Arts and Culture

From 1600s Europe to a lesbian feminist seder, these 4 Haggadahs are a trip through Jewish history

A children's Haggadah from 1945 compares draws parallels between the Passover narrative and the Holocaust. (Yeshiva University Museum/Center for Jewish History)

NEW YORK (JTA) — From graphic novel Haggadahs to a Donald Trump-themed one, if you’re looking for a certain kind of guide to the Passover seder, chances are it’s out there. Recent years have seen a proliferation of political, environmental, family-friendly,  or just plain irreverent Haggadahs, but the urge to… Read more »

This Yiddish romance novel was a smash hit in 1877. It was just translated into English for the first time.

Jacob Dinezon's dramatic Yiddish romance novel "The Dark Young Man" was a surprise success in 1877. (Courtesy of the Jewish Storyteller Press)

BOSTON (JTA) — Hot off the Jewish press in Vilna in 1877, a dramatic Yiddish romance novel became a surprising success, selling out its first 10,000 copies in Jewish communities across Poland and Russia. It’s not hard to see why. Set in the mid-19th century in the outskirts of… Read more »

The Passover kitniyot argument isn’t worth a hill of beans

Rice, lentils, chick peas, beans and other legumes shown in a produce market in Netanya, Israel. (David Silverman/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Israel held elections under the cloud of its leader’s possible indictment. The world’s far right and its far left have found common cause in their hatred of the Jews. There is a measles outbreak among the Orthodox. And friends want to kvetch about kitniyot. Every year around… Read more »

Teens, seniors will launch life stories book at reception

Gianna Lampert and partner Ruth Cooper at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging (Photo: Angela Salmon)

Tracing Roots 2.0 paired Tucson’s Jewish teens with residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging to build meaningful relationships. The program encourages participants to learn together, share their stories, trace their ancestry and bring memories to life through technology and personal interaction. Tucson Hebrew High students met regularly… Read more »

Repertory choir to bring its rich sound back to Emanu-El

Elliot Jones conducts the Arizona Repertory Singers in the ‘King David’ oratorio at Temple Emanu-El on April 29, 2018. (Photo: Celesteal Photography)

Arizona Repertory Singers will present a concert at Temple Emanu-El on Sunday, April 28, “Psalms of David and Songs of Solomon.” “The Arizona Repertory Singers are one of this city’s choral treasures,” says Robert Lopez-Hanshaw, music director at Temple Emanu-El. “They always bring a beautiful, rich sound to the… Read more »

Montoya to moderate local leaders forum on immigration

Immigration 2019 is the focus for the annual local leaders forum, presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and the Jewish History Museum. The event will be held Friday, April 12, at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, 3718… Read more »

‘Sesame Street’ seder leads new kids’ books

Four questions. Four cups of wine. Four types of children. At Passover, the number four figures prominently in the rituals of the seder, the ceremonial holiday meal that can be mesmerizing and mystifying. Four new delightful and brightly illustrated books for young kids will enliven — and help explain… Read more »

What I wish people knew about Yiddishists

Cup with Yiddish writing(Adam Berry/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Alma. My name is Rokhl and I’m a Yiddishist. I’ve been a Yiddishist my entire adult life, pretty much since I took my first Yiddish class in college. Being visibly (or audibly) Yiddish in public means I’ve heard every possible comment about my linguistic… Read more »

An indigenous and Jewish photographer wants to tell her people’s story before it’s too late

In “An Exploration of Resilience and Resistance,” Kali Spitzer photographed indigenous and mixed race women and gender non-conforming people. (Kali Spitzer)In “An Exploration of Resilience and Resistance,” Kali Spitzer photographed indigenous and mixed race women and gender non-conforming people. (Kali Spitzer)

(JTA) — At the age of 20, Kali Spitzer left her home in Victoria, British Columbia, to travel north and immerse herself in the culture of her father, who is a member of the Kaska Dena, a First Nations people native to Canada. For around seven months, she lived… Read more »

A former Jewish punk rocker wrote an acclaimed novel about Holocaust memory

The last picture of Jacob Rand before “the hell into which he was cast … For most of the students, it would be their last photo ever.” Rand is all the way on the left, in the double-breasted suit. (Courtesy of Presser)

(JTA) — At first glance, Bram Presser looks more like a punk rocker than a sensitive novelist. He has two big lip piercings, a few scraggly dreadlocks and a quirky beard only under his chin line. And, yes, Presser, 43, was the lead singer and songwriter of Yidcore, an… Read more »

SculptureTucson promoting art with annual festival

SculptureTucson founders from left, Jeff Timan, Steve Kimble, and Barbara Grygutis (Courtesy SculptureTucson)

The SculptureTucson Festival Show and Sale, the largest outdoor juried show in Arizona, will be held Saturday, April 6, 9:30-6 p.m., and Sunday, April 7, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, 3482 E. River Road. Now in its second year, the free festival will showcase more than… Read more »

Beit Simcha to host rabbi/comedian Bob Alper

Rabbi Bob Alper

Congregation Beit Simcha will present a Jewish Comedy Night starring Rabbi Bob Alper on Sunday, March 31 at 7 p.m. Alper, “the world’s only practicing clergyman doing stand-upcomedy…intentionally,” holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary and served congregations for 14 years prior to his more than 30-year comedy career.… Read more »

New ‘Fiddler’ bursting with global, personal connections

Yehezkel Lazarov as Tevye in Broadway in Tucson’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (Joan Marcus)

At 45, Israeli actor and theatre director Yehezkel Lazarov may at first seem too young to star as Tevye in the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof,” which Broadway in Tucson is bringing to Centennial Hall for a one-week run beginning April 9. Audiences have gotten used to… Read more »

Israel-based Mayumana’s energetic ‘Currents’ coming to Fox

The battle between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla inspired Mayumana founders Eylon Nuphar and Boaz Berman to create ‘Currents.’ (Courtesy Fox Tucson Theatre)

If you like Stomp you’ll love Mayumana” promises the Fox Tucson Theatre, which is presenting “Currents by Mayumana,” an Israeli dance/rhythm/acrobatics spectacular, with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona on Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. “Currents” is inspired by the historic battle between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla… Read more »