News

Blue and White co-leaders concede defeat in Israel’s elections

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The leaders of the Blue and White party conceded defeat to Likud and said they would keep their coalition together in preparation for the next election. Party co-leader Yair Lapid, who brought his Yesh Atid into Blue and White, said in a speech Wednesday night that his… Read more »

9 takeaways from Israel’s historic election

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu greets supporters at his victory speech in Tel Aviv, April 10, 2019. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s election on Tuesday was contentious, historic, crazy — and somewhat predictable. With most of the vote counted — some 300,000 votes from soldiers, diplomats and other Israeli officials working abroad have yet to be tallied — Benjamin Netanyahu seems poised to become the longest-serving prime… Read more »

For Israelis, Election Day means hard choices — and sunbathing

Israelis and tourists enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv, April 7, 2019. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Even by Israeli standards, the country’s latest general elections have been exceptionally dirty, rife with personal attacks between candidates and fake news. But in an arid country where the blossoms and mild temperatures of spring are gone within a few weeks, the vote’s timing was… Read more »

Netanyahu and Gantz in dead heat, Israeli election exit polls show

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party finished one seat behind main challenger Blue and White in the first exit poll results released at the close of voting Tuesday. Blue and White, whose head is former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Benny Gantz, took 37 seats… Read more »

Netanyahu’s promise to annex the West Bank settlements, explained

The West Bank is a maze-like tapestry of Israeli settlements and Palestinian towns and cities. (Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — Just days before Israel was to hold national elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to annex parts of the West Bank as Israeli territory. “I’m going to extend sovereignty,” he said in an interview with Israeli Channel 12 on Saturday night, adding that “I don’t differentiate between the… Read more »

The final polls are in and Israel’s election is a nail-biter

A Likud party supporter holds a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, April 7, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The final polls before Israel’s national election on Tuesday show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party running either neck and neck or up to five seats behind upstart challenger Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party. The last polls allowed by law were published Friday. Exit polling… Read more »

Leaders explore similarities in religious values

The Rev. Debra Asis of the Episcopal Church of the Apostles (left) and Rabbi Helen Cohn of Congregation M’kor Hayim discuss Christian and Jewish values at a forum held Jan. 26 at Tucson Hebrew Academy. (Photo courtesy Congregation M’kor Hayim)

If you were asked to name the “top 5” Jewish values, what would you say? Tikkun olam? Education? Tzedakah?  Community? What if you were Christian?  What would your “top 5” be? Are Jewish and Christian values essentially the same, or are they different? Rabbi Helen Cohn of Congregation M’kor… Read more »

THA’s Kutler finds his personal grit in Ultraman Israel endurance challenge

Laurence Kutler competes in the 171-mile bicycling leg of the March 6-8 Ultraman Israel endurance challenge. (Courtesy Laurence Kutler)

As if completing a 320-mile race in three days isn’t enough, doing it in 36 hours is an enormous challenge. Included in that are a 6.2-mile swim through chilly mountain waters and cycling 171 miles across a desert at the lowest point on earth, not to mention running a… Read more »

Teens, seniors will launch life stories book at reception

Gianna Lampert and partner Ruth Cooper at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging (Photo: Angela Salmon)

Tracing Roots 2.0 paired Tucson’s Jewish teens with residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging to build meaningful relationships. The program encourages participants to learn together, share their stories, trace their ancestry and bring memories to life through technology and personal interaction. Tucson Hebrew High students met regularly… Read more »

Repertory choir to bring its rich sound back to Emanu-El

Elliot Jones conducts the Arizona Repertory Singers in the ‘King David’ oratorio at Temple Emanu-El on April 29, 2018. (Photo: Celesteal Photography)

Arizona Repertory Singers will present a concert at Temple Emanu-El on Sunday, April 28, “Psalms of David and Songs of Solomon.” “The Arizona Repertory Singers are one of this city’s choral treasures,” says Robert Lopez-Hanshaw, music director at Temple Emanu-El. “They always bring a beautiful, rich sound to the… Read more »

Federation transportation service takes seniors from isolation into action

Driver Mark Contreras has worked for HandiCar, Inc. for 11 years. Jeanne Fischer is one of his regular passengers. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s free transportation service is available for seniors and disabled passengers traveling to Jewish cultural, religious and community activities around Tucson. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)Driver Mark Contreras has worked for HandiCar, Inc. for 11 years. Jeanne Fischer is one of his regular passengers. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s free transportation service is available for seniors and disabled passengers traveling to Jewish cultural, religious and community activities around Tucson. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)

For some local Jewish seniors and the disabled, transportation can’t be taken for granted. Without a vehicle, a driver’s license, friends or family to take them places, or the ability to afford a ride service, life can be confining. Isolation can lead to depression and affect general well-being. When… Read more »

Montoya to moderate local leaders forum on immigration

Immigration 2019 is the focus for the annual local leaders forum, presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and the Jewish History Museum. The event will be held Friday, April 12, at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, 3718… Read more »

Workshop aims to take ‘awkward’ out of gender conversations

Amy Lederman, left, and Ariel VegosenAmy Lederman, left, and Ariel Vegosen

More than 60 people gathered at the Jewish History Museum on Sunday, March 17 for “Gender Speak: Understanding the Trans and Gender-Evolving World.” Amy Hirshberg Lederman, a Tucson educator, writer and attorney, and Ariel Vegosen, a California-based gender inclusivity trainer, led the workshop, which looked at gender from a… Read more »

Photographer captures experience of Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints

Not every Palestinian crossing into Israel is going for work. Some 15 percent cross the border for medical, educational or other purposes. (Photo: Laura Ben-David/JTA)

I believe in the Jewish people’s right to live in our homeland. That profound belief has no bearing on the rights of others to live here as well. There are Palestinians who live and work in the land of Israel, and while I may seldom agree with the positions… Read more »

Tucson philanthropist and developer Don Diamond dies at 91

Donald R. DiamondDonald R. Diamond

The Tucson Jewish community mourns the loss of local philanthropist, businessman, and real estate developer Donald R. Diamond, who died March 25 at the age of 91. His daughter Rabbi Jennifer Diamond and Cantor Janece E. Cohen conducted funeral services March 27 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Rabbi… Read more »