News

New flavors and fresh ideas raise hopes for a revival of Chicago area’s kosher restaurant scene

Chicago's kosher restaurant scene could be getting a boost. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This city’s kosher restaurant scene has long lagged behind other metropolises like New York and Los Angeles — but changes might be coming. A bold forthcoming restaurant, an authentic taqueria and reports that two established neighborhood eateries are looking to change hands are raising hope for kosher diners who… Read more »

ANALYSIS Draymond Green says his trip to Israel wasn’t about politics. Here’s why Israel’s critics won’t accept that.

Draymond Green, right, shown before a playoff game between his Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, May 28, 2018. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

NBA star Draymond Green on his recent visit to Israel got to meet the nation’s president and take some shooting practice — with guns, not basketballs — on a military base. Green’s visit, particularly his jovial use of Israeli military weaponry, prompted criticism from notable figures on the American… Read more »

Richard Siegel, educator who co-edited ‘The Jewish Catalog,’ is dead at 70

Richard Siegel worked at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for 28 years (HUC)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Richard Siegel, an educator who advocated for Jewish culture and arts and co-edited the seminal “Jewish Catalog” series of guides to “do-it-yourself” Judaism, died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 70 and had been battling cancer for two years, according to a friend and colleague,… Read more »

Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest character is an Israeli gunslinger taking aim at pro-Israel conservatives

Sacha Baron Cohen at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., May 23, 2016. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and he is taking aim at a strain of “pro-Israel” thought that has both delighted and unsettled many American Jews: the unconditional love engendered by the country among deeply conservative Americans. In “Who is America?,” a show that made its debut… Read more »

Between jihadists, neo-Nazis, Swedish Jews fear future

arinne Sjoberg peels off a sticker that neo-Nazis left on the door of what used to be the Jewish community center of Umea, Sweden. (Photo courtesy Carinne Sjoberg)

When Carinne Sjoberg dissolved the Jewish Community of Umea in northern Sweden, she knew it would send shockwaves far beyond the small congregation that she had spent decades building. The move in May owed to intimidation by neo-Nazis, making it the first time in decades that a Jewish organization… Read more »

For Handmaker resident, conversion to Judaism is part of full life

Elaine McLain displays her certificate of conversion on Aug. 9, 2017, with the members of the rabbinic beit din, from left: Rabbi Dr. Howard Schwartz, Rabbi Avraham Alpert, Rabbi Dr. Bennett Blum.

Before moving to Handmaker in 2015, Elaine McLain lived all over the country, and “did everything imaginable,” she says, including marrying and being widowed twice, raising three children — and, on Aug. 9, converting to Judaism. (See related story, page 7.) Jewish ethics were the first thing that attracted… Read more »

With new programs and staff, local Jewish schools ready to kick off a new year

School days are right around the corner, and community students have much to look forward to in the new school year. Tucson Hebrew Academy students will notice physical changes from the outside to the inside for the school’s 45th anniversary. Refreshing the building exterior, water fountains and restrooms is… Read more »

JFSA drives for Homer Davis Elementary

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is holding drives for school and toiletry supplies through Aug. 31 as part of “Making a Difference Every Day: The Homer Davis Project,” benefiting students at Homer Davis Elementary School in the Flowing Wells School District. The school supply wish list includes facial… Read more »

Out & About connects Handmaker residents with Tucson’s cultural scene

Out & About participants on a recent trip, starting with front row, (L-R): Ethel Weissman, Ramon Cruz (driver), Carol Zuckert; Debbie Smolen (volunteer), Betty Light, Leah Casey, Doris Wochley; MaryJane Gibson (volunteer); Lois Waldman, Les Waldman, Mort Edberg, Elaine McLain

Elaine McLain, a Handmaker resident for two and a half years, is delighted Handmaker recently created an Out & About program for residents, a series of trips to cultural sites similar to Handmaker’s popular Adventure Bus program, which is for people experiencing the early stages of memory loss. “It’s… Read more »

Childhood vision inspires Tucsonan to be voice for peace

Even as a child, Hana Ripp felt that she had a mission in life. She wanted to be a voice for those who couldn’t speak. Intuition guided her over decades to follow her vision of world peace and harmony through the best vehicles she knew — arts and education.… Read more »

Taste of Judaism returns to Temple Emanu-El for 19th year

Temple Emanu-El is heading into its 19th year of holding free Taste of Judaism classes. Taste of Judaism is a  three-class introduction to the basics of Jewish spirituality, values, and community taught in an open, discussion style. This “taste” of the best Judaism has to offer includes samples of… Read more »

PJ Library offers prizes for summer reading program

PJ Library invites kids up to age 8 to join the “Dive into Reading This Summer” program, which runs through July 31. Kids need to read nine books and complete nine activities from the PJ Library calendar, such as “eat some challah” and “compliment someone.” Print a calendar at… Read more »

Language classes at J can keep brain sharp

There are many benefits to learning a foreign language, such as boosting brain power, enhanced memory, and even stalling the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. A 2012 study by Swedish and German researchers shows that the language centers of the brain actually grow as a result of learning a… Read more »

Handmaker, Brandeis to team on art talks

Handmaker will host a series of six art talks by docents from the Tucson Museum of Art beginning this fall. The talks, organized by Ellie Eigen and the Tucson chapter of the Brandeis National Committee, are open to those who have signed up for the series through the BNC,… Read more »

Germany increases funding for Shoah survivors

Germany has agreed to increase its funding for social welfare services for Holocaust survivors by $88 million. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany in its announcement Tuesday said the increase brings global allocations by Germany for 2019 to $564 million. The Claims Conference and representatives of the… Read more »

Museum seeks former Intrepid crew members

Aug. 16 will mark the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Intrepid, the World War II-era Essex class aircraft carrier that is now home to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.  To mark the occasion, the museum is putting out a coast-to-coast… Read more »

How Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could affect issues that matter to Jews

Brett Kavanaugh at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the day after he was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, July 10, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a Republican establishment favorite who has worked in the George W. Bush administration, has triggered reactions from Jewish groups ranging from furious to relieved. Progressive groups raised flags about the pick, saying Kavanaugh’s record shows he would… Read more »

Filipino guest workers come to Israel — and decide to embrace Judaism

Ronaldo and Bernadette Lopez, who arrived in Israel in 2003, now run a Filipino restaurant and converted to Judaism in April. (Ben Sales)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — One of the biggest days of the year for Ronaldo and Bernadette Lopez is Christmas. They open up their Filipino restaurant in South Tel Aviv, and their friends bring their families, crowd the place and eat embutido, a rolled pork dish from their shared home… Read more »

An elite private academy in Rio is putting pressure on the city’s Jewish day schools

A view of a classroom at Liessin, Brazil's largest Jewish day school. (Courtesy of Liessin)

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – One of the hottest topics among Rio Jewish families today sits right across the street from both the city’s largest synagogue and the site of a future Holocaust memorial. It’s a non-Jewish day school, directed by a Cohen with the support of a Levy, that… Read more »