News

With new health and safety measures, Tucson J reopening many programs

Tennis courts at the Tucson Jewish Community Center will reopen June. 1. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

After a nine-week closure, the Tucson Jewish Community Center announced plans this week to reopen its facility in early June. The J is following guidelines set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Arizona, as well as advice from a recently formed medical… Read more »

Felicia’s Farm honors memory of founder’s wife by feeding hungry Tucsonans

Felicia CutlerThe late Felicia Cutler was the inspiration for Felicia’s Farm in Tucson. (Courtesy Felicia’s Farm.)

Showing kindness to others is the best feeling in the world. So says David Cutler, founder of Felicia’s Farm in central Tucson. All of the farm’s fresh produce and eggs are donated to organizations that provide for people who might otherwise go hungry. Staff and volunteers regularly reap the benefits… Read more »

As colleges go virtual, students instead are heading to Israel on gap year programs

Year Course students this spring wear masks while volunteering. (Courtesy of Year Course)

(JTA) — Hadara Bilsky thought she’d spend her first semester of college making friends in her dorm, having discussions with professors and students in class, and attending Shabbat services at Hillel. Now the 18-year-old isn’t sure if any of that will happen. Emory University, her school of choice, has… Read more »

Partnerships help Jewish History Museum thrive in digital space

The Holocaust History Center at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum

Tucson’s Jewish History Museum closed its doors this spring to maintain physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, but the staff has been busy forging new partnerships to help it grow its offerings and its audience in the digital world. “In a time of constricted resources, the Jewish History Museum is… Read more »

Museum of Jewish Montreal told it must vacate premises

(JTA) — The Museum of Jewish Montreal has been told it must vacate its premises by the end of June. The museum, which is being evicted by the building’s new owners, has been running online experiences since being forced to close due to the coronavirus crisis. “Our storefront has… Read more »

Amid pandemic, Jewish groups get creative for Shavuot festivities

Health care staff at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital participate in the Days of Gratitude project, holding up signs in Hebrew and Arabic reading "Thank you for taking care of yourself," "Thank you for coming to work" and Thank you for your dedication." (Courtesy of M2)

When Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly during a 2015 vacation to Mexico, Sandberg found solace in Jewish tradition. “One of the ways you find strength is to remember what is still good in your life,” Sandberg said. During the coronavirus crisis, actress, scientist and author… Read more »

I started watching this German rabbi praying alone early in the pandemic, and I couldn’t stop

Rabbi Zsolt Balla prays alone in his synagogue in Leipzig, Germany, during the coronavirus crisis. (Facebook screenshot)

(JTA) — On a Friday early in the coronavirus crisis, isolated in my apartment and facing the first of what would be many weekends with only Netflix for companionship, I came across a live Facebook video of Rabbi Zsolt Balla praying alone from the pulpit of his synagogue in… Read more »

The coronavirus didn’t just upend Broadway — it put all kinds of indie projects in limbo

The release of Emma Seligman's indie film "Shiva Baby" was delayed because of the coronavirus. (Sharon Attia)

(JTA) — Emma Seligman is trying to stay optimistic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25-year-old came extremely close to fulfilling every film student’s fantasy: having her debut indie film played at coveted festivals and becoming an up-and-coming name to know in the industry. Her film “Shiva Baby” involves both… Read more »

Synagogues demur as Trump demands that states let houses of worship reopen

People protesting to allow churches to reopen in San Diego, May 1, 2020. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — President Donald Trump wants synagogues and other houses of worship to open their doors — but many Jewish leaders say his pressure won’t affect their timelines. The president went on the offensive Friday, telling governors that he would override them to require houses of worship to be… Read more »

Joe Biden to Jewish donors: ‘I do not support annexation,’ will reverse Trump policies on Israel and the Palestinians

Joe Biden speaks at a coronavirus virtual town hall from his home in Wilmington, Del., April 08, 2020. (Screengrab from JoeBiden.com via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joe Biden said that as president he would reverse Trump administration policies that have led to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. “I do not support annexation,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told Jewish donors on Tuesday during a fundraising webinar. “I’m going… Read more »

Jewish Republicans tackle a thorny question: What to do about Republicans like Steve King?

Rep. Steve King of Iowa speaks to an audience member ahead of a campaign rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Jan. 30, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Republican Jewish Coalition is best known for scorching ads challenging the pro-Israel credentials of Democratic candidates. This election cycle, however, it is leading the charge against a GOP congressman: Steve King of Iowa. After years of flirting with white nationalists, King in January 2019 came… Read more »

A Jewish camp in Maine is actually opening. Here’s how it plans to keep COVID-19 away.

Campers playing on the water at Camp Modin. The camp is perhaps the first Jewish camp in the country to announce, in detail, how it plans to open. (Courtesy of Camp Modin)

(JTA) — Here’s a story that would have been unremarkable until just a few months ago: A Jewish camp is planning to open this summer. Camp Modin in Maine has announced that it will open July 9 — two weeks later than originally planned — despite the ongoing COVID-19… Read more »

Objects hidden by Auschwitz prisoners discovered during restoration work

(JTA) — Utensils, tools and scraps of leather were found in a prisoners’ block at Auschwitz during renovation and restoration work. The objects were discovered last month hidden beneath a chimney flue in block 17 of the main camp, Austria’s National Fund for Victims of National Socialism told the… Read more »

Most Israelis infected with COVID-19 had strain that originated in US

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Most Israelis who had the COVID-19 virus were infected with a strain that originated in the United States. About 70% of the infected patients were infected by Americans visiting Israel or by Israelis who brought the virus back with them from the United States, according to… Read more »