From: Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 2:31 PM

To: 'New Bedford Jewish Federation'

Subject: The Bulletin -- A Community Update for March 31, 2016

The Bulletin - A Community Update for March 31, 2016


With Passover Three Weeks Away, It s Food Drive Time

One of the many important things we do at the Federation is support those who struggle to shop and prepare for Passover. Maot Chittim, the  wheat fund, provided the poor with the wheat to bake matzoh in ancient times. Today the spirit of Maot Chittim lives on in our community through your support and contributions to the Passover relief fund.

Some of you have already sent a contribution. Thank you. Those who have not are welcome to do so at Last year we provided more meals than the year before and we are likely to do so again this year. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful and generous gift.






A Busy May Ahead

May is always busy here. For several weeks we have mentioned our upcoming Yom HaShoah observance on Sunday, May 1 (see below for details).

This year Israel Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut) falls on May 12. We are celebrating with two separate events that same week! On Monday, May 9, two Israeli chefs from Afula-Gilboa - our Partnership2Gether area in Israel  will cook for and with us. Later that week on Thursday, May 12, we (again) partner with the Whaling Museum to present the delicious movie In Search of Israeli Cuisine (trailer).

More details about both events will be in next week s Bulletin, but for the moment mark your calendars.






About This Bulletin       

Each week I read dozens of articles that cover, connect or opine on Jewish life. For more than two years through this Bulletin I have suggested, highlighted and pointed out some of them. Some writers are more prominent (and frankly better) than others and their work is more frequently mentioned. There are times when a presidential campaign is going on here or in Israel and more articles with political views are included. I try to find balance and make both sides of every issue present. I try to ask questions that articles might have missed. All of it is done in order to give you, the reader, an opportunity to form your own opinion and become aware of news you may not otherwise hear. I suggest articles with which I agree and disagree. It is an important point I have made in this Bulletin before and I am making it again this week.

So now that we have this point covered, I ll try (this week) to not just suggest articles but also provide some of the thinking behind why I included them.

Last week we covered AIPAC, the presidential candidates who spoke there, and some of the controversy surrounding the invitation to Donald Trump. On that subject I found (this week) a very well made point by one of my favorite writers, The Forward s J.J. Goldberg, about the issue. Goldberg begins to make his point by quoting the LA Jewish Journal s Rob Eshman who was adamant Trump should never have been invited to speak. Goldberg then goes on to say that the  anguish is understandable but  to expect that of AIPAC is to mistake the purpose of the lobby, a well-made point and that s why I recommend reading his column.

Another thing on my mind this week is Yom HaShoah. Our community event is on May 1 (see details below). Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv s great story of the Nazi who became a Mossad (Israel s secret intelligence service) agent, therefore, seemed relevant to share.

Otto Skorzeny, a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler s favorites, became one of Mossad s most valuable assets. Skorzeny is the same man the Fhrer awarded with the Knight s Cross of the Iron Cross for leading the rescue operation that plucked his friend Benito Mussolini out from the hands of his captors. You will not want to miss this extraordinary piece from The Forward.

On a lighter note (I try to find some easy ones too), Israeli actress Gal Gadot is the new Wonder Woman. JTA s Ben Sales reports on how Gal may be the only thing all Israelis agree on.

And then there s this week s trickiest topic.

It started when two Palestinians attacked Israeli soldiers last week. After wounding one soldier, both were shot by another soldier. One of the terrorists was killed on the spot while the other was critically injured. So far nothing that (sadly) doesn t happen almost every week. 

The complications began when, minutes later, another soldier who wasn t even there during the attack shot the wounded terrorist who was no longer posing any danger. The action of the soldier goes against any military protocol, of course, and was strongly condemned by military brass as well as Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon who pledged to treat the case with the "utmost severity." Earlier today, a military court determined that the soldier will face manslaughter charges.

Last week s event began like many other attacks but did not end that way. Israeli society and the military have debated this for the past week and will without a doubt continue to do so in the weeks to come. The Purity of Arms (  - Tohar HaNeshek) is an official and fundamental value of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) espousing morality in warfare. It is taught to soldiers at every level. It will be very interesting to follow this case with that value in mind. 

Scholarship Applications Now Available

Members children and grandchildren are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford and the New Bedford section of the National Council of Jewish Women. If interested, please write to or call 508-997-7471.

Annual Yom HaShoah Observance

Service dedicated to the memory of Federation volunteer Mary Schwartz with speaker John Saunders, survivor of Mauthausen Concentration Camp.

Sunday, May 1

6:30 PM Holocaust Memorial, Buttonwood Park

7:00 PM Tifereth Israel Congregation

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