Columns

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Michelle Blumenberg and Richard Green at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation.

High Holiday leader For 35 years, Richard Green led the Conservative service for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation. A student rabbi from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles conducted the Reform service. Growing up in Omaha, Green… Read more »

Tucson program yields glimpse of the Divine

I  recently completed the reading of all 15 volumes of “The Cambridge History of English Literature” by A.W. Ward and A.R. Waller. It took me several years. When it came to the history of religious writing having to do with Christianity and its various forms and manifestations, the authors paid… Read more »

Addressing a Nazi flag on Voting Day 2016

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron

On March 7, 1945, the 104th Signal Company of the U.S. Army 104th Infantry Division entered and liberated Cologne, Germany. They removed the Nazi flag from the German Wehrmacht headquarters. On a bright, hot day near the end of September 2016, this flag was handed to me; it was… Read more »

FIRST PERSON Fear and loathing, but mostly loathing, on the campaign trail

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate, at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 9, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Some of us are voting for Trump. Most of us are voting for Clinton. But we Jews are all afraid. There are the scandals, yes. There are emails and sexual assault allegations and emails and fraud and racism and anti-Semitism and emails. There are issues like… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Liz Weiner-Schulman with guitarist Misael Barraza-Diaz

Music to our ears Following Steve Schulman’s passing in 2013, his wife, Liz Weiner-Schulman, established the Steve Schulman Memorial Award in Guitar Endowment through the University of Arizona Foundation. On Sunday, Sept. 25, the UA’s Fred Fox School of Music presented the second annual Steve Schulman award recital in… Read more »

Ma Nishtanah: How different will this year be?

Rabbi Robert Eisen

Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol halailot  …?  How do we read that phrase? How is this night different from all other nights … or, How different this night is from all other nights! The first is what we are taught, the latter is how it could be better (more… Read more »

Summer Israel travel: Birthright and beyond

Over 30,000 participants were expected to travel with Taglit-Birthright Israel this past summer. Following the University of Arizona graduation in May, 28 UA students traveled on Birthright. Other schools represented on the bus included the University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin, Washington University, and Arizona State University. Elyse… Read more »

The synagogue remains at the heart of Jewish life

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

  What is the most important institution in Jewish life? Judaism has existed for 3,800 years, and over the centuries we’ve had a variety of organizations that have effectively served God and the Jewish people.  Each has played an important role in the continual evolution of our religion and… Read more »

Reflections: Shabbat beckons us to let our burdens go

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Recently, I heard a talk on stress management where the lecturer, holding a glass of water, asked: “How heavy is this glass of water?” The audience called out answers that ranged from eight to 24 ounces. The lecturer replied, “Actually, from my perspective, it doesn’t really matter. What matters… Read more »

Take the speech improvement challenge

Rabbi Israel Becker

Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Talmud taught us that when a person leaves this world, he/she will be shown their entire life. Our private showing will include audio and video playback of every single conversation of ours. Every single word that we uttered during our lifetime will be presented.… Read more »

Election overload sparks thoughts of G-d

Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin

At a recent political fundraiser, an acquaintance made an interesting comment. He said he was jealous that, although I am an American resident, I had my native country of Canada on which to fall back. My buddy, a political junkie, was referring to the presidential elections in November. If… Read more »

With U.S.-Cuba ties restored, family joins Tucson man on long-awaited homecoming visit

Tucsonan Billie Kozolchyk, right, with Adela Dworin, vice president of the Patronato de la casa de la comunidad Hebrea de Cuba in Havana, the equivalent of a Jewish federation in the United States. (Courtesy Billie Kozolchyk)

So we went to Cuba. Big deal, you say? Everybody’s going to Cuba. It seems not a single U.S. institution, big or small, isn’t arranging tours and oh yes, cruises, too. But our trip was different. My husband, Boris, had left his native Cuba pre-Fidel in 1956, to continue… Read more »

Handmaker adding new sites, programs, more Jewish zest

Art Martin

Handmaker. Life blooms here. In fact, Handmaker itself is blooming. In the last few years, with the hard work of staff and tireless efforts of our lay leaders, Handmaker has seen substantial growth. The dedication of our new two-story Kalmanovitz building, the acquisition and remodel of the SandRuby building… Read more »

Local people, places, travels and simchas

Centenarian Janet Schlesinger

Live long and prosper On May 6, the 29th Salute to Centenarians was held at Tucson Medical Center’s Marshall Conference Center. This annual event, sponsored by the Pima Council on Aging and TMC, takes place during Older Americans Month and celebrates those people aged 99 and older who represent Pima… Read more »

Reflections: Flying high and judging fairly

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I travel by air quite a bit and to be honest, it isn’t fun. Besides the stress of getting to the airport in sufficient time to remove half the clothing I put on just hours before, I generally arrive at my destination half-starved and sleep deprived. But the real angst… Read more »

Yom HaShoah service sparks tears — and hope

Tucsonan Wolfgang Hellpap, a Holocaust survivor from Berlin, Germany, lights the sixth candle at the Yom Ha- Shoah Commemoration held Sunday, May 1 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Jasmin Rendon, a student at Pima Community College, served as his escort. (Courtesy Christians United for Israel-Arizona)

They killed us — just because we were Jews. It didn’t matter if we were babies, or children, mothers or fathers; it didn’t matter if we were secular or religious, observant or not; they killed us — in camps, in forced labor, in resistance. They killed us because we… Read more »

Being Jewish: It’s not just for holidays, milestone moments

Almost every person can recall the myths they accepted as fact as a child, until a knowledgeable adult, dictionary or Google has proved them otherwise. I used to believe that bats are blind. (While they do use echolocation at night, they still have functioning eyes.) Another myth I believed… Read more »

FIRST PERSON At Passover, cherishing the freedom to help others

Shelly Silverman

As we finish up the week of Passover, I feel especially aware of what freedom means. Freedom is a word that encompasses so much. But for me, the freedom to have choices in so many arenas in my life is almost overwhelming. I can CHOOSE to do almost anything.… Read more »