From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, May 07, 2015 2:07 PM

To:                                   'New Bedford Jewish Federation'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for May 7, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for May 7, 2015


Filmmaker Spielberg at the Whaling Museum with nearly 200 members of the community.

Not your everyday cake.  Dani Shapira, one of the most celebrated pilots in Israel’s history, is pictured on top of his Spitfire.

Members of the event committee, from left to right : Claire Levovsky, Committee Chair Marsha Onufrak, Barbara Kaplan, Susan Barnet, Cindy Yoken and Judy Barry

Above and Beyond

When producer Nancy Spielberg came to town to share her film Above and Beyond with members of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford and the community at large, a whale of a time was had by all.  Ba-dum-ch.  The serious takeaway is that the event was a resounding success – the perfect mix of programming content, volunteer coordination and a good time with friends in one of New Bedford’s premier venues.  Nearly 200 guests had the opportunity to meet Nancy while enjoying delicious food before viewing the story of the Jewish American pilots who risked much to help fight for Israel’s independence. 

Thank you to Marsha Onufrak and her event-planning team, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Nancy Spielberg and, most importantly, you for making this a night to remember.  Past president Judy Barry called today to tell me she was “thrilled to be a part of the Jewish Federation last night.”  Well said. 

Blood Cannot Be Manufactured

It can only come from generous donors.  Please say you will be one when the Red Cross sets up shop for the Federation’s annual blood drive on Sunday, May 17, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Tifereth Israel.  Registration has never been easier.  Simply go to to find our event and register online.  Or call 1-800 RED CROSS (733-2767). 

In years past, the Southcoast Blood Bank managed our event.  When Southcoast closed this year, the American Red Cross assumed responsibility.  The good news?  There are more time slots available for volunteers and the general public is invited to participate as well.  Sign up today!   


Israel on My Mind


·         If the America-Israel relationship is at many-year low, none of that was felt at the Edward Kennedy Institute this morning at a breakfast marking Israel’s 67th birthday.  Victoria Kennedy was honored by Consul General Yahuda Yaakov for her (and her late husband’s) long-term support of Israel.  Mrs. Kennedy was elegant and thoughtful with her remarks.  Congressman Joe Kennedy speaking before her was powerful in his support, speaking of continuing  “Uncle Teddy tradition,” as was Governor Baker.  Mrs. Kennedy told the story of how on his way to Prime Minister Rabin’s funeral, “Teddy stopped at Arlington and collected some soil from the graves of brothers Bobby and Jack.”  He carried it with him to Israel in a brown shopping bag and made his way through the crowd to place it at Rabin’s grave.

·         Since the March election Prime Minister Netanyahu has been working on building a new coalition.  The dreams and promise of a “wall to wall” big majority turned into the slimmest of margins as Bibi’s government has only 61 of 120 votes to support it.  This doesn’t look good for its future and is a set-up for special interests.  In the coming weeks we will continue to monitor the situation.  For the moment many are already unhappy.  The LA Jewish Journal’s Shmuel Rosner is skeptical (read Rosner's Domain) and the Forward’s JJ Goldberg is cynical.

·         Racial profiling by law enforcement happens.  No one but those on the receiving end seems to notice.  Civil unrest following a documented instance of racial profiling happens and suddenly everyone notices.  The phenomenon is not unique to the United States, with its history of slavery and Jim Crow laws.  Holon, a Tel Aviv suburb, joined Ferguson and Baltimore in the international spotlight when a young Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent was attacked by two policemen and the incident was caught on film.  The response has shined a light on the plight of this immigrant group.  Read more in this New York Times piece.           

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