Posts By Sara Harelson

Winter Olympics 2018: 5 Jewish storylines to watch

Short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov, lower left, leading the Israeli Olympic team at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7, 2014. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The world is about to revolve around Pyeongchang, a mountainous county in the northern half of South Korea, for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Jewish fans won’t have quite as many standout athletes to cheer for this year as they did in 2016, when multiple American members of the… Read more »

Donald Trump and Team Kushner sure sound like they want to make a Mideast deal

President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner in the Oval Office of the White House, July 25, 2017.(Zach Gibson/Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Donald Trump is just the man to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal done. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was gushing last week about Trump’s negotiating team, which is led by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. “The thing the people don’t realize is that these people… Read more »

Does the Obama-Farrakhan photo matter? Does anything?

Former President Barack Obama speaking at a Newark rally for then-gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, Oct. 19, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(JTA) — “Nothing matters.” You hear that a lot these days. You hear it when The Wall Street Journal reports that the president’s personal lawyer paid a porn actress $130,000, at the height of the presidential campaign, so she would stay silent about an alleged affair she’d had with Donald Trump. Or… Read more »

In the #MeToo era, these synagogues are banning Shlomo Carlebach

NEW YORK (JTA) — When Rabbi Angela Buchdahl announced how her synagogue would respond to the #MeToo moment, she singled out a man. But he wasn’t one of her congregants, synagogue clergy or staff members. He was Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, perhaps the most prominent 20th-century composer of American Jewish… Read more »

Meet the 90-year-old great-grandmother who is the new face of JDate

Bea Slater is a social media maven featured along with other "yentas" in JDate ads. (Elaine Durbach)

WHIPPANY, N.J. (New Jersey Jewish News via JTA) — If Bea Slater had ever been a shrinking violet, her sudden celebrity might be uncomfortable. At 90, the great-grandmother has her image plastered on billboards and bus shelters up and down Manhattan and in Brooklyn. There’s even one on the roof above… Read more »

Summer camps offer kids an immersion in Israel’s tech prowess

Campers at Big Idea/JCC Day Camp in Tenafly, N.J., incorporate robotics into Lego projects. (Courtesy of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades)

CHICAGO (JTA) — Sam Rosen, a 10-year-old Minecraft player, builds virtual castles at his computer and protects himself from monsters. His mother, Carrie, a high school math teacher, knows the game teaches tech skills and engineering — valuable skills he can build on in school. So when JCC Chicago… Read more »

Poland wants to ban the term ‘Polish death camps.’ There are historical inaccuracies on both sides of the debate.

The main gate of the former Auschwitz extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The Polish parliament’s bill to criminalize the use of the term “Polish death camps” prompted an avalanche of criticism in Israel by officials and individuals who warned that it is excessive and risks stifling research on the Holocaust. Following the bill’s passing Friday in the Sejm, or the lower… Read more »

Mike Pence’s faith drives his support for Israel. Does it drive Mideast policy?

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JANUARY 22: US vice President Mike Pence (L) is seen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an official welcome ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office on January 22, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence landed in Israel Sunday evening after visiting Egypt and Jordan. The Palestinian Authority is boycotting Pence's visit to the region, due to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announcement to move the embassy. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

When Mike Pence moved to Washington earlier this year, he and his wife took with them a framed phrase they had for years hung over their fireplace in their Indiana home, and then over the fireplace in the governor’s mansion in that state. Now it hangs over the mantle… Read more »

Or Chadash plans fourth annual casino night benefit

Congregation Or Chadash’s fourth annual Tournament and Casino Night will be held Saturday, Feb. 10 at the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral. Along with a Texas Hold-Em tournament and other casino games, the evening will feature a buffet dinner, cash bar, DJ, dancing, and prizes. For a $100 registration fee,… Read more »

‘Chocolate factory’ is theme for JFSA young leaders’ gala

(L-R) Alejandra Baltazar-Molina, Melissa Landau, Matt Landau, Selim Cam and Heidi Steiner at the masquerade-themed Hava Tequila event on Jan. 21, 2017.

Hava Tequila and the Chocolate Factory” is the theme for the 7th annual Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Leadership party on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 8 to 11 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The golden ticket-themed event, for ages 21 and over, includes… Read more »

Pozez lecture to focus on Trump’s Middle East policy

Shai Feldman of Brandeis University will present “A Year into the Trump Presidency: The U.S. & the Middle East” on Monday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson J. The free talk is part of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies Shaol & Louis Pozez Memorial Lectureship Series.… Read more »

Tucson genealogist’s links to Yurburg, Lithuania, help spur memorial project

Tucsonan Joel Alpert, in white shirt, in the Israeli studio of sculptor, left, David Zundelovitch, with a model of the Yurburg memorial and, from far left, Alpert’s cousins Itzhak Zarnitsky and Benny Naividel, and architect Anna Zundelovitch.

Those entering Tucson’s Holocaust History Center or the Tucson Jewish Community Center will notice a black and white film portraying life in turn of the 20th century Eastern Europe. In fact, it depicts life in the small western Lithuanian town today known as Jurbarkas. The majority of the population… Read more »

UA Hillel alumni plan pre-game dinner

Lorenzo Romar.

The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation will host its annual alumni and friends basketball event on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 5:15 p.m. The pre-game dinner will feature Lorenzo Romar, UA associate head basketball coach under Coach Sean Miller, who will brief attendees on this year’s Wildcat team. A silent… Read more »

Beth Shalom Temple Center to hear Lynn Rae Lowe on Aleph-Bet symbolism

'Lichtenstein: Otiyot as Words,’ printed vinyl on acrylic, 43” x 30”, by Lynn Rae Lowe

The art gallery at Beth Shalom Temple Center is presenting an exhibit by award-winning Tucson artist Lynn Rae Lowe, “Ancient and Contemporary Symbolism of the Hebrew Alphabet,” through March 4. Lowe uses a variety of materials, two- and three-dimensional methods and the techniques of 20th century master artists to… Read more »

‘95!’ exhibit at J celebrates creativity of former UA chief

Henry Koffler at the Jan. 14 reception for his ‘95!’ exhibit at the J.

At the age of 90, Henry Koffler, Ph.D., former University of Arizona president, embarked on a new career. Becoming an artist represented something good coming out of emergency surgery followed by a long recovery. That was five years ago. His exhibit, “95!,” celebrating his age and artwork, is now… Read more »

I’m raising my son to respect women. Here’s how.

(Kveller via JTA) — I’m pretty good at having uncomfortable conversations. I’m a therapist. I’ve been talking with people for years about consent, misogyny and patriarchy. My great-grandmother, who immigrated from Eastern Europe to New York City and managed to become her high school’s valedictorian, marched for women’s suffrage… Read more »