Gay and African-American rabbi wants to shatter stereotypes of what a Jew looks like

Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae grew up in a military family that moved between Japan and Oklahoma. (Josefin Dolsten)

NEW YORK (JTA) — As a Jew of color, Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae has had her fair share of experiences that have made her feel less than welcome in the Jewish community. People sometimes assume that she is a member of the synagogue janitorial staff rather than the rabbi. Sometimes when visiting a synagogue, she’ll be asked if she’s lost. In… Read more »

Understanding the Syria moment at the Trump-Putin news conference

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint news conference following their summit in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The media, Congress, the international community — just about everybody is reeling after the joint news conference on Monday in Helsinki bringing together President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among other remarkable declarations, Trump seemed to agree with Putin by doubting the U.S. intelligence… Read more »

Richard Siegel, educator who co-edited ‘The Jewish Catalog,’ is dead at 70

Richard Siegel worked at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for 28 years (HUC)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Richard Siegel, an educator who advocated for Jewish culture and arts and co-edited the seminal “Jewish Catalog” series of guides to “do-it-yourself” Judaism, died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 70 and had been battling cancer for two years, according to a friend and colleague,… Read more »

Between jihadists, neo-Nazis, Swedish Jews fear future

arinne Sjoberg peels off a sticker that neo-Nazis left on the door of what used to be the Jewish community center of Umea, Sweden. (Photo courtesy Carinne Sjoberg)

When Carinne Sjoberg dissolved the Jewish Community of Umea in northern Sweden, she knew it would send shockwaves far beyond the small congregation that she had spent decades building. The move in May owed to intimidation by neo-Nazis, making it the first time in decades that a Jewish organization… Read more »

For Handmaker resident, conversion to Judaism is part of full life

Elaine McLain displays her certificate of conversion on Aug. 9, 2017, with the members of the rabbinic beit din, from left: Rabbi Dr. Howard Schwartz, Rabbi Avraham Alpert, Rabbi Dr. Bennett Blum.

Before moving to Handmaker in 2015, Elaine McLain lived all over the country, and “did everything imaginable,” she says, including marrying and being widowed twice, raising three children — and, on Aug. 9, converting to Judaism. (See related story, page 7.) Jewish ethics were the first thing that attracted… Read more »

With new programs and staff, local Jewish schools ready to kick off a new year

School days are right around the corner, and community students have much to look forward to in the new school year. Tucson Hebrew Academy students will notice physical changes from the outside to the inside for the school’s 45th anniversary. Refreshing the building exterior, water fountains and restrooms is… Read more »

JFSA drives for Homer Davis Elementary

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is holding drives for school and toiletry supplies through Aug. 31 as part of “Making a Difference Every Day: The Homer Davis Project,” benefiting students at Homer Davis Elementary School in the Flowing Wells School District. The school supply wish list includes facial… Read more »

Out & About connects Handmaker residents with Tucson’s cultural scene

Out & About participants on a recent trip, starting with front row, (L-R): Ethel Weissman, Ramon Cruz (driver), Carol Zuckert; Debbie Smolen (volunteer), Betty Light, Leah Casey, Doris Wochley; MaryJane Gibson (volunteer); Lois Waldman, Les Waldman, Mort Edberg, Elaine McLain

Elaine McLain, a Handmaker resident for two and a half years, is delighted Handmaker recently created an Out & About program for residents, a series of trips to cultural sites similar to Handmaker’s popular Adventure Bus program, which is for people experiencing the early stages of memory loss. “It’s… Read more »

Childhood vision inspires Tucsonan to be voice for peace

Even as a child, Hana Ripp felt that she had a mission in life. She wanted to be a voice for those who couldn’t speak. Intuition guided her over decades to follow her vision of world peace and harmony through the best vehicles she knew — arts and education.… Read more »


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