Israel’s election process explained … in brief

Guy Gelbart

Israel’s elections are approaching, so it seems like a good time to explain the complex, confusing and often awkward process that constitutes the heart and soul of Israeli democracy. In 1948, when the state of Israel was declared, it was decided the Jewish state would be a multi-party parliamentary… Read more »

Seeking Kin: A lasting image of a perished young poet

Jerusalemite Shlomo Achituv hopes to find the sister or some family of Sara Kucikwocz, pictured here, who was his student in their native Luniniec, Poland, but was killed in the Holocaust.. (Courtesy Shlomo Achituv)

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. “The Cruel Winter” How awful is winter, how awful is frost To far-off lands the sparrow has fled The animals have hidden, too, in the caves Beneath the hills and in the forest valleys The trees wrap… Read more »

Seeking Kin: What became of three Grodno students?

The fate of three of the 15 students in the first graduating class of Grodno's Tarbut Gymnasium in 1930 (pictured with three of their teachers and the principal) remains a mystery. The three students, shown in the inserts, are Velvel Poliak, Yitzhak Levin/Levine and Max Margolis. (Courtesy Ruth Marcus)

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. BALTIMORE (JTA) — In 2008, Ruth Marcus began looking ahead to 2010: the centennial of the birth of her late father, Yitzhak Eliasberg, and 80 years since Grodno’s Tarbut Gymnasium graduated its first class, Eliasberg included. Marcus,… Read more »

P.S.: Local people, places, travels and simchas

Julie Feldman, center, with her children, Rachel Dveirin, left, and Haley Dveirin.

Prayer book donation Congregation M’kor Hayim is a small but mighty synagogue. Comprised of approximately 60 members, the group uses Tucson Hebrew Academy’s Beit Midrash (house of study) for its Friday night services and Shabbat morning Torah study. Discovering that the prayer books for THA second through fourth graders… Read more »

Shaliach’s view: Avoiding collateral damage — your moral choice scenario

Guy Gelbart

Imagine the following horrible scenario: an armed group of 100 snipers takes over a main building in downtown Tucson; they shoot people walking on the streets. The entire downtown area is shut down; people are locked in their offices across the city and can’t go home. Assume that you… Read more »

Handmaker youth volunteers, a senior’s milestone and wine tasting

(L-R) Arnie and Rhea Merin and Hilda Kamenetz at the Cardo in Jerusalem

Handmaker helping hands In May, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging launched the Handmaker Youth Leadership Team. Its mission is to increase volunteer opportunities to enrich youth, address community needs and develop a lifetime commitment to service. The group, ages 11-18, currently has 15 members. Participants learned about the… Read more »

‘Language of the Hebrew Man’ lyrics pose poetic question

  Speak up, the language of the Hebrew Man,” says a song by popular Israeli singer/songwriter Ehud Banai. Of course we all know what the language of the Hebrew man is — but do we really? Does Banai refer to the current, updated, slangy Israeli Hebrew? Or does he… Read more »

Lions in New York, Holocaust education in Tucson, Peace Corps in Cambodia

Lady Liberty shines her light on Lions of Judah: Angie Goorman, Karen Faitelson, Fern Feder, Robin Pozez, Diane Weintraub, Linda Tumarkin, Sharon Klein, Melissa Goldfinger, Brenda Landau (JFSA) and Judy Berman. (Not pictured: Marilyn Einstein, Deanna Evenchik and Janet Lang)

Conventioneering in the Big Apple “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” — Margaret Mead From Sept. 10 to 12, a dozen Lions from Southern Arizona roared at the international Lion of Judah convention of female philanthropists in… Read more »

Fun and education a winning combination

Guy Gelbart

More than 250 Tucsonans attended the Weintraub Israel Center Heartbeat of Israel series second Sukkah Shake on Sept. 27. This successful event was cosponsored by the PJ Library and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Normally I would not write about a past event, but this case is different. Not… Read more »

First Person: Sometimes our kids make a point we didn’t think of first

Michal Kohane with her sons Ohr Taylor, right, and Yonatan during West Point Acceptance Day, Aug. 18, 2012. (Courtesy Michal Kohane)

SAN FRANCISCO (j weekly) — “You don’t mind me applying to West Point Military Academy, Mom, do you?” “West Point?” I thought, surprised. But it was fall. Graduation seemed like light years away. “Go ahead,” I said, trying to sound casual. “Let me know if you need anything,” I… Read more »

First Person: Sixty years later, recalling the historic agreement for German restitution

Saul Kagan, founding executive direcor of the Claims Conference, right, talking to Nahum Goldmann, founder and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress, 1958. (Courtesy Claims Conference)

NEW YORK (JTA) — As the founding executive director of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, I remember just how difficult the issue of negotiating with Germany was within the Jewish world 60 years ago. In Israel in particular, it was a subject of enormous controversy, political and… Read more »

Dinner with Ahmadinejad

NEW YORK (JTA) – We could have been in Tehran. Men in dark suits and earpieces stood outside the doors of the hotel, keeping watch for protesters and anybody else who didn’t belong. Inside, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared to meet a group of university students. Except this was… Read more »

Anti-Israel cynics led Rachel Corrie to tragic death

Guy Gelbart

After nine long years in which self-appointed “peace activists” used Rachel Corrie’s tragic and accidental death to bash Israel and Israelis in any way they could, the saga came to an end on Aug. 28 with a very clear court ruling: Rachel Corrie negligently ignored ongoing warnings from both… Read more »

P.S.: A sampling of Israel summer travel 9.7.12

Emily and Ashley Feig on a camel in the Judean Desert

Under rabbinic supervision Leroy and Bobbie Feig waited two years for Congregation Anshei Israel’s Rabbi Robert Eisen to lead another congregational tour to Israel, which he did from June 18 to 29. Just as the rabbi is inspired by seeing Israel through the eyes of others, the Feigs wished… Read more »

Standing up against Arab terror not just Israel’s issue

Guy Gelbart

It’s been a long hot summer! My summer began on May 18 on the way to Israel, waiting for the special security checks for an El Al flight to Israel from Los Angeles. I couldn’t help wondering why is it that only flights to Israel are required to go… Read more »

Past, present and future mix on mission to Odessa and Israel

(L-R) Tucsonans Donna Moser, Audrey Brooks, Marlyne Freedman and Deanna Evenchik at the Birthright Israel Mega Event at Haifa Naval Base July 12

The faces of our grandparents are with me in early July as I leave for the Jewish Federations of North America Campaign Chairs and Directors Mission to Odessa and Israel with my sister, Donna Moser. Grandpa Nathan and Grandma Sadie came to the United States in 1899 from Odessa;… Read more »

TISHA B’AV FEATURE: Where are the Munich elegies?

May their memory be a blessing: A list of the fallen Munich Olympics Israeli team members to read during the Summer Olympics and at Tisha b'Av. (Photo via Just One Minute)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — This year, Tisha b’Av marks not only the destruction of both Temples, but with the opening ceremony of the London Olympics just a night earlier, the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre. On this day of mourning and fasting, which begins at sundown on Saturday,… Read more »

PCOA celebrates, Israeli conductor visits and Birthright gets support from afar

(L-R) Alan Levenson, M.D., chair of the Pima Council on Aging; Marian Lupu, PCOA founding director; Barbara Levy and Martin R. Levy, Ph.D., Generations Gala co-chairs

2012 Generations Gala Barbara Levy, speaker, author and volunteer, has worn many hats in our community. Currently, she is chair of the Tucson Symphony Board of Trustees and the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Ethics Committee. On April 14 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Barbara and her husband, Martin… Read more »

TIPS projects are oasis of hope in Kiryat Malachi

Guy Gelbart

As I entered Ki­ryat Malachi last week, I was shocked at the slumlike appearance of the city: dirty old walls, peeling paint, broken signs. The last several weeks had not been easy for Kiryat Malachi. The city’s mayor, Moti Malka, was arrested on the severe charge of rape. I… Read more »