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Elder Rehab for memory impairment starting new session

Elder rehab program director Sharon Arkin (left) joins participant Shirley Katz on a stationary bike ride. The two are singing “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two).”  (Courtesy Sharon Arkin)Elder rehab program director Sharon Arkin (left) joins participant Shirley Katz on a stationary bike ride. The two are singing “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two).” (Courtesy Sharon Arkin)

Sharon Arkin, Ph.D., was honored as the Tucson Jewish Community Center Volunteer of the Year for her Elder Rehab program for those with mild to moderate memory impairment. The Fall 2016 semester of Elder Rehab begins the week of Sept. 19. Participants, who should be over age 50, are… Read more »

Bestselling author followed sun to Tucson

Arthur NaimanArthur Naiman

Author and publisher Arthur Naiman has no time for those without humor or creativity. The Chicago-born Tucson transplant by way of New York, Paris and the Bay Area has published more than 30 nonfiction books and started two publishing companies. A philosophy major at Brandeis University, he had no… Read more »

Helping others using unusual tool: handwriting analysis

senior_belzer

Love of the written word and a desire to understand and help others are the forces that have driven Joan Belzer throughout her life, and, over time, she has found a way to combine them. After discovering the power of graphology, also known as handwriting analysis, Belzer was empowered… Read more »

Thessaloniki’s mayor wants his Greek city to remember its vibrant Jewish past

A street in the Ladadika neighborhood, which used to be the Jewish quarter in Thessaloniki, Greece. (Wikimedia Commons)A street in the Ladadika neighborhood, which used to be the Jewish quarter in Thessaloniki, Greece. (Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON (JTA) –  “I am proud to be a Vlach,” says Yiannis Boutaris, the mayor of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. Ostensibly, we’re here at the Washington Hilton to discuss Boutaris’ bid to put the Jewish back in Thessaloniki, a city — perhaps best known as Salonika —once home to the largest… Read more »

Did the Brexit vote unleash the bigots? Some British Jews think so

Protestors march at a rally in London, July 2, 2016. (Isabel Infantes/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Protestors march at a rally in London, July 2, 2016. (Isabel Infantes/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

LONDON (JTA) — For two years, in her travels around the English capital, Natalie Pitimson has toted a library bag emblazoned with a word in Yiddish. “The word ‘schlep’ written on the side perfectly describes my regular hour-long trek through central London,” Pitimson, a senior sociology lecturer at the University… Read more »

In post-Brexit Scotland, Jews warm up to leaving UK

Howard and Claire Singerman standing outside Mark's Deli, a Jewish restaurant in Glasgow, July 4, 2016. (Cnaan Liphshiz)Howard and Claire Singerman standing outside Mark's Deli, a Jewish restaurant in Glasgow, July 4, 2016. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

EDINBURGH, Scotland (JTA) — The last time that Scotland voted on whether to become independent from the United Kingdom, most of its 7,000 Jews thought doing so was a bad idea. Worried that Scottish independence would encourage nationalism and embolden an already aggressive anti-Israel movement with deep roots in the… Read more »

BLOG 7 Elie Wiesel books that show the range of his influence

Elie Wiesel, the author of over 50 books, in the study of his New York City home, Oct. 14, 1986. (Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)Elie Wiesel, the author of over 50 books, in the study of his New York City home, Oct. 14, 1986. (Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Most people know Elie Wiesel as the author of “Night,” one of the first published autobiographical accounts of what life was like inside Nazi concentration camps. The book, which helped shape the American understanding of the effects of the Holocaust, has since become a staple on high… Read more »

Local Jewish cemetery, once derelict, gains national attention

Volunteers recruited by Peace Corps volunteer Brooke Nagle start cleanup work on the Bisbee-Douglas Jewish Cemetery on March 17. (Courtesy Brooke Nagle)Volunteers recruited by Peace Corps volunteer Brooke Nagle start cleanup work on the Bisbee-Douglas Jewish Cemetery on March 17. (Courtesy Brooke Nagle)

Every graveyard tells its own story, says Tucsonan Richard Rosen, former owner of the Bisbee-Douglas Jewish Cemetery, located about 100 yards from the U.S.-Mexico border. Regardless of its current condition, the land still radiates a strong spiritual energy, says Rosen. “There’s something right about it, and there’s also something… Read more »

Yeshiva-style ‘Spirit’ program returns to Southwest Torah Institute for 16th year

Rabbinical student Asher Shechtman (left) and Menachem Sosonov study together during the Southwest Torah Insitute’s 2015 Spirit program. (Courtesy Rabbi Israel Becker)Rabbinical student Asher Shechtman (left) and Menachem Sosonov study together during the Southwest Torah Insitute’s 2015 Spirit program. (Courtesy Rabbi Israel Becker)

The Southwest Torah Institute’s Dr. Paul W. Hoffert Spirit Program begins Monday, July 25. The two-week free learning program, “A Tree of Life for Those Who Grasp It,” which takes its title from Proverbs, runs through Sunday, Aug. 7. Now in its 16th year, the program is for Jewish… Read more »

JFCS ethical will workshop to be rescheduled

Update July 8: This event has been postponed due to a bereavement.  JFCS hopes to reschedule on a date in August.  Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona will hold a free ethical wills workshop for the Jewish community on Thursday, July 14, from 1-3 p.m. at Handmaker… Read more »

Mitzvah Magic seeks volunteers for gift basket program

Mitzvah Magic, a joint program of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy and Jewish Family & Children’s Services, is seeking new volunteers. “As a staple program for local Jewish families in need, Mitzvah Magic continues to need your help,” says Danielle Larcom, director of Women’s Philanthropy. Three… Read more »

Elie Wiesel gave the Holocaust a face and the world a conscience

Elie Wiesel poses with students in Tucson on March 1, 1993, when he gave the concluding lecture in the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s “Discovery IV” series. Over the years Wiesel visited Tucson several times, including in 2005, when he gave the inaugural University of Arizona Presidential Lecture, speaking on “Confronting Fanaticism: Building Moral Unity in a Diverse Society.”Elie Wiesel poses with students in Tucson on March 1, 1993, when he gave the concluding lecture in the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s “Discovery IV” series. Over the years Wiesel visited Tucson several times, including in 2005, when he gave the inaugural University of Arizona Presidential Lecture, speaking on “Confronting Fanaticism: Building Moral Unity in a Diverse Society.”

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate who became a leading icon of Holocaust remembrance and a global symbol of conscience, died on Saturday at 87. His death was the result of natural causes, the World Jewish Congress said in a statement. A philosopher, professor… Read more »

Murdered Israeli girl had U.S. citizenship

(JTA) — The 13-year-old Israeli girl killed in her West Bank bedroom on Thursday also was an American citizen. A State Department spokesman confirmed at a news briefing that Hallel Yaffa Ariel of Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement near Hebron, was a U.S. citizen, several media outlets reported. Muhammad… Read more »

BLOG Why not Al Franken? Some think the senator and former comic could be Hillary’s VP

Sen.Al Franken attending the 68th Annual Writers Guild Awards in New York City, Feb. 13, 2016. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images For The Writers Guild Of America)Sen.Al Franken attending the 68th Annual Writers Guild Awards in New York City, Feb. 13, 2016. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images For The Writers Guild Of America)

  (JTA) — Last week Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said that if Hillary Clinton asked him to be her running mate, he’d take the job. “If Hillary Clinton came to me and said, ‘Al, I really need you to be my vice president, to run with me,’ I would… Read more »

Summer camps open bunks to transgender Jews

Camp JRF has embraced inclusivity since its founding, with activities that rarely divide up the boys and the girls. (Courtesy of Camp JRF)Camp JRF has embraced inclusivity since its founding, with activities that rarely divide up the boys and the girls. (Courtesy of Camp JRF)

WHIPPANY, N.J. (New Jersey Jewish News via JTA) — Bathrooms accessible for transgender children and staff are old news at Camp JRF, the Reconstructionist movement’s summer camp in South Sterling, Pa. Five years ago the camp posted signs on bathroom doors stating “This bathroom may be used by any… Read more »

A reflective Bernie Sanders, acknowledging Clinton as nominee, talks Trump, Larry David and what moved him to tears

Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders greet each other at the CNN presidential debate in Brooklyn, N.Y., April 14, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders greet each other at the CNN presidential debate in Brooklyn, N.Y., April 14, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Acknowledging for the first time that he will not be the Democratic presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders said he was not yet ready to endorse Hillary Clinton. In an expansive interview aired June 22 on C-Span, Sanders said he hoped to speak at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia… Read more »

Writer Calvin Trillin dishes about civil rights, Judaism and the art of reporting

Writer Calvin Trillin, center, interviewing John Lewis in Birmingham, Ala., as the Freedom Riders were boarding the bus for Montgomery in 1961. (LIFE Images Collection)Writer Calvin Trillin, center, interviewing John Lewis in Birmingham, Ala., as the Freedom Riders were boarding the bus for Montgomery in 1961. (LIFE Images Collection)

(JTA) — Writer Calvin Trillin may be most famous today for his humorous musings on food, family, travel and love. But before he won the Thurber Prize for Humor in 2013; before “Uncivil Liberties,” his humor column for The Nation — he has lovingly called it “a pinko magazine published… Read more »

In New York race, a gay religious Jewish upstart challenges a 12-term incumbent

Rep. Jerry Nadler speaking at a town hall in New York City, Oct. 14, 2015. (Mike Coppola/WireImage for NARAS)Rep. Jerry Nadler speaking at a town hall in New York City, Oct. 14, 2015. (Mike Coppola/WireImage for NARAS)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rep. Jerry Nadler, a graduate of the Crown Heights Yeshiva who represents one of the country’s most Jewish congressional districts and is the co-founder of the congressional Israel Working Group, likely never expected to be called anti-Israel. But the 12-term incumbent’s Democratic primary challenger, Oliver… Read more »

Jewish groups putting up a fight against growing opioid epidemic

Eve Goldberg, whose son died of an opioid overdose in 2013, now runs an organization in his memory that seeks to create a community of young adults recovering from addiction. (Ben Sales)Eve Goldberg, whose son died of an opioid overdose in 2013, now runs an organization in his memory that seeks to create a community of young adults recovering from addiction. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Eve Goldberg’s son, Isaac, was in a panic. He had to get out of college. Isaac Goldberg Volkmar had been at the University of Rhode Island for less than a semester in 2009 when he called his mother desperate to escape. He had joined a… Read more »