From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Friday, July 11, 2014 1:01 AM

To:                                   'Jewish Federation NB'

Subject:                          The Bulletin - A Community Update for July 11, 2014

The Bulletin - A Community Update for July 11, 2014



The Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford stands in solidarity with the people of the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces during Operation Protective Edge.  This past week more than 200 rockets have been fired at communities in southern and central Israel, now reaching as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and endangering the lives of five of the country's eight million residents. 

The sole purpose of Operation Protective Edge is to end the barrage of rockets from Gaza that is aimed at civilian areas in Israel.  Since 2005, more than 13,000 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

"Israel can't accept rocket fire aimed at civilians,” said Ellen Hull, Federation president.  “Our community supports Israel's right to defend itself against these attacks."

Israel has told Hamas that "quiet will be responded with quiet" and we hope that those with influence over Hamas would demand that they end these attacks so that Israel can stand down from this defensive measure.

We continue to mourn the murders of the four teenagers, whose unfinished lives demonstrate the deep losses of this seemingly intractable conflict.  We commend Israel for so swiftly finding and arresting the six suspects in the horrifying murder of Muhammed Abu-Khdeir, and urge the Palestinian leadership to redouble its efforts in locating and arresting the suspects in the brutal abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel.

Jerry Silverman, President of the Jewish Federations of North America, Reports from Israel:


“As hostilities continue in Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered the IDF to intensify Operation Protective Edge, although he stopped short of ordering a ground invasion. With rockets continuing to be fired from Gaza toward Israel, the IDF has continued its air strikes against Hamas and other Gaza targets.  A long, extended military operation remains a distinct possibility with officials on both sides unclear of when hostilities may end.  And Israeli forces are doing everything possible to warn Palestinian residents of incoming airstrikes to avoid civilian casualties.”

Jerry Silverman Shares a Post from a Birthright Participant Currently in Israel:

"It's day 5 of our trip and we have had the most incredible time as a group, growing so close and feeling so blessed to be sharing this experience as one big family.  We have been up at the crack of dawn, hiking our hearts out, laughing and swimming in the Dead Sea.  We're in the desert tonight with the Bedouins and things are feeling quite tense, given the situation.  Everyone is feeling very on edge and concerned for the lives of those who put their lives on the line for us each and every day.  I personally feel not afraid for my safety but more so empathetic for those who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom on a daily basis.  We all feel so touched by those we have met along the way and the experiences that the Israelis have shared with us.  Today has been particularly challenging as we bid farewell to one of the soldiers in our group who was called back to his unit and as we continue to hear planes flying over us while we try to make sense of this very overwhelming experience.  This has given us all a very real insight into the beauty and complexity of Israeli life.  We are all so grateful for our beautiful mads and madricha and for the family we have created and we know this experience will bring us closer to each other and to the land that is rightfully ours."

Iron Dome in Action

Israel has been under missile attacks for nearly a decade now.  As a result, Iron Dome, its missile defense system, is performing at a high level and has prevented massive casualties.  Here is a clip of Iron Dome intercepting a missile headed toward a populated area:


Honor-Shame Culture Colors Arab-Israeli Relationship

Read this Tablet article for an in-depth view of how a cultural belief system has foiled, and will continue to foil, attempts at a peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians in a shared land. 

The online piece opens by asking, “By ignoring the honor-shame dynamic in Arab political culture, is the West keeping itself from making headway toward peace?”  What do you think?

2014 Summer Jewish Film Series

If you don’t have plans to visit the Cape this summer, make some now.  The Falmouth Jewish Congregation’s 2014 Summer Jewish Film Series features award-winning films shown on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM.  Open to the public.  Refreshments are included in the ticket price of $10.00.  Last film shown August 5.  Learn more at the FJC web site

BCC Holocaust Center Program:  Save the Date

The Bristol Community College Holocaust Center, in conjunction with Temple Beth El, presents Out of the Whirlwind:  Jewish Songs of Lament, Protest, and Resistance:  1933 – 1947 on Sunday, August 3, 1:30 PM, at Temple Beth El, 385 High Street, Fall River.  The program features a lecture and recital by Brian Nedvin, lyric tenor and professor of music at Old Dominion University, with Cantor Shoshana Brown of Temple Beth El.  This program is free and open to the public. 



While no miracle, it is good advice.  Smokey Robinson was singing about love, but his words of wisdom apply to commerce too.  When you shop Amazon (and who doesn’t?), shop via AmazonSmile and the Federation will receive 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products.

Follow this link or simply type AmazonSmile into a search engine and open the link that way.  Same Amazon experience and savings for you and a donation for us; win-win.

Hydrate in Summer Heat


This spring new shrubs and trees were planted at the Holocaust Monument, enhancing what is already a beautiful and meaningful memorial place for those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.  As you likely know, newly planted shrubs and trees are thirsty.  For the first two years, until the plants are established, they must be regularly watered.

If you are willing to water, please contact the Federation at 508-997-7471 or at for your assignment.  Just eight gallons a week of water and the four shrubs assigned to you will be happy.  Green is good.

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