Posts By Sara Harelson

Why Jewish organizations are mostly playing it safe on issues like gun control and refugees

Participants in the National Walkout to protest gun violence marching toward the U.S. Capitol, April 20, 2018. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — As Senate Republicans worked to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last summer, the American Jewish establishment sent an unequivocal message: Kill the bill. “The Senate’s ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’ would be devastating for millions of Americans and irreparably harmful to Jewish social service… Read more »

Does Natalie Portman’s snub of Netanyahu make her the face of liberal Zionism?

Natalie Portman speaking at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., Sept. 23, 2017. (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Natalie Portman’s statement explaining why she declined to attend an award ceremony in Israel in her honor was a pointed rebuke, and of a particular individual. “I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu,” she said of the Israeli prime minister. But it also… Read more »

‘Disobedience’ is an accurate portrayal of lesbian love — and the Orthodox Jewish community

From left: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola in "Disobedience." (Agatha A. Nitecka/Bleecker Street)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Sebastian Lelio, the director who recently won the Academy Award for best foreign film for “A Fantastic Woman,” grew up Catholic in Chile knowing almost nothing about observant Jews. So when the Jewish actress Rachel Weisz approached him a couple of years ago and suggested… Read more »

A Montreal pilgrimage in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen's grave, next to three generations of his family, in the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim cemetery in Montreal. (Ben Harris)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Just inside the gate of the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue off Boulevard du Mont Royal, a gravestone bears an unusual Star of David, the sharp angles of its two opposing triangles — one reaching heavenward, the other aimed at the earth — softened into the shape of… Read more »

In Krakow, Jews celebrate their community’s ‘revival’ amid rising xenophobia

A participant at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Jewish Community Center in Krakow blows a shofar, April 22, 2018. (Jakub Wlodek)

KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) — At one of Poland’s plushest synagogues, leaders of this city’s small but vibrant Jewish community welcomed visitors from around the world to a celebration of what the hosts call their minority’s “revival” in this country. The occasion for the party Sunday at Tempel Synagogue was… Read more »

‘Three Billboards’-style campaign against anti-Semitism in Labour Party fails to sway Brits

Van-mounted billboards in central London were the latest escalation in British Jews' publicized row with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Courtesy of Jonathan Hoffman)

LONDON (JTA) — Keith Walker was having a sandwich in Parliament Square when he saw something that made him sit up straight and cut short his lunch. What did the 42-year-old activist for disabled people’s rights find so fascinating? It was three billboards on wheels that circled around the… Read more »

OP-ED ‘Schindler’s List’ at 25: How Steven Spielberg’s deeply Jewish story spoke to the masses

Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in "Schindler's List." (Screenshot from YouTube)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — 1993 was a dramatic year in the memorialization of the Holocaust. In April, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened its doors; 45 million visitors later it is a fixture adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., not only telling the story of the Holocaust… Read more »

New sculpture honors Federation donors, symbolizes mission

‘Flame’ by local artist Tidhar Ozeri overlooks the Jane and Rabbi Lee Kivel Promenade between the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (Ronen More)

A new glass and metal sculpture, “Flame” by Tidhar Ozeri, was installed late last month outside the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy. The new work is part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s intention to use architectural elements and art in the new building to reinforce… Read more »

Army dedicates plaque to survivors at Fort Huachuca Holocaust ceremony

Sarah Lichter admires the plaque dedicated to Holocaust survivors at Fort Huachuca on April 9. Behind her, from left, are her husband, Pawel Lichter; Teresa Dulgov; and Wanda Wolosky.

The Fort Huachuca annual Days of Remembrance Holocaust Observance has been a unique gathering of survivors, local dignitaries, U.S. military members and their families, and German Army officers for 15 years. The event educates about the past and protects the future, but also promotes face-to-face healing. On April 9,… Read more »

Crypto-Judaism to inform artist’s talk at JHM

Jônatas Chimen's 'In Thy Tent I Dwell' installation explores his family's 500-year diaspora story.

Brazilian-American crypto-Jewish artist Jônatas Chimen will make a Tucson stop on his North-American speaking tour sponsored by the U.S.-based grassroots nonprofit, Kulanu, Inc., which supports isolated, emerging and returning Jewish communities around the globe. Chimen’s presentation will be held Sunday, April 22 at the Jewish History Museum. Chimen’s heritage… Read more »

Film will honor Brazilian who saved Jews

Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas

The Latin American Studies department at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and the Jewish History Museum, will present a free screening of “Dear Ambassador” at the UA Center for Creative Photography, 1030 N. Olive Road, on Sunday, April 22, at 2… Read more »

Sites of Conscience speaker tapped for JHM

The Jewish History Museum/Holocaust History Center will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m., as it formally accepts induction into the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Guest speakers will be Dina Bailey, director of methodology and practice at the coalition, and Tucson Mayor Jonathan… Read more »

UA students ‘bake a difference’ with challah

Students in Challah for Hunger (from left) Michal Chetrit, Bridget Ott and Zevi Altus sell their homemade challah on the University of Arizona mall, April 13.

A group of students at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation has come together to fight hunger, using skills they may have learned helping out in the kitchen at home. They are members of Challah for Hunger, a national organization that connects students to raise awareness for social justice issues… Read more »

Federation proposes 2018-19 slate of officers to be ratified

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s board governance committee, chaired by Eric Schindler, has recommended the following slate of officers for the 2018-2019 program year: Shelly Silverman, chair of the board; Deborah Oseran, vice chair/board governance; Ben Silverman, treasurer/secretary; and Tom Warne, immediate past chair. Also nominated are Jeff… Read more »

JFSA to mark mitzvah project at homeless women’s center

A new mural by local artist Michael B. Schwartz is part of the garden space at the Sister Jose Women’s Center, which the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona refurbished as its 70th Anniversary Mitzvah Project.

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will hold a dedication of its 70th Anniversary Mitzvah Project at the Sister Jose Women’s Center, 1050 S. Park Ave., on Sunday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to noon. Participants can tour the facility, learn how the outdoor space — the focus of… Read more »

History museum seeks applicants for community engagement curator

Tucson’s Jewish History Museum/Holocaust History Center is seeking applications from candidates in the fields of arts and culture for the position of 2018-19 Zuckerman Fellow: Curator of Community Engagement. The application deadline is April 30. The 2018-19 Zuckerman Fellow will be awarded a 12-month fellowship, July 2018-June 2019, including… Read more »