Mosque torched in Jerusalem in apparent hate crime

(JTA) — A mosque in Jerusalem was burned down in an apparent hate crime. The torching of the mosque in the Sharafat area on Thursday right resulted in no injuries. But nearby, spray painted in Hebrew, was the message: “Wreck Jewish — enemy homes will be wrecked.” Graffiti… Read more »

Swastikas painted on synagogue in New Zealand

(JTA) — Swastikas were found painted on and around a synagogue in Wellington, New Zealand. One swastika was painted on Wednesday on the Temple Sinai synagogue and several others were found nearby, a Wellington City Council spokesperson told Newshub. The word “Heil” was also painted nearby. “I’m upset by… Read more »

Renowned therapist to headline annual Connections brunch

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Ruth Westheimer promises she won’t talk about sexual satisfaction in her March 8 presentation at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy annual Connections brunch. Best known as “Dr. Ruth,” Westheimer is an American sex therapist, media personality, author, radio and television talk show host, and Holocaust survivor.… Read more »

Jewish History Museum, AME church reach out to community

(L-R) Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash, Bryan Davis of Tucson’s Jewish History Museum, and Pastor Margaret Redmond McFaddin of Prince Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church speak at the ‘No Hate No Fear’ solidarity rally Jan. 12 in Barrio Viejo. Photo Courtesy JHM

About 160 people filled the forecourt of Tucson’s Jewish History Museum on Sunday, Jan. 12, for a “No Hate. No Fear” solidarity rally organized by the museum and its next-door neighbor, the Prince Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The rally was a response to rising anti-Semitism in the United… Read more »

Author to discuss power of gratitude for JFSA

Janice Kaplan

What began as a challenging idea — to spend a full year living gratefully — became a life-changing experience for author, magazine editor, and producer Janice Kaplan. Her inspirational memoir, “The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Transformed My Life” (Dutton 2015) reached the New… Read more »

Local artist brings 19th century cantor to life in ‘My Grandfather’s Prayers’

Artist Lisa Amie Sturz manipulates a puppet representing Cantor Izo Glickstein as she narrates ‘My Grandfather’s Prayers.’ Photo courtesy Red Herring Puppets

Relocating her well established Red Herring Puppets studio from North Carolina to Tucson last year was a big move for Lisa Amie Sturz. She brings to the Old Pueblo 40 years of experience in building, performing, and directing puppetry for film and television, theater, museums, educational institutions, and special… Read more »

Oro Valley Chabad, police to hold community safety event

Chabad of Oro Valley will host a community-wide event addressing safety and security on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m.. The Oro Valley Police Department will present an “active shooter response” class to provide attendees with strategies for dangerous situations. Since the recent violent attacks against Jewish communities, including… Read more »

JHM to debut Sephardic and Mizrahi Festival

Miriam Peretz, left, and Rachel Valfer of the Ladino Project will perform ‘MADRE’ in Tucson on Feb. 2.

The Jewish History Museum is sponsoring “In Diaspora We Are Many,” a festival that explores the Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish cultures. The festival will take place Friday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 2.  This is the museum’s first Sephardic and Mizrahi festival.    “We are holding a Sephardic and… Read more »

Women enjoy mahj, margaritas, mitzvahs

After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, women get down to the business of playing mah jongg at a Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona event Jan. 8.

A multi-generational group of more than 100 women gathered Jan. 8 at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy for an evening of food and drink, mah jongg — with many newcomers learning the game— and giving, hosted by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Women’s… Read more »

Sherberg, supporter of Tucson Jewish community, fire foundation, dies

Esther Sherberg is the only civilian to be honored with transport toward her final resting place in The Last Alarm Foundation fire truck.

Esther Sherberg, a longtime Tucson resident and Jewish community volunteer, died Jan. 9, 2020, at the age of 86. Services were held Jan. 10 at Evergreen Mortuary, with Rabbi Robert Eisen of Congregation Anshei Israel officiating. Interment was in St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Sherberg was born Oct. 1, 1933… Read more »

Netanyahu and Gantz to meet with Trump next week to discuss ‘prospect of peace’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Vice President Mike Pence at the U.S. .Embassy in Jerusalem, Jan. 23, 2020. (Koby Gideon, Israeli Government Press Office)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump will meet at the White House on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz to talk in part about Middle East peace. Vice President Mike Pence extended the invitation at a meeting Thursday in Jerusalem with Netanyahu. The… Read more »

Senior Saudi leader and Muslim religious leaders visit Auschwitz

(JTA) — A senior Muslim leader from Saudi Arabia visited Auschwitz with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee. Mohammed al-Issa, the secretary-general of the Mecca-based Muslim World League and a former Saudi justice minister, joined a delegation of Muslim religious leaders from several countries at the site of… Read more »

Israeli teen stumbles on Greek antiquity while foraging for mushrooms

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli seventh-grader who was foraging for mushrooms near his home unearthed a marble slab with a Greek inscription from the Byzantine period. Stav Meir, 13, of Caesarea, found the artifact last week, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Stav saw… Read more »

Belgian police to open hotline for reporting anti-Semitic, racist incidents

(JTA) — Belgian police will open an online hotline for reporting anti-Semitic and racist incidents, and some Jews hope it will replace the country’s discredited anti-discrimination agency. Michael Freilich, a Jewish member of Belgian parliament, announced the hotline’s opening Wednesday. Going in person to a police station is intimidating… Read more »