From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:25 PM

To:                                   'Jewish Federation NB'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for November 12, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for November 12, 2015

A New Campaign Year and the General Assembly



More than 3,000 people gathered in Washington this week for one of the largest events on the Jewish calendar – the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. Board member Cheryl Zeoli and I represented our community at the event and enjoyed interesting and informative sessions, learning from other communities about best practices and fresh ideas and listening to inspiring speakers from all over the world. The closing plenary featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu who was, as he often is, excellent.

However, the prime minister used not just his time slot but that of others who were scheduled to speak, including Major Meital Tzur, an IDF officer who was scheduled to speak about the rescue team Israel sent to Nepal back in April after the devastating earthquake hit Katmandu.  While Meital never got to speak to those 3,000 people, she was here in our community last night at a smaller gathering at the home of Marsha and John Onufrak.


Maj. Tzur  with L-R Rabbi Raphael Kanter, John and Marsha Onufrak, and Andrei Klein

Major Tzur told us the story of how the team was on the ground and set with a fully functioning field hospital within three days. She showed us pictures of a 12-year-old girl who had life-saving brain surgery in conditions resembling a scene from M.A.S.H or Saving Private Ryan. The Israeli team, which stayed for three weeks and treated 1,600 patients, was by far the largest group sent to Nepal among countries offering support. It included a Nepalese doctor who was doing his residency in Israel at the time and joined on short notice.

Meital joined us for the campaign kick-off event for Federation’s 2015-26 annual campaign. The campaign has now officially begun and I want to encourage you to participate. Your support enables us to do the important work that we do in our community and around the world. Look for your campaign letter in the mail soon.

Coming to our Community -- Save the Date!

In the coming weeks we have several very exciting programs coming to our community and I hope to see many of you there.

On Wednesday, December 2, 7:00 PM, we have a joint program of the Jewish Federation and TI hosting Israeli Deputy Consul General Matan Zamir at TI.

On Sunday, December 13, at 5:30 PM,  with the New Bedford Inter-Church Council, we host One Voice, a collaboration of two musical youth groups – one Jewish, one Arab – from Tel Aviv–Yafo at Grace Episcopal Church, 133 School Street, New Bedford bringing this event to a broad-based audience.

And perhaps our winter highlight . . . on January 28, 2016, we are going back to the Whaling Museum where we hosted Nancy Spielberg in May. Our guest is Israeli singer and icon David Broza with his inspiring East Jerusalem West Jerusalem film. David will of course also sing with and for us.

Federation Around Town

Calvin Siegal (center), Federation board member and longtime member of New Bedford Post 154 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, served as grand marshal of the Veterans Day parade.


Freddie Myerson and Ruth Oppenheim (right), both born 1927 in Germany, posed together following Ruth’s talk at Tifereth Israel, November 8, on The Persistence of Memory, her presentation describing her family’s experience on Kristallnacht and their subsequent escape  from Germany.  This event was organized by the Federation’s Holocaust Education and Memorial Committee.

Professor Ilana Offenberger speaks at the screening of Treblinka’s Last Witness on November 4 at UMass Dartmouth.  This event was also sponsored by the Holocaust Committee.

A Tale of Two Tribes

By all accounts, the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday went well.  Acrimony was given the day off. Leading up to the meeting, Jeffrey Goldberg opined on what the topic of conversation between the world leaders should be in The Atlantic. Writing about a Zionist pantheon, Obama and the separation of two warring tribes, Goldberg concludes, “Netanyahu should reverse the settlement project for the sake of the Palestinians, but mainly for the sake of Herzl’s dream.”

The Realities on the Ground: Terror in the West Bank

In The Forward, J. J. Goldberg writes about the roots of the most recent terror wave in Israel. Bibi would have us believe it is simply an expression of Palestinian nationalism that traces its roots to genocidal anti-Semitism (hello, Hitler and the Mufti). But active leaders in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) have another idea: The violence is a response to Israeli actions and polices now.


Picture It This Way

Religion and art come together in unexpected ways in artist Archie Rand’s illustrated Torah.  After studying the 613 mitzvot from the Hebrew Bible for the past 15 years, the artist produced a showcase and book that has been described as “wild, hilarious, dark, light and daring.” 


Artist Workshops in Afula-Gilboa! 

If you, like Archie Rand, express yourself best through art, then this opportunity is for you.

Partnership2Gether Afula-Gilboa-SNEC is presenting Artist Workshops in Afula-Gilboa, Israel, March 6-11, 2016. Artists working in all mediums (photography, music, glass, painting, theater, art therapy, writers, etc.) are encouraged to apply to this juried program. Space is limited.

You will volunteer your time and creativity to collaborate and share knowledge with Afula-Gilboa artists. You will later share your program experience and art with your local community in the US.

Artists are responsible for RT airfare, health insurance and more.  Partnership2Gether provides lodging, some meals, scheduled tourist visits and art materials.


For more information and application, please contact Neta Kopelzada, Living Bridge coordinator at  Deadline for application: November 30, 2015.

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 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 Servers and drivers needed.

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