Local

Benefit concert – a message from Cantor Janece Cohen

Last Friday night, my dear friend Karla Ember, beloved cantorial soloist of  Congregation Chaverim and longtime Tucson Jewish community musician was violently attacked and gravely wounded. She is now in intensive care and fighting for her life. Members of our Jewish community are trying to help Karla and her… Read more »

THA tidbits: Middle-schoolers bond on retreat

Many schools have eliminated informal programs, leaving only classes characterized by high student/teacher ratios, rote memorization and drill exercises. But in designing programs at Tucson Hebrew Academy, the social and high-energy needs of young teens have not been tossed out, says Arthur Yavelberg, THA interim head of school. Take… Read more »

Apples add sweet meaning to holiday fare

Joan Elder (left) serves ‘Gorgeous Beet and Apple Salad’ to Ester Leutenberg at the Northwest Rosh Chodesh group’s apples and honey potluck last month.

The Northwest Rosh Chodesh group, a program of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Northwest Division Jewish Connections, met Aug. 9 at the Oro Valley home of Ester Leu­tenberg. Seventeen wom­en, ranging in age from a middle school student to women in their 70s, came together to greet the… Read more »

Maccabi Games give Tucson teen athletes opportunity for medals, service

Kendall Karon cleans the headstone of a war veteran as part of the Maccabi Games Day of Caring and Sharing.

The Tucson Maccabi Delegation of 14 teen athletes attended the Maccabi Games in Omaha, Neb., Aug. 1-6, making this the 15th year the Tucson Jewish Community Center has fielded a team. The games attract thousands of Jewish youth each year from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Israel and… Read more »

Exhibit honors new fire foundation

(L-R) Tommy Donahue, Tyler McKendrick, Tucson Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike McKendrick (Sean Stuchen)

A photography exhibit by Tucsonan Sean Stuchen, “Firefighters on Film,” celebrates the creation of the Tucson Fire Foundation. The foundation, the result of yearlong discussions between community philanthropists and Tucson Fire Department senior staff, will provide funds to bridge the human services gap between the needs of the fire… Read more »

Nominate, vote for Jewish Community Heroes

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is seeking nominees for the Second Annual Jewish Community Hero Awards, a Jewish Federations of North America initiative aimed at connecting people through social media to recognize those who are helping their communities through volunteer service. To nominate a Jewish Community Hero, go… Read more »

‘Rebbetzmen’: Life as rabbi’s husband A-OK

Rob Gludt

With four female rabbis heading Tucson congregations, it’s easy to forget that the advent of women on the bimah is a relatively recent occurrence. Since 1972, about 1,000 women have been ordained as rabbis in this country. So the norm for most congregations is a male rabbi where the… Read more »

JCC collecting cards for Israeli soldier Shalit

Gilad Shalit (Israeli Foreign Ministry)

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit marked his 24th birthday — his fifth in captivity — on Aug. 28. The Tucson Jewish Community Center is collecting birthday and new year’s cards for Shalit, in partnership with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Magen David Adom (Israel’s “Red… Read more »

Cantors’ journey to Poland captured in film

Cantor Ivor Lichterman of Congregation Anshei Israel, right, and his brother, Cantor Joel Lichterman of Denver, Colo., sing at the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw, where their father was the last prewar cantor, in this still from “100 Voices: A Journey Home.”

A documentary based on the historic visit of 100 cantors to Poland last year, “100 Voices: A Journey Home,” will be shown at three movie theatres in Tucson, for one night only, on Tuesday, Sept. 21. The film explores the rich history of Jewish culture in Poland, which is… Read more »

Unique device aids in shofar mitzvah

Tucsonan Peter Ruiz, who has cerebral palsy, with the mechanical device that will allow him to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

Blowing a shofar via a mechanical device? When 23-year-old Peter Ruiz, who has cerebral palsy, presses a touch screen at Congregation Or Chadash’s contemporary Rosh Hashanah service on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m., he will remarkably do just that. “This may be the first time this has been… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sharon Geiger

I walked up the subway stairs at the 42nd and 5th Avenue subway stop, looked around and headed for the New York City Public Library, 42nd Street branch. I had visited and worked at many libraries and would continue to visit and work at a variety of libraries throughout… Read more »

Sing in Hebrew class hits right note with choir

I grew up in Israel, where everyone sings and dances,” says Rina Paz, who created the Israel Center’s “Learn to Sing in Hebrew” class/choir in 2008 with the help of Moshe Babel-Pour, who recently left Tucson after serving for four years as the center’s director. The group, which meets… Read more »

Mitzvah projects empower teens — and provide food, enrichment for others

Koby Shochat wears the tallit his father wore at his Bar Mitzvah. Koby’s mitzvah project involved donations of used tallitot.

One of the explicit and implicit tenets of Judaism is that we are supposed to live our lives doing mitzvot, literally translated as “commandments” but informally known as “good deeds.” In addition to the usual whirlwind of activity associated with B’nai Mitzvah preparation, such as learning Torah, attending services,… Read more »

Kickoff set for B’nai Tzedek teen philanthropy program

B’nai Tzedek Tucson, a teen philanthropy program, will hold its annual kickoff event on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The program allows teens to create endowment funds in their own names by contributing $180 (subsidized participation available), to which $320 will be… Read more »

Handmaker to celebrate Tucson’s oldest Jews

Local Jewish residents over the age of 80 are once again invited to the Handmaker “Celebrating Tucson’s Oldest Jewish Residents” luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 11:30 a.m. “The event is an opportunity for this select group of seniors to see old friends, meet new ones, enjoy an interesting… Read more »

Group forms Secular Humanist Circle

A Secular Humanist Jewish Circle has formed in Tucson. The group will hold its first event, an observance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, on Saturday, Sept. 11. Secular Humanist Judaism “places emphasis on human beings having the innate ability to make moral and ethical decisions based on evidence… Read more »

Hebrew High plans orientation, new hours

Hebrew High, a program of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Coalition for Jewish Education, will hold its orientation on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at Congregation Anshei Israel. Orientation for incoming students and parents will begin at 6 p.m., with an opportunity to meet teachers, enjoy pizza and ice cream,… Read more »

High Holy Days project will help the hungry

As the Jewish community comes together to celebrate the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is coordinating Project Isaiah, an annual effort to address hunger in our community. JCRC is working with local synagogues and Jewish… Read more »