Blair Braverman becomes first Jewish woman to finish the Iditarod sled dog race

Blair Braverman came in 36th place in the 1,000-mile race. (James Netz)

(JTA) — Writer and adventurer Blair Braverman appears to be the first Jewish woman to race in — and complete — the historic Iditarod sled dog race, finishing the grueling 1,000-mile course in 13 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 2 seconds. The 30-year-old musher crossed the finish line Sunday in Nome, Alaska, in 36th place. Her sled was pulled… Read more »

Brexit is pushing Jews to seek passports from countries that persecuted their ancestors

The Association of Jewish Refugees' Michael Newman, right, and British politician John Attlee in London Nov. 21, 2018. (Courtesy of AJR)

(JTA) — Portugal used to be little more than a sunny holiday destination to Adam Perry, a 46-year-old Londoner who works in procurement. But following the United Kingdom’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, Perry, who is a Sephardic Jew, applied for citizenship in the Iberian nation. Since… Read more »

Why these 2 nice Jewish girls are skipping school on Friday

Rebekah Oppenheimer, left, and Hannah Fremmer are skipping school to protest climate change. (Courtesy of Rebekah Oppenheimer)

(JTA) – We are Jewish middle-school students, and we are extremely worried about climate change. This is why we, along with other students around the country, are protesting the government’s refusal to act on this important issue by skipping or walking out of school on Friday, March 15. While… Read more »

On this Spanish island, Purim used to be the biggest holiday for persecuted Jews

Members of the Jewish community of Mallorca, Spain, attend a Tu b'Shvat picnic, Feb. 10, 2019. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (JTA) — On this island south of Barcelona, Jews celebrate Purim these days pretty much as they do most anywhere else in Europe. There’s the reading of the Book of Esther at the small synagogue near the marina, followed by a costume party bringing together… Read more »

Donald Trump says Jews are leaving the Democrats. Are they?

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House, March 10, 2019. (Al Drago/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The House hearing was about foreign aid, and almost as soon as it started it took a political turn: The most powerful congressional appropriator was asking one of Washington’s most influential lobbyists about bipartisanship. “What in your view would be the consequence of making Israel a… Read more »

PJ Library national officer briefs locals on global operation

(L-R) PJ Library volunteers Jane Ash, Karen Katz, and Lee Surwit; Rosalie Eisen, PJ Library national senior program officer; Mary Ellen Loebl, Tucson PJ Library coordinator; and Deborah Oseran, incoming Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona board chair, at the Federation Feb. 19 (Debe Campbell)

In Southern Arizona, nearly 900 families with children from 6 months to 11 years old receive free books monthly from PJ Library and PJ Our Way programs. And 98 percent of those parents say PJ Library has been a valuable parenting tool. “This is the largest cohort of young… Read more »

Senior cats join senior citizens in a unique Tucson foster care program

The late Pearl Kitay and her foster cat, Ringo (Courtesy Hearts That Purr Sanctuary)

Ringo the cat spent the past two glorious years with his foster “mom,” Pearl Kitay. Kitay was a dog person and Ringo was her first cat. But it didn’t take long for them to adjust to one another. In fact, they became best friends and housemates. “My routine is… Read more »

Local teachers cement bond with counterparts on Partnership trip to Israel

Partnership2Gether School Twinning program participants at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Feb. 2. (L-R) Back row: Adi Olshansky, Danielle Weiss, Zohar Bisker, Daniella Cohen, Keren Mor, Jill Sobieszyk, Orly Gros, Kim Spitzer, Nili Cohen-Hammer, Adi Shacham, Jeanette Butcher, Ofra Gueta, Nichole Chorny; front: Yochi Azran, Allie Silber (Weintraub Israel Center)

A delegation of Tucson educators representing Jewish organizations experienced Israel in a meaningful, weeklong cultural exchange during rodeo school break in late February. Jeanette Butcher (Tucson Jewish Community Center), Nicole Chorny and Kim Spitzer  (Congregation Anshei Israel), Allie Silber (Temple Emanu-El), Jill Sobieszyk (Congregation Or Chadash) and I were… Read more »

JFCS Matza & More sees local needs increase

Volunteers unload groceries for Jewish Family & Children’s Services’s 2018 Matza & More campaign. (Jewish Family & Children's Services)

For more than 40 years, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona’s Matza & More project has packed and delivered Passover bags to Tucson area families who otherwise could not afford food and items for a Seder. Volunteers and staff fill the bags with fresh vegetables, gefilte fish,… Read more »


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