From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Thursday, February 25, 2016 1:28 PM

To:                                   'Jewish Federation NB'

Subject:                          The Bulletin -- A Community Update for February 25, 2016

The Bulletin - A Community Update for February 25, 2016


Feel the Bern(ie)


He does not come across as a synagogue Jew (perhaps because he isnft one), but he lived on a kibbutz, became a bar mitzvah and celebrates Passover and Hanukkah. The Jewish Weekfs Noel Rubinton explores the appeal of Berniefs Judaism. The Forwardfs Valerie Lieber takes issue with Berniefs understated Judaism, suggesting we must out him or risk the Vermont senatorfs religious background becoming his Willie Horton (a la Dukakis).

JTAfs Ben Sales digs into Berniefs Kibbutz days. I must say it seems like they (at the Kibbutz) are all making up stories about a guy no one can remember from 50 years ago.

The always brilliant J.J. Goldberg (more on that later) talks about the ghuge handicap — socialism. The smart money says America wonft elect a socialist president. Then again, the smart money in 2008 said a black man couldnft be elected president. Especially not a black one-term senator whose middle name was Hussein.h

But in the end none of this may matter, despite our fun play with the notion of everyonefs Jewish grandfather running for president. By Tuesday night the delegate count (the only thing that matters) may be out of reach as the NY Timesf Patrick Healy suggests.


And the Prize Goes to . . .

I mentioned the always brilliant J.J. Goldberg in the Bernie piece above. This week it was announced that J.J. Goldberg, editor-at-large of The Forward, is the winner of the 2016 David Twersky Journalism Award for his December 6, 2015, opinion piece Five Signs That Benjamin Netanyahufs Split With Israelfs Security Chiefs Is a Crisis. Five years ago I personally established the prize to honor Davidfs distinguished life in journalism. J.J. is in many ways Davidfs journalistic twin and so it seems fitting to recognize his work with this award.

gLike prior years, the committee received extraordinary entries representing high quality Jewish journalism. Past winners Andrew Silow-Carroll, Jane Eisner and Johanna Ginsberg had terrific pieces among the nominations, with 2013 winner Larry Cohler-Essesf remarkable reporting from Iran a particularly notable runner-up,h said former American Jewish Press Association president Elana Kahn who served as a judge for the 5th consecutive year.

gJ.J. winning this year's prize is very special to me, as the article is all too familiar. Taking a hard topic and making it digestible for the masses, examining multiple angles of a story and building a strong, clear, fearless point-of-view around it . . . I admired this about my Dad's writing, and I admire it about J.J's,h added Davidfs daughter Anna who, along with her brother Michael, is one of the judges.

Holocaust Consciousness Must Not Blind Us to Palestinian Suffering by Arlene Stein placed third in the voting.


A Week to Remember in the Fight Against BDS


With a significant 229-51 vote, the Canadian Parliament passed a motion on Monday condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, legislation which includes important anti-BDS provisions. The bill was adopted with broad bipartisan support. Specifically, the anti-BDS language within the bill prioritizes opposing BDS for U.S. trade negotiations, protects American companies operating in Israel, and requires the Administration to report on global BDS activities.

As I think about this Act some points come to mind:

·         In this time when very little gets bipartisan support, it is to be applauded that strong anti-BDS provisions come from Congress and the president who said he is committed gto strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel.h

·         Such broad support suggests that Americans believe economic sanctions against Israel are inconsistent with America's interests.

·         The application of the anti-BDS provisions should be thoughtfully discussed recognizing that ultimately they touch on issues that must be negotiated by the parties themselves.

·         A peaceful, two-state future requires increased economic interaction. Sanctions against either party undermine such efforts.

·         BDS tactics in general are divisive and regressive; encouraging constructive engagement, investment, and a negotiated solution is always a better option.

·         Boycotts against Israel are nothing new since the state was established in 1948. In the past, whenever progress was made (as was the case in peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan), it was a always a result of rejecting boycotts. In both cases it resulted in increased trade and engagement.

More on this legislation from Times of Israel.

What Goes Around Comes Around – Usually Not That Quickly (A Must-See Video)

New facility in the Negev and employees at work there

Last week I wrote about how SodaStream has become a poster child of BDS attacks and about some of the ridiculous consequences of BDS. But that wasnft the main story.

The main story was the people.

SodaStream employed more than 600 Palestinians in its West bank facility, many of them women with no other employment opportunities. More than 6,000 Palestinians – family members of those employees – are facing a dire financial reality because of the BDS-motivated move to the Negev. What was lost to the Palestinians working for SodaStream, however, has been gained by the Israeli Bedouins who assumed their positions in the new facility. 

SodaStream is a fantastic company and a model for coexistence. It was when it operated in the West Bank and it will continue to be in the Negev. The BDS movement succeeded in making it hard for SodaStream to succeed but in the process also hurt many Palestinian families and took away a prime example of collaboration, trust and coexistence flourishing in the West Bank.

On Monday, I came across this new video about SodaStream showing (not telling) how the company promotes good will simply by existing.

Treblinkafs Last Witness Dies

Samuel Willenberg, the last survivor of Treblinka, the Nazi death camp where 875,000 people were systematically murdered, has died in Israel at the age of 93.

Last fall, the Holocaust Committee sponsored a screening of his film Treblinkafs Last Witness at UMass Dartmouth. The Federation has a copy of the film available for loan if you would like to view it.



Calendar: Save the Date

  Henry Horenstein Animalia


Henry, board member Ruth Glicksmanfs brother, is a professor of photography at Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited around the world and published more than 30 books.

University Art Gallery, UMass Dartmouth, Star Store Campus, 715 Purchase Street, New Bedford

·         February 18 – March 20, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, gallery show (free and open to the public)

·         Thursday, March 3, 6:00 PM, reception, talk and book signing w/ artist

  The Art of Biblical Translation with Everett Fox, author, sponsored by the Center for Jewish Culture and the Religious Studies Program

Every biblical translation is also an interpretation.  Should the goal be to make the text understandable or communicate the rhythms of the Hebrew?  This lectures explores some examples from Mosesf birth and early life.  Light refreshments.

UMass Dartmouth, Charlton College of Business, Room 115 (parking lots 13 & 14)

·         Thursday, March 3, 2:00 – 3:15 PM

  Holocaust Survivor: Louise Lawrence-Israels, sponsored by the BCC Holocaust Center


Louise Israels and her family went into hiding in 1942 on the top floor of an apartment in Amsterdam where they remained until Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam in 1945. Today, Louise lives in the United States, where she volunteers in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River (Jackson Arts Center)

·         Thursday, March 3, 4:00 PM

  Etty, A One-Woman Theatrical Play by Susan Stein, sponsored by the BCC Holocaust Center

Based on the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, the play is based in 1941 when Etty, a young Jewish Dutch woman, is living in German-occupied Amsterdam.

Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River (Jackson Arts Center)

·         Wednesday, March 30, 2:00 PM

  Tenement Museum and Katzfs Delicatessen

Manhattan's Lower East Side

·         Sunday, April 10, day trip, departing TI parking lot 8:00 AM

Cost: $25/adult; $15/child for lunch at Katzfs. Federation will pick up the transportation cost.

Register NOW (through March 18th):

Email; call (508) 997-7471;

or mail to Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, 467 Hawthorn Street, Dartmouth, MA, 02747   

  Reverend Dr. Robert Lawrence Civic Engagement Summit

A discussion on race, religion and service, building bridges that empower and strengthen our communities.

UMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons

·         Friday, April 15, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  David in Art, with speaker Dr. Memory Holloway, art history department

UMass Dartmouth, Liberal Arts, Room 110

·         Thursday, April 28, 2:00 PM

  Annual Yom HaShoah Observance, dedicated to the memory of Mary Schwartz

Speaker John Saunders, survivor of Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Sunday, May 1

·         6:30 PM Holocaust Memorial, Buttonwood Park; 7:00 PM Tifereth Israel Congregation

  Lawyers Without Rights

The Lawyers Without Rights exhibit begins to provide a portrait of the fate of Jewish lawyers in Germany — stories that speak to how the Nazis purged Jewish lawyers as one of the early steps to attack the rule of law in their country.

UMass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library Living Room 

·         Monday – Monday, May 2 – 9, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily

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