Pozez fund to distribute major bequest

Shaol and Evie Pozez

The Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona announced last week that the Shaol & Evelyn Pozez Endowment Fund has received a multi-million dollar bequest from the Pozez estate. Thirty-six nonprofit organizations have been named as beneficiaries and will receive an initial distribution in early 2013. These beneficiaries, which provide… Read more »

Former Bush aide to speak at AIPAC dinner

Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security adviser under President George W. Bush, will be the keynote speaker at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2012 Tucson Annual Dinner, which will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern… Read more »

Jewish groups welcome Supreme Court’s ‘ministerial exception’ ruling

Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Jr. and Justice Elena Kagan stand at the top of the steps following her formal Investiture Ceremony pn Oct. 1, 2010. (Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two groups each known for their internal divisions on religion-state issues found themselves in a degree of accord this week: the justices of the United State Supreme Court and the organized Jewish community. In a decision issued Wednesday, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of… Read more »

Foundation to honor Karsch at Book of Life signing event

Carol Karsch

The Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona will honor Executive Director Carol Karsch at its 20th anniversary celebration of the Endowment Book of Life signing event, which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Karsch is retiring after 23 years at the Foundation,… Read more »

JFSA Super Sunday to include Mitzvah Day

Meryl Press represented the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation at Super Sunday in 2011.

Make a few phone calls in the annual Jewish Federation phone-a-thon to support the 2012 Community Campaign. Donate blood. Swab your cheek for the Gift of Life bone marrow registry. Make a card for a military service member. These are a few of the ways volunteers will help change… Read more »

Astronomy lecture to explore roots of Bible stories

David Sattinger

What are the origins of our seven-day week? Why do the Jewish holidays move around from year to year? Why are there 12 tribes of Israel, as well as 12 apostles and 12 stations of the cross? David Sattinger will offer answers to these questions in a presentation on… Read more »

Chabad to bring healing author/blogger to Tucson

Rabbi Shais Taub

Chabad of Tucson is launching its 2012 lecture series with Rabbi Shais Taub, a scholar, author and blogger on Jewish mysticism, on Sunday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m. at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Dubbed “an expert in Jewish mysticism and the 12 steps” by National Public Radio… Read more »

‘Faces of Israel’ director to lead talk on state, religion

The Weintraub Israel Center will screen “Faces of Israel: A Discussion about Marriage, State & Religion in the Jewish Homeland,” a documentary film by director Amy Beth Oppenheimer, on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Oppenheimer will facilitate the interactive program, which includes presentations and dynamic… Read more »

Actress, mother, neuroscientist Bialik to speak at Connections

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik may be known as the brainy Amy Farrah Fowler on the popular TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” but she’s also an observant Jewish mother, writer and neuroscientist. Bialik will be the speaker at this year’s Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Connections brunch on Feb.… Read more »

Jewish Republicans watch nervously as favorites savage one another

WASHINGTON (JTA) — As the Republican primary fight moves from New Hampshire to South Carolina, Newt Gingrich is stepping up his attacks on Mitt Romney and some prominent Jewish Republicans — who have a rich, mutually admiring history with both men — are wondering what happens next. Gingrich and… Read more »

Roll, Jordan, Roll

(Jewish Ideas Daily) — The mighty River Jordan cuts a tiny ribbon through the geological depression stretching from Syria to Ethiopia. The river’s output is paltry. But for millennia the Jordan has been a thread in Western consciousness; and it has now returned to the forefront of attention, courtesy… Read more »

With Jack Lew’s appointment, Jewish community again has a White House address

Jack Lew, center, helps light the "national menorah" organized by American Friends of Lubavitch, with the group's director, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, left, and his father, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, the director of Agudas Chasidei Chabad, Dec. 20, 2011. (Baruch Ezagui, courtesy American Friends of Lubavitch)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — @JewishWhiteHouse is back. President Obama on Monday announced that Jack Lew, his director of the Office of Budget and Management — a Cabinet-level position — would replace William Daley as White House chief of staff. Lew, 56, was chosen for his long years in government and… Read more »

New Olmert indictment keeps focus on political corruption

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The indictment of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and 17 other Israelis on charges related to one of the largest real estate scandals in Israeli history is the latest shoe to drop in a country where political corruption has come to be seen as an epidemic. The… Read more »

Santorum’s social conservatism could be a tough sell for Jews

Rick Santorum, shown speaking to Iowa high school students in West Des Moines on Jan. 3, 2012, is reaching out to pro-Israel donors to boost his campaign following his strong showing in the state's caucuses. (Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rick Santorum’s near-win in Iowa has made him the GOP’s latest “not Romney” to pick up steam, but he may have his work cut out for him in attracting Jewish support. Pro-Israel insiders say the Santorum campaign is now aggressively reaching out to Jewish givers who… Read more »

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 »