Arts and Culture

Sarah Silverman opens up on ‘Finding Your Roots’ about feeling like the only Jew in her town growing up

Sarah Silverman with "Finding Your Roots" host Henry Louis Gates Jr. (PBS)

(JTA) — “I was the hairy Jewish monkey in a sea of blond kids.” That’s not Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill — it’s Sarah Silverman talking about her upbringing in Bedford, New Hampshire, on an upcoming episode of  “Finding Your Roots,” the celebrity genealogy show on PBS. Bedford, the… Read more »

‘The Band’s Visit,’ Drake win Grammy Awards

(JTA) — “The Band’s Visit,” the Tony Award-winning musical set in an Israeli village, added a Grammy Award to its list of accolades and Jewish rapper Drake also won a Grammy for best rap song. The musical, which is based on a 2007 Israeli film, won for best musical… Read more »

Brandeis to spotlight mystery, crime fiction, memoir authors

Elizabeth George

The Brandeis National Committee Tucson Chapter presents its 23rd Annual Book & Author events on Feb. 27 and 28 with four acclaimed authors: internationally bestselling mystery writer Elizabeth George, author of the Inspector Lynley series; Reed Farrel Coleman, called the “noir poet laureate” by the Huffington Post; Tucsonan Lauren… Read more »

Comedy writer will bring ‘tribal’ humor to Connections brunch

Carol Leifer

Award-winning writer and producer, best-selling author, and stand-up comedian Carol Leifer will be the guest speaker at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy 26th annual Connections brunch next month. Her topic will be “Judaism is in My DNA.” “I speak about how the Jewish values imparted to… Read more »

This band of musicians with disabilities wanted to represent Israel at Eurovision. Their Sabbath observance became a problem.

The Shalva Band had a shot at becoming Israel's representative at the Eurovision contest. (Screenshot from YouTube)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Shalva Band, a group of musicians with various disabilities, didn’t expect to advance so far in the competition to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in May. But they made it all the way to the finals — and won’t find out if they… Read more »

Miller’s ‘Blues’ coming to Invisible Theatre

Susan Miller

Invisible Theatre will bring Jewish playwright Susan Miller’s latest off-Broadway play, “20th Century Blues,” to Tucson to round out its 48th anniversary season, April 23-May 5. Miller has won two Obies, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and countless other awards. The play, which debuted off-Broadway in November 2017, centers on four… Read more »

Trilingual reading to feature award-winning Mexican poet

Myriam Moscona

The Jewish History Museum will co-sponsor a poetry reading on Wednesday, Feb. 27 in Spanish, English and Ladino with acclaimed Mexican poet Myriam Moscona. Joining her on stage will be the translators of her book, “Tela de Sevoya” (“Onioncloth”), Jen Hofer and John Pluecker. They are co-founders of Antena,… Read more »

Tucson J to co-sponsor ‘What Is Latin Style?’

George Hanson

The Tucson Jewish Community Center, in partnership with Tucson Desert Song Festival, will present a panel discussion, “What Is Latin Style?” on Monday, Jan. 28, 7-8:30 p.m. Desert Song Festival Director George Hanson will lead a discussion with guests including Tucson Symphony Orchestra  Music Director Jose Luis Gomez, local… Read more »

Violins of Hope resonate with stories of Shoah

Israeli Amnon Weinstein, who has restored more than 60 violins that survived the Holocaust, will be in Tucson for Violins of Hope Feb. 17. (Daniel Levin)

Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshi have spent the last two decades locating and restoring violins from the Holocaust as a tribute to those who were lost, including 400 of their own relatives. Amnon calls these the Violins of Hope. Violins of Hope will be at… Read more »

Green Valley synagogue gallery to display Tucson artist’s ‘Sacred Intention’

‘Mazal Tov’ by Marlene Burns. ‘Most often used when offering congratulations or wishing good luck, Mazal Tov has a deeper message. Mazal means an alignment of the stars. Our tradition sees our mazal as the influence of the stars trickling down on us,’ says Burns. (Marlene Burns)

The Beth Shalom Temple Center Art Gallery will present “Sacred Intention” by Tucson artist and educator Marlene Burns, Feb. 1-April 1.    A reception with the artist will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, following the temple’s monthly bagel breakfast. Burns has been a professional artist… Read more »

Local screening OF ‘Who Will Write Our History’ will be part of global event

Julia Lewenfisz-Gorka, Wojciech Zielinski, and Marta Ormaniec portray Ora, Abraham and Luba Lewin in ‘Who Will Write Our History.’ (Anna Wolch)

The Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center will join hundreds of partners on Sunday, Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, for a global screening event of “Who Will Write Our History.” The film will be shown at 200 venues in 40 countries; U.S. locations include the United States… Read more »

These fashionistas help Tucsonans stay in style

Uptown Cheapskate owner Heather Martinez’ love for resale fashion started as a hobby. Now, five years later, her dream became a reality. “I always had an interest in fashion and wanted somewhere to express it. I now run Uptown Cheapskate. It’s been such an exciting journey so far,” says… Read more »

The deadly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire inspires a contemporary composer

The composer Julia Wolfe, shown in 2011, dedicates her new work "Fire in My Mouth" to "women who rose up to demand a more human existence." (Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Was it coincidence or fate that the New York Philharmonic commissioned Julia Wolfe to compose a new piece about the deadly fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory? For years she has passed the site on New York’s Greene Street and Washington Place where 146 young women, all Eastern… Read more »

40 years later, the ‘Holocaust’ miniseries returns to Germany

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 07: Actress Tovah Feldshuh attends the "Queen Of The Mean: The Rise And Fall Of Leona Helmsley" Play Reading at the Actors Temple Theatre on April 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steven A Henry/Getty Images)

BERLIN (JTA) — For Sigmount Koenigsberg, the most searing scene in the U.S.-made “Holocaust” miniseries broadcast here 40 years ago was when a German child throws photos of a Jewish family into a fireplace. The pictures curl up and melt in the flames. The moment “somehow burned into me,” recalls… Read more »

Jews of color on what Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to them in 2019

UNSPECIFIED - MARCH 13: "Leaders of the protest, holding flags, from left Bishop James Shannon, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, Dr. Martin Luther King and Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath." Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, February 6, 1968. Published February 7, 1968. (Photo by Charles Del Vecchio/Washington Post/Getty Images)

(JTA) — For many Jewish organizations, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to talk about the current state of black-Jewish relations. There’s a lot to talk about this year, from the controversy over ties between Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory and Louis Farrakhan, to common cause over… Read more »

‘The Invisibles’ tells the story of Jews who somehow survived in Nazi Berlin

Aaron Altaras plays Eugen Friede in "The Invisibles." (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment)

(JTA) — In May 1943, after years of killings and deportations, the Nazis declared Berlin “judenfrei,” or free of Jews. What they didn’t know was that approximately 7,000 Jews remained in hiding in the city, and not only in attics and basements — often in plain sight. “The Invisibles,”… Read more »