From:                              Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford

Sent:                               Friday, August 29, 2014 1:00 AM

To:                                   'New Bedford Jewish Federation'

Subject:                          The Bulletin - A Community Update for August 29, 2014

The Bulletin - A Community Update for August 29, 2014

Ceasefire in Israel

I was talking to a friend yesterday as he was on his way to the airport to travel to Israel where he was going to celebrate a wedding anniversary.  “Ceasefire,” I said, “just in time for your visit.” “Let’s see,” he said.  “We are spending a few days in Italy on the way and who knows what can happen in a few days.”  Caution – a reasonable approach after more than 50 days of fighting.  It is not (I think) a productive argument to try and assess who won and who lost in this current conflict, mainly because almost everybody lost, but also because it is about what happens next that will determine the outcome.  In the immediate future it is best to make the most of the ceasefire and focus on healing and rebuilding.

We Have an Important Role

It was reported this week that nearly every child in southern Israel is suffering from some level of post-traumatic stress disorder.  More than a quarter of adults are too.  Thousands are reluctant to return to their homes near the Gaza border and there are serious questions about the start of the new school year on Sunday in many communities.  As rebuilding and recovery of those communities becomes the main focus in Israel, our help and contributions are critical. 

Earlier this week we sent out a letter to our community asking each of you to consider a donation to the Israel Emergency Fund.  Please mail your gift today or go to our website to make your contribution there.  The Federation’s Executive Committee has approved a 1:1 match for every dollar donated, up to $5,000, using our reserve fund.  Every dollar you donate will be worth twice as much.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.

In the photo at right, kindergarteners north of Tel Aviv take cover.

One of the Best Articles in a While

Matti Friedman wrote one of the best articles about the media’s coverage of Israel that I have read in a long while.  “The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.”  He writes in the article I urge you to continue and read.

Also of interest this week as the focus shifts from the actual war in Gaza to the larger geo-political picture in the Middle East are Uriel Heilman at JTA and Sean Savage at JNS’s pieces.  Both do a terrific job of explaining the changing alliances in the Middle East and how they affect Israel.

And on a different continent, Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for The Atlantic, explores anti-Semitism in Europe:  “On the one hand, it is completely unsurprising that Europe has become a swamp of anti-Jewish hostility.  It is, after all, Europe.  Anti-Jewish hostility has been its métier for centuries. (Yes, the locus of much anti-Jewish activity today is within Europe’s large Muslim-immigrant population; but the young men who threaten their Jewish neighbors draw on the language and traditions of European anti-Semitism as much as they do on Muslim modes of anti-Semitic thought.)”  Follow this Jeffrey Goldberg link to read more.

Mazel Tov

It all began on a cobblestoned street in New Bedford in 1914.  Now, 100 years later, Sid Wainer & Son is celebrating a milestone.  Mazel tov to the four generations of the Wainer family who have made the company the success it is today.  Read more here


End of Summer

As we go into the Labor Day weekend I wish everyone a great end of summer.  Enjoy the long weekend.  For those of you with children or grandchildren in school, may the excitement for new beginnings be contagious!  The Jewish holidays are only a few weeks away.

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