Columns

Hasty judgments can cloud our vision and limit our relationships

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

“I’m ashamed of myself,” she whispered into the phone. “Oh hi Mom, good to hear your voice,” I responded. My mother often begins our phone calls in the middle of a conversation she started before dialing my number. “I played bridge today,” she continued, “and was stuck with a… Read more »

Israel travel … and more

Clockwise from top: THA 8th graders at the Israel home of Carol and Dan Karsch — top row (L-R) Rabbi Billy, Noam Shahar, Itai Kreisler, Joshua Girard, Matan Laytin, Benjamin Louchheim, Devin Hulsey, Shelby Kotz, Avigail Penner, David Rosman; middle row (L-R) Rebecca Slepian, Hannah Karsch Hochner, Dan Karsch, Carol Karsch, David Abraham (IDF commander in the tanks division), Marlene Abraham (THA teacher/chaperone); front row (L-R) Juliet Weintraub, Adina Artzi, Ron (Israeli guide), Eve Stone.

Tucson PNAI (Parents of North American Israelis) members Carol and Dan Karsch spent a month at their home in Modi’in, the city in which their daughter Hannah Karsch Hochner, son-in-law Jacky, and grandchildren Tanya, Hillel and Ayelet reside. During this time, Carol, executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation… Read more »

Inspired by the GPS

Rabbi Yossie Shemtov

An 82-year-old Jewish man was recently marveling to me about the wonders of the Global Positioning System, otherwise known as the GPS satellite-based global navigation system. An observation of his got me thinking. “You see,” he said, “a person can go anywhere but if he doesn’t have a destination… Read more »

Rosh Hashanah reminds us that we have the power to change

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

It’s that time of year again. Backpacks and school binders tumble off the shelves at local stores, crossing guards in bright orange vests patrol the roads and parents are bemoaning the frenzied schedules that “back to school” requires. But there’s a positive energy in the air as kids, tanned… Read more »

Got billions? Giving like the other half does

The philanthropic world was titillated recently when 40 members of the world’s wealthy elite — including 13 Jews — announced that they would give away more than half their money before they died. The participating philanthropists were responding to a challenge issued this year by Warren Buffett and Bill… Read more »

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 »