News

Western Wall prayer fight ends with historic compromise

The Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on a rainy day, Oct. 25, 2015. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)The Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on a rainy day, Oct. 25, 2015. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel’s government on Sunday approved a compromise to expand the non-Orthodox Jewish prayer section of the Western Wall, putting to rest the decades-long fight between Women of the Wall and Israel’s haredi Orthodox religious establishment. The deal achieves what had been an elusive goal: an interdenominational consensus on Judaism’s… Read more »

For Orlando vacations, kosher food easy to find at Disney

Restaurants at Disney World in Orlando serve kosher meals by special request, but 48-hour advance notice is required. (Uriel Heilman)Restaurants at Disney World in Orlando serve kosher meals by special request, but 48-hour advance notice is required. (Uriel Heilman)

ORLANDO, Fla. (JTA) – As any religiously observant Jew knows, going on vacation can take a lot of work. Aside from the customary preparations, there are the added complications of organizing kosher food and Shabbat logistics. Many kosher tourists spend days before trips precooking meals to freeze and bring… Read more »

Meet the Israeli composer of Indian Muslim music who collaborates with Radiohead’s guitarist

Shye Ben-Tzur, right, playing with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood at the Sacred Jerusalem Festival, Sept. 1, 2015. (Noam Chojnowski)Shye Ben-Tzur, right, playing with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood at the Sacred Jerusalem Festival, Sept. 1, 2015. (Noam Chojnowski)

(JTA) — For most musicians working in the underappreciated genre of world music, recording an album with Jonny Greenwood, the guitarist of the famed English rock band Radiohead, would be something of a pipe dream. And what about having that experience filmed by acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson (“There… Read more »

Tucson March of Remembrance honoring Holocaust victims planned

The March of Remembrance is an international event honoring the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. The Tucson event, organized by Pastor Steve Shermett of Book of Life Community Church and Congregation Beth Sar Shalom (a Messianic congregation), will be held on Sunday, Jan. 31 at the… Read more »

Angela Merkel: ‘Anti-Semitism more widespread than we think’

Courtesy photoCourtesy photo

Berlin (TPS) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel directly addressed contemporary anti-Semitism during the opening of an exhibition on the night of Monday, January 25. Art from the Holocaust was opened to the public at the German Historical Museum in the nation’s capital at an event commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day.… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas – 1.22.16

(L-R) Leslie Glaze, screenwriter Pamela Gray, Janet Lang and Marcia Abelson on Lion of Judah mission to Los Angeles(L-R) Leslie Glaze, screenwriter Pamela Gray, Janet Lang and Marcia Abelson on Lion of Judah mission to Los Angeles

A roaring good time In early December, 24 Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Lions of Judah flew to Tinseltown. In Los Angeles, the group explored the Jewish influence on the entertainment industry, while strengthening their bonds with one another. According to Marcia Abelson, Tucson Lion and JFSA Women’s Philanthropy… Read more »

Mussar leader to enlighten Tucsonans as Bilgray scholar

Alan MorinisAlan Morinis

Alan Morinis was not looking to become a spiritual leader when he discovered Judaism’s Mussar tradition at the age of 47. “I’m a little chagrined to admit it,” he says of stumbling over the millennia-old tradition almost 20 years ago, “but I was really searching for something in my… Read more »

New German edition of ‘Mein Kampf’ sparks mixed reaction among Tucsonans

Historic copies of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf,’ which was released in a new, annotated edition in Germany this month. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)Historic copies of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf,’ which was released in a new, annotated edition in Germany this month. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Say the name Adolf Hitler and an immediate reaction is evoked in the hearts and minds of many, based on the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi dictator specifically against those of Jewish descent. Now that name has reemerged as an annotated edition of his autobiography, “Mein Kampf,” or “My… Read more »

Expert: Jewish genes set genealogy challenge

Israel PickholtzIsrael Pickholtz

Professional genealogist Israel Pickholtz will discuss the challenges of working with information provided by DNA testing in his talk, “Endogamy: Genetic Genealogy — Challenges for Jewish Research,” at the Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society’s meeting on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. at Congregation Bet Shalom. Pickholtz says that… Read more »

Law professor to give two talks on asylum-seekers in Israel

The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies will present two free lectures next month by Michael Kagan, associate professor of law at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The first, “Finding Refuge: Can Non-Jews Seek Asylum in the Jewish State?” will be… Read more »

Kushner to discuss new book at Emanu-El

Rabbi Harold KushnerRabbi Harold Kushner

Making good on a desire expressed in 2014 to visit Tucson more often, Rabbi Harold Kushner will discuss his new book, “Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life,” at a Temple Emanu-El event on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. A congregational rabbi for 50 years, Kushner is the… Read more »

Tasting event, mini-mission on tap for WP

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy will hold two events early next month. First up is a new event, “Taste with a Twist,” on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in the new multi-purpose room at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Participants will sample mini martinis and… Read more »

JCF seeks applicants for Israel trip grant

The Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona is now accepting applications for the 2016 Goldman Family Israel Scholarship. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9. The Elliot S. Goldman Family Israel Scholarship Fund and the Goldman Family Israel Scholarship Fund (endowment funds held at JCF)… Read more »

Planning 20th anniversary gala, Or Chadash looks back

Cantor Janece Cohen, left, and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim carry Torah scrolls to Congregation Or Chadash’s new property on Dec. 12, 2004. Founded in 1995, Or Chadash had been known as the “wandering congregation” before it purchased the property on Alvernon Way. (Max Ellentuck)Cantor Janece Cohen, left, and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim carry Torah scrolls to Congregation Or Chadash’s new property on Dec. 12, 2004. Founded in 1995, Or Chadash had been known as the “wandering congregation” before it purchased the property on Alvernon Way. (Max Ellentuck)

Congregation Or Cha­dash held its first Hebrew school classes 20 years ago around Rabbi Thomas Louchheim’s family dining room table. Little more than four wooden legs and a table top were needed to gather together Tucson area students and start planting the seeds of Jewish education. Membership has swelled… Read more »

Op-Ed: On Roe v. Wade anniversary, fresh threats to abortion access demand action

Anti-abortion activists rally against federal funding for Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2015. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)Anti-abortion activists rally against federal funding for Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2015. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Forty-three years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade protecting a woman’s right to abortion. Since the 2010 elections, a wave of state laws has aimed at restricting that right, closing clinics and harassing medical providers. No… Read more »

What Pope Francis synagogue visit says about Catholic-Jewish relations

Pope Francis, left, greeting the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, during a papal visit to the city’s synagogue, Jan. 17, 2016. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)Pope Francis, left, greeting the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, during a papal visit to the city’s synagogue, Jan. 17, 2016. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

(JTA) – When Pope Francis crossed the Tiber River to visit the Great Synagogue of Rome on Sunday, he became the third pontiff to do so. But his 1.5-mile journey to the towering Tempio Maggiore showed that what was once unthinkable is now the norm. “According to the juridical… Read more »

Two days of terror: Israeli mother of 6 killed, pregnant woman injured in stabbings

The husband and children of Dafna Meir grieve at her funeral in Jerusalem the day after her stabbing death in the West Bank, Jan. 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)The husband and children of Dafna Meir grieve at her funeral in Jerusalem the day after her stabbing death in the West Bank, Jan. 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

(JTA) — A day after witnessing her mother’s brutal murder, Dafna Meir’s teenage daughter spoke before hundreds who had come to mourn her. Dafna Meir, 38, a mother of six, was stabbed to death on Sunday near the entrance of her West Bank home. “It’s hard for me to think… Read more »