‘Food Stamped’ documentary tackles challenge with humor

“Food Stamped — A Documentary” will be shown at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. The film humorously chronicles a couple who are trying to maintain a healthy, balanced diet while on a food stamp budget. The documentary is part of the Jewish… Read more »

ADL condemns AZ Senate invitation to ‘anti-Semitic bigot’

State Sens. Steve Gallardo and Robert Meza, both of Phoenix, walked out of an Arizona Senate hearing March 1 to protest a presentation by Glenn Spencer, a border activist who the Anti-Defamation League calls “an anti-Hispanic, anti-Semitic bigot.” Sen. Sylvia Allen invited Spencer to speak to the Arizona Senate… Read more »

Temple Emanu-El Bilgray scholar to take philosophical approach

Rabbi Michael Morgan

When Rabbi Michael Morgan, Ph.D., comes to Tucson as Temple Emanu-El’s Bilgray scholar, be ready for some lively intellectual discussion. Morgan, a distinguished scholar in post-Holocaust philosophy and the author of 16 books, will be a scholar-in-residence at Temple Emanu-El March 22 to 24, with his first talk at… Read more »

‘All That Jazz’ to honor JFSA’s Mellan

Stuart Mellan

  The Jewish community will celebrate a longtime leader lat­er this month at “All That Jazz,” a party honoring and starring Stuart Mellan, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona for almost 18 years. “Stuart’s been so terrific,” says Donald Diamond, who initiated the event after… Read more »

New Jersey native hopes to sled for Israel at Olympics

New Jersey native hopes to sled for Israel at Olympics (Ken Childs)

Meet Bradley Chalupski, Israel’s best hope for a medal on the bobsled track at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. Chalupski is an unlikely Israeli athlete. For one thing, he competes in skeleton, a sport that’s virtually unknown in Israel — not to mention the rest of… Read more »

Obama and Netanyahu disagree on Iran, in public and in private

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama meet in the White House Oval Office to talk about Iran and other issues, March 5, 2012. (Ron Kampeas)

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree, at least in principle: Keep the talk on what to do about Iran behind closed doors. But once they’re behind those doors, they can’t agree — and they can’t seem to resist bringing their disagreements into the open. Within hours… Read more »

Israel’s people and diversity charm latest AIFL Tucson youth ambassadors

Elaina Espinosa (center) hikes in the Judean desert with her host, Inbal Fortus (left), and Inbal’s younger sister, Noga, in November 2011.

  A tree was planted in Israel recently to honor Elaina Espinosa’s great-grandmother. Espinosa isn’t Jewish — neither was her great-grandmother — but she is one of six Tucson high school students who went to Israel in November as youth ambassadors for the Tucson chapter of the America-Israel Friendship… Read more »

‘Citizenship Counts’ celebrates America as a nation of immigrants

(L-R) Gerda Weissman Klein, Diane Eckstein and John Eckstein, with the Eckstein's dog, Kipp, at a ‘Citizenship Counts’ assembly at Mansfeld Middle School in Tucson on Feb. 14. (Sheila Wilensky)

U.S. citizenship matters, especially for Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein. On Feb. 14, the 87-year-old humanitarian told hundreds of eighth graders at Tucson’s Mansfeld Middle School why she founded Citizenship Counts, a national non-partisan, nonprofit organization based in Phoenix. Phoenix attorney Paul Eckstein offered tidbits of Arizona history to… Read more »

At Obama-Netanyahu summit, assurances exchanged but differences remain

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama meet in the White House Oval Office to talk about Iran and other issues, March 5, 2012. (Ron Kampeas)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may not have bridged their differences on how to deal with Iran, but each managed to give the other a measure of reassurance. In his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama held his ground, declining… Read more »

No surprises in Putin victory, but question for Russian Jews is what comes next

Demonstrators in Moscow protest Vladimir Putin's re-election, including one carrying a sign reading "We are not an opposition, we are your employers!" with the word "fired" over a drawing of Putin's face, March 5, 2012. (Freedom House via CC)

(JTA) — With Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president of Russia pretty much a foregone conclusion, the question facing Russia was never what would result from last weekend’s election but what would happen after the vote. Thousands of protesters turned out Monday in a Moscow saturated with police and soldiers… Read more »

In face of desperate African poverty, Jewish woman provides a beacon of hope

Ruth Feigenbaum, founder of the Support Group of Families of the Terminally Ill in Zumbabwe, with AIDS orphan Ruth Thabini Dube. (Courtesy SGOFOTI)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (JTA) — Two years after moving to Zimbabwe from South Africa 20 years ago, Ruth Feigenbaum noticed that her gardener, James Phiri, was losing weight and looking ill. With the help of a physician friend, Phiri was diagnosed: Like nearly one in seven Zimbabweans, he was… Read more »

Will Israel’s Supreme Court tilt conservative after Dorit Beinisch leaves?

JERUSALEM (JTA) — It ordered the West Bank security fence rerouted because it cut through private Palestinian property. It overturned state-backed discrimination against Arab Israelis on issues of land distribution and ruled against the Israel Defense Forces’ use of military methods deemed to cause “disproportionate” harm to Palestinian civilians.… Read more »

In Ohio, GOP pins Senate hopes on young Jewish Iraq vet

State Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, is shown during his service as a Marine in Iraq. (Citizens for Josh Mandel)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — As the 2012 campaign heats up in Ohio, Republicans are pinning their hopes on a young Jewish military veteran to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown. Josh Mandel, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran and the current state treasurer, has faced a number of challenges but… Read more »

Pro-Israel voices joining bid to get Iranian dissident group off U.S. terror list

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel — three prominent Jewish activists who have joined with other prominent people in a bid to remove a group with a blood-soaked history from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.… Read more »

Shabbat conflict sends Beren Academy hoops squad to the sidelines

Chris Cole, coach of the boys basketball team at the Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, offering up some strategy for his squad. (Samantha Steinberg)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Chris Cole, the coach of the boys’ basketball team at the Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, says his squad is peaking coming off its 27-point victory in the state tournament quarterfinals. Apparently the Stars, who with a record of 24-5 are having the best… Read more »

At AIPAC conference, expect Iran talk on stage and behind closed doors

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, shown at a September 2011 meeting at the United Nations in New York, are likely to meet again in Washington at the beginning of March, when decisions on Iran will be coming to a head. (Avi Ohayan/GPO/FLASH90)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — There will be the speeches, and they will resound like an echo. And then there will be the talk. When President Obama speaks on March 4 to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the group the following day,… Read more »

Seeking Kin: Restoring the lost legacies of European Jewish composers

BALTIMORE (JTA) — Do the names Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein, Erwin Schulhoff and Viktor Ullman ring a bell? How about Ferdinand Hiller, Ignaz Moscheles, Henry Herz, Giacomo Meyerbeer and Karl Goldmark? They mean everything to Michael Wolpe, an Israeli pianist who considers himself first and foremost a composer —… Read more »

Friends of the IDF starts Arizona chapter

Jerami Shecter

Brig. Gen. Yitzhak “Jerry” Gershon’s first reaction when approached about a job opportunity as the national director of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces was to turn down the interview. Although he was retiring from the IDF and needed to find work, he felt the nonprofit world wasn’t for… Read more »

Genealogy group to hear Europe travel expert

Sol Sylvan will present “The Nine Most Important Words You Need To Know Before Making an Ancestral Visit To Eastern Europe” at the Tucson Genealogy and Oral History Group’s meeting on Sunday, March 11 at 12:30 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Have you ever wanted to breathe… Read more »