Local

Progressive Jewish Latina embraces community with gusto

Alma Hernandez at her bat mitzvah party in the Holocaust History Center garden, April 8 (Courtesy Hernandez)

Alma Hernandez is passionate and strives every day to make a difference. People say her values and actions represent the core of Judaism, which is noteworthy because Hernandez didn’t grow up Jewish. At age 24, she has been active in the Jewish community for several years, even before she… Read more »

JCRC immigration forum highlights city’s citizenship campaign

Immigration lawyer Alan Bennett speaks at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 28. (Simon Rosenblatt)

The immigration crisis in Southern Arizona was the topic of a breakfast forum organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona on Friday, April 28. Opening the meeting, which was held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, JCRC Chair Richard White explained that… Read more »

‘Recovered atheist’ and future rabbi speaks from heart on Jewish identity, healthy homes

(L-R): Linda Behr, Congregation Bet Shalom Cantor Avraham Alpert, Eileen Weizenbaum and Andrea Siemens, LMSW, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 23. Behr and Weizenbaum are Jewish Family & Children's Services Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family program board members. (Korene Charnofsky Cohen)

Avraham “Avi” Alpert’s spiritual journey has led him from Judaism to atheism to being an observant Jew. Now he wants to help other Jews find their own path to Jewish traditions, values and celebrations that bring families closer together. His April 23 talk at the Tucson Jewish Community Center,… Read more »

Three Tucsonans to compete on Team USA at Maccabiah Games in Israel

Sam Beskind of Catalina Foothills High School drives to the basket against Walden Grove High School, Jan. 12, 2017. [Courtesy Beskind)

Three young Jewish athletes from Tucson will compete in the elite Maccabiah Games in Israel. Held every four years, the games are the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 athletes from over 80 countries. Sam Beskind, Tamara Statman and Brett Miller will be part of Team… Read more »

From Navajo reservation to exotic cruises, medical career is window to world

Dr. Seneca Erman and Cantor Janece Cohen at Congregation Or Chadash in 2016 (Elliot Framan)

The Navajo cradleboard at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum held Cantor Janece Cohen when she was a baby. It continues to hold many stories for her and her father, Dr. Seneca Erman, 88, who gave a gallery chat at the museum on Feb. 3. Erman had done a two-month internship… Read more »

Tracing Roots celebrates two years linking teens, seniors

Handmaker resident Les Waldman, third from left, with the Gibly family: Haya, Yochanan, Zakai, Raquel, Nati and Ayelet, at the April 30 Tracing Roots and Building Trees reception at Handmaker. (Nanci Levy)

Tracing Roots and Building Trees, an intergenerational program that brings together residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging with students from Tucson Hebrew High, wrapped up its second year with a reception at Handmaker on Sunday, April 30.  Fifteen Handmaker residents and 13 teens participated in the program,… Read more »

Tucson sisters launch first Woops! in the West

Sisters Naomi Lippel (left) and Ellie Lippel at Woops! Bakeshop (Courtesy Woops!)

Tucson’s Main Gate Square sports a chic new bakery called Woops! The Woops! phenomenon got its start in 2012 with a pop-up holiday kiosk in New York’s Bryant Square Park selling nothing but macarons, the petite, colorful French sandwich cookies (as opposed to macaroons, the chewy coconut cookies often… Read more »

Three rabbis to explore ‘Finding G-d’ in Handmaker talk

(L-R) Rabbi Yossie Shemtov, Rabbi Thomas Louchheim and Rabbi Robert Eisen

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging will continue its Rabbi Lecture Series with “Finding G-d (in the) Every Day,” featuring Rabbis Yossie Shemtov, Robert Eisen and Thomas Louchheim, on Sunday, May 21 at 3:30 p.m. “The Baal Shem Tov taught us that everything you see or hear can serve… Read more »

Local bike drive, volunteer training aim to aid refugees

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has launched “Bikes Without Borders” to distribute bicycles to newly arrived refugees through local refugee resettlement agencies. “Bikes Without Borders” is seeking donations of new or used adult and child-sized bicycles and helmets, locks, lights and other… Read more »

In museum talk, novelist to explore Inquisition in Mexico

The Jewish History Museum will host “Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories,” a book signing and talk with novelist Marcia Fine, as part of its exhibition from the New Mexico History Museum, “Fluid Identities: New Mexican Crypto-Jews in the Late 20th Century.” The free talk will be held Tuesday,… Read more »

In Tucson talk, journalist will examine media bias on Israel

Matti Friedman is a former AP reporter and author of "The Aleppo Codex" and "Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story"

It’s very important to understand who is feeding you information and why they are doing so, says Matti Friedman, an award-winning author and former reporter for the Associated Press’ Jerusalem bureau. “We all need to be critical consumers of media, not just where Israel is concerned,” says Friedman. “The… Read more »

Jewish History Museum explores ‘Fluid Identities’ of Crypto Jews

The “Cruz de los Sepharditos de Nuestra Tierra Sagrada” by artist Carlie Sánchez illustrates the confluence of cultures. (Courtesy Jewish History Museum)

“Fluid Identities:  New Mexican Crypto Jews in the Late 20th Century” is currently on display at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum. On loan from the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, “Fluid Identities” is part of a larger exhibition entitled “Fractured Faiths.” The Tucson exhibit offers an opportunity to… Read more »

Tucson Pops free concerts to start Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, May 14 marks the opening of the 63rd season of Tucson Pops Concerts in the Park. Under the direction of Maestro László Veres, the Tucson Pops Orchestra will perform five “Music under the Stars™” concerts on Sundays, May 14-June 11, at 7 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor… Read more »

New program focuses on leadership through a Jewish lens

Amy Hirshberg Lederman (Courtesy Lederman)

A group of leaders from the local Jewish community recently received a unique opportunity to study 21st-century leadership issues from a Jewish perspective. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona sponsored the flagship LEAD 2017 leadership program, held Jan. 4-March 22 at Tucson Hebrew Academy and the Jewish Federation. A… Read more »

JFSA proposes amendments to its constitution

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona proposes amendments to its constitution, which will be voted upon by its membership at its annual meeting, May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. As required by the constitution, these changes are available for review at jfsa.org/constitutionamendments. It is… Read more »

Green Valley ethical will class planned

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron

In conjunction with Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley will present a free ethical will workshop for the Jewish community, led by Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, on Tuesday, May 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Unlike a medical directive or living will, or a will detailing bequests… Read more »

Hillel awards Shirley Curson Medical Scholarship

Sophie Loeb

Sophie Loeb, a second-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, has a strong commitment to care for those in her own backyard. Loeb is the 2017 recipient of the Shirley Curson Medical Scholarship from the UA Hillel Foundation. The scholarship recognizes the commitment… Read more »

JCRC leaders forum to focus on immigration crisis

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will hold a panel discussion on the immigration crisis in Southern Arizona at its Spring Leaders Forum on Friday, April 28. The breakfast event will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, with the… Read more »