News

Who is Avigdor Liberman, and why did he force new elections in Israel?

Avigdor Liberman, center, holds a press conference following the dissolving of the Israeli parliament, in Tel Aviv, May 30, 2019. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — So just who is Avigdor Liberman, the man who single-handedly forced Israelis to go to the polls for an unprecedented second time in a year? And is he really the champion of secular right-wing Zionism that he would have voters believe? Last month, less than two… Read more »

7 Jewish fun facts about the 2019 Women’s World Cup

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 26: The full roster for the United States Women's National Team that is heading to France for the 2019 World Cup just after the International Friendly match the U.S. Women's National Team and Mexico as part of the Send Off Series prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup at Red Bull Arena on May 26 2019 in Harrison, NJ,USA. The United States won the match with a score of 3 to 0. USA. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

(JTA) — There aren’t any Jewish players that we know of at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, which runs from June 7 to July 7 in France. The top-ranked U.S. team is looking to win its second Cup in a row and fourth all time. But there are… Read more »

This medical school is putting a uniquely Jewish spin on doctor training

New York Medical College's curriculum draws on Jewish ethics and its campus offers certain accommodations for religious Jews, but the college also has attracted a large number of minority students and has daily Muslim prayer services. (Courtesy of NYMC)

For her final project in a course on the history of medicine, first-year medical student Raeesa Hossain joined with four fellow students from New York Medical College to interview a Holocaust survivor deported to Auschwitz as a child. The survivor told the students how his experience during the war… Read more »

It’s time for a Torah emoji, and this organization is working to make it happen

Sefaria is letting the public vote on which emoji possibility they prefer. The organization will submit the winning image for consideration as a real emoji. (Sefaria)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Designing a new emoji is not simple. Sefaria, the online free Jewish library, has found this out in recent months. The organization wanted to reach more and younger people, to get them to use the resources on its website. They thought that a Torah emoji would… Read more »

Volkswagen’s CEO says he has an obligation to fight anti-Semitism

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess signs a guest book at Auschwitz, where the company runs an educational program for apprentices, Nov. 30, 2018. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Herbert Diess believes he has a special obligation to combat the rise of the far right in Europe because the company he leads was once quite literally its engine. “Volkswagen has because of its history, and our history in the Second World War, we have an… Read more »

I attended an Orthodox anti-vaccine rally. Here’s what I saw.

Rabbi Hillel Handler, an Orthodox anti-vaccination leader, speaks via projection screen to an anti-vaccination rally in Brooklyn at a Jewish wedding hall, June 4, 2019. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The weirdest part of an Orthodox anti-vaccine conference here was probably when the emcee, a rabbi wearing a black hat and white beard, quoted the Gospel of Luke. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” he cried, reciting the Gospels nearly verbatim.… 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 »

Mike Pompeo clarifies comments that peace plan could be biased toward Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walked back comments he shared with Jewish leaders saying that it was an “inaccurate” perception that the Trump administration’s peace proposal could be seen as one-sided toward Israel. The Washington Post reported Sunday on a recording obtained from an off-the-record meeting last… Read more »

Bernie Sanders: Politico article on my wealth was anti-Semitic

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., among the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, said a Politico story on his wealth that called him “cheap” was anti-Semitic. “Call that what it is, an anti-Semitic article,” Sanders said Saturday in an interview with the progressive political online show,… 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 »

Nechama Rivlin, wife of Israel’s president, dies at 73

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, has died at the age of 73. She died on Tuesday, a day before her 74th birthday, at Beillinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, where she underwent a lung transplant three months ago. Rivlin, who had in recent years… Read more »

What Jewish law really says about abortion

Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the Right To Life March in Washington, Jan. 18, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Alabama and Georgia have passed laws recently that limit or forbid abortions in unprecedented ways, joining a growing number of states that are attempting to dramatically restrict abortion access. During these charged times, it is appropriate for the Jewish community to remind ourselves that halacha (Jewish law) has a… 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 »

Southern Arizona racer to vie for gold at Maccabi Pan Am Games in Mexico

David Tannenbaum at the 2018 Three Bears time trial in Eloy, Arizona. [Sam Almesfer)

David Tannenbaum has proven that riding a bicycle is indeed “like riding a bicycle.” After 23 years out of the saddle, Tannenbaum entered the 2014 annual Cochise County Cycling Classic in Douglas, Arizona, and pedaled 27 miles to second place in one hour and 20 minutes. He’s been riding… Read more »

Concert to honor Temple Emanu-El’s Hochberg

Marjorie Hochberg

Temple Emanu-El will present a concert, “Celebrating 20 Years of Song,” on Thursday, June 13, in honor of Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg’s 20 years of service to the synagogue community. Hochberg will sing some of her favorite theater and opera solos, and musical guests will present Jewish favorites as… Read more »