From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Friday, December 05, 2014 1:00 AM

To:                                   Amir Cohen

Subject:                          The Bulletin - A Community Update for December 5, 2014

The Bulletin - A Community Update for December 5, 2014

Election Time in Israel - Again

According to Israeli law the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) is elected every four years.  The head of the largest party serves as prime minister and is then tasked with forming a government by bringing other parties into a coalition.

In reality coalition politics makes it harder for such agreements to last and more often than not the Knesset (and government) will not see a four-year term through and early elections are called.  On average a term lasts three years.  The last election was held 23 months ago.  It appears that the next one will be held this coming March, possibly making the current 19th Knesset the shortest serving ever.

The current coalition with centrist Yesh Atid was fragile to begin with and showed increased signs of wear following the war in the summer and disagreements on social and economic programs that were central to Yesh Atid’s campaign prior to the last elections.

By firing Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, centrist finance and justice ministers, on Tuesday and calling for early elections (again), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking advantage of what he thinks (and surely has been advised) will be a favorable outcome for his Likud party.  Likud is projected to increase from 18 to 26 seats.  Jewish Home, a potential coalition ally, is projected to grow from 12 to 18 seats.  A coalition that includes Haredi and pro-Jewish settlement parties would speak to citizens’ desire for security in the wake of last summer’s war with Hamas and the increase in violent attacks by Palestinians on Jews within Israel.

Declaring, “I will no longer tolerate opposition from within the government,” Netanyahu turned the page, beginning a new chapter in Israeli politics.

For in-depth coverage of this breaking news as well as a description of the electoral system in Israel, check out the following links:  Forward (J.J. Goldberg); The Atlantic; The New York Times; and Israel's electoral system.



One Campaign Ends, Another Begins


We’re off to a great start!  Thank you to those individuals who have already responded to the 2015 Campaign appeal.  Together we do extraordinary things.     

NOTE:  All outstanding pledges to the 2014 Campaign are due before December 31.


Bookworms:  Sharing Is Caring

If you have a copy of Abe Landau’s book, Branded on My Arm and in My Soul, and are willing to donate it to a great cause, we’d love to hear from you.  Members of the Holocaust Committee are planning a curriculum project to bring into local schools.  About 25 copies of Landau’s book are needed.  Mail to Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, 467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA, 02747, or drop off at the Federation Office located at Tifereth Israel synagogue. 

Raise Your Hand!

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.

Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

Looking for a little culinary inspiration for celebrating Hanukkah this year?  Check out this spin on Pulled Brisket-Topped Latkes.

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