and forever ON THE MAP.

The film honors American and Israeli heroes, mesmerizes fans of the game, and captures the spirit of a nation victorious against all odds. In his documentary On The Map, award-winning Israeli filmmaker Dani Menkin captures all that and more. Our good friend Nancy Spielberg and the team that produced Above and Beyond are all part of the On The Map team.

The film will make its New England debut in our community on Sunday, September 25, at 4:30 PM, at the UMass Dartmouth Library. The event marks the start of our 2016-17 annual campaign. All members are invited to attend with students and children welcome. Federation members are encouraged to make a pledge toward the annual campaign at this time.
Refreshments will be served. (The Patriots are NOT playing Sunday the 25th.)
I hope to see you all and ask that you kindly RSVP by replying to office@jewishnewbedford.org or by calling 508-997-7471.
Read more about the historic game and watch a video trailer for the film in this Tablet Magazine article


In  this blog post, Jerry Silverman, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federations of North America, tells us how the "Jewish Federations work to turn the tide away from delegitimization and toward support for peace efforts through the Israel Action Network (IAN)."

In part, Silverman writes, "Those organizations that truly work to promote dialogue and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians seek strategic approaches to build relationships and foster partnerships between the populations. A true and lasting peace will result only from bilateral negotiations between the two parties, not a boycott of one.

"Until those boycott efforts end, Jewish Federations' Israel Action Network will be at the forefront of the battle against them."

That's Entertainment

When Gene Wilder died on Monday at 83 years of age from complications with Alzheimer's disease, the laughs and the charm did not go with him. Born Jerome Silberman, the actor will live on through his classic films, including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein.

Read this New York Times article for insight into the man and his work. Then read this
Tablet Magazine article for an excerpt from Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish to learn more about Wilder's Jewish heritage and how it informed him as a person.

Actress Natalie Portman, born in Israel and raised in the United States, makes her directorial debut in A Tale of Love and Darkness, a film based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz, taking place in Jerusalem in the last years of Mandatory Palestine and the first years of independent Israel.

Learn more about how the film, which has been described as a "deadly serious, deeply non-commercial literary project," came to be made in this article and about the challenges of speaking Hebrew with an Israeli accent for the American actress here
The Strange Case of the Coney Island "Incubator Doctor"

We take for granted now that babies born prematurely have a good chance of survival with positive prognoses. We assume, too, that their first weeks of life will be spent in an incubator in a hospital.

But did you know that modern neonatal medicine owes a debt of gratitude to a Jewish Coney Island doctor who wasn't really a doctor at all? In early 20th-century New York City, the mortality rate for preemies was staggering. Enter entrepreneur and Coney Island showman Dr. Martin Couney, born Michael Cohen in a small town called Krotoszyn in what is now Poland. For a fee, spectators viewed the babies struggling for their lives in incubators at the Chicago World's Fair and Coney Island.

Read about his fascinating career and against-all-odds success in this Smithsonian article.

September 25
4:30 PM
Campaign launch and screening of documentary On the Map
UMass Dartmouth Library

October 6
7:00 PM
Internationally renowned, best-selling author Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie) presents "Giving Is Living" lecture followed by book signing
Angus Bailey Auditorium, UMass Dartmouth
Reserve $25/pp tickets here. Space is limited.

October 6
7:00 PM
Screening of The Consul of Bordeaux, a film about Aristedes de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux who saved over 30,000 lives from Nazi persecution
Bristol Community College, Fall River campus, room TBA


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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