Arts and Culture

Meeting Rabbi Shlomo, Neshama Carlebach inspired Tucsonans

An innovative figure emerged in my youth who inspired me in a way that was so different from many others — a rabbi with a guitar and amazing stories who reached into the inner depths of my soul. It was Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who became known as the “sweet… Read more »

Sun City havurah dishes up kosher cookbook

A new kosher cookbook, “Havurah Cooks! A Collection of Recipes by Sun City Vistoso Havurah Club” was conceived by board members Ester Leutenberg and Bebe Lewis as a way to fight “activity fatigue” in the club, which was founded in 1993 and now boasts some 160 members. The club’s… Read more »

Carlebach aims to lift audience at Fox ‘Higher and Higher’

Neshama Carlebach

Neshama Carlebach sings so that people can feel. “I want people to feel — that’s when healing begins,” says Carlebach, 37, the daughter of the legendary Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who also used music to teach and inspire, recording more than 25 albums. Carlebach will take the concert stage at… Read more »

In N.Y. play, echoes of anti-Semitic discrimination and the horrors of an African war

Jenni Wolfson performing in her one-woman show, "Rash." (Melbourne Sibblies)

NEW YORK (JTA) — At the start of “Rash,” Jenni Wolfson appears onstage in a green peasant skirt and khaki top to the sound of cascading gunfire. Her long brown hair is unceremoniously pulled back with a black scrunchie. From a trunk she pulls out a flak jacket and puts it on.… Read more »

Jump-shot Jews: Review of Neal Pollack’s novel ‘Jewball’

Neal Pollack (Laura Sartois/Anthology Photography)

(Tablet) — In the 1930s, Hank Greenberg chased Babe Ruth’s records and won the 1934 World Series with the Detroit Tigers. The national pastime wasn’t friendly territory for a Jewish athlete then, but by proudly staking out a claim, Greenberg proved that Jews could play the game as well… Read more »

Memoir of son’s autism enchants and uplifts

One of my favorite books of the last decade is Daniel Tammet’s memoir “Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant,” so I was eager to read “Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son” by… Read more »

PBS to explore Hitler’s psyche, Nazi hunters

Arizona Public Media will air two shows dealing with the Nazi era and its aftermath on Tuesday, Nov. 15 on PBS channel 6. “Inside the Mind of Adolf Hitler” starts at 8 p.m., followed at 9 p.m. by “Elusive Justice: The Search for Nazi War Criminals.” “Making ‘Inside the… Read more »

Israeli pianist, Detroit songstress to jazz it up

Tamir Hendelman

World-renowned Israeli jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman and Detroit jazz singer Kathy Kosins will present a concert sponsored by The Heartbeat of Israel and the Tucson Jazz Society on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Hendelman has performed with Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole… Read more »

Giffords vows return in forthcoming memoir

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is determined to return to Congress. “I will get stronger. I will return,” Giffords writes in a memoir she co-authored with her husband, Mark Kelly, and Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow, according to the Associated Press, which got an advance copy. “Gabby: A Story of… Read more »

The word on new Chanukah books for kids

BOSTON (JTA) — Judah Maccabee, meet the Golem of Prague. And Rebecca Rubin, Engineer Ari, and Nathan and Jacob, two brothers who are part of a modern American Jewish family. They are among the characters who take center stage in this year’s crop of new children’s books for Chanukah,… Read more »

Jason Alexander — George from ‘Seinfeld’ — promotes peace on Israel trip

Jason Alexander, meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres at Peres' residence in Jerusalem, Oct. 25, 2011. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90/JTA)

(JTA) — To those who know him as the lovably neurotic and lazy George Costanza from TV’s “Seinfeld,” there was something comic — if not downright ridiculous — in seeing actor Jason Alexander being asked by an elder statesman of Middle East diplomacy about making peace between Israelis and… Read more »

Joy of books celebrated for National Jewish Book Month in November

Many parents savor memories of cozy nights reading to their young children, looking at beautiful illustrations, and appreciating the cadence of a story told well. Those moments connect children not only to their parents, but also to a love of reading so vital to literate, inquisitive young minds. The… Read more »

Top 10 Jewish apps

Version Jew.0 Is your Yiddish rusty? Want to whip up a kosher culinary masterpiece? Trying to remember which prayer to say as you cast off your sins on Rosh Hashanah? Don’t worry—there’s an app for it! Oy! Ever wonder when it’s OK to toss out an “oy”? The opportunities,… Read more »

Haunting novel spins untold tale of Jewish pioneers

Anna Solomon’s debut novel, “The Little Bride,” opens with Minna Losk, a poor Jewish girl in Odessa, submitting to a humiliating examination in order to immigrate to the United States as a mail-order bride. The scene is so powerfully written, I was instantly captivated, avid to learn more of… Read more »

Art masters interpret ‘Flight’ in exhibit at JCC

Untitled 1968 lithograph by Marc Chagall

“Flight: Mid-Century Masters Interpret the Escape for Survival,” an art exhibit that includes pieces by Marc Chagall and Joan Miró, is on display at the Tucson Jewish Community Center until Dec. 4. The exhibit is presented by the International Rescue Committee in Tucson, in partnership with the JCC. The… Read more »

Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain is feeling ‘Connected’

Tiffany Shlain incorporated her father into her documentary "Connected" after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

NEW YORK (JTA) — Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain is certainly no Luddite. She co-founded the Webby Awards in 1996 to showcase excellence on the then-fledgling Internet. Yet 15 years later she, like many of us, is ambivalent about the technology that allows people to connect to the web 24 hours… Read more »

Behind the mouse mask: Art Spiegelman talks about ‘MetaMaus’

Art Spiegelman answers questions at a book talk in Los Angeles about the 25th anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Maus’ series and the new book and DVD ‘MetaMouse.’ (Micah Cordy)

  Wearing a three-piece suit and looking more elder statesman than the artist he is, Art Spiegelman was addressing an audience of about 100 at the high-toned Soho House on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The occasion was the taping of a conversation with book scholar Michael Silverblatt,… Read more »

At Tucson Meet Yourself, celebrate in the Sukkah

Scene from the 2010 Tucon Meet Yourself Festival (Steven Meckler)

Tucson’s Jewish community will have a significant presence at the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival this weekend. In celebration of the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which started Thursday, the Jewish History Museum will house its festival booth in a sukkah (which is apropos, as the word “sukkah” means “booth”)… Read more »

JHM to screen ‘Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray’

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War, the Jewish History Museum, in partnership with the Tucson Jewish Community Center, will present a free screening of “Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray” on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. at the JCC. The film reveals the… Read more »