From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, October 29, 2015 2:22 PM

To:                                   'New Bedford Jewish Federation'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for October 29, 2015

The Bulletin - A Community Update for October 29, 2015

Rabin Assassination - 20 Years Later


Years ago when I lived in Montclair, New Jersey, I could see the World Trade Center from my window. It was a little added bonus to have the magnificent New York City skyline on display for the short time I lived at that address. That year in Montclair I suspect contributed to how hard it is, even today, to accept the new skyline. In the dozens of times I have arrived in New York since September 11, 2001, I have always had the same reaction – the void. It’s like the city is trying to smile, but it no longer can, missing its teeth. For me, the new and even taller structure now in that space makes the absence of the towers even worse.

The exact same feeling of emptiness and disbelief that I have about that skyline is how I feel 20 years later about the assassination of Itzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv by an Israeli fanatic. I voted for Rabin the last time I voted in an Israeli election. I no longer vote in Israel even though I legally can; it is a choice I made when I became a US citizen, and that included the two elections when my father was running for a Knesset seat. I have no doubt history would not have been the same if not for that tragic day. In the last issue of The New Yorker (Rabin – NY connection curiously present here too) Dexter Filkins visits that issue in a piece very aptly names Shot in the Heart.


More on Bibi and the Mufti


My former boss and colleague Seth Lipsky has a very unique voice. One of the many things I love and have always admired about Seth is that he picks the best and most relevant quotes and observations as he intelligently sails toward his target. He calls out Holocaust scholar Debra Lipstadt’s opinion on the matter “unworthy of her,” which is both interesting and gutsy (not to mention elegant). Seth summarizes his position by ending his piece with, “The left must shout down and discredit Netanyahu, because he’s highlighting the uncomfortable truth that, with respect to the Jews, the Arab ideology is the same as the Nazi one. And how can anyone defend that?” I hope you enjoy the full article as much as I have.



Blame Game Reminder


It has been a while since I shared a J.J. Goldberg piece. The drought is over. J.J. reminds us (and Bibi) that calling Abbas irrelevant one day and making his role in the incitement of Palestinians the biggest factor in the recent violence another day are two assertions that may not exactly go together so well. Read here for J.J.’s persuasive (as ever) take on the topic.



Western Wall Is Where It’s At


If you are a celebrity who has played God on more than one occasion, it only makes sense that you’d visit one of the holiest places in the world at least once. And so Morgan Freeman found himself at the Western Wall recently while filming The Story of God.  He is certainly not the first celebrity to make the pilgrimage and it’s doubtful he’ll be the last.


While Judaism and Halloween do not have historical context, it’s never too late to crash the party and put a Jewish spin on this most sweetly spooky holiday. Did you know, for instance, that there are Jewish ghosts haunting New York establishments? Or that Israeli soldier costumes for kids are causing a stir? And that for many Shabbat and Halloween are both a “yes”? Now you do.    

Rabbi Raphael Kanter – Sydney Adams Award Honoree

The Inter-Church Council (ICC) of Greater New Bedford will be honoring Rabbi Kanter this Sunday, November 1, with the Sydney Adams Award, in recognition of his work for the community. The award honors those members of the clergy who have exemplified the willingness and desire to work for the good of the community in cooperation with other faiths and organizations. The award will be presented at White's of Westport at 5:00 PM as part of an event called “Bringing Community Together.”

Christmas Meal Volunteers Needed

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to practice tikkun olam.  When Jews serve Christians a classic holiday meal, it makes for a beloved holiday tradition in our community. Volunteers are needed to serve turkey dinners to area senior citizens in the parish hall of Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 121 Mount Pleasant Street, New Bedford, and deliver additional meals to those who are homebound.

If you are interested in supporting Ellen Hull and Stan Levine, co-directors of the annual event, by volunteering a few hours between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Christmas day, please call Ellen at 508-993-5742 or email Servers and drivers needed.



Screening of Treblinka’s Last Witness

When:  Wednesday, November 4, 6:30 PM

Where:  U Mass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library, sponsored by Holocaust Education & Memorial Committee

Manya Bark speaks about the plight of the gypsies during the Holocaust

When:  Friday, November 6, 11:00 AM

Where:  800 Purchase Street, 2nd floor, New Bedford, sponsored by Bristol Community College Holocaust Center

Ruth Oppenheim talks about “persistence of memory” in describing her family’s experience on Kristallnacht and their escape from Germany

When:  Sunday, November 8, 3:00 PM

Where:  Tifereth Israel Synagogue, New Bedford

Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin

When:  Wednesday, November 18, 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Where:  Grand Reading Room, Claire T. Carney Library, U Mass Dartmouth  (Park in lot 13.)

Calendar - A Joint Program of the Jewish Federation and TI

Israel’s Deputy Consul General Matan Zamir to New England Visit

When:  Wednesday, December 2, 7:00 PM

Where:  Tifereth Israel Synagogue

Zamir will talk about current events in Israel as well as the role of the New England Consulate. Learn more about Zamir here.

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