From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, July 30, 2015 2:15 PM

To:                                   'Jewish Federation NB'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for July 30, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for July 30, 2015

More Dishing on the Iran Deal


Let us hope that the politicians are discussing the Iran deal with as much passion and interest as journalists like James Fallows at The Atlantic is.

Still not sure what exactly the Iran nuclear agreement is about? This Tablet guide to understanding key elements of the deal is “a guide for the perplexed” and breaks it down for the layperson.

Jewish Journal’s Rob Eshman takes on American Jewry’s groupthink as it relates to Federations across the country speaking out against the deal as shared in this space last week. Here he writes, “You could argue that on issues of great urgency, a Federation must lead, not follow. Perhaps. But educating, building consensus and incorporating dissent on controversial issues are the hallmarks of leadership—and nothing close to that has happened. This is an ongoing, political and-- here's that word again-- complex issue that cannot be dispensed with via press release.”

Jonathan Pollard, Chapter Three

There was Jonathan Pollard the American spy for Israel, then there was Jonathan Pollard the convict. And now we have news of Jonathan Pollard the parolee, to be released from jail after 30 years in November. This New York Times article provides the details of his release while Seth Lipsky (my former boss at the Forward) explores the nuances of Pollard’s crime and punishment in an excellent  Time article.

Some speculate that news of Pollard’s release, which Israel has long lobbied for, is intended to appease Netanyahu and Israel as the Iran deal is considered. Secretary of State John Kerry denies this outright.

Pollard’s attorney shared his client’s relief upon learning the parole board’s decision as well as his hope to someday visit Israel, a country for which Pollard has “great affection.”


Olympiastadion Hosts Maccabi Games

Jesse Owns, famous black American athlete, won four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. He was not greeted by Hitler. In fact, he and all other non-Aryan participants were unwelcome. That Germany is hosting the European Maccabi games this week speaks to the balm of time and the import of symbols in today’s still anti-Semitic climate.  

For more on the 2015 European Maccabi Games, an offshoot of the “Jewish Olympics” that take place every four years in Israel, follow this Maccabi USA link.




Israel’s Diplomat


Tablet Magazine introduces us to George Deek, an unlikely voice for Israel on the national stage, known for "the best speech an Israeli diplomat ever had." He is Christian. He is Palestinian. He is Arab. He is Israeli. Deek is a poster boy for the Arab minority in Israel, leading through actions and words.

Tablet’s Adi Schwartz writes, “He lamented the fact that Arab leaders . . . put the Arab identity and the Israeli identity on a constant collision path. The Arab minority in Israel, he said, could have a paramount role in creating a bridge with the entire Arab world through commerce, culture, and literature, thanks to its unique position.”



Scholarships Awarded

Eight students attending undergraduate and graduate schools have been awarded Jewish Federation of New Bedford scholarships totaling $7,000 from the following named funds:

o   Sarah Barnet Fund

o   Bernstein-Zeman Memorial Fund

o   Jerold and Jeanne Danis Scholarship (This fund was established this year – special thanks.)

o   Dr. Sanford Dworkin Memorial Fund

o   Beatrice Epstein Memorial Fund

o   Ruth Federman Memorial Fund

o   General Scholarship Fund

o   Jenny, Morris and Alvin Glaser Scholarship Fund

o   Jonathan Gotlib Memorial Fund

o   Sybil and Robert Jackson Memorial Fund

o   Edward S. Leen Memorial Fund

o   Julie Leen Scholarship

o   Jason Martin Memorial Fund

o   Barbara Meltzer Memorial Fund

o   Max & Bertha Scheinman Fund

And for Fun

Many of you know that the City of Afula in the Israel Valley is our Federation’s partner city. Some of you may know it is world famous for the best sunflower seeds (trust me on this one). However, this week it became known that the BEST falafel vendor is also in Afula. His name is Golan and I think he is not a vendor but a wizard. Watch this video and judge for yourself.


For Your Calendar


WHAT: Raise the Roof screening

WHEN: Monday, August 3, 6:30 PM reception, 7:15 PM screening
WHERE: Plimoth Plantation Visitor Center, 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth

WHY: Documentary about 10-year effort to reconstruct an 18th century, Polish wooden synagogue in Poland (now the centerpiece of new POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw) 

WHO: Project founders, Rick and Laura Brown, director, Yari Wolinsky, and producer, Cary Wolinsky, will be in attendance to discuss the film following the screening.


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