Local

Handmaker temporarily limits outside visitors

As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging has canceled all outside programs and events at least through the end of March. Handmaker is also limiting visitation, as per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Center for… Read more »

Or Chadash, Temple Emanu-El explore merger

A joint Congregation Or Chadash-Temple Emanu-El ‘100 Menorah Celebration’ Shabbat on Dec. 27 filled the sanctuary at Temple Emanu-El. (Simon Rosenblatt - Facebook)

In an era when non-Orthodox synagogues throughout the country have seen membership decline, two Reform synagogues in Tucson, Temple Emanu-El and Congregation Or Chadash, are considering joining forces. Temple Emanu-El, established in 1910, is the oldest synagogue in Arizona, while Or Chadash is celebrating its 25th year. After more… Read more »

Neo-Nazis target editor of Jewish publication

An Arizona man associated with a neo-Nazi group was among four arrested on Feb. 26 and charged with conspiracy to threaten and intimidate Mala Blomquist, the editor of Arizona Jewish Life, and an unnamed member of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists. All four charged are affiliated with Atomwaffen… Read more »

JFSA, others cancel events, focus on giving, digital resources in face of coronavirus

A view from the lobby of the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, home of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (Martha Lochert)

UPDATE: The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona have created a web page at www.jewishtucson.org/pandemic containing community resources, volunteer opportunities, and a link to donate to the newly created Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance and meets critical needs for individuals, families, and… Read more »

JHM vandalism symptom of rising anti-Semitism

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These are troubling times. Anti-Semitic threats and messages are escalating all around us. Three weeks ago, the words “Hail Hitler” (sic) were found scrawled on an exhibit inside our Holocaust History Center. March 5, a man brazenly unfurled a Nazi flag as Senator Bernie Sanders took the stage at… Read more »

Congregation Or Chadash Sisterhood shines a light on volunteer Sandock

Beverly Sandock

Community volunteer Beverly Sandock will be recognized in April by  the Congregation Or Chadash Sisterhood with its second annual Eshet Or (Woman of Light) award. In addition to 20 years of volunteer service at the synagogue, Sandock contributes to the community through daily professional and personal outreach. “Bev’s name… Read more »

Active GV volunteer has passion for aiding migrants

At her Green Valley home, Shura Wallin shows drawings created by migrant children sheltering in Nogales, Sonora. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

A grey, three-footed Mexican rescue cat named Tiny bats innocently at the frayed end of a dirty white rope. At the other end of the rope is a noose. The rope is one of many artifacts Shura Wallin has recovered from the Sonoran Desert between Green Valley and the… Read more »

Amid coronavirus fears, Tucson Festival of Books is cancelled

The   Tucson Festival of Books board of directors canceled the 2020 festival, which was scheduled for this weekend, March 14 and 15, after more than 100 authors withdrew due to fears of coronavirus (COVID-19). “We know the festival brings much joy to many in our community,” an announcement from… Read more »

Purim fun should not eclipse message on education

Rabbi Yossie Shemtov

Two thousand five hundred years ago, Haman — then prime minister of the Persian Empire — succeeded in convincing King Ahasuerus to issue a decree to destroy the Jews throughout the land.  Following the issuance of this decree, Haman and his comrades went strolling with jovial hearts and encountered the… Read more »

Tucson, Phoenix are best cities for sunshine

It’s no surprise to us who live in the Sonoran Desert that, on average, we enjoy 286 sunny days a year in Tucson — while the U.S. average is 205. Old Pueblo residents can get ample doses of vitamin D while those in the Pacific Northwest are depleted. We… Read more »

Local, Israeli experts to discuss modern Israel at NW symposium

David Graizbord

Editor’s note: This event has been postponed until November due the spread of COVID-19. The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona have canceled all public events through April 16 out of an abundance of caution.   Israeli politics, water scarcity, and medical advances will highlight “Israel… Read more »

Surgeon looks to shed light on serial killers at medical professionals’ dinner

Brain surgeon Allan Hamilton, M.D., pictured at one of his TED talks, will speak to the Tucson Maimonides Society March 16.

Editor’s note: Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona on March 13 has cancelled all public events through April 16.  Tucson Maimonides Society’s March presentation sounds like it comes straight from the set of a television medical drama. Indeed, speaker Allan Hamilton, M.D., is… Read more »

Tucson’s first mezuzah week set to ensure spiritual security

Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden

“Tucson Mezuzah Week’ is the first community-wide opportunity, offered by Congregation Chofetz Chayim and the Southwest Torah Institute, to have every Jewish home in Tucson protected by the mitzvah of placing mezuzot on every doorpost,” says the congregation’s Rabbi Israel Becker. Often called the “Jewish security system,” the mezuzah is… Read more »

Congregation M’kor Hayim will focus on refugees for special Shabbat service

Gloria Goldman and Teresa Cavendish

Editor’s note: Due to the spread of coronavirus, Congregation M’kor Hayim has postponed this event. HIAS’ National Refugee Shabbat is a call to congregations across the country to dedicate sacred time on the March 20-21 Shabbat to honor refugees and asylum seekers. Congregation M’kor Hayim will hold a special Friday,… Read more »

Southern Arizona athlete racks up medals in Senior Olympics competition

David Tannenbaum isn’t weighted down by his bevy of Senior Olympics medals. He’ll be competing again at the national games in 2021. (Courtesy David Tannenbaum)

Senior athlete David Tannenbaum of Hereford, Arizona, recently completed a “decathlon” of his own making. “I set a goal to win 10 medals in three different sports,” he says. Achieving that goal at the 2020 Arizona Senior Olympics in February wasn’t easy but it qualified him for participation in… Read more »

ATC Cohorts Club promotes love of theater

Sara Lopez

Arizona Theatre Company launched a new program this year as another way to involve the local community. The program, called the Cohorts Club, gives citizens of Tucson and Phoenix the opportunity to see everything that encompasses a show ATC puts on. Designated members of the public attend rehearsals, tech… Read more »