People in the news 2.8.19

Longtime Tucson resident Jami Ober Gan has released her first novel, “The Lost and Found,” about a woman who finds herself heartbroken and stranded in Tucson and is invited to stay at a ranch.   Gan was raised in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona, graduating in 1981… Read more »

Bethany Sarah Zashin

Bethany Sarah Zashin, daughter of Lisa Zashin and Todd Zashin will celebrate becoming a Bat Mitzvah on Feb. 16 at Temple Emanu-El. She is the granddaughter of Marsha Rosenblum of Tucson, the late Robert Rosenblum, and the late Joyce Zashin. Bethany attends Tucson Waldorf School. She enjoys playing the… Read more »

In Focus: Handmaker celebrates Tu B’Shevat

Handmaker residents Sarah Segal (left) and Marcie Sutland with Congregation Or Chadash fifth-grade student Alex Strizver on Jan. 27. Courtesy Nanci Levy/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging recently celebrated Tu B’Shevat, known as the New Year for the Trees, with representatives of three local synagogues. Rabbi Batsheva Appel of Temple Emanu-El led a talk about the holiday on Friday, Jan. 18; Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim led a Tu… Read more »

Business briefs 2.8.19

Tucson Symphony Orchestra Music Director José Luis Gomez has renewed his contract with the TSO for four more years. Gomez, who will remain with the TSO through 2024, was named the symphony’s 17th music director in 2015. During his tenure he has conducted sold-out performances of Yo-Yo Ma, Beethoven’s… Read more »

Local film screening reminds us of cost to survivors of bearing witness

(L-R): Pawel Lichter, Walter Feiger, Sidney Finkel, and Wolfgang Hellpap pose with their ‘World War II Holocaust Survivor’ caps at the Holocaust History Center in Tucson. (Courtesy Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona)

In an interview published Aug. 27, 2012, five years before his death in 2017 at the age of 87, Elie Wiesel spoke of devoting his life to the principle and the ideal of memory and remembrance. The article was titled “Elie Wiesel on His Fear of Being the Last… Read more »

Reflections: The Jewish view of love goes far beyond hearts and flowers

In Western culture today, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, is a time to celebrate romance and love.  Despite its commercial appeal of candy, Cupid and romantic dinners, its origins are actually much darker. Dating back to the 3rd century CE, on Feb. 14, Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus beheaded at least… Read more »

Handmaker programs enrich residents, community

Residents work on an art project as part of Handmaker’s “Around the World” program. (Angela Salmon)

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging offers a variety of enrichment opportunities for residents, many of them open to the public. Monthly Handmaker Lectures Each month from October-April features lectures by a rabbi, Judaic studies professor or other local Jewish educators on a topic of their choosing, related to… Read more »

Comedy writer will bring ‘tribal’ humor to Connections brunch

Carol Leifer

Award-winning writer and producer, best-selling author, and stand-up comedian Carol Leifer will be the guest speaker at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy 26th annual Connections brunch next month. Her topic will be “Judaism is in My DNA.” “I speak about how the Jewish values imparted to… Read more »

Nexus of disabilities, mental health is summit topic

Jessica Reese

The Tucson Jewish Community Center Special Needs Initiative in partnership with Jewish Family & Children’s Services, with support from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation, will hold a professional development summit, “Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health: The Intersection of Treatment” on Thursday, Feb. 28, 8:15-3 p.m. The keynote speaker… Read more »

Netanyahu rivals win top 4 spots in Likud primary

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four lawmakers who have clashed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the top spots in the Likud party primary. Netanyahu was given a pass in Tuesday’s voting by party members and will still lead the Likud ticket in national elections scheduled for April 9. The top… Read more »

In downtown Brussels, once vibrant synagogues are now dying or sold

BRUSSELS (JTA) — Growing up, Joel Rubinfeld was always up for going with his parents to their downtown synagogue here. The sermons were OK, he said, but the real clincher was the full-size ping-pong table at the Sephardic Synagogue on Pavillion Street. “Placing that table was a stroke of… Read more »

Senate passes anti-BDS measure with notable Democrats in dissent

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Senate approved in a 77-23 vote a bill that codifies $38 billion in defense assistance to Israel and which provides legal cover to states that target the boycott Israel movement. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., had… Read more »

From Hanukkah in Saddam’s palace to prosecuting gangs, Trump’s new anti-Semitism monitor comes with diverse skills

Elan Carr in his new post has met or planned meetings with predecessors from Republican and Democratic administrations. (Collage by Laura Adkins/JTA; Carr photo from Elan for Congress campaign: Capitol photo: Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Elan Carr’s career until now has been equal parts prosecutor, policy wonk, politico and performance artist. That makes him perfect for his new job as the State Department’s special envoy to monitor anti-Semitism, according to people most familiar with his appointment, which was made public on… Read more »

US military to buy Iron Dome missile defense systems from Israel

(JTA) — The United States will buy at least two batteries of the Iron Dome short-range missile defense systems from Israel. Israel’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that the U.S. military will purchase the system from its developer, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., under an agreement between the ministry and the U.S.… Read more »

Since Pittsburgh, my Friday nights are no longer the same

A memorial for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. (Hane Grace Yagel)

This article originally appeared on Alma. A typical Friday night for me used to consist of cooking myself a nicer than usual dinner and lighting the Shabbat candles alone before proceeding on as if it were any other night. Maybe I would relax by re-watching “Broad City” or going out… Read more »

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, interfaith activist who raised millions in Christian donations for Israel, dies at 67

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein arriving in Israel with the first group of immigrants brought by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Dec. 22, 2014. (International Fellowship of Christians and Jews)

(JTA) — To the many colleagues and supporters of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who died Wednesday at the age of 67, he was a man of vision whose enormous drive to succeed both facilitated and complicated his relentless efforts on behalf of the Jewish people. As head of the International Fellowship… Read more »

Swastikas sprayed inside and outside of an Atlanta-area high school

(JTA) — Swastikas were spray-painted on the inside and outside of a suburban Atlanta public high school. The blue swastikas were painted on the outside of the Centennial High in Roswell, Georgia, the Atlanta Jewish Times and other local publications reported. School employees discovered the vandalism when they arrived… Read more »

Upstate New York yeshiva set on fire and painted with swastikas

(JTA) — A yeshiva in upstate New York was set on fire and swastikas were spray painted on the building. The incident at the Yeshiva Deah Yoreh, located on a former farm in White Sulphur Springs, occurred on Jan. 28 but was first reported by the Rockland/Westchester Journal News… Read more »