Arts and Culture

Books that made a difference — Mark Rubin

Mark Rubin

I’ve been reading for almost 50 years and will read almost anything. For pure pleasure, though, my favorites are “The Day the Goose Got Loose” by Reeve Lindbergh (Steven Kellogg, Illustrator), “The Digging-Est Dog” by Al Perkins (Eric Gurney, Illustrator) and “The Lorax” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, read aloud… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sheila Wilensky

Sheila Wilensky

Once upon a time, I owned a children’s bookstore.  My two children grew up at Oz Books in Southwest Harbor, Maine, which I owned from 1982 to 1997. In a way, it seemed that we grew up together reading children’s books. In high school I read a lot of… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rabbi Jason Holtz

Rabbi Jason Holtz

“As a Driven Leaf,” by Rabbi Milton Steinberg, is a 20th century book that’s a retelling of an ancient rabbinic story.  The protagonist, Elisha ben Avuyah, is a respected rabbinic scholar living in the ancient land of Israel.  Despite his traditional Jewish learning and stature in the community, he… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Steven Freedman

Steven Freedman

When I was a young boy, I would go camping with my parents, older brother and younger sister. My mother would read a book aloud as my father drove the station wagon with the camping gear neatly stowed on top. On one trip, mom read short stories by Sholom… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rebecca Kunsberg

Rebecca Kunsberg

A friend loaned me “The History of Love,” by Nicole Krauss, and it sat on my night stand for two months. I was in grad school at the time, and didn’t have time to read a book for leisure. I finally had time between semesters, and to this day,… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Penelope Starr

Penelope Starr

“The Penelopeiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus” by Margaret Atwood is a book that confirmed what I already believed, an excellent way for a book to get your attention. Atwood was asked to reinterpret an ancient myth as part of the Canongate Myth Series. She takes the story… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

I grew up in a Jewish family in Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border, in a predominantly Mexican-Catholic community.  Since the early ’60s, I have been on a rich journey of embracing interracial/interfaith friendships and marriage.   The wisdom and maturity I gained along the way have served as a… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Beth Alpert Nakhai

Beth Alpert Nakhai

“A Tale of Love and Darkness,” a memoir by Amos Oz (Harcourt, 2003; translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange) is among the most gorgeous books I have ever read. Oz is a master of words and in this book he crafts them to create the story of… Read more »

Books that made a difference –Tom Miller

Tom Miller

In recent years I have become obsessed with “Don Quixote de La Mancha.” The book, published in two parts some 400 years ago, follows the exploits of Alonso Quijano, who imagines himself a knight-errant dedicated to acts of chivalry and takes on the name Don Quixote as well as… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Arthur Yavelberg

Arthur Yavelberg

Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen” came to me at an important time. I already had a passion for baseball— how I wanted the ball hit to ME when it really counted. So when the Hasidic yeshiva student, Danny—at that time the menacing, Darth Vader-like Danny—recognized the spin in Reuven’s curve… Read more »

Books that made a difference – introduction

We call ourselves “People of the Book” because of the commandment that every Jew study Torah. Over generations, this moniker has also come to signify a more general esteem for books and learning.  The metaphor of the book so permeates our identity that during this High Holiday season, we… Read more »

Exhibit honors new fire foundation

(L-R) Tommy Donahue, Tyler McKendrick, Tucson Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike McKendrick (Sean Stuchen)

A photography exhibit by Tucsonan Sean Stuchen, “Firefighters on Film,” celebrates the creation of the Tucson Fire Foundation. The foundation, the result of yearlong discussions between community philanthropists and Tucson Fire Department senior staff, will provide funds to bridge the human services gap between the needs of the fire… Read more »

Cantors’ journey to Poland captured in film

Cantor Ivor Lichterman of Congregation Anshei Israel, right, and his brother, Cantor Joel Lichterman of Denver, Colo., sing at the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw, where their father was the last prewar cantor, in this still from “100 Voices: A Journey Home.”

A documentary based on the historic visit of 100 cantors to Poland last year, “100 Voices: A Journey Home,” will be shown at three movie theatres in Tucson, for one night only, on Tuesday, Sept. 21. The film explores the rich history of Jewish culture in Poland, which is… Read more »

Books that made a difference — BenDameean Steinhardt

“Teachings On Healing, From A Spiritual Perspective” by Gabriel of Urantia and Niánn Emerson Chase changed my life. This book gave me a renewed sense of empowerment in my own healing process, emphasizing the importance of focusing on having positive thoughts and higher responses to everyday circumstances. I now… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sharon Geiger

I walked up the subway stairs at the 42nd and 5th Avenue subway stop, looked around and headed for the New York City Public Library, 42nd Street branch. I had visited and worked at many libraries and would continue to visit and work at a variety of libraries throughout… Read more »

In teaching Holocaust, educators focus on prewar lives, not just camps

Guide with Holocaust educators on Centropa trip outside the entrance to Theresienstadt, a former concentration camp outside of Prague, July 2010 (Centropa)

PRAGUE (JTA) — Educators who teach Holocaust history face the same challenge every year: how to get students interested in one of history’s greatest tragedies more than 65 years removed from World War II. In the old days, the formula was straightforward. “You show kids horrifying pictures, scare them,… Read more »

R rating sticks for “A Film Unfinished”

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Israeli director Yael Hersonski fought long and hard to bring the Warsaw Ghetto documentary “A Film Unfinished” to the screen, but she couldn’t beat Hollywood’s rating board. Earlier this month the Motion Picture Association of America upheld a previous decision of an R rating for… Read more »

On a Warsaw Ghetto film, an unwitting collaboration

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The place is the Warsaw Ghetto, the year 1942, and the black-and- white footage shows fashionably dressed men and women, with yellow Stars of David as accessories, having a high time at a champagne ball. Later we see emaciated kids rooting through mounds of garbage… Read more »

‘Dancing Auschwitz’ video gets mixed review

A YouTube video of a family singing and dancing at Auschwitz has received more than half a million hits and mixed reaction. Australian artist Jane Korman filmed her 89-year-old father Adolek Kohn, a former inmate at Auschwitz, and her three children dancing outside the infamous death camp in Poland,… Read more »