From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Friday, December 12, 2014 1:00 AM

Subject:                          The Bulletin - A Community Update for December 12, 2014

The Bulletin - A Community Update for December 12, 2014

Security Concerns After Brooklyn Stabbing 

Earlier this week a student was stabbed at the Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn.  While this may turn out to be a hate crime and yet another manifestation of anti-Semitism, it appears it may have been the act of an unstable individual.  Some institutions continue to keep an open-door policy, and particularly in Orthodox areas they are open 24 hours a day.  It is a challenge we face as we try to avoid making our work and worship places become fortresses while at the same time safety concerns grow. Read more.


More on the Israeli Elections 

In an effort to provide a challenge for Benjamin Netanyahu, the leaders of the Labor Party, Isaak Herzog and Hatnua Tzipi Livni, announced that they will not only run together as one party in the coming election, but if elected the two will rotate in the prime minister’s position with each one serving two years.  This is not unprecedented.  In 1984 after the election of the 11th Knesset, Shimon Peres and Itzhak Shamir, then leaders of Likud and Labor, “rotated” as prime minister with each serving half the term.

Sunset, December 16, Light the Candle 

Celebrating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after it had been turned into a pagan shrine by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE, the Festival of Lights is a holiday for family, food and fun.  Dreidel, anyone?  That a miraculously small amount of oil burned for eight days gives us the tradition of eating foods fried in oil for Hanukkah is nothing short of a miracle for those who indulge in latkes and sufganiyot.  Celebrate well.

Foodies will want to know how to fry donuts and potato pancakes without fear of failure (or fire).  Need to tweak or finesse your bubbe’s recipe for basic potato latkes?  Follow the link.


Oy, the Gelt:  Ethically Produced Chocolate


Apparently not all gelt is created equally.  While it may be too late for this year, consider purchasing fair trade gelt for the children and the young at heart in your life next year.  This Tablet Magazine article explores the origins of chocolate and its production today from a Jewish viewpoint.

Or you can skip the chocolate entirely and go the nontraditional route with  . . .

Hanukkah Cheddar Gelt Coins

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups packed)
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup all purpose unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup sesame seeds

1. Place cheddar cheese, butter, flour, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and cayenne pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Blend until a dough forms.

2. Divide dough in half and shape each into a log about one inch in diameter and 12 inches long.  Roll logs in sesame seeds to coat.  Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper, nonstick foil, or Silpats.

4. Slice dough into ¼ inch-thick rounds and place on prepared baking sheets.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned and firm.  Let rest five minutes and move to wire racks to cool.  Store in an airtight container to keep fresh and crispy.

Yield: 7 dozen

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best?

Hallmark pulled blue and silver wrapping paper from the shelves when a customer noticed swastikas in the art deco pattern.  Is this a case of perception vs. reality?  You decide.  See the image and learn more in this Time Magazine article.


Hanukkah Is a Miracle Story for Jews; Christmas Is a Miracle Story for Christians


Volunteers are needed to support the Jewish community’s longstanding tradition of providing Christmas dinner for the elderly.  Each year, volunteers from the community serve hundreds of 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.  Bridging religious and generational gaps, this festive event caps a season of celebration and good will.  If you are interested in supporting Ellen Hull and Stan Levine, co-directors of the 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.






If you have an outstanding pledge for Campaign 2014, please make your payment before December 31, just three weeks from now.  Thank you in advance for your generous support.


If you want to claim your Campaign 2015 donation when preparing taxes in a couple of months, now is a great time to mail in your gift.


Fly the Friendly Skies

Starting next summer, El Al Israel Airlines will offer nonstop flights between Boston and Tel Aviv.  Read more in this Boston Globe article and start making your travel plans now.


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