Columns

Shaliach says thank you and farewell to Tucson, but his mission is not over

(L-R) Sharon, Noya, Hila, Ital and Moshe Babel-Pour

Four years have passed since I began my journey as your community shaliach (emissary) and Israel Center director and now it’s time to say thank you and goodbye. I want to share with you my deepest appreciation and gratitude for this incredible experience. For the past four years, the… Read more »

Visiting the family of the Hamas terrorist who tried to kill my wife

David E.H. Gershon

What should I buy for the children of the Hamas terrorist who tried to kill my wife? I’m sorry, some context is needed. Let me explain. In the summer of 2002 Hamas, targeting both Israelis and Americans, struck a cafeteria at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The blast, triggered by… Read more »

Small change inspires big changes

It was almost 5 o’clock when Susan realized she didn’t have the fresh basil and black olives she needed for the chicken dish she was preparing for dinner. Guests were arriving at 7 o’clock and she still needed to shower and change. Scribbling the few items down on a… Read more »

Kid or adult, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is start of journey

Rabbi Helen T. Cohn

I remember clearly the first time I was called by my newly acquired Hebrew name to say the Torah blessings on Rosh Hashanah. I was in my early 40s and just beginning to discover my own heritage. Who knew that Judaism could be so complex, so compelling, so enriching?… Read more »

Teen philanthropists discover power of simple bagged lunch

The philosophy of Casa Maria, as described by one volunteer, is to treat everyone kindly and with respect, and as you would like to be treated. The goal of this nonprofit organization that aids impoverished and homeless Tucsonans is most certainly a concept B’nai Tzedek teens learn through their… Read more »

Keeping kosher: food fetish or holy path?

In an age when no self-respecting American would be caught without a dietary restriction, from low-fat and high-protein to vegan or gluten-free, Jews have the proud distinction of being the first group to claim an Official Food Fixation. Since biblical times, the Jewish relationship to food has been more… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Mary Ellen Loebl with a Mitzvah Magic Chanukah basket

Social action over spring break In March, two University of Arizona students participated in the Jewish National Fund Alternative Spring Break. They were among 250 college students/young adults, ages 18-30, who spent a week in Israel working and volunteering in communities in the Negev. Each was required to raise… Read more »

Honor your parents — and believe in them

America is big on holidays, especially those that relate to family members. There’s a holi­day for mothers, a special day for dads and a national grandparents’ day that usually includes a pancake breakfast at preschool. But what inspires these holidays is more than a positive earnings statement from Hallmark… Read more »

Keep learning — it is our obligation to God

These past few weeks we, the Jewish people, have faithfully been counting the Omer, numbering each day as we ascend from Passover to Shavuot. After 49 days of reckoning, our reward will be more than just a piece of cheesecake: Tikkun Leil Shavuot, a special, magical and mystical night… Read more »

Darfur Tucson working to make ‘Never again’ more than words

ERICA BEE, Special to the AJP When will the phrase, “Never Again” actually represent the truth? In 1945, the Holocaust ended and after the death of approximately six million Jews, we vowed, “Never Again.” We vowed we would never again stand idly by and watch human beings be treated so… Read more »