From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, June 25, 2015 11:28 AM

To:                                   'Jewish Federation NB'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for June 25, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for June 25, 2015

(This edition of The Bulletin prepared by Michelle Poirier.)

5 Days Left - Federation’s Annual Campaign 2014-15

Thank you, thank you to the many generous donors who have contributed to the 2015 campaign!  Your support enriches Jewish life at home and abroad.

It is not too late to be included in the annual donor list published in The Messenger this fall.  Please consider making a pledge or sending a gift TODAY.  Donate online here or mail your gift or pledge to 467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA, 02747.

Please note that while we ask for your pledge before June 30, payment can be made through December 31. 




Newport News:  Jewish History Down the Road

As Congregation Jeshua Israel of Newport battles Congregation Shearith Israel of New York in court for the right to sell 17th century silver ceremonial bells with an estimated value of $7.4 million to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the backdrop of the decline of Jewish life in Newport and the history of Newport’s Jewish community are explored in this piece in The Forward.  Congregation Jeshua Israel meets in Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in America, owned by Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest congregation in America. 

The news of two icons of American Jewish history haranguing each other in federal court, while disheartening, is reason enough for a road trip to scenic Newport where you can experience the history and majesty of Touro Synagogue in person.  Learn about (or brush up on) Touro’s founders and its bimah, the prominent Jewish citizens of colonial Newport, and George Washington's letter to the Jews of Newport before you go.




Blue Jews in an NRA Nation

Roof wrote 1488, a white supremacist code with anti-Semitic origins, in the sand.

Dylan Roof’s racism and hate were not restricted to Charleston’s African-American population.  In an online manifesto he wrote that if “. . . we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours . . .” there would be a “mass awakening” to the networking of Jews.  He suggests that destroying Jewish identity is the answer.  Read more here.

Charleston has long had a strong Jewish community.  Read one person’s take, written in the wake of the mass shooting, on the history of Charleston’s Jews and the role of race in this JTA op-ed.

One predictable storyline to emerge following the tragedy is President Obama’s push for the nation to take action against gun violence.  Less predictable is his inclusion of Israel in the argument.  "Here are the stats: per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel," Obama said on Twitter.

For more on Obama’s evolving dialog on gun control and race, read this Washington Post article.

Gaza Revisited a Year Later

The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer’s Gaza campaign prompted expected responses from both sides as outlined in this New York Times article.  Chemi Shalev of Haaretz opines here that the Israeli response to it “. . . embeds Israelis ever deeper in their isolated bunkers, in a place where every opportunity is a trap, every risk is existential and every reaction is justifiable, given the circumstances.”  The Obama administration, meanwhile, opposes any Security Council consideration of the report, in essence cutting off one avenue of legal action against Israel.  For more on the topic, read this Huffington Post commentary

More on Michael Oren

Michael Oren, as talked about here last week, hit a nerve with his opinions about the Israeli-American relationship in his book Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli DivideThe Forward’s Jane Eisner shares her distinctly Jewish-American view in this editorial

For the Cliff Notes synopsis, check out 20 revelations from Oren's new book – including the surprising American TV show Netanyahu finds relaxing.

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