Local | Mind, Body & Spirit | Religion & Jewish Life

Synagogues offer plethora of online worship, study, connection opportunities

The state of Arizona has suspended all in-person worship services, classes, and other programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many local synagogues halting live events in advance of the governor’s March 30 stay-at-home order. Local congregations have migrated programs to digital spaces, including Shabbat services for non-Orthodox congregations. Many also have created new virtual programs to help congregants feel connected and to reach out to the wider community.

Some of these online offerings are detailed below. This is not a comprehensive list; we encourage readers to visit synagogue websites (see the Area Congregations listing on page 17) to discover additional programs.

Temple Emanu-El presents TETucson CommuniTea, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-4 p.m. Join Rabbi Batsheva Appel and Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg via Zoom for a virtual afternoon tea party, a forum to schmooze, connect and converse, pray, and sing. Registration is required; email dlopez@tetucson.org.

Temple Emanu-El also hosts virtual gatherings Fridays at 5:30 p.m. (formerly known as a pre-oneg), before the 6 p.m. Shabbat services. Services also are held Saturdays at 10 a.m. Registration for Friday and/or Saturday services is requested by Friday at 3 p.m. Register for the Friday evening gathering and service at www.tetucson.org/event/shabbat-gathering-and-service, and Saturday morning at www.tetucson.org/event/zoom-only-shabbat-morning-service.html. Services also can be viewed live on the Temple Emanu-El Facebook page. Temple Emanu-El also has lay-led Torah study sessions most Saturday mornings starting at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom. Contact kilianmetcalf@gmail.com or dlopez@tetucson.org to register.

For men, Congregation Chofetz Chayim’s Southwest Torah Institute offers Power Talmud at Sunset on Zoom, Sunday-Thursday, 6:45 p.m.-7:30 p.m., and  Men’s Daily Mishna Plus, prerecorded audio sent by email daily except Saturday. Registration is required for either program; contact Rabbi Israel Becker at 591-5292 or yzbecker@me.com.

Becker holds his Biblical Breakthroughs class for men and women via Zoom, Fridays at noon. “Each week, participants together plunge into the sacred texts leading to challenging questions and healthy debate. In our pursuit of truth, our thoughts crystallize and we emerge with ‘breakthrough’ lessons that reshape our values, enhance our character and bring refreshing new meaning to our lives,” Becker explains. No registration is required; follow the link on www.tucsontorah.org. In addition, for years the rabbi has been sending his email list short weekly “Torah Energizer” videos. The current weeks’ video and an archive of past videos are available by following the “Energizer” link at www.tucsontorah.org.

Congregation Anshei Israel presents a number of events on Facebook Live (no account needed — go to www.facebook.com/congregationansheiisrael. Join Rabbi Robert Eisen and Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny for Mincha Moment, Mondays-Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.; Kabbalat Shabbat, Fridays at 5:45 p.m.; and Havdallah, Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Anshei Israel will hold a Tot Shabbat May 1 at 5 p.m. via Zoom; see www.caiaz.org/resources for Tot Shabbat materials. Torah Study with Eisen is held Wednesdays at 11 a.m. via Zoom (bring your Bible).

The next monthly Women’s League Torah Study will be Monday, May 4, at noon via Zoom. “A Casual Conversation” is set for Sunday, May 3, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. And a Shavuot Yizkor service via Zoom will be Saturday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

Join Chorny for “Challah and Schmooze” on Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m., starting May 7. Get your baking supplies ready or just show up for relaxed conversation and a quick check-in. Join on Zoom to be part of the conversation or tune in on the CAI Facebook page to simply watch. Visit www.caiaz.org for links and more information on all programs.

Chabad Oro Valley has started a Women’s Circle Social Hour via Zoom on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. Each week there will be a specific topic; May 5 will be how to stay active and fit at home, and May 12 will feature “Let’s Bake! Scones with Maple Glaze.” To join, visit www.jewishorovalley.com/onlineclasses or contact Mushkie Zimmerman at mushkie@jewishorovalley.com for more information.

Congregation Beit Simcha is holding Shabbat services on Facebook Live. See the Beit Simcha Tucson Facebook page for more information.

Congregation Bet Shalom holds classes and daily virtual prayer gatherings via Zoom. A weekly password is provided by email; see www.cbsaz.org.

Beth Shalom Temple Center (Green Valley) is holding Zoom discussions and posting YouTube videos of services. For more information, email mfinkel2@cox.net and visit www.bstc.us.

Congregation Chaverim is holding Zoom Shabbat services. For information, contact admin@chaverim.net.

Congregation M’kor Hayim is holding Torah Study and adult education via Zoom. For information, email congregationmkorhayim@gmail.com.

Congregation Or Chadash is holding Shabbat services on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/octucson/live), Fridays at 6:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 10 a.m. The COC prayer book is available on the website, www.orchadash-tucson.org, with tips for following along with online services