From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, July 16, 2015 1:49 PM

To:                                   'New Bedford Jewish Federation'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for July 16, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for July 16, 2015




Iran, Iran and … the Cosmic Bet


The official statement from Jewish Federations of North America urges Congress to take a very good look at the recently signed Iran deal. Memories and statements from 1994 when the agreement with North Korea was signed were quick to come up in articles, together with photos of the nuclear testing by North Korea 12 years after that deal. In The Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg suggests we focus on a single question in judging the agreement, but the question is one where the answer is that only time will tell.

The Forward concludes that there is enough to cheer for and a lot to be concerned about. Journalist David Ignatius frames the deal in terms of a “cosmic bet” that Iran a decade from now will be a different Iran, a nation not hell bent on exporting terror, suppressing its own people and vowing to destroy Israel (in essence, a bet that inclusiveness will win out over sanctions).

It is J.J. Goldberg's column in The Forward that I find particularly interesting as he credits Netanyahu for framing the issue and making the world aware of it. (Remember the UN speech in 2012? Maybe this photo will refresh your memory).

He also reminds us that Iran, and any agreement they were ever going to sign, was never going to become a good global citizen. And that point (for me) is the reason why even the Israeli LEFT is against this agreement.

I fear we are looking at a scenario like the one with North Korea where sometime in the 2020s Iran will become a nuclear power and that this week’s agreement will be remembered as a key steppingstone on that path.

In another interesting summary, JTA nicely put together the points over which the US and Israel disagree.



As American as Apple Pie


Voted one of the four greatest living players by fans, 79-year-old Sandy Koufax is the Jewish baseball hero who chose to observe Yom Kippur rather than take the mound for Game 1 of the 1965 World Series.

At the All-Star game in Cincinnati this week, Koufax threw the ceremonial first pitch for a strike. There aren’t many Jewish jocks, but of the few, Koufax stands tall.

It Always Comes Back to the Food


The saddest day in the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av, commemorates the destruction of both Temples. This year the holiday begins at sunset on July 25 and continues until the following evening. Nine days prior to Tisha B’Av, a period of mourning begins.

Traditional Jews do not eat meat, cut their hair, or wash their clothes unless they are to be worn again during the nine days. While you and I may not be this traditional, there is never a bad time to reflect on the role of food in Jewish life now and the rest of the year.

Meatless dishes like Spicy Tuna Melt Twice Baked Potatoes and Red Quinoa Tabbouleh With Labne fit the bill of fare. 

And if they’re not for you, you may be inspired by Jewish chefs who infuse restaurant fare with Jewish tastes.  Move over schmaltz. Shakshuka, tahini, labneh and the ubiquitous hummus are gaining fans from sea to shining sea.


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