Columns

Local people, places, travels and simchas – 10.14.11

Bonnie Sedlmayr-Emerson at Melanoma Walk ’11

Aged to perfection This title describes newly minted centenarian Ruth Protas. Over Labor Day weekend, Ruth’s family and friends from near and far feted her on this milestone occasion. Official greetings from the White House congratulated her for a century of memories representing an important part of the American… Read more »

Shoshana Hebshi: My day as a suspicious person

Shoshana Hebshi

TOLEDO, Ohio (j. weekly) — When I wrote an article nine years ago about going on a press trip to Israel, I was just beginning to explore the implications of my Arab-Jewish heritage on my life. The trip was eye opening for me in many ways, chiefly because it… Read more »

P.S. : Local people, places, travels and simchas – 9.16.11

Lt. Lipaz Ela, Shelly Silverman and 1st Sgt. Tomer Bucher at the Birthright Israel reception

In my 20 years of writing this monthly column from September through May, the Rosh Hashanah issue has traditionally highlighted Israel summer travel. This article is no exception. Enjoy! • • • • • Another year, another Tucson Hebrew Academy eighth-grade Israel Discovery trip before middle school graduation. This… Read more »

In Moscow and Jerusalem, young and old tell stories of courage, inspiration

Audrey Brooks with a child at the Mevaseret Zion Absorption Center near Jerusalem. (Courtesy JFSA)

The story is in the stories. That’s what I learned with 100 others from 37 other communities on the Jewish Federations of North America’s Campaign Chairs and Directors Mission to Moscow and Israel this summer. I heard stories of inspiration, intrigue, courage and hope. I learned that just as… Read more »

‘Protest about hope’ evokes Herzl vision

“Mr. Prime Min­ister, I know you are watching us now — I recommend you take a good look: What you see now, this enormous crowd, here and all across Israel, is not the public you know. This is no longer the public that agreed with any decision the governments… Read more »

Reflections: Speaking from the heart on Rosh Hashanah

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Exactly 10 years ago this month, I wrote my first column for the Arizona Jewish Post. “Running to Catch Up with Myself” was an attempt to address the confusion, pain and fear I felt after 9/11. I had no idea a decade ago that writing would become such an… Read more »

Struggling to maintain normalcy amid the terror

I am suffering from Periodic Missile Stress Disorder (PMSD), which is being aggravated by the world’s indifference to my situation. Once again sirens sounded last night in our sleepy town of Meitar and the non-stop booms of missiles falling in nearby Beersheva could clearly be heard and yet we… Read more »

Talking trash: leadership camp is ecological eye-opener

When presented with the opportunity to A) go on a summer trip to Europe, or B) go to a Jewish leadership camp, you could only imagine the look on my parents’ faces when I chose option B! Priceless! This summer I ventured across the country to upstate New York… Read more »

America the beautiful, part two: Discovering paradise on Highway 89

As a child, I grew up listening to music on my father’s prized possession, our stereo system, which consisted of a record player nestled deep within a richly oiled mahogany cabinet and two huge speakers that dominated the living room. Sunday mornings were dedicated to classical music, the afternoons… Read more »

Journey to freedom: Reflecting on the King memorial

Rabbi Robert J. Marx, with glasses, is pictured with the Rev. Martin Luther King in the 1960s.

CHICAGO (JTA) — Time affirms what heroism discerns. The dedication of a statue in memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is a belated yet significant tribute to a man who did so much to redefine the meaning of our democracy. Make no mistake about it, there was… Read more »

Will P.A. challenge mute social justice cry?

In the last several weeks Israel has been going through one of the biggest waves of protest ever. The people in the street are calling for social justice. Most protestors define themselves as middle class. They’re raising a cry over the high cost of living and the unequally spread… Read more »

America, the beautiful

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

The route from Arizona to Mon­­­tana was mapped out, the car packed with a week’s worth of clothes and gear, and the cooler filled with snacks and water bottles. As we buckled up for the first leg of our trip, I felt the kind of excitement I had known… Read more »

Hand-washing spurs focus on small moments

I usually think of hand-washing, germaphobe that I am, as a necessary part of my daily routine. I will admit to washing my hands or using hand sanitizer probably more often than most, but nonetheless it is not something I give much attention as part of creating a space… Read more »

Money and happiness: appreciating the real cost of living

Recently, my husband and I went to a Beatles musical revue and had a wonderful time singing and dancing in the aisles with other middle-aged ex-hippies to tunes like “Yellow Submarine,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Michelle.” In the car on the way home, we sang some… Read more »

AIPAC conference is exhilarating, essential

Billie Kozolchyk

My husband, Boris, and I always anticipate with excitement the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but we could not imagine the magnitude of this year’s event. For the first time, there were more than 10,000 delegates including 1,500 students. Among the students were 215… Read more »

Reflections: Israeli secret to business success: Don’t fear failure

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I recently returned from a fantastic trip to Israel — an interfaith business and leadership delegation sponsored by the America-Israel Friendship League. Our group consisted of 29 dynamic Tucsonans — a vibrant mix of faiths, ethnicities and professional backgrounds. Together we explored the religious, archeological, business and cultural sites… Read more »

First Person: A Mother’s Day meditation rooted in Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz

Hadassah Rosensaft is flanked by her future husband, Josef, left, and Earl Harrison, President Truman's special envoy, at the Bergen-Belsen camp, July 1945. (Menachem Rosensaft)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Sunday, May 13, 1945, five days after the end of World War II in Europe, was Mother’s Day in the United States. At Bergen-Belsen in Germany, however, there was nothing for my mother to celebrate on that day as she took part in the ongoing… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas – 5.6.11

Friends at 100: Evelyn Bersh and Solomon Steinfeld

Destination Bar Mitzvah Just as there are destination weddings, so are there destination Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations. At the end of March, MSNBC.com had an article entitled “Mazel tov! Traditional Jewish ceremonies take to the road.” The writer mentioned Tucsonan Sam Gordon’s December 2010 Bar Mitzvah during a Caribbean cruise.… Read more »

A moment in time: my New Zealand Shabbat

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

It wasn’t easy to get there but the effort was well worth it. A bus trip winding our way out of Queenstown took us to our first destination where we boarded a catamaran and crossed Lake Manapouri, its surface shimmering in the late morning sun. A second bus ride… Read more »