From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, April 23, 2015 2:23 PM

To:                                   'New Bedford Jewish Federation'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for April 23, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for April 23, 2015



Happy Birthday Israel


Today Israel celebrates its 67th birthday. Israel was born when members of the provisional government read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948. Many of us remember this date as historically significant. Since holidays are marked on the Jewish – not the secular – calendar, the date for actually celebrating the event changes from year to year.

One thing that never changes is the date when Israel marks Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) – one day before Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). When family members of fallen soldiers requested a separate day to honor loved ones, the holiday was established in 1951. At a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, as Memorial Day transitions into Independence Day, the flag is raised from half staff to the top of the pole. As the somber day when the memory of those who gave their lives is honored transforms into a happy celebration with fireworks, the connection between sacrifice and triumph is never more obvious. The link between these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence – the very existence of the state – to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

Memories Never Forgotten

Our annual celebration here in New Bedford will take place on Wednesday, May 6, when we host film producer Nancy Spielberg with her excellent film Above and Beyond about the role of American pilots in Israel’s War of Independence.

I wrote about Independence Day and our local celebration in today’s Standard-Times.

“…. There are many stories — some known, others less so — about that war. One of the lesser known stories is that of the Americans who volunteered and participated in the War of Independence, particularly those who were part of the team that made the first squadron in Israel’s fledgling Air Force. Imagine the predicament of fewer than 600,000 Jews with no army facing the established armies of several Arab nations. It doesn’t get much more David and Goliath than that. Through the heroic efforts of the few against the many, the Israelis triumphed. 

Each year, here in the greater New Bedford area, the Jewish Federation marks the occasion of Israel’s independence with a special event. This year we have a celebrity guest in film producer Nancy Spielberg (kid sister of Stephen) who is coming to New Bedford with her extraordinary film "Above and Beyond," documenting the role of American World War II pilots in the War of Independence…..” To read the entire piece

Check out this PREVIEW:

Calendar:  Save the Date

WHAT:  Yom HaShoah, Annual Holocaust Memorial Observance  

WHEN:  Sunday, April 26, 6:15 PM

WHERE:  Holocaust Monument, Buttonwood Park (followed by guest speaker Robert Fokos at Tifereth Israel Congregation)

HOW:  Free and open to the public. 

LINK: Cindy Yoken’s op-ed article as it appeared in The Standard-Times, April 19 -- 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Concentration Camps


WHAT:  Above and Beyond screening with director Nancy Spielberg
WHEN:  Wednesday, May 6, 6:00 PM (reception), 7:00 PM (film)
WHERE:  New Bedford Whaling Museum
HOW:  Free and open to the public.  RSVP to


WHAT:  American Red Cross Blood Drive

WHEN:  Sunday, May 17, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

WHERE:  Tifereth Israel

HOW:  Registration details will be provided soon.

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