Arts and Culture

Jewish farms are booming. Now the farmers want to grow their community.

Sarah Julia Seldin, left, and Shani Mink are founders of the Jewish Farmers Network. (Ben Harris)

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (JTA) — When Sarah Julia Seldin arrived at the main national gathering of Jewish foodies in 2016, she was disappointed to find no programming aimed specifically at people like her. There were sessions on kosher cooking, Jewish food ethics and the realities of kosher animal slaughter. But… Read more »

I enjoyed the Belgian carnival that featured anti-Semitic floats. Then I searched for homes in Israel.

Men wearing suits portraying haredi Jews with an ant's abdomen and legs at the annual procession of the carnival in Aalst, Belgium, Feb. 23, 2020. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

AALST, Belgium (JTA) — I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the Holocaust. Partly as a consequence of covering Jewish news in Europe at a time of rising anti-Semitism, Holocaust associations often come to mind in my daily life — on crowded trains, for example. But… Read more »

Ben Schwartz is the voice of ‘Sonic: The Hedgehog’ and is friends with Billy Crystal. He’s still worried about fitting into Hollywood.

Ben Schwartz at a "Sonic: The Hedgehog" event in Hollywood, Calif., Jan. 25, 2020. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Ben Schwartz fits in well in the world of neurotic Jewish comedians. He was so anxious to get the word out about his new movie, “Standing Up, Falling Down” — a delightful indie dramatic comedy co-starring Billy Crystal in which Schwartz plays a struggling stand-up comedian who… Read more »

Nissim Black’s ‘Mothaland Bounce’ is the most authentically Jewish song you’ll hear this year

Hasidic Jewish rapper Nissim Black and scenes from his latest single, "Mothaland Bounce." (JTA Montage)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Fans of mainstream Jewish music may find Nissim Black’s latest single “Mothaland Bounce” jarring and alien, but they’re just not listening with an ear to the rhythm of Jewish history. Set against the aural backdrop of an African basso profundo beat, and framed by scenes… Read more »

Love, poetry, community: a family’s unique response to cancer

Siblings Sara and Josh Hurand in Tucson in fall 2017

Sara Hurand says she’s never known anyone like her brother, Josh Hurand, a psychotherapist in Tucson who has a gift for connecting people. “He makes business connections, creative connections, light and fun connections, and deep and enduring connections. He is meaningfully close with family members both near and far,… Read more »

Israeli violinist Perlman to perform at UA

Itzhak Perlman, arguably the world’s most famous living violinist, will perform for UA Presents on Sunday, March 1, 6:30 p.m. He will be accompanied by pianist Rohan De Silva. The subject of a 2018 PBS documentary, “Itzhak,” Perlman spoke that year to JTA reporter Curt Schleier. “I’m a violinist.… Read more »

Ongoing human rights struggles inform work of Holocaust History Center

The Holocaust History Center at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum

On Feb. 21, 2020, the Jewish History Museum will mark four years since the opening of the Holocaust History Center and the expansion of the museum’s campus. The creation of the Holocaust History Center marked the realization of a decades-old community aspiration that began in the 1960s when local Holocaust… Read more »

From bialy to ‘Jew York,’ Oxford English Dictionary adds dozens of (sometimes offensive) Jewish-themed words and phrases

The Oxford English Dictionary added several Yiddish terms in 2020. (In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

(JTA) — It’s not just “yiddo.” The Oxford English Dictionary has just added a slew of Jewish-themed and Yiddish terms, some of which are sure to offend. The venerable institution’s list of new entries for January 2020 contains dozens of items with Jewish content, from “bialy” to “Jewfro” to… Read more »

New documentary featuring Bill Clinton examines anti-Semitism in US and Europe

(JTA) — A new documentary featuring experts on anti-Semitism, as well as former President Bill Clinton, examines anti-Semitism in the United States and several countries in Europe. “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations,” which is set to be released this month, focuses on the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, former Labour leader… Read more »

San Diego Padres pull cap with logo that fans say looks like a swastika

(JTA) — The San Diego Padres’ new spring training cap unveiled last week will only be worn briefly following an outcry from fans who think the logo looks like a swastika. “Following our offseason uniform rebrand and the overwhelmingly positive response from Padres fans, we’ve decided to wear our… Read more »

He’s Jewish, she’s Muslim. His jazz band’s song ‘Date a Jew’ talks about the pressures surrounding their relationship.

Sammy Miller, center, in yellow, and his band the Congregation. (Lauren Desberg)

(JTA) — Sammy Miller and his girlfriend Misha grew up in vastly different cultures: Sammy was raised Jewish in suburban Los Angeles, while Misha was raised Muslim in Karachi, Pakistan, moving to the United States when she was 12. Miller also happens to be a musician — he leads… Read more »

Exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum explores India’s influence on fashion

Olivier Lapidus; Dress; Fall 1994; Silk velvet and gold lame with wrapped thread appliqué; Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Olivier Lapidus in honor of the exhibition Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorroko Style

Phoenix Art Museum will present “India: Fashion’s Muse” Feb.  29- June 21, 2020. The exhibition examines the ways in which Indian dress, aesthetic, and artwork have inspired Western fashion designs from streetwear to couture. Spanning the 19th to the 21st centuries, the exhibition showcases nearly 40 garments and more… Read more »

Local workshops will guide unity against harassment, bias

Guila Benchimol, Ph.D., will lead Safety Respect Equity workshops in Tucson Feb. 16-17 for the Jewish community.

The national Safety Respect Equity coalition examines issues of sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the Jewish community. The movement addresses privilege and power inequity, and devises solutions to ensure that existing structures no longer negatively influence how community business is done. The focus is on the values and… Read more »

UA international conference to broach global anti-Semitism

Former British Parliament member Luciana Berger will headline the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies international conference on anti-Semitism Feb. 23 in Tucson.

The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona will host a two-day international conference, “Contradictions and Tropes of Anti-Semitism,” Feb. 23-24. “The conference will address the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism in this country,” says Gil Ribak, Ph.D., organizing committee co-chair with Ed Wright, Ph.D., and Günther… Read more »