From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, February 04, 2016 1:51 PM

To:                                   'Jewish Federation NB'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for February 4, 2016

The Bulletin - A Community Update for February 4, 2016


A Night at the Z

Last night I did not let non-stop rain stop me and I went to see Trombone Shorty at the Z.

With seats in the front row (I bought very early), I was right at the stage where later this month we host Vanessa Hidary at a Federation event.

I received many notes after our David Broza event last week at the Whaling Museum. I hope our coming event is just as successful. We are very excited to have an event at such a quintessential New Bedford venue.

Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew Mamita

Thursday, February 25, 7:00 PM

Zeiterion Performing Arts Center

684 Purchase Street, New Bedford

Native New Yorker Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew Mamita, grew up on Manhattanfs culturally diverse Upper West Side. Her experiences as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds inspired her to write Culture Bandit, the nationally toured solo show that chronicles Vanessafs coming of age.

Vanessa has conducted poetry and racism workshops with the Bfnai Bfrith Youth organization and was the director/developer of MONOLOGUES - an evening of solo performances by 15 young adults exploring their Jewish identity, inspired by a 10-day trip through Israel, produced by Birthright Israel NEXT.

From the Bronx to Tel Aviv, Vanessa can be found at high schools, universities, Jewish Federations, poetry lounges and cultural centers performing and speaking about Jewish identity - tackling stereotypes and dissecting the complicated question of gWhat does Jewish look like to you?h She recently published her first collection of poems and stories titled The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega.

Other Pieces Worthy of Attention

Robinsonfs Arch (arrow), newly designated prayer space at the Western Wall

This week the Israeli Cabinet voted to approve the creation of an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall. The decision, which signaled the Israeli Governmentfs first acknowledgement of multiple streams of Judaism, is to be applauded. At a meeting of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky reminded board members that opposition by Orthodox groups in Israel would likely not cease and urged them to remain involved in support of pluralism in Israel. (More about the decision in this LA Jewish Journal article by Ryan Torok.)

In response to divisive remarks by ministers and members of Knesset following the decision, Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a statement saying, "Reform and Conservative Jews are part and parcel of the Jewish people and should be treated with respect. The government approved this week a historic compromise that ensures that the Western Wall will continue to be a source of unity and inspiration for the entire Jewish people. This is the governmentfs policy. This is my policy."

Last month Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt wrote an editorial sharing concerns he is hearing in private conversations about Israel's future and the relationship with Diaspora Jewry. The Wall decision may help change that outlook. The editorial is a worthwhile read either way.

Calendar: Save the Date


  Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew Mamita

Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford

·         Thursday, February 25, 7:00 PM

  Holocaust Survivor: Martin Weiss, sponsored by the BCC Holocaust Center

Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River (Jackson Arts Center)

·         Thursday, March 3, 4:00 PM

  Etty, A One-Woman Theatrical Play by Susan Stein, sponsored by the BCC Holocaust Center

Based on the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, the play is based in 1941 when Etty, a young Jewish Dutch woman, is living in German-occupied Amsterdam.

Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River (Jackson Arts Center)

·         Wednesday, March 30, 2:00 PM

  Tenement Museum and Katzfs Delicatessen

Manhattan's Lower East Side

·         Sunday, April 10, day trip

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