News

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 »

Abbas ends Palestinians’ agreements with Israel, including security cooperation

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared an end to all agreements with Israel, including security cooperation, effectively turning over to Israel’s government the running of the entire West Bank. “The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the… Read more »

PBS film explores recent rise of anti-Semitism in U.S., Europe

Russell Walker (right) was a candidate for North Carolina's State House in 2018. His racist statements prompted the North Carolina Republican Party to withdraw its support for him. (Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations)

A new PBS documentary, “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations” will premiere May 26. The film, which will air at 9 p.m. on Arizona Public Media’s channel 6, explores the rise and spread of anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe in recent years. The project has been underway for more than… Read more »

Social welfare calls bolster community bonds

To ease loneliness caused by COVID-19 social distancing during Passover this year, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation organized a Passover ‘Potluck’ held via Zoom on April 13, one of the intermediate days of the holiday.

As part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and Jewish Community Foundation response to the coronavirus pandemic, staff and volunteers have made more than 1,300 social welfare phone calls to members of the community. The project is ongoing. “It started with my desire to reach out to donors of… Read more »

Tucson J virtual programs can help adults, kids stay active and sharp during pandemic

Loving Kindness Meditation with Pamela Adler is one of the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s virtual classes. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center has been offering a variety of virtual classes and programs at www.tucsonjcc.org to help people stay physically fit, mentally sharp, and spiritually focused while the facility is closed as a preventative measure due to the coronavirus. “You can stay active in your own home! Here… Read more »

Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund taking two-phase approach

Last week, the Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund approved an allocation of $25,000 to the Community Food Bank to rescue over 30,000 meals from the international border that otherwise were destined for the landfill. The fund also allocated an additional $20,000 to Interfaith Community Services for emergency financial assistance… Read more »

Two Tucsonans elected to BBYO regional board

Two Tucson teens, Gabe Friedman and Rachel Rudner, have been elected to the BBYO Mountain Region board. Friedman is the 73rd regional aleph godol (BBYO AZA president), overseeing the engagement of Jewish teens across Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Also part of the teen team responsible for the BBYO On… Read more »

Rattlesnake bites on the rise — watch where you step, warns UArizona poison center

A rattlesnake crosses the Loop path near Swan Road on April 25. (Facebook)

Warm weather may lead to more outdoor activities, but be aware of rattlesnakes, cautions the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center located in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. So far this year, 36 rattlesnake bites have been reported to AzPDIC. Twenty-four of those bites occurred in April, up… Read more »

UArizona, with state funds, begins COVID-19 antibody tests

Graduate student Tyler Ripperger in Janko Nikolich-Žugich lab at the University of Arizona puts plates into a 37 degrees Celsius bath to allow for optimal detection conditions. (Photo: Kris Hanning/University of Arizona Health Sciences)

The University of Arizona has started analyzing blood samples from hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to determine who has developed antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. The state of Arizona is providing $3.5 million to test 250,000 health care workers and first responders throughout Arizona. To lay the foundation… Read more »