News

Keith Ellison’s ascent signals the Democrats’ willingness to redefine ‘pro-Israel’

Rep. Keith Ellison, D- Minn., at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, May 24, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Rep. Keith Ellison, D- Minn., at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, May 24, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The most shocking thing about talk of Keith Ellison’s Israel record as he rises within the Democratic Party is how few think it’s shocking. Rep. Ellison, D-Minn., is a leading contender for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, despite a record of tough criticism of Israel… Read more »

Jewish groups fret as Republicans retreat from two-state solution

From left to right: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)From left to right: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) — In recent months, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have each emphasized what in recent years hardly needed emphasizing: mainstream Jewish support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The reiterations of support signify a concern… Read more »

Bannon rejects, and supplies ammunition to, those who label him anti-Semitic

Stephen Bannon talking about immigration issues with a caller while hosting Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM Patriot at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)Stephen Bannon talking about immigration issues with a caller while hosting Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM Patriot at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Stephen Bannon, in his first interviews since Donald Trump named him a top White House aide, denied being anti-Semitic or a white nationalist. At the same time, he continued to advance a theory of “globalist” conspiracy that echoes centuries-old anti-Semitic libels, but without any mention of Jews.… Read more »

JTA: Is Europe’s far right experiencing a ‘Trump effect’?

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen thinks Donald Trump’s victory heralds the upset she is seeking in her own campaign. (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)French National Front leader Marine Le Pen thinks Donald Trump’s victory heralds the upset she is seeking in her own campaign. (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

(JTA) — European far-right politicians were quick to hold up Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election as a harbinger of their own impending triumphs. Marine Le Pen, head of France’s far-right party, said that what Europeans call “the Trump effect” — that is, right-wing nationalism fueled by anger toward… Read more »

One Ruth Gruber says goodbye to another

The pioneering photojournalist Ruth Gruber, left, and the longtime JTA European correspondent Ruth Ellen Gruber met at a book launch party in 1992. (Courtesy of Ruth Ellen Gruber)The pioneering photojournalist Ruth Gruber, left, and the longtime JTA European correspondent Ruth Ellen Gruber met at a book launch party in 1992. (Courtesy of Ruth Ellen Gruber)

  (JTA) – When you share a name with someone you respect and admire, you always try to live up to the connection, because sometimes outsiders aren’t aware of the difference. That’s how it was for decades with me and Ruth Gruber, the noted photojournalist, reporter and author who… Read more »

At first Jewish Comic Con, artists and geeks revel in tradition

A man examining a comic book for sale at the inaugural Jewish Comic Con, held at Congregation Kol Israel, a Brooklyn synagogue, Nov. 13, 2016. (Ben Sales)A man examining a comic book for sale at the inaugural Jewish Comic Con, held at Congregation Kol Israel, a Brooklyn synagogue, Nov. 13, 2016. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) — After Brett Parker’s great-grandfather fled the pogroms in Europe and came to the United States, he opened a drug store where he sold comic books. Each week he would give his grandson, Parker’s father, five comic books to take home. Growing up during the early… Read more »

Alt-right conference in Washington quotes Nazi propaganda, says media protects Jews

Left to right: Discussion panelists Peter Brimelow, Jared Taylor, Kevin MacDonald, “Millenial Woes” (thats the name he goes by) and Richard Spencer at an alt-right conference hosted by the National Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2016. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)Left to right: Discussion panelists Peter Brimelow, Jared Taylor, Kevin MacDonald, “Millenial Woes” (thats the name he goes by) and Richard Spencer at an alt-right conference hosted by the National Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2016. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Speakers at an event of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute quoted Nazi propaganda and said the media protects Jewish interests. The day-long event of speeches and panel discussions attended by about 200 people was held Saturday in Washington, D.C. The New York Times… Read more »

In post-coup Turkey, Jews plan their future abroad

Turkish Jewish businesswoman Betty, left, and her friend Suzette at a cafe in Istanbul, Nov. 4, 2016. They asked that their last names not be used for security reasons. (Cnaan Liphshiz)Turkish Jewish businesswoman Betty, left, and her friend Suzette at a cafe in Istanbul, Nov. 4, 2016. They asked that their last names not be used for security reasons. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

ISTANBUL (JTA) — At a chic café overlooking the Bosphorus, two Turkish Jewish women are discussing their plans to emigrate when the call to Friday prayers blasts from the loudspeakers of a nearby mosque. Unable to talk over the deafening singing that fills the café in the Bebek neighborhood… Read more »

Meet the 3 firebrands Donald Trump is naming to national security posts

Top left, clockwise, Mike Pompeo, Michael Flynn, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions (Pompeo photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images; Flynn photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Trump photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Sessions photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)Top left, clockwise, Mike Pompeo, Michael Flynn, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions (Pompeo photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images; Flynn photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Trump photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Sessions photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Controversial pasts with incendiary statements and a fierce loyalty to the president-elect. Judging from the announcements Donald Trump is expected to make Friday, his White House and Cabinet is likelier to look a lot more like Stephen Bannon than Reince Priebus. Those are, respectively, Trump’s top… Read more »

In focus 11.18.16

Holocaust survivors’ book reading On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Jewish History Museum hosted Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona for a morning of readings from JFCS’s book, “To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors of Southern Arizona.” Five of the survivors featured in the book read excerpts from… Read more »

Does Trump want to scrap the Iran deal? If so, this is how he does it.

President-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech as Vice President-elect Mike Pence looks on at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan, Nov. 9.  (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)President-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech as Vice President-elect Mike Pence looks on at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan, Nov. 9. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – Enforce the Iran deal. Violate the Iran deal. Leave it to Congress. Do nothing. President-elect Donald Trump has an array of options before him when he assumes the presidency on Jan. 21, according to supporters and opponents of the deal. Reached last year between Iran and six major powers led by the… Read more »

UA Modern Israel Conference will address a changing nation

Asher SusserAsher Susser

Asher Susser, a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University, signed on as the Stein Family Professor of Modern Israel Studies at the University of Arizona four years ago. He is the moderator for the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies’ second annual Modern Israel Conference, “Balancing… Read more »

Elder Rehab, Russian-style, aids local senior

Yevgenia Kiseleva, who learned gymnastics in an orphanage in Latvia, displays her agility at age 77. (Courtesy Sharon Arkin)Yevgenia Kiseleva, who learned gymnastics in an orphanage in Latvia, displays her agility at age 77. (Courtesy Sharon Arkin)

Searching for a program that helps people with memory loss stay physically and mentally active, Natalija Kuznecova had one very specific requirement: she needed to find a program with a Russian speaker for  mother, 77-year-old Yevgenia Kiseleva, who has been in the United States only four months and speaks… Read more »

As Jewish community in Northwest grows, local cafe owner’s heritage is menu inspiration

Claire Johnson, left, at her cafe in Catalina with customers Scott McGowen (in cowboy hat) and Wayne and Bernadette Olsen  (Korene Charnofsky Cohen/AJP)Claire Johnson, left, at her cafe in Catalina with customers Scott McGowen (in cowboy hat) and Wayne and Bernadette Olsen (Korene Charnofsky Cohen/AJP)

Haimish, Yiddish for friendly or homey, sums up Claire’s Cafe and Art Gallery in Catalina. Good food also figures into the picture, but the warm atmosphere created by owners Claire and Steve Johnson keeps drawing loyal customers. The cafe was awarded the 2016 Better Business Bureau Good Neighbor Award… Read more »

Tucson J seeks teen athletes for 2017 Maccabi Games

The Tucson Jewish Community Center is currently recruiting Jewish teenage athletes between ages 13 and 16 to attend the JCC Maccabi Games next summer. The annual tournament runs from July 30 to Aug. 4 in Birmingham, Ala., and offers students competitive sporting events, social activities, social action projects and… Read more »

Buddhist monk to speak at Temple Emanu-El

Ringu Tulku RinpocheRingu Tulku Rinpoche

Tibetan Buddhist Monk Ringu Tulku Rinpoche will speak on “The Power of Gratitude to Heal” at Temple Emanu-El’s Chardonnay Shabbat service on Friday, Nov. 25 at 5:45 p.m. Following the service, Rinpoche will continue the discussion with Rabbis Samuel M. Cohon and Batsheva Appel and guests at a Shabbat… Read more »

Groundbreaking set for new JFSA/JCF home

jfsa-new-building

A groundbreaking ceremony for a new building that will house the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation will be held Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. in the northwest corner of the Tucson Jewish Community Center parking lot at River and Dodge Roads. The project,… Read more »