At new year, have gratitude for God’s latitude

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

We are about to begin the yearly journey of the Jewish fall holidays, examining the choices we continually make and the way our choices have worked out for us in the past year. The last month of the Jewish year, Elul, is bracketed by Torah portions from Deuteronomy that… Read more »

Ask the Concierge 8.28.15

Ori Parnaby

Dear Jewish Community Concierge, I’m new to Tucson and thinking of joining a synagogue. I’m not very religious and am not sure if a synagogue is really the right place to connect, but I want to do something to connect with the Jewish community here. Do you have any… Read more »

In New Year, give bigotry, racism no quarter

Rabbi Thomas Louchheim

In one month, many of us will gather in our synagogues, ob­serving the beginning of the New Year. Ten days later we will fast and be called to look beyond our needs and our yearnings to care for those whose basic needs are not being met. I realize today… Read more »

THA full of energy, innovation

Jonathan Ben-Asher

It’s time for school, and the view from THA is tremendously exciting! At the eagle’s perspective, you’ll see our beautiful building (designed like a tallit, or prayer shawl) and grounds, ready to embrace teaching and learning every day; our wonderful, engaged, energized community of students, parents, teachers and staff… Read more »

Going ‘Inside Out’ on Tisha b’Av

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Does the hit Pixar movie “Inside Out” hold a clue as to why many Jews find it so difficult to engage with Tisha b’Av? Could its cast of characters — Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who are anthropomorphized in the animated film — help… Read more »

Unlike Moses, let transitions lead to growth

Rabbi Batsheva Appel

In this week’s Torah portion, Chukat, we find that after almost 40 years of journey in the wilderness, Israel has learned more about how to be a community and about how to be a community that has a covenant with God by doing what God wants. Things have changed… Read more »

On Migrant Trail, connecting Jewish history with modern desert crossers

Eve Rosenberg at the Bureau of Land Management campsite at Ajo Way and San Joaquin Road, before setting out for the final day of the Migrant Trail, May 31. (Deborah Mayaan)

When I joined the Migrant Trail for the last day of its 12th annual week-long solidarity walk from El Sásabe, Sonora, Mexico, to Tucson, we stepped single-file along Ajo Highway in a walking meditation. Periodically, we called out names of those who had died crossing our Sonoran Desert. Some… Read more »

Supporting worshippers at Phoenix mosque, local Jews met with gratitude

Sarah Johnston, center, a Jewish woman from Tucson, with other proponents of religious tolerance who gathered May 29 outside a Phoenix mosque to counter an anti-Muslim protest. The photo includes representatives of the three Abrahamic faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, says Johnston. (Marty Johnston)

Recently, Jon Ritzheimer, a former Marine and self-described “patriot” announced on Facebook that he was holding a “protest” and a “draw Muhammed” contest at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix during their May 29 Friday night prayers. He invited bikers whom he encouraged to come armed. My husband heard… Read more »

Tucsonan celebrates festival of freedom in Nepal

At an impromptu Passover seder in Nepal, ginger chutney took the place of horseradish and traditional flat chappati bread was a substitute for matzah.

In April, I spent three weeks in Nepal as a volunteer for Elephant Aid International. Life for captive Asian elephants is a miserable existence of slavery, including painful iron chains around their legs. In cooperation with the government of Nepal, EAI and volunteers from all over the world built… Read more »

What to do when your daughter believes in God and you don’t

Evelyn Becker (Courtesy Evelyn Becker)

My daughter’s first-grade class hosted a Mother’s Day tea last week. Coffee, pastries, an adorable booklet titled “All About My Mother” written and illustrated by mine truly, and two poems about how I am the best mom ever. Pure fabulousness. So what’s there to write about? Well, before I… Read more »

Profiles in longevity

Marian Lupu

A new nonagenarian Guess who just turned 90? Her birthday invitation, using the numbers “9” and “90,” gave some clues: 1) She advised 9 U.S. presidents on how to improve aging services. 2) She has collected more than 90 giraffes. 3) 9 is associated with the Chinese dragon, a… Read more »

Ethiopian aliyah stories resonate amid protest

Oshrat Barel

Ethiopian protest in Israel It’s been more than 30 years since the first immigrants came from Ethiopia to Israel. As a young teenager I remember the new immigrants coming to the merkaz klita (absorption center) in Revaya next to my hometown. My mother volunteered as the chair of the… Read more »

Mother’s Day gifts from mom that money can’t buy

Edmon J. Rodman shared his mother's taste for Impressionist art, thus the purchase of this umbrella as a Mother's Day gift. (Edmon J. Rodman)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — What gifts do our mothers give us? Not the kind we see in the mirror. Like me, you’ve probably already accounted for where your eye color, nose shape and eyebrows that seem too close to each other come from. I’m talking inner gifts, those money… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Eight words that changed Jefferson’s mind

Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin

It took only eight sincere words to rekindle the close connection between two American luminaries that had been shattered by political wars and opposing ideologies. Those eight words helped restore the bond of two Founding Fathers, both of whom served as presidents of the United States. Thomas Jefferson and… Read more »

Ask the Concierge – 5.1.15

Dear Jewish Community Concierge, I’ve always felt fairly connected to my Jewish heritage. Now that I’m a mom, how do I get my kids involved and bring Judaism into our family? Thank you, Rebecca Dear Rebecca, Mazel tov on this exciting new chapter in your life! There are many… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas 4.3.15

Lola Maas (left) and Lindsay Migdal at the Flo Rida, Aer and Kap Slap concert at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta during the BBYO International Convention.

BBYO International Convention Over Presidents Day weekend, more than 2,200 Jewish teens from across the globe gathered in Atlanta for the largest BBYO International Convention ever. Lola Maas, a freshman at Tucson High Magnet School and member of Kadimah BBG, and Lindsay Migdal, Tucson BBYO city director, participated in… Read more »

Unsure about new practices? Think ‘not yet’ instead of ‘no’

Rabbi Helen T. Cohn

I recently read a long document about how to make a kitchen kosher for Passover. The work involved at that level of detail took my breath away. Transforming a kitchen to the highest level of observance is on one end of a continuum.The Jews who can’t be bothered to… Read more »

Ask the Concierge – 4.3.15

Ori Parnaby

Dear Jewish Community Concierge, I just found out about you and I was wondering what is it exactly that you do? Sincerely,  Jonathan Dear Jonathan, Great question! The Jewish Con­cierge is a brand new position created by Tucson’s Jewish Com­munity Roundtable, a group of representatives from the Board of… Read more »