Columns

My Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Mom Day

(Kveller via JTA) — It is one of those days. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. To every question posed to me in the morning, I immediately answer, “NO! No I can’t help you!” Even when it makes no sense, even when my children aren’t… Read more »

FIRST PERSON I’m Jewish and I just became an EU citizen. It feels a little like boarding the Titanic.

Cnaan Liphshiz, his wife and eldest son in a tulip field near Amsterdam, April 3, 2016. (Courtesy of Liphshiz)

  AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Considering Marine Le Pen’s historical gains in the French presidential elections, the Dutch far-right’s rise and the assault on ritual slaughter in Belgium, this spring is shaping up to be a life-changing time for Europe — its religious minorities in particular. In other words, it’s… Read more »

P.S. – 4.28.17

Lauren Brewer (left) and Shelby Roseman before picking up their Hollywood Half-Marathon race packets

Hollywood Half-Marathon On April 8 at 6 a.m., Shelby Roseman and her daughter, Lauren Brewer (Phoenix), ran in the Hollywood Half-Marathon. The race started in front of the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards, and continued down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At the finish line near Hollywood… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Decluttering guru provokes thoughts about gratitude

Rabbi Batsheva Appel

Marie Kondo has made her name by helping people tidy up. She has a system for removing clutter from our homes that includes the correct ways to sort things, to fold things, to store things. Kondo’s approach is very different from most de-cluttering experts. She suggests that we hold… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Indian adventure Before Ruth Kolker embarked on a Portrait of India tour, her friend, Tucson philanthropist Neelam Sethi, sent her off with the charge: “Open yourself up to the colors, sounds and smells of my country.” From Jan. 24 – Feb. 13, that’s exactly what Ruth, her husband, Ron,… Read more »

Wooden bowl sparks priceless memories

Rabbi Robert Eisen

My first apartment was decorated in “early attic.” My grandmother was moving into a skilled nursing facility and her house needed to be cleaned out and sold. I was granted first pick of the contents of the attic. There were a number of little things that I quickly scooped… Read more »

In death as in life, the earth is G-d’s gift to mankind

Rabbi Israel Becker

At the recent annual dinner of my alma mater, the Rabbinical Seminary of America, I saw my lifelong friend, Rabbi Elchonon Zohn. He is a world renowned expert on Jewish end of life issues and burial who has been instrumental in guiding communities all over the United States. He… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Tucsonans march in D.C. On Jan. 21, Tucson was represented among the half a million people at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Attendees marched in solidarity, supporting a spectrum of issues. Here is a sampling of their impressions: Eleanor Jeck: “I traveled to Washington to join thousands of… Read more »

Senator Moynihan’s surprise: Lessons from the Rebbe

U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once scheduled an hour-long meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Towards the end of the consultation, the Rebbe asked if he could request a favor from the senator. “Here it comes,” the senator thought to himself. “Now the Rebbe is looking… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Gary and Marsha Tankenoff flank Itzhak Perlman. (Courtesy UA Presents)

A musical treat On Wednesday, Jan. 11, a sold-out crowd at UA Centennial Hall was treated to a concert by Grammy and Emmy award-winning violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. Sponsors of this UA Presents classical music event were Irene and Ellis (UA Presents board member) Friedman, Carol and Phil Lyons,… Read more »

Current events, ancient query: Am I my brother’s keeper?

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I have always loved books. As a child, I treasured my hardcover editions of “Heidi,” “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” and “Black Beauty” and loved the nights when my mom and I would snuggle on the couch as she read me chapter after chapter of “Little Women.” And in 1965, at… Read more »

Kindling the divine fire

Rabbi Thomas Louchheim

We live in a world where we are hard-wired to fit people and actions into neat, perfect little boxes.  Even our scripture seems to do this. We draw from our holy writings that an action is good or bad, a blessing or a curse, and will lead to life… Read more »

Pondering the Tesla dilemma

Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin (Britta Van Vranken)

At a recent meal with friends, someone shared that Elon Musk plans for all Tesla electric vehicles to feature fully autonomous driving by the end of 2017. I was asked, “Would you ride in a driverless car?” Good question! Self-driving cars seem to be the way of the future.… Read more »

Small actions beget big changes

Rabbi Batsheva Appel

The story of Naaman in the Book of Kings II has always been one of my favorites. He is a foreign commander who serves the king of Aram and he has tzara’at, which is usually translated as leprosy. Naaman goes to Elisha the prophet to be healed and is… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Michelle Blumenberg and Richard Green at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation.

High Holiday leader For 35 years, Richard Green led the Conservative service for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation. A student rabbi from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles conducted the Reform service. Growing up in Omaha, Green… Read more »

Tucson program yields glimpse of the Divine

I  recently completed the reading of all 15 volumes of “The Cambridge History of English Literature” by A.W. Ward and A.R. Waller. It took me several years. When it came to the history of religious writing having to do with Christianity and its various forms and manifestations, the authors paid… Read more »

Addressing a Nazi flag on Voting Day 2016

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron

On March 7, 1945, the 104th Signal Company of the U.S. Army 104th Infantry Division entered and liberated Cologne, Germany. They removed the Nazi flag from the German Wehrmacht headquarters. On a bright, hot day near the end of September 2016, this flag was handed to me; it was… Read more »

FIRST PERSON Fear and loathing, but mostly loathing, on the campaign trail

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate, at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 9, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Some of us are voting for Trump. Most of us are voting for Clinton. But we Jews are all afraid. There are the scandals, yes. There are emails and sexual assault allegations and emails and fraud and racism and anti-Semitism and emails. There are issues like… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Liz Weiner-Schulman with guitarist Misael Barraza-Diaz

Music to our ears Following Steve Schulman’s passing in 2013, his wife, Liz Weiner-Schulman, established the Steve Schulman Memorial Award in Guitar Endowment through the University of Arizona Foundation. On Sunday, Sept. 25, the UA’s Fred Fox School of Music presented the second annual Steve Schulman award recital in… Read more »