Columns

Ready or not, here life comes

The email was waiting in my inbox. My column was due. “What column?” I asked myself. I did not remember that it was my turn. What could I possibly write about on short notice at this time of year with four funerals over the next few days, and the… Read more »

In 21st century, could Tevye change his tune?

In 1966, when I was just 13 years old, my parents surprised me by taking me to New York City to see Zero Mostel star as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” I was enchanted by Shalom Aleichem’s inspiration, “Tevye the Dairyman,” which was written in Yiddish in 1894.… Read more »

On the Day of Atonement, let us cry for the suffering of all

A couple of years ago I was standing in the lobby of a Jewish Community Center in California, admiring the artwork of Shlomo Katz. The JCC had just opened an unusual display of hand-knotted Persian rugs featuring Jewish and biblical themes, and I found myself entirely lost in the rug… Read more »

On summer travels in Israel, Tucsonans delight in people, places, studies

(L-R): Garrett Fenton, Matt Landau, Sophia Yatsenko, Monica Montes, and Linnea Dawson in the Old City of Jerusalem at the Western Wall

This summer season marked the 18th anniversary of Birthright Israel, the program that brings Diaspora Jews, ages 18-26, on a free trip to Israel. From May 24-June 4, Bus #1545 carried University of Arizona students along with participants from the University of Southern California, Arizona State University, and San… Read more »

From darkness to light: Berlin-Budapest trip reveals a new Jewish generation

(L-R) Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Board Chair Shelly Silverman, JFSA 2019 Campaign Chair Melissa Goldfinger, JFSA Senior Vice President Fran Katz, and JFSA Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Chair Leslie Glaze visit the Berlin Wall, July 15. (Melissa Goldfinger)

Each year, the Jewish Federations of North America invites professionals and lay leaders to participate in a mission that highlights the unique challenges, programs and impact of federations’ overseas funding. In mid-July, Melissa Goldfinger, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona 2019 Campaign chair; Leslie Glaze, JFSA Women’s Philanthropy Campaign chair;… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: In modern times, is peace and harmony possible?

Benzion Shemtov

Many times we wonder: What is happening with the tranquility of this world? Where has it gone? Do peace and harmony reside in the spiritual realms while our world is destined to live with hardships and troubles? The fifth Chabad Rebbe lived in the early 1900s. One of his… Read more »

Students seek answers in Middle East; centenarian gets encore celebration

Building Bridges spring break Sarah Cassius, finishing her junior year at George Washington University with a dual major in international affairs and geography with a concentration in sustainability, traveled on a Building Bridges trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories over spring break. The trip was sponsored by GWU’s… Read more »

Mount Sinai’s true location may surprise us

Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin (Britta Van Vranken)

Search online for “Mount Sinai” and Google Maps will swiftly point you to a marker in Jabal Mousa, Arabic for Mount Moses, located in the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Consult with a biblical scholar or geographer and you will hear about other locations such as… Read more »

Beyond history and geography, it is the people who make Israel special

Amir Eden

On Sunday, April 22, our community celebrated Israel’s 70th Anniversary of its Independence. I would like to take a moment and thank, from the bottom of my heart, all the lay leaders, volunteers, and professionals who were a part of Tucson’s communal celebration. A special thank you goes to… Read more »

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 »

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 »