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Shinshiniyot b’not mitzvah to precede farewell

Rotem Rapaport (L) and Ron Benacot cherish their year as Israeli emissaries to Tucson. (Courtesy Weintraub Israel Center)

Weintraub Israel Center’s shinshiniyot (Israeli teen emissaries), Ron Benacot and Rotem Rapaport, will be called to the Torah as b’not mitzvah Saturday, June 15 at Temple Emanu-El.  “I had my bat mitzvah when I was 12,” said Benacot, “but where I grew up in Israel, it’s not common for… Read more »

Community volunteers recognized for outstanding work

Ellen Sa

This is part two of a series on the Jewish agency volunteers who received 2019 Special Recognition Awards at the Jewish Community Awards celebration held May 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The evening also included the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s annual meeting. Ellen Saltonstall, Jewish History… Read more »

Nurse finds Jewish values at core of service to migrants

Nancy Rudner, left, with fellow volunteer Dr. Linn Larson, in the sanctuary of Tucson’s former Benedictine monastery, where medical intake takes place when migrants arrive from detention. (Courtesy Nancy Rudner)

Nancy Rudner volunteered at Tucson’s old Benedictine monastery in March, rendering medical aid to asylum-seeking migrants from Central America. It was her first stint at Casa Alitas, the shelter operated by Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, and as a volunteer with RNRN, the Registered Nurse Response Network, a… Read more »

Israeli teen ambassadors arrive in August

Shay Friedwald and Danielle Levy

Danielle Levy and Shay Friedwald will arrive in Tucson in early August as Tucson’s shinshinim (Israeli teen ambassadors) for the coming year. These 18 year-olds are emissaries through the Jewish Agency for Israel, sponsored by the Weintraub Israel Center. They will work with day schools, congregations, and Jewish organizations… Read more »

JFSA raises $70,000+ for Central American migrants, but cash, goods still needed

Jim and Jill Rich display one of 1,000 backpacks purchased with donated funds. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)

Thanks to community generosity between May 3-June 6, $47,000 has been donated to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Migrant Relief Services Emergency Fund for Central American asylum seekers transiting Tucson. Combined with an initial anonymous $25,000 matching grant donation, that’s $72,000 to assist with emergency expenses. Expenditures are… Read more »

Hoffman earns UA medical scholarship

Jacquelyn Hoffman

Jacquelyn Hoffman, a second-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has been awarded the two-year, Shirley D. Curson Medical Student Scholarship. The scholarship, of about $15,000 per year in a student’s third and fourth years of medical school, is awarded through the UA… Read more »

Cooling off tips from our staff and friends

Michelle Shapiro, left, with Wil Thomas, loves to cool off with gelato. She’s tried every flavor at Blue Ice Gelato. It’s the only gelateria in Arizona that pasteurizes its milk in-house. (Photo courtesy Michelle Shapiro)

The AJP asked its staff and colleagues at Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona to share their secrets for beating the heat in Tucson’s triple-digit summers. Gail Barnhill: “Start gardening at 9 p.m. under yard lights and jump in the pool every 15 minutes. I swim with my five grandsons.… Read more »

Adopt-A-Bee program at Tohono Chul to support National Pollinator Week

Tohono Chul is holding its fourth annual Adopt-A-Bee program. The whimsical program, which allows participants to “adopt” and name a native bee, helps Tohono Chul communicate its passion for preservation and conservation. Adopt-A-Bee aims to increase awareness of the various native bee species in Southern Arizona, and to promote… Read more »

Tucson natives, plus Italian chef, make Frost gelato a hit

Frost co-founder Jeff Kaiserman, left, enjoys a sorbettini (dairy free milkshake made with sorbet and sparkling water); Chef Nazario Melchionda, center, indulges in marble black cherry gelato, and Stephen Ochoa has a cone with stracciatella and creama di biscotti gelato, May 29. Photo courtesy frost A Gelato Shoppe)

It was a sunny afternoon this May with temps in the ’90s, a preview of this month’s triple digit coming attractions. After lunch at a local café, I craved a dessert that was at once scrumptious and refreshing and wouldn’t break the calorie bank. Light bulb moment! I hurried… Read more »

Local First Arizona’s ‘Independents Week’ offers savings

Local First Arizona will celebrate its annual “Independents Week” June 29-July 7. During Independents Week, LFA encourages Arizonans to “go local” by supporting as many locally owned businesses as possible. For the entire week, consumers can use LFA’s Golden Coupon for 20 percent discounts at hundreds of participating businesses… Read more »

Long-awaited Israel trip is ‘amazing’ for THA eighth-graders

Participants on Tucson Hebrew Academy’s 18th annual eighth grade Israel trip and their Partnership2Gether school twinning counterparts on Zikim Beach in southern Israel, May 2019. Standing, from left: Adi Shacham, Hodaya Shoshani, Yuval Cohen, Carly Wright, Ziv Yona, Lily Goldberg, Robin Garcia, Yoni Green, Yuval Nir, Gaya Benaim, Lila Season, Adamari ‘Mari’ Pasillas, Ben O., and Ziv Gibli; seated: Noam Amitay, Avia Gez, Talya Fleisher, Isabella ‘Izzy’ Garcia, Rylee Herman, Dahlia Tolby, Hadlie Polonski, Orli Levy, Eitan Otmasgin, Shahar Kahana, Davis Yalen, Bodhi Teufel, and Eli Kahana (Courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Last month, Tucson Hebrew Academy graduate Davis Yalen had the kind of Israel experience every Jewish parent and educator dreams of. He enjoyed floating in the Dead Sea: “It was such a cool experience, because I’ve heard about it, and learned about it in school.” Riding on the world’s… Read more »

Truly Nolen volunteers pack food for JFSA’s Homer Davis project

Volunteers from Truly Nolen filled food bags for 60 Homer Davis students to supplement their summer nutrition. (L-R) Robert Folino, Brian Harper, Joshua King, Michael Barcelo, Spain Sivley, Tracy Masterson, and Reuben Hill. Front: Jeremy Christopherson (Photo: Mary Ellen Loebl)

On May 29, community volunteers from Truly Nolen Pest & Termite Control packed 240 bags of food to supplement nutrition for students at Homer Davis Elementary School over the summer break, when kids can’t get meals at school. The food program is part of the Jewish Federation of Southern… Read more »

Tucson interfaith rally draws scores to support activist Warren

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim, Tucson, Arizona, speaks at the Faith Floods the Courtroom Interfaith Prayer Service in front of the US Court in support of Dr. Scott Warren, on trial for rendering humanitarian aid to migrants. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

Updated 6.13.19  Dozens of faith leaders from across Southwestern borderlands, including two local rabbis, rallied June 5 in front of the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Tucson in solidarity with Arizona State University geography instructor and activist Scott Warren, Ph.D. A volunteer with the Tucson-based aid group No More… Read more »

Tohono Chul prepares for 28th annual bloom night

Tucson, AZ (June 4, 2019) Every summer thousands of Tucsonans visit the gardens at Tohono Chul to catch a glimpse of the majesty and beauty of the Queen of the Night, the night-blooming cereus Peniocereus greggii. The gardens have the world’s largest collection of this plant. When the summer… Read more »

Business briefs 5.31.19

Melissa Landau was honored with Tucson Hebrew Academy’s 2019 Teacher Excellence Award at the THA annual meeting on May 15. Two THA parents, Robyn Kessler and Martha Sampson, established the award at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. First presented in 2005, the award includes $1,500 for the… Read more »

People in the news 5.31.19

Former Tucsonan Jacob S. Louchheim is appearing in the musical “Ragtime” at the Serenbe Playhouse in Atlanta through June 9. Louchheim, who plays Tateh, is one of three actors named as particularly outstanding in Atlanta InTown’s review.… Read more »

CAI to energize youth, family education program

Congregation Anshei Israel's B'Yachad students will participate in experiential activities with Nichole Chorney, cantorial soloist.

Congregation Anshei Israel is revamping its youth and family education models, tearing down silos, and merging them into a new program, aptly called B’Yachad (together). This new name builds on the synagogue’s tagline and vision: “Living Y/Our Judaism Together.” Religious school programs evolved post-World War II in America’s suburban… Read more »

Young leaders apply philanthropic savvy at JFSA annual meeting

JFSA Young Leadership Campaign volunteer Sarah Singer (left) presents a check to Tucson Hebrew Academy Head of School Laurence Kutler (center) and outgoing THA Board Chair Neil Kleinman. (Martha Lochert)

Two Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Leadership special teams received funds to disburse in the community, which they presented at the JFSA Annual Meeting and Community Awards Celebration on Thursday, May 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Recipient agencies included the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, Jewish… Read more »