Why these Dutch Christians are celebrating Sukkot

Pastor Piet van Veldhuizen has lunch inside his congregation's sukkah in the Netherlands, Sept. 18, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

HENDRIK-IDO-AMBACHT, Netherlands (JTA) — From its exterior, the massive building known as The Ark in this Dutch town looks like a typical Reform synagogue. On the Hebrew month of Tishrei, the ancient olive tree that dominates the yard of this large worship space is dwarfed by a reed sukkah, a ceremonial hut in which Jews consume their meals for… Read more »

In J.K. Rowling’s new novel, a villain is an Israel-hating anti-Semite

(JTA) — For months author J.K. Rowling has been warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism in England, sparring on Twitter with critics who either downplay the phenomenon or say its proponents are confusing criticism of Israel with Jew hatred. Now, in her newest book, she includes a character whose… Read more »

A year after the Mexico City earthquake, many Jewish organizations still don’t have a home

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 19: Rescuers work in the rubble after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on September 19, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico. The earthquake caused multiple fatalities, destroyed buildings and knocked out power throughout the capital. (Photo by Rafael S. Fabres/Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY (JTA) — This capital city has yet to recover from last September’s earthquake, which killed over 300 people and left many more homeless. In the trendy Condesa neighborhood, once a predominantly Jewish area here, many buildings have been demolished and others are in a state of abandonment and… Read more »

A new Torah scroll symbolizes a Liberal Jewish revival in the Czech Republic

David Maxa delivers a sermon during Shabbat services at Prague's Spanish Synagogue during the European Union of Progressive Judaism's biennial, April 2018. (Courtesy of Maxa)

PRAGUE (JTA) — A new Torah scroll is being used in this historic city by one of its two Reform Jewish congregations to welcome the High Holidays and the series of solemn and joyous celebrations that conclude with, what else, Simchat Torah — the rejoicing of the Torah. But it’s… Read more »

How a Chinese fruit became a Sukkot symbol

Etrogim can come with a hefty price tag, such as this one that retailed for $345 in Brooklyn. (David Moster)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The holiday of Sukkot isn’t is complete without a lulav and an etrog, the four species that Jews are commanded to wave on the harvest holiday. But according to a new book, it wasn’t until the Second Temple period that Jews started using the lemon-like… Read more »

Ari Fuld, American expat slain in West Bank, remembered as a combative activist and caring friend

Ari Fuld, shown at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, worked at a nonprofit that provides food and supplies to Israeli soldiers. (Facebook)

(JTA) — When Ari Fuld first approached him, Josh Weixelbaum was a 20-year-old soldier visiting friends in the West Bank settlement of Efrat. Fuld had heard Weixelbaum speaking English, so he introduced himself and asked Weixelbaum about his time in the army. Fuld soon learned that Weixelbaum, an American… Read more »

Educator to speak on ‘transformative power of community’

Sarah Shulkind, Ph.D., will speak at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Annual Welcome on Oct. 4.

Sarah Shulkind, Ph.D., head of the Alice and Nahum Lainer School in Los Angeles, will be the guest speaker at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Annual Welcome next month. Entitled “Many Voices Impacting as One,” the event will celebrate 10 years of the Mitzvah Magic program… Read more »

Tucsonan inducted as AEPi supreme master

Tucsonan Jeffrey H. Jacobson speaks at Alpha Epsilon Pi's 105th International Convention Banquet in Phoenix, Aug. 11.

Jeffrey H. Jacobson, a Tucson attorney, became the 74th supreme master at Alpha Epsilon Pi’s 105th International Convention in Phoenix in August. “AEPi has been everything to me. From my Jewish identity to friendships and relationships to my leadership skills and my desire to give back to the community.… Read more »

At L.A. games, Maccabi USA team taps local youth for 2019 Pan Am Games

Tucsonan Cody Blumenthal heads for the basket in a tied match at the Maccabi Games in Los Angeles in August.

Cody Blumenthal and Gabe Green were among 2,600 athletes at the largest annual JCC Maccabi Games this summer, representing the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Blumenthal participated in 16 and under basketball while Green vied in 14 and under soccer at the Aug. 5-10 games in Orange County, California. Josh… Read more »


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