News

Trump calls on Ilhan Omar to resign from Congress for ‘anti-Semitism’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump called on Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., to resign from Congress for what he said was her anti-Semitism. “It’s terrible what she said and I think she should either resign from Congress, or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” Trump… Read more »

Mike Pence to make first visit to Auschwitz, meet Netanyahu in Poland

(JTA) — Vice President Mike Pence will visit Auschwitz, his first visit to the Nazi death camp in Poland. Pence will visit the site on Friday with Polish President Andrzej Duda, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing a senior White House official. The vice president will be in Warsaw… Read more »

Sarah Silverman opens up on ‘Finding Your Roots’ about feeling like the only Jew in her town growing up

Sarah Silverman with "Finding Your Roots" host Henry Louis Gates Jr. (PBS)

(JTA) — “I was the hairy Jewish monkey in a sea of blond kids.” That’s not Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill — it’s Sarah Silverman talking about her upbringing in Bedford, New Hampshire, on an upcoming episode of  “Finding Your Roots,” the celebrity genealogy show on PBS. Bedford, the… Read more »

Ilhan Omar said AIPAC pays lawmakers to be pro-Israel. Here’s how the lobbying group really operates.

Sen. Robert Menendez speaks at the AIPAC conference at the Washington Convention Center, March 6, 2018. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar started a firestorm by saying on Twitter that AIPAC pays lawmakers to support Israel. Both Democrats and Republicans have offered sharp rebukes, accusing the Minnesota Democrat of insinuating that Jews use money to get what they want. (On Monday afternoon, she said… Read more »

Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar says AIPAC pays politicians to be pro-Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Days after a series of apologies for an old tweet seen as echoing anti-Semitic themes, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee paid politicians to be pro-Israel, a falsehood that drew immediate rebukes. On Sunday Omar responded on Twitter to a threat two… Read more »

Brandeis to spotlight mystery, crime fiction, memoir authors

Elizabeth George

The Brandeis National Committee Tucson Chapter presents its 23rd Annual Book & Author events on Feb. 27 and 28 with four acclaimed authors: internationally bestselling mystery writer Elizabeth George, author of the Inspector Lynley series; Reed Farrel Coleman, called the “noir poet laureate” by the Huffington Post; Tucsonan Lauren… Read more »

Leadership, community volunteerism set teen apart as choice for mitzvot award

Erika Spivack (Courtesy Erika Spivack)

Erika Spivack, a University High School senior, will receive the 12th annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Connections brunch on Sunday, March 10. The Women’s Philanthropy advisory council, which includes past Women’s Philanthropy chairs and campaign chairs, created the award in… Read more »

Newcomer Lepow brings wealth of community experience to partnership role

Dan Lepow

With one eye to retirement and the other to community involvement, Dan Lepow and his wife, Susie, arrived in Tucson last April from St. Paul, Minnesota. They had frequented Tucson over the years, as his sister Rebecca Crow relocated to the Old Pueblo in 1968 and his late mother… Read more »

Finding Grace: A lifelong journey to discovering what is meant to be

Interfaith minister Grace Hartman blesses pets (Courtesy Grace Hartman)

Growing up in a Conservative Jewish home in Newton, Massachusetts, with her parents and brother, Lois Gail Esterman did all the right things. She attended Hebrew school through eighth grade, became a bat mitzvah, went to Hebrew high school and a Hebrew teacher’s college. She started her career as… Read more »

Find hidden treasures in synagogue gift shops

Tammy Strobel stands before colorful gift items on display at Congregation Anshei Israel’s gift shop. (Yvonne Ethier)

A few years back, my good friend Fran was giving me details on her upcoming adult bat mitzvah. “No gifts,” she said emphatically. As I smiled and nodded, inwardly my mind was abuzz — where could I find the perfect present? I didn’t have to look far. In what… Read more »

Tucson groom enlists support of Toby, the cat, for proposal to his bride

(L-R): Bruce and Donna Beyer, Amy and Thomas Allen Brannock, and Billie and Thomas Brannock at Skyline Country Club, Oct. 20, 2018 (Steven Palm Photography)

Amy Rebecca Beyer, daughter of Bruce and Donna Beyer of Tucson, and Thomas Allen Brannock, son of Thomas and Billie Brannock of St. David, Arizona, were married on Oct. 20, 2018, at Skyline Country Club with Rabbi Batsheva Appel officiating. Attendants included Lisa Beyer of San Francisco, sister of… Read more »

Super Sunday pushes Federation campaign toward goal

Leslie Glaze, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Campaign co-chair, talks to Super Sunday volunteer Barbara Selznick, Jan. 27. Debe Campbell/AJP)

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona held its annual Super Sunday phone-a-thon on Jan. 27 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. During the festive, sports-themed event, 120 phone and clerical volunteers reached out to community members, collecting more than 260 pledges and donations for the 2019 Community Campaign, which… Read more »

Agency partners with solo elders to provide surrogate service, support

Elise Bajohr, program manager for older adults and adults with disability services at Jewish Family & Children’s Services, talks with a client. (Courtesy Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona)

As people grow older, family relationships and resources change. “Solo seniors” is a term for older adults who feel that they do not have a significant other to act on their behalf if or when needed. Reasons vary and may include lack of family and friends in close proximity,… Read more »