Arts and Culture

UA music school festival to mark Debussy, Asia milestones

Daniel Asia

The 11th annual Music + Festival at the University of Arizona will focus on the music of Claude Debussy, in commemoration of  the 100th anniversary of his death, and Daniel Asia, in honor of his 65th birthday and 30 years in residence at the UA’s Fred Fox School of… Read more »

Sing-along in Hebrew and English on tap

Erez and GalErez and Gal

An evening of Israeli guitar music and song makes for a great night out. “Something Israelis love to do is sing together. So we’re bringing that Israeli spirit here,” says Tucson’s Weintraub Israel Center Director Amir Eden. The Oct. 7 event is open to the public. Local guest singer… Read more »

Tucson community generosity inspires hospital’s healing art therapy program

Lauren Rabb, left, and Jacquelyn Feller stand before “Untitled Rainbow,” donated to Tucson Medical Center by artist Bob Kray II. It hangs near TMC’s south orthopedic unit entrance. (Debe Campbell)

Healing literally surrounds you upon entering Tucson Medical Center. The largest single-story hospital in the U.S. has nearly eight miles of hallways that have transformed into an expansive art gallery through the TMC Healing Arts Program, curated by Lauren Rabb who, like many in this story, is a member… Read more »

New Jewish community theater issues casting call

The Rose Petal Foundation, in cooperation with the Tucson Jewish Community Center, will present a reading of “Under Midwestern Stars” by local playwright Esther Blumenfeld as the first performance of the Jewish Community Theater of Tucson. Auditions will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 2-6 p.m. in the… Read more »

‘Fauda’ screenwriter wanted to depict terrorists as ‘real human beings’

Laetitia Eïdo, left, and Lior Raz in a scene from "Fauda." (Courtesy of Netflix)

(JTA) — Moshe Zonder noticed it quickly: “My students are completely serious. They are writing. They are doing the assignments. All of them. It’s great teaching here.” Zonder shouldn’t be that surprised. For an aspiring screenwriter, who better to study with than the man who wrote the entire first… Read more »

An Israeli singer in Amsterdam creates the world’s first Ladino pop album

Noam Vazana wrote her upcoming album “Andalusian Brew” in Ladino. (Asaf Lewkowitz)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Wandering the ornate streets of the city of Fes in northern Morocco, Noam Vazana heard several men singing a tune so familiar that it made her stop in her tracks. Vazana, a successful 35-year-old Israeli musician living here, was visiting her ancestors’ country of birth for… Read more »

In this Argentine film, a Holocaust survivor leaves home to find the man who saved him in WWII

Pablo Solarz, right, wrote and directed "The Last Suit." (Outsider Pictures)

(JTA) — When the Argentine-Jewish filmmaker Pablo Solarz was 5 or 6 years old, he asked his grandfather if he was Polish. On the phone recently, in heavily accented English, he described his grandfather’s reaction. “He gave me a very dead face,” Solarz recalled. “My father said that … Read more »

In focus 9.28.18

Tucson J revamps art gallery The Tucson Jewish Community Center revealed its renovated Fine Art Gallery on Sunday, Sept. 16 at the artists’ reception for “Simcha,” a group show featuring 13 members of the Tucson Jewish Artists. Approximately 100 people turned out for the exhibit. The gallery features a… Read more »

In J.K. Rowling’s new novel, a villain is an Israel-hating anti-Semite

J.K. Rowling at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall in London, Feb. 12, 2017. (John Phillips/Getty Images)

(JTA) — For months author J.K. Rowling has been warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism in England, sparring on Twitter with critics who either downplay the phenomenon or say its proponents are confusing criticism of Israel with Jew hatred. Now, in her newest book, she includes a character whose… Read more »

Netflix film ‘The Angel’ spotlights Egyptian spy who helped Israel

Marwan Kenzari, left, and Hannah Ware in "The Angel." Kenzari plays Egyptian spy Ashraf Marwan. (Nick Briggs/Netflix)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — In 1993, filmmaker Ariel Vromen was part of an Israeli air force rescue unit sent in to Lebanon to evacuate both Jewish and Arab soldiers wounded during a battle. During the fighting, two of Vromen’s closest friends died in front of his eyes. For several months… Read more »

Babka French Toast recipe

Babka French Toast (Kate Sears)

(The Nosher via JTA) — This is one of those recipes that sounds super complicated but is actually so simple. Using store-bought babka will make this Babka French Toast Loaf as easy as 1-2-3, but if you happen to bake your own babka, definitely use it! Instead of serving… Read more »

In 21st century, could Tevye change his tune?

In 1966, when I was just 13 years old, my parents surprised me by taking me to New York City to see Zero Mostel star as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” I was enchanted by Shalom Aleichem’s inspiration, “Tevye the Dairyman,” which was written in Yiddish in 1894.… Read more »

Shining Stars: Robert Lopez-Hanshaw

Robert Lopez-Hanshaw, left, conducts members of the Temple Emanu-El Teen Choir. (Courtesy Temple Emanu-El)

Robert Lopez-Hanshaw’s passion is writing music. He has been involved with music in one way or another since childhood. Along with being a composer and conductor, he is the choir director for Temple Emanu-El, and a sound designer for Winding Road Theater Company. He has had choral and instrumental… Read more »

Shining Stars: Danielle Faitelson

Two things that ground Danielle Faitelson are her love for theater and her connection to her Jewish heritage. “It’s part of some bigger purpose,” she says of her Jewish roots. “It feels like a responsibility for generations past, not just two generations ago. I’d be ungrateful to drop Judaism,… Read more »

Shining Stars: Michael Martinez

(Courtesy Michael Martinez)

Michael Martinez describes his young self as a “strange kid. I had trouble finding my place in this world.” That suddenly changed at Saguaro High School when he walked into drama class. When he found the stage, he finally felt at home, “a home where I could be myself… Read more »