News

Three winners in Iowa and three takeaways for Jews

WASHINGTON (JTA) — There were three winners in the Iowa Republican caucuses: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and, not far behind them, Ron Paul. There were also (at least) three takeaways for Jewish observers: foreign policy matters, evangelicals matter — and Ron Paul matters. The importance of foreign policy in… Read more »

Israelis and Palestinians go to Amman in nod to others

Representatives of the Middle East Quartet -- the United States, the European Union and Russia -- meet in New york, Sept. 23, 2011. The Quartet joined with Jordan in reconvening Israeli-Palestinian talks this week in Amman.. Left to right, U.N. Quartet Envoy Tony Blair, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the European Union's Catherine Ashton. (State Department)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met this week in Amman for face-to-face talks about how to restart talks. But observers say the two sides showed up Tuesday after more than a year of torpor not so much to talk to one another as to send messages and… Read more »

In Burmese Chanukah celebration, signs of Myanmar’s openness to West

U Tin Oo, a former commander-in-chief of Myanmar's army, lights a candle at the Chanukah celebration in Yangon, Myanmar, Dec. 27, 2011. (Sammy Samuels)

(JTA) – In almost any other community from Moscow to Washington, it would have been just another public Chanukah menorah-lighting ceremony providing an opportunity for the local government and Jewish community to showcase their strong ties. But in Myanmar, where the government has been run by a military junta… Read more »

Persian Gulf tensions mount as U.S. engages Israel on Iran

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, part of the 5th Fleet, transits through the Strait of Hormuz, Oct. 9, 2011. Iran has threatened to shut off the strait, through which much of the world's oil travels, if it faces new sanctions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Betsy Knapper)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration is engaged in a full-court press to persuade Israel that Iran’s nuclear threat can be contained short of war. The U.S. lobbying has received a mixed reception from Israel, where the Netanyahu government has not ruled out a unilateral strike on Iran. Iran,… Read more »

With Samoa calendar change, question for Jews: When is Shabbat?

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Pacific island nation of Samoa is taking 186,000 citizens through a national time warp by moving west of the international dateline, forfeiting the last Friday of 2011 and jumping straight from Thursday into Saturday. For Samoans, this solves a practical question: Why remain 18… Read more »

Write USPS to protest plan to close Tucson mail center

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, I was one of the 500-plus people who attended the U.S. Postal Service’s meeting about the proposed closure of Tucson’s mail-processing center. I was proud of our community spirit, with so many turning out at 6 p.m. during a holiday week that the Leo Rich… Read more »

Where do Israeli haredim stand on haredi violence?

Shlomo Fuchs, a haredi Israeli accused of harassing a female soldier for her refusal to move to the back of a bus, is released on bail in Jerusalem, Dec. 30, 2011. (Miriam Alster/Flash 90/JTA)

(JTA) — The cascade of condemnations started pouring in almost as soon as the Israeli TV report aired. It’s subject was  an 8-year-old girl harassed by haredi men on the way to her Modern Orthodox girls’ school in the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh. The Israeli prime minister and… Read more »

The ‘Jewish Jordan’ talks basketball, Judaism, and giving back

(JUF News) — “Jewish Jordan” — that’s the nickname Sports Illustrated gave Tamir Goodman when he was merely 17 years old and a high school junior at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore. Ranked among the best 25 high school basketball players in America, Goodman seemed set to become the… Read more »

Israelis paying the price when it comes to imported goods

An Israeli crowd throngs the H&M store in Tel Aviv's Azrieli mall for a special sale, Nov. 17, 2011. (Meir Partush/Flash 90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — It’s a question many a shopper in Israel has pondered, particularly if they’ve spent time overseas. Why does this fill-in-the-blank cost more in Israel? Whether it’s a box of Cheerios, a supply of Ziploc bags or a shirt from H&M, Israelis are paying more for many… Read more »

Jewish conservatives push back against Paul surge

Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican candidate for president whose views on Israel have unsettled some Jewish conservatives, speaking at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2011. (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons) /

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Ron Paul’s unlikely rise in the Republican presidential race has Jewish conservatives on edge. The Texas congressman had been regarded as a fringe figure whose views, especially on foreign policy — including his opposition to the U.S.-Israel alliance — put him far outside the Republican mainstream.… Read more »

Haredi violence in Beit Shemesh catches Israel’s attention

Haredi Orthodox men clash with police in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh, Dec. 26, 2011. (Kobi Gideon/Flash 90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — For several years now, the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh has been the site of on-again, off-again religious violence. But it wasn’t until the plight of a fearful 8-year-old girl from a Modern Orthodox immigrant family from America was broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 over the… Read more »

In a remote New Mexican valley, a Jewish skiing legacy at Taos

Ernie Blake, founder of Taos Ski Valley, with his wife, Rhoda, in an undated photo. (Courtesy Taos Ski Valley)

TAOS, N.M. (JTA) – One of the most wonderful things about skiing is the sense of seclusion, the incomparable quietude and serenity of standing atop a 12,000-foot peak surveying miles and miles of snow-covered emptiness. Somehow the prosaic concerns of the everyday world don’t seem to reach there. So… Read more »

When the Jews went to North Korea

Jack Rosen, second from left, the chairman of the American Council for World Jewry, in Pyongyang with a top North Korean official and other members of an ACWJ delegation in this undated 2009 photo. (Courtesy ACWJ)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – When a delegation from the American Council for World Jewry went to North Korea, its agenda was typical of visits by Jewish organizations to developing nations: promote outreach to Israel, offer to broker assistance and training, gently raise problematic defense relations with Israel’s enemies. Pyongyang’s… Read more »

Brandeis book sale to benefit scholarship fund

The Tucson chapter of Brandeis National Committee will hold its annual book sale at the Foothills Mall from Jan. 13 to 22. The sale will feature more than 50,000 books, including collectibles and first editions. “Someone said it takes a village,” says Meg Sivitz, Brandeis book sale chair, “but… Read more »

Film festival will feature love, loss, intrigue

It’s not just the free popcorn that draws hundreds of moviegoers to the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival, which will run for its 21st year at the Tucson Jewish Community Center Jan. 12-22. It’s the lineup of films, from dramas to comedies to animated shorts, with themes that are… Read more »

Ketubah exhibit to open with champagne

The Jewish History Museum will hold the grand opening of its fourth annual ketubah exhibit on Sunday, Jan. 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibit will be on display Jan. 4 through Feb. 5 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Fridays from… Read more »

JFSA grants for senior transportation expanded

Transportation programs for local Jewish seniors are increasing, thanks to grants from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Senior Task Force. This grant program is a major expansion of services for the Jewish elderly that began last year when the Federation funded Jewish Elder Access, which is administered by… Read more »

Langs contribute to food bank challenge

Janet Lang and Jim Peebles

Tucsonans Barry and Janet Lang have teamed up with Jim and Sandy Peebles to launch the “Lang/Peebles $60,000 Fill the Shelves Challenge” to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. One in four children in Pima County is at risk of hunger. Increased demand, coupled with decreased government… Read more »

JFSA lead gifts event named for Diamonds

Donald and Joan Diamond

To recognize the continuing leadership of Joan and Donald Diamond in supporting the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s philanthropic efforts, JFSA has named one of its annual campaign events the Joan and Donald Diamond Lead Gifts Event. Thirteen years ago, Joan and Donald Diamond hosted what would become the… Read more »