Columns

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 »

Auschwitz 2011: Remembering the Shoah

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron

We were a gathering of 60 adults, drenched, freezing, each of us holding the image of roll-call, rows and rows of Jews standing in the pelting rain, weak from starvation, wearing cotton shifts, frozen human beings. We held onto our umbrellas with clenched fists and clenched hearts; walking, living… 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 »

Why Americans should mark Israeli Memorial Day

Guy Gelbart

Why do I expect American Jews to commemorate Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day?” This question has been keeping sleep from my eyes for the last several weeks. As a shaliach, getting people to come and celebrate the Israel 63 Festival on May 15 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center… Read more »

Holy sparks: You won’t find this on YouTube

Rabbi Yossie Shemtov

On Wednesday, March 30, we went to the 2nd Annual Cindy Wool Memorial Seminar on Humanism in Medicine, held in memory of our dear friend, at the Marriott University Park in Tucson. The speaker, Rachel Naomi Remen, bestselling author of “Kitchen Table Wisdom,” recalled her grandfather telling her that… Read more »

Inspiring Jewish identity: politics is not the answer

Guy Gelbart

In June 2010 Peter Beinart published his famous article in The New York Review of Books, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” in which he concludes that young American Jews have checked their Zionism at the door of liberalism. Based on Beinart’s assessment, I arrived in the United… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas – 3.25.11

Stuart and Marianne Taussig aboard “Kosherica” cruise

Cantorial cruise For a week in January, it was smooth sailing for Marianne and Stuart Taus­sig aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. The couple celebrated their 17th anniversary on Jan. 16 on board their Western Caribbean-bound ship. Their itinerary was billed as “Kosherica: Glatt Kosher Jewish Music Festival At Sea.” Their… Read more »

Readers answer: ‘What drives the Jews?’

Several months ago I asked a question in one of my columns and invited readers’ input. Answers came from all over the country and were as diverse as Jews are themselves. The question was originally posed to me by my 23-year-old daughter: What drives the Jews? In keeping with… Read more »

Beyond animal sacrifice: At heart, Leviticus is timeless moral guide

Rabbi Helen T. Cohn

Impenetrable, irrelevant, boring. These are some of the descriptions I’ve heard about the Book of Leviticus, which we begin reading this week during the annual Torah cycle. Even the great Israeli teacher Nehama Leibowitz called the laws of Leviticus a “closed book to us” — which did not prevent… Read more »

Our best hope: real democracy in Arab world

Guy Gelbart

A wind of change has been blowing through the Middle East. What this wind will bring us is yet to be seen. Will it bring democracy to the Arab world? Will it push the Arab world into the hands of dark fundamentalist Islamic movements? Will extreme ideological regimes like… Read more »

Words of wisdom never grow old

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I grew up in a house where words were the currency by which my brother and I gained recognition. Unlike most of our peers’ parents, whose approval was dished out for making the varsity team or getting straight A’s, my dad’s highest form of praise came as a result… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas – 2.11.11

Abby, Jordan, Joel and Jane Herz at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv

“This year in Jerusalem” When Joel Herz recently visited Israel after a long hiatus, he was astounded by the growth and progress of this small country. In 1988, as a recent law school graduate, Joel spent three months in Israel, living and working on a kibbutz, studying Hebrew, and… Read more »

Tucson trauma and civility

For a while last month we here in Tucson were the epicenter of the world, thanks to the brutal act of the deeply disturbed man who murdered six innocent people and wounded 13 others, including our congresswoman and friend, Gabrielle Giffords. She is a kind, intelligent, principled, Jewish representative… Read more »

Tucson sister city, Kiryat Malachi, wins Israel Education Prize

Guy Gelbart

On Jan. 13, Israeli Minister of Education Gideon Saar awarded Kiryat Malachi the Israel Education Prize for this year. Kiryat Malachi, a town of 23,000 residents linked to the Jewish Federations of Tucson, Phoenix, and Seattle, was one of 14 municipalities considered in the final selection for the prize.… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

(L-R): Nina Isaac, Randi Levin, Cheryl Wortzel, Shaun Kozolchyk and David Plotkin at JFSA’s Hava Tequila Young Leadership Bash

New JCC artwork Local artist Julie Szerina Stein created the beautiful new mosaic-and-painted mural in the Tucson Jewish Community Center preschool area. Jonathan and Rachel Green conceived of the idea, and Jonathan’s mother, Fay Green, of Texas, underwrote the project in honor of her grandsons — Ryan, 13; Aaron,… Read more »

Shehecheyanu: Committing to a year of firsts

I am a closet card-aholic. It’s true. Some people eat when they get stressed. Others shop. Me? I head straight to the card aisle at Walgreens or CVS. If I’m really lucky and Hallmark has declared a holiday, like National Take Your Pet to Work Day, I can get… Read more »