News

This woman organized a Passover seder for 9 senators at 30,000 feet over Vietnam

Jill Cooper Udall leads a seder aboard a U.S. military aircraft 30,000 feet over Vietnam, April 19, 2019. (Courtesy of Cooper Udall)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Air National Guard pilot gave Jill Cooper Udall the all-clear: There were storm warnings, but she had 10 turbulence-free minutes to get through her seder. Cooper Udall, who is married to Tom Udall, a Democrat and the senior senator from New Mexico, waved the 25… Read more »

How Debra Katz became one of the nation’s top #MeToo lawyers

Debra Katz, left, looks on as Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Fighting for the underdog has been a passion for Debra Katz for as long as she can remember. Years before she would go on to win awards for her work as a civil rights attorney and represent Christine Blasey Ford in one of the nation’s most high-profile… Read more »

SAACA to open maker space at Tucson Mall

In August, the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance will open Catalyst, a 14,000 square foot maker and community creative art space, and a permanent home for the organization, at the Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road. Catalyst will feature four distinct maker spaces, including an arts and crafts… Read more »

People in the news 5.17.19

Noah Richter

CIEE, a leader in international education and exchange, announced that Noah Richter, a rising senior at University High School, is one of 250 American high school students from across the United States awarded the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year. CBYX is a bi-lateral exchange… Read more »

JWV Memorial Day poppy sales fund programs for vets

Marking this Memorial Day, you’ll find members of the Friedman-Paul Post 201 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America offering traditional red poppy flowers for donations at Safeway supermarkets across Tucson. The post uses funds raised from twice-annual poppy sales to host monthly bingo sessions… Read more »

Tucsonans celebrate Israel at 71

Tots celebrate Israel’s 71st birthday with Tucson shinshiniyot (Israeli teen emissaries) Rotem Rappoport (left) and Ron Benacot.

More than 250 people attended a celebration of Israel’s 71st birthday on Sunday, April 28, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, enjoying food, music, an artisan fair, kids’ activities and Israeli film shorts. The Weintraub Israel Center, a program of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson… Read more »

Congregation Or Chadash blesses all creatures great and small

Alice Mayoral, with Jordan the lizard, won most unusual pet. Photos: Debe Campbell/AJP)

Pets of all description were on parade at Congregation Or Chadash May 5 for the annual pet blessing. About 50 gathered with their beloved dogs, a rabbit, and a gecko to share the Prayer for Animals, led by Rabbi Thomas Louchheim. The blessing also culminated a monthlong b’not mitzvah… Read more »

Life before war focus of community Yom HaShoah commemoration

Holocaust survivor Walter Feiger, right, lights a candle with his partner, Nancy Alexander, and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash.

The community-wide 2019 Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sunday, May 5 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center focused on highlighting Jewish life and culture before the Holocaust. Rather than rehearse the political miscalculations and complicity of European nations or the mechanics of Nazi genocidal violence, says Bryan Davis, executive director… Read more »

JCC Holocaust memorial is subject of NW remembrance

From left, Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz, Ken Light, Fred Steiniger and Emily Ellentuck helped lead the Yom HaShoah program at the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life on May 2.

On Thursday, May 2, the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life held a Yom HaShoah Remembrance event. More than 40 attendees heard guest speakers Ken Light and Fred Steiniger talk about the Holocaust memorial at the entrance to the Tucson Jewish Community Center and watched a video… Read more »

Tucson Hebrew High holds creative commencement

Front row (L-R): Erika Spivack, Natalie Feldman, Jillian Cassius, Michael Gross; second row: Geva Ozeri, Mallory Hulsey, Rachel Davenport, Rebecca Dubin, Maya Levy; Back: Yuval Barel, Aaron Green, Téa Weiner, Brandon Esbit, Rafael Herreras-Zinman. Not pictured: Isaac Hammer

“Live, from Tucson, it’s Tuesday night!” The class of 2019 kicked off the 41st Tucson High School for Jewish Studies (Hebrew High) Commencement on April 30 in the rousing spirit of “Saturday Night Live.” The program, driven and written by the students, featured all the hallmarks of SNL, includin… Read more »

Father’s Day Council Tucson to honor Federation’s Mellan

Nancy and Stuart Mellan and their blended family at their 1992 wedding. (Photo courtesy Nancy Mellan)

The Father’s Day Council Tucson is holding its 25th Annual Fathers of Year Awards Gala next month, and the Jewish Federation’s Stuart Mellan is among the honorees. Mellan, JFSA president and CEO, is one of seven men who will be celebrated on June 1 for their success in combining… Read more »

Native Tucsonan produces soulful entertainment through documentary, film

Filmmaker Judy Ben-Asher and her Truthseeker alter-ego, Jude. (Photo courtesy Judy Ben-Asher)

Documentaries, feature films, and animation in production by native Tucsonan Judy Ben-Asher’s Starry Sky Films focus on her discoveries about health and wellness. “These are all passion projects with the cohesive thread to uplift and educate, resolve misinformation, and find answers,” she says. The “Truthseeker®” documentary film follows Ben-Asher’s… Read more »

At UA, Melamed humanizes medicine for future doctors

Ellen Melamed instructs University of Arizona College of Medicine students on tools to build empathetic relationships with future patients. (Photo: Michelle Doggett/ UA College of Humanities)

Ellen Melamed’s medical humanities courses at the University of Arizona are encouraging medical students to develop empathetic relationships with their future patients. Melamed, the child of Holocaust survivors, draws on her family’s history of trauma and illness, as well as her own experiences in the arts, to inform her… Read more »

Yiddish motto explains the counting of the Omer

Every day during the month of Iyar, we observe the mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer, or counting the Omer. This mitzvah begins on the second day of Passover and continues until the eve of Shavuot. The counting is practiced daily after nightfall with some counting from a Siddur (prayer book),… Read more »

Bio reveals adventures of refugee from Nazis

Kate Stewart, the lead archivist at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, profiles the life of librarian Ruth Rappaport in her first biography, “A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport,” released this spring by Little A Publishing. Rappaport grew up in Nazi Germany, reading banned… Read more »

New director ups ante for local security

Collaborating to strengthen security in Tucson’s Jewish community are, (L-R) Graham Hoffman, president and CEO, Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona; Paul Patterson, Jewish community security director; and Stuart Mellan, president and CEO, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. (Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona)

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona took a proactive stance to harden local vigilance, bringing on 23-year law enforcement and security veteran Paul Patterson in March as the Jewish community security director. Patterson is assisting all area synagogues and agencies with facility security assessments, ensuring best practices and up-to-date… Read more »

After Poway shooting, local Chabad event puts love before hate

Ariella Lee, a University of Arizona student who is member of Chabad of Poway, speaks at Chabad Tucson May 1. (Photo by Martha Lochert)

People forget what you said, people forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” With these famous words from poet Maya Angelou, University of Arizona student and Chabad of Poway member Ariella Lee summed up the philosophy of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, a close family… Read more »