The Bulletin


1.A New Year

Rosh Hashanah is a happy holiday and after the greetings (see above and below) to you and yours, here are a couple uplifting reads in this first item.


In "Why my dad never forgot Rosh Hashanah at Camp Myles Standish in 1944," Susan Goodman shares a treasured family memory in The Boston Globe. It begins:


'Don’t forget. We need to go to Taunton when I come to visit you.'


"These were my father’s final instructions to me in 1975 when I moved from Chicago to Boston to attend graduate school. It was an unusual request. I had my eye on visiting the Cape, Gloucester, Lexington, and other well-known Massachusetts treasures. But ever since I’d begun considering a move to Boston, Dad was emphatic that Taunton was a top priority.


"Why this old, industrial city in the southeastern part of the state held special meaning for him was baffling, but there were many pockets of his past he rarely shared. His experiences in the infantry during World War II headed that list." Open the link for the full story.


In "5 easy ways to get into the Rosh Hashanah mindset this year" you'll find a link to a playlist along with some simple advice for the leadup to the holiday. "But in discovering Elul as an adult, I embrace this time for spiritual reflection, and I’ve noticed how it’s deepened my experience of the holiday season. The personal work of Elul feels like the rehearsal period for a play, or the warm-up exercises before a sporting event — it’s the energy and dedication put in before the big day(s) that deepens the ritual experience of Rosh Hashanah worship," shares Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer for Kveller. Let this energy last through Simchat Torah or even Pesach.

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2.And There's "That," Friends

At least 49 synagogues have been evacuated due to bomb threats in the last two months. "Since mid-July, synagogues in 13 states have received the threatening calls, none of which have been linked to credible bomb threats, according to the Anti-Defamation League . . . and the ADL expects the threats to continue when the High Holidays begin with the start of Rosh Hashanah on Friday evening.

"The calls are part of a coordinated campaign orchestrated by antisemitic trolls and focused on synagogues that livestream their services, so the perpetrators can watch reactions to the threats in real time." Talk about sick. Stay safe.

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3.Far From Basic

When I wrote about Golda a couple of weeks ago I revisited the only other time in my life when Israel faced an existential threat. (I was not yet born during the War of Independence.) Fast forward to today and the threat is very much alive. Israel’s hardline governing coalition passed a law to weaken Israel’s Supreme Court that put the court in the uncomfortable, and unprecedented, position of ruling on itself.

This week, with all 15 justices hearing the arguments (in the Israeli system some hearings are set for fewer than a full slate) the attorney representing the government (among other arguments in favor of the new law) referred to the Declaration of Independence as a ‘document signed by 37 people.’ Several of Israel’s laws including some of its basic laws use the Declaration as a guiding principle. As the justices retired yesterday to write their opinion to uphold the law, strike it down, or send it back to parliament to be amended, the constitutional crisis reached its worst point on the day before a new year begins.

"When Israelis on both sides of the debate warned that the country was headed to a constitutional crisis, this is what they meant. Today’s hearing is raising questions no one knows the answer to: What happens if the court strikes down the law, and the government doesn’t respect the court’s ruling? Who takes precedence — the court or the coalition?


"For weeks, Israelis have been fiercely debating that question — and even members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government are split on the issue. And while a decision won’t be handed down today (it could take four months), matters are already coming to a head on Israel’s streets, and in its halls of power."


There is a lot more I can write about this topic but for now, here's a good portion of what you need to know as Israel's Supreme Court begins debating a law limiting its power.

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4.Not Exactly People of the Book

Library bans, demonstrations, school boards acting out of panic - if there is something we learned throughout history it is that where books are banned (or burned) it is only a matter of time before people are next.


Orange County is in turmoil in response to the Santa Ana School District’s ethnic studies course outlines


"Jewish organizations have roundly criticized the district’s course outlines, expressing concern that lesson plans derived from the outlines could introduce antisemitic content into classrooms across Santa Ana. In the draft History 10 Ethnic Studies World History course, for example, teachers are recommended to use in their classrooms, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing, a book by sociologist Michael Mann. The text offers this description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 'Israel is the main contemporary example of settler-conquerors. For half a century, Israelis have been cleansing the occupied territories of native Arabs, most murderously in the late 1940s.' "


The Dark Side of Democracy is not the only text to offer this position. The course outline for History 10 Ethnic Studies World History also includes an editorial published in Middle East Monitor that accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing. Middle East Monitor was described by the BBC in 2011 as a 'pro-Hamas publication'.”


If this is what we see in a state like California I fear what we might find out next.

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5.You Gotta Fight for Your Right

Jewish rappers Beastie Boys were honored by a Lower East Side street renaming recently. The corner of Ludlow and Rivington streets in New York City is now officially known as Beastie Boys Square. Check it out next time you're in the area.

"All three Beastie Boys have Jewish backgrounds: Adam Horovitz, 56, grew up on Park Avenue, the son of playwright Israel Horovitz and a Roman Catholic mother. Michael Diamond, 57, grew up on the Upper West Side; his father, Harold, was an art dealer and his mother, Hester, was a famous decorator and art collector. Adam Yauch hailed from Brooklyn Heights, the only child of Frances, a Jewish social worker, and a non-Jewish architect."

I’ll be in New York tonight and this weekend. Perhaps I'll cross Delancey at a place where pickles once ruled, and check out the new square. Why not?

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6.Honey Can Buy Me Love

Apple, pomegranate, whatever your tradition may be, it wouldn't be Rosh Hashana without honey. In Tablet's "Keeping Beekeeping in the Family" we learn about a passion shared between father and son across continents - from Massachusetts to Australia.

"Every spring, Landes starts to make his rounds of all the hives he manages. The honey produced by these hives is stocked in a range of local groceries including kosher stores, high-end organic groceries, and local delis. Landes also operates a small 'honesty shop' from his home, where passersby can purchase the honey-based products produced from the hives he manages, including organic honeys, beeswax lip balms, and giftboxes.

"By far the busiest time of the year for Chevra Honey is the lead up to Rosh Hashanah, where Landes collects honey from all the urban beehives he manages. This honey is then packaged and sold for the holiday. In addition to supplying shops and corporate orders, Landes supplies two local synagogues with honey, and he helps his local rabbi jar honey."

Feeling inspired? All three recipes below feature honey in the ingredients list.

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Sweet Potato Salad

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Honey-Garlic Glazed Salmon

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Classic Honey Cake

For Your Calendar

Bristol Community College will host a host a fundraiser, featuring a staged reading of Dr. Alex Page’s play The Cancelled Sky, on Sunday, October 1, at 1:00 p.m. in the Jackson Arts Center, on the Bristol Fall River Campus, 777 Elsbree Street.

To purchase tickets, please visit  

The event, presented by Bristol’s Holocaust and Genocide Center and performed in partnership with the college’s Theatre program, will shed light on the Holocaust through the imagined experiences of the playwright’s family members on the train taking them to Auschwitz in 1944. The event will include an introduction by Dr. Max Page, son of Dr. Alex Page and a reception.

Bristol’s Holocaust and Genocide Center sponsors speakers, workshops, conferences and maintains a library of Holocaust and genocide material for use by the college community and the public. Bristol’s Theatre program is an Associate in Arts in liberal arts and sciences program that provides hands-on training and experience, allowing students to learn and refine their craft as they perform. Students can smoothly transfer to a four-year institution or seek work in the performing arts.

For more information, please email [email protected] or [email protected].

Visit our website

Shana Tova,


The Bulletin is a weekly email from Amir Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford. I welcome your feedback at [email protected]. 

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