Columns

Volunteering on IDF base, Tucsonan fulfills lifelong dream of living like a sabra

Tucsonan Charlotte Low with "the Boss" who oversaw her volunteer job on an Israel Defense Forces base.

This is not your worried bubbe’s idea of a tourist tour of the Holy Land. For that you get one picture on a camel (careful!) and stay in four-star hotels. If you crave an insider’s view, being a Volunteer For Israel is adventurous and transformational. Serious fun. My own… Read more »

Giving tzedakah is about more than numbers

There was a wealthy Jewish merchant in London who would frequently invite individuals soliciting charitable donations to his home. He would invite his child to come to those solicitations to listen to the charitable request. After the request was made, he would ask his son to bring his checkbook… Read more »

Rebranding efforts miss spirituality inherent in Judaism

Set during the Spanish Civil War years before World War II, Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” tells the story of a valiant, but ultimately doomed, attempt by a group of republican rebels to launch an attack against the Fascist powers in Spain. Their heroism is often magnificent,… Read more »

Memories of childhood Passovers inspire classes at Tucson J

Jennifer Selco

On the day of the first seder, the smell of onions from my childhood home was noticeable from halfway down the block. Inside, you could hear the songs of Cindy Paley’s “Singing Seder” cassette, the pounding of walnuts, and laughter from a funny story just shared. My parents, grandparents,… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words

Rabbi Helen T. Cohn

We are called The People of the Book. Appropriately so, because all of Jewish life and practice is built on text. Torah, of course, is the foundation of the law, which is further developed by the Mishna, the Talmud, and centuries of continued writings and teachings. Just last week… Read more »

The Night I Learned No One Is Immune to School Violence

(Pixabay)

(Kveller via JTA) — The phone rang at midnight, jolting me awake. I smacked my husband in his sleep, annoyed that it was probably his office again, calling with some major network outage. Only it wasn’t his company; it was the local township’s police department, informing me, as a parent,… Read more »

In Memphis, opposing congressmen teach colleagues about getting along

When the two congressmen representing Memphis meet on the plane going home from the nation’s capital, the lawmakers catch up on what they have in common: the NCAA Division I basketball team at the University of Memphis; mutual friends in the legal communities; and what’s up at Temple Israel.… Read more »

Where have all the young men gone?

Rabbi Israel Becker

Usually when you write an article, you hope that there will be numerous readers and that your message will be well received, however, this article is being written for the benefit of those who I am certain will not read it because they are no longer on this earth.… Read more »

Film festival finds favor, CAI laughs at Laffs, inclusiveness sustains Green Valley

Lights, popcorn, action… Magnificent,” “incredibly moving,” “great film choices,” “We’ve been to many and this was the best.” These were among attendee comments at the 2018 Tucson International Jewish Film Festival. The festival, in its 27th year is one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the country, bringing… Read more »

Making Jewish, American identities meaningful

As I enter my seventh decade of life, I often reflect on my family: Where we came from and where we are going. Each year, I gain a greater appreciation for how Judaism has made such a difference in my life and my family. At my great-grandfather’s funeral in… Read more »

Israel provides medical assistance and dignity across a war-torn border

Metal silhouettes of soldiers positioned as if they were protecting an abandoned Israeli outpost overlooking the border with Syria.

Driving up the mountainous road to Mt. Bental, I feel the temperature drop and the wind pick up as we reach the 3,800-foot peak where an abandoned Israeli army outpost, complete with bombed-out bunkers, sits. Anyone willing to ascend this mountain will be treated to a better understanding of… Read more »

Doctors, pilots and Holocaust survivors try to thwart Israel’s plan to deport African migrants

Students and teachers from Seminar Ha'kibuzim protest against the deportation of African asylum seekers, in Tel Aviv, January 24, 2018. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/ FLASH90

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Holocaust survivors and rabbis, as well as doctors and some airline pilots, are among the Israelis who say they will try to thwart Israel’s plan to deport thousands of African migrants, even if it means taking them into their own homes. The latest group to come… Read more »

Remembering to seek G-d

One time there was a little boy who was playing the classic game of hide-and-go-seek. At one point in the game, while he was hiding, his peers got busy with something else, and instead of looking for their friend, they left him hiding there, while they went along their… Read more »

My daughter’s doctor recommended plastic surgery. We said no way.

(Kveller via JTA) — After experiencing a yearlong medical crisis due to complications with ulcerative colitis, my daughter, Nava, made a complete recovery. Miraculously, after a tremendous amount of hard work, she resumed her life and was able to live it exactly as she had in the past. Now… Read more »

Local woman’s Israel trip focuses on people-to-people connections

Back row (L-R): Bob and Peggy Feinman, Nancy Rubin, Nancy Vornholt; front row: Ginny Spencer, Rachel Rabin Yaacov, Marlyne Freedman (Courtesy Marlyne Freedman)

Marlyne Freedman, past senior vice president of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, has traveled to Israel many times. A few friends asked her to assemble and lead a small, intimate group of first-timers to visit our homeland. From Oct. 14-28, Tucsonans Peggy and Bob Feinman, Ginny Spencer and… Read more »

Men’s fishing trip a chance to share wisdom

Tucson’s Men’s Next Gen Group and Chai Life Men’s Group on a San Diego fishing boat. Back row (L-R): Rob Glaser, Alex Chaffin, David Goldstein, Gary Kippur, Nolan Shifren, Barry Baker, Christian Yoder, Jeff Katz, Matt Landau, Daniel Ash, Mike Ash, Doron Sears, Lex Sears, Paul Baker, Michael Shiner; front row: Tom Warne, Steve Silverman, Larry Selig, Josh Hurand, Jeff Wortzel, Bobby Present, Adam Goldstein, Stuart Mellan, Mitch Pozez, Ben Pozez, Josh Silverman, Ben Silverman, Damion Alexander, Todd Sadow

The Tucson Jewish community’s Men’s Next Gen group and the Chai Life Men’s Group took a weekend in San Diego Nov. 3-5 to build intergenerational relationships. While the trip included a fishing excursion (perhaps with a small wager on who would haul in the largest fish), great food, and… Read more »