Café at the J will be kosher for Passover

The Café at the J will be open Monday, April 2 through Thursday, April 5, during the chol hamoed (intermediate days) of Passover, with a special menu of kosher-for-Passover meals. This the first time the café at the Tucson Jewish Community Center will be open during Passover. The café… Read more »

Historian Lipstadt to keynote JFCS gala

Deborah Lipstadt, Ph.D.

Eminent Holocaust historian, scholar and author Deborah Lipstadt, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker at Jewish Family & Children’s Services 9th annual Celebration of Caring, Sunday, April 8. Lipstadt gained international recognition for defending the historical truth of the Holocaust in a precedent-setting lawsuit, tried in a British court.… Read more »

‘Flying Chai’ festival will honor COC education director

Rina Liebeskind

A decade as the director of education at Congregation Or Chadash has flown by for Rina Liebeskind. The congregation will honor her for her years of dedicated service with a “Flying Chai” tribute festival at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on April 15. “As the oldest of six children,… Read more »

Fort Huachuca will commemorate Holocaust

An annual Holocaust Days of Remembrance Observance, hosted by the U.S. Army at Fort Huachuca, will be held Monday, April 9 at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Gil Ribak, Ph.D., assistant professor of Judaic studies at University of Arizona, will give the keynote address. He will speak about the… Read more »

Israel @ 70 Festival to highlight Israel’s cutting edge tech

MyEye 2.0 by OrCam makes it possible for the blind or visually impaired to read texts and recognize objects and faces.

At Tucson’s Israel @ 70 Festival next month, Tucsonans can try out a pair of smart glasses created by an Israeli company that enable blind or visually impaired people to read written words and recognize objects and faces. “Basically they point with their figure to a street sign or… Read more »

‘Community’ sets Jewish football pro on spiritual journey

Alan Veingrad speaks at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Men’s Night Out event at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, March 6.

The journey from Pop Warner to the National Football League is a dream for many youngsters. It seemed an impossible dream for a lanky Jewish boy from Brooklyn in the ’70s. Alan Veingrad shared how mentors helped him make that dream come true — and how “community” ultimately intercepted… Read more »

Talk to link Jewish ethics, biotechnology

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson of Arizona State University will present “The Imperative to Heal: Judaism, Ethics & Biotechnology,” the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies’ 2018 Rabbi Marcus Breger Memorial Lecture, on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Today, diverse biomedical procedures constitute what we call… Read more »

Father of Polish PM says Jews gladly moved to ghettos

(JTA) — A former Polish politician who is the father of the country’s prime minister said that Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jewish Poles. Kornel Morawiecki, a former senator whose son, Mateusz, became prime minister last year, made the… Read more »

JHM exhibit focuses on early Tucson photos

A self-portrait by photographer Leo Goldschmidt

On Friday, March 16, the Jewish History Museum opened a new, original, temporary exhibition, “Subtle Apertures: Leo Goldschmidt’s Early Photographic Record of the Sonoran Borderlands.” Images and information for the exhibition are drawn from the collections of the Jewish History Museum and the Bloom Jewish Southwest Archives at the… Read more »

These North American baby boomers teach Israeli kids English

IsraelConnect, which pairs Israeli students with senior citizen English tutors in North America, works mostly with schools on Israel's periphery. (Courtesy of Israel Connect)

(JTA) — There’s no reason Hodaya Koskas and Barrett Brickell would know each other. Koskas, 14, is a high school student from a small city in central Israel who takes ballet classes and hopes to be a dancer. Brickell, 71, is a retired schoolteacher from Ottawa, Canada. But they’ve… Read more »

National Geographic’s first Jewish editor in chief opens up about racism in the magazine’s past

Susan Goldberg is National Geographic Magazine’s first female and Jewish editor-in-chief. (Courtesy of National Geographic)

(JTA) —The editor in chief of National Geographic Magazine made waves when she admitted that the magazine’s past coverage was tinged with racism. “For decades, our coverage was racist. To rise above our past, we must acknowledge it,” Susan Goldberg wrote in a letter for the magazine’s April issue, which marks the… Read more »

Malcolm Hoenlein says his role with Israeli gas giant is ‘completely transparent’

Malcolm Hoenlein, center, with Ronald Lauder, left, at the Apollo Theater in New York, March 16, 2011. (Shahar Azran/WireImage/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Malcolm Hoenlein, the professional head of one of American Jewry’s most influential organizations and a board member of a large Israeli energy company, told JTA that he sees no conflict between those roles. Hoenlein is executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major… Read more »

A Palestinian-born legislator dreams of rebuilding a synagogue in Berlin

Raed Saleh, left, a Berlin senator, and the Berlin Jewish Community's president, Gideon Joffe, hold an architect's rendering of a planned reconstruction of the Frankeluefer Synagogue. (Toby Axelrod)

BERLIN (JTA) — Raed Saleh, a Palestinian born in the West Bank, wants to rebuild a synagogue in the German capital. Now the dream of this Berlin politician is a bit closer to reality. Standing in front of the Fraenkelufer Synagogue on a chilly March morning, the senator and… Read more »

Israel is the star at a national security conference in Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant at a press conference with Israeli officials at the Homeland Defense and Security Summit in Biloxi, March 13, 2018. (Ben Sales)

BILOXI, Miss. (JTA) – A homeland security conference took place in a southern Mississippi town with an Air Force base and a shipbuilding yard. Among those in attendance were the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; a general from India, the world’s second-largest country; and representatives from Taiwan and… Read more »

A new study for cancer risk in Ashkenazi Jews aims to be a model for genetic testing

Dr. Kenneth Offit says a new study on BRCA mutations in Ashkenazi Jews will help save lives and contribute lessons for future medical testing. (Courtesy of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)

NEW YORK (JTA) — A new study will provide free testing for three mutations that substantially increase the risk for developing breast, ovarian and prostate cancer among people with Eastern European Jewish ancestry. The BRCA Founder Outreach Study (BFOR), which was launched last week, will test 4,000 men and women in… Read more »

What does Mike Pompeo as secretary of state mean for Israel and the Jews?

Mike Pompeo at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jan. 12, 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Like the rest of the world, Rex Tillerson got the news of his firing on Twitter. “Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” was the only reference to the now-outgoing secretary of state in a tweet President Donald Trump posted at 8:44 a.m. that also… Read more »

Itzhak Perlman’s inspiring musical journey — and his delightful 50-year marriage — captured in a documentary

Itzhak Perlman, shown in a scene from the documentary "Itzhak," has endured hardships to become arguably the most famous violinist in the world. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment)

(JTA) — Itzhak Perlman, arguably the most famous violinist in the world, has heard plenty of questions in his 50-year career. But when asked if his religious heritage has affected his playing, he sounds stumped. “I’m a violinist. I’m Jewish, so that makes me a Jewish musician,” he tells… Read more »

Meet the first Jew and woman to lead U.S. group working to separate religion and government

Rachel Laser is the new executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. (Rick Reinhard)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Though Rachel Laser is the new executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, she prefers a different term for the cause for which she now advocates: separation of religion and government. That difference may be subtle, but it speaks to the… Read more »

Your government is funding houses of worship. Here’s why no one noticed.

Piles of ruined books from United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston. The congregation lost many of its prayer books during Hurricane Harvey and replenished them through donations. (Courtesy of United Orthodox Synagogues)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President George W. Bush’s first act as president, on Jan. 29, 2001, was to open an office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Church-state separations that had hindered such partnerships, he said in a statement, were “inherently unfair.” Jewish groups, civil libertarians and Democrats immediately raised concerns,… Read more »