Spain builds monuments to Jewish past; motives quizzed

The Museum of Jewish History in Girona is housed in what is believed to be the Spanish city’s last known synagogue. (Ben Harris/JTA Photo Service)

Hidden among the maze of alleyways east of the Onyar River, the Museum of Jewish History stands as testament — if an inadvertent one — to the completeness of Spain’s destruction of its once-thriving Jewish population. Inside the museum, set in what is said to be Girona’s last known… Read more »

Concert part of weekend with visiting cantor, Richard Kaplan

The Southwest Jewish Education Center, directed by Rabbi Shafir Lobb, is sponsoring a weekend with Cantor Richard Kaplan May 5-7, including a memorial and service of healing concert honoring the victims of the Jan. 8 shooting on May 7. Kaplan, who is also a teacher and ethnomusicologist, has performed… Read more »

Simcha fair at Temple will showcase vendors

The Temple Emanu-El Kurn Religious School will hold a Simcha Fair on Sunday, May 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El. Simcha, which means happy event or celebration, can include weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, baby showers and engagement parties. The fair is free and open… Read more »

JCRC/Hadassah to host city/county officials

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and Hadassah Southern Arizona will hold a breakfast event, “Views on Recovery and Progress: A Conversation with Tucson City Council Members and Pima County Board of Supervisors” on Friday, April 29, 7:30-9 a.m. at the Tucson Jewish… Read more »

JFSA names proposed officers for 2011-2012

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s nominating committee, chaired by Jennifer Miller Grant, has recommended the following slate of officers for the 2011-2012 program year: Jeff Katz, chair of the board; Kathryn L. Unger, senior vice chair; Madeline Friedman, vice chair; Larry Gellman, vice chair; Joyce Stuehringer, vice chair;… Read more »

Ceremony to honor fallen Israeli soldiers

The Weintraub Israel Center will hold its annual Yom Hazikaron memorial service in honor of fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terror on Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The program will include an honor guard from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and… Read more »

Rocket attacks shatter peace in Hof Ashkelon

The Federation’s TIPS Partnership incorporates the Regional Council of Hof Ashkelon, a consortium of kibbutzim and moshavim that border Gaza. This update from our partners, written Sunday, April 10, reveals how life is being impacted on a day-to-day basis by the uptick in missiles coming into the region from… Read more »

JFSA recruiting for 2012 March of the Living

On, Monday, May 2, more than 10,000 high school students and Holocaust survivors from around the world will take part in the 2011 March of the Living, walking three kilometers from Auschwitz to Birkenau. The event will air live at 9 a.m. on Jewish Life Television on cable and… Read more »

Temple class to stage Shoah article of faith

In conjunction with this year’s Tucson community Yom HaShoah memorials, the Temple Emanu-El Readers Theater, members of the Adult Education Academy’s “So You Think You Can Act” class, will present a staged reading of “Ani Maamin” (“I Believe”) on Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. One of Maimonides’ Thirteen… Read more »

Bedouin diplomat not a Zionist, but proud to be Israeli

Ishmael Khaldi

Middle Eastern countries want to learn from Israel, the region’s only democracy, Israel’s first Arab Bedouin diplomat, Ishmael Khaldi, told an audience of around 65 people at an April 15 breakfast at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. “We’re ready to speak with Iran or anybody who wants to speak… Read more »

Tucsonan helps launch site for ‘lone soldier’ wannabes

David Abraham and his mother, Marlene, in Israel

David Abraham, a former Tucsonan who made aliyah in 2008 after graduating from the University of Arizona and spent two years in the Israel Defense Forces, where he was a tank commander, has joined with other “lone soldiers” and native Israelis to launch a website that provides information, in… Read more »

UA Hillel to start renovation

Artist’s rendering of proposed Hillel renovation

After more than three years in the planning, the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation is ready to begin work on renovating and expanding its current building. Hillel will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site (1245 E. Second Street) at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 5. Hillel serves as… Read more »

Local teens commit to tell survivors’ stories on Yom HaShoah and beyond

Bill Kugelman talks to Hebrew High students. (Jonathan Vanballenberghe)

Picture a room full of teenagers, uncharacteristically still, hang­ing on to every word spoken by an 86-year-old man, who looks easily 10 years younger, with bushy eyebrows and salt-and-pepper hair, a yarmulke perched stubbornly on his head. “How long after liberation and after the war did it take you… Read more »

JFSA to honor local “gems”

JFSA Man of the Year Jim Whitehill

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will hold its own “gem show” to honor its 2011 award winners at its annual meeting and awards celebration on Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Heading the list of community gems are Man of the Year… Read more »

Tucsonans created Schorr Family Award to illumine stigma of mental illness

Ellie and Si Schorr [Julie Glaser Ray)

The idea that mental illness is a shanda (shame) or horrific secret has changed significantly — but not enough, say Si and Ellie Schorr. In the 1970s, when they were raising a child who showed signs of mental illness, people didn’t talk about such things. “The stigma was not… Read more »

Arrest of two Palestinians for Itamar killings can’t console Fogels’ kin

Palestinian teenagers Amjad Mohammad Awad, left, and Hakim Mazen Awad have been arrested and allegedly confessed to murdering five members of the Fogel family in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Itamar, which is near their home in the Awarta village. (GPO/Flash90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — They came armed with knives and wire cutters looking for a Jewish target.   It was a Friday night, the Sabbath eve of March 11, and Palestinian teenagers Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad, 18, both from the Palestinian village of Awarta, hurried through the dark… Read more »

News analysis: Wasserman Schultz brings Jewish identity to top party role

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, right, with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, left, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at a Capital Hill reception for Jewish American Heritage Month, May 19, 2009. (Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s first day as a sophomore in the U.S. House of Representatives, on Jan. 8, 2007, was marked by a number of extraordinary achievements for a woman barely out of her first term. Named to the Democratic caucus leadership. Named to the all-powerful Appropriations… Read more »

Mitt Romney, John Thune make pitch to Jewish Republicans at RJC bash

Potential GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney (left) chats with Mel Sembler (center) and Sheldon Adelson, major backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition, at the RJC’s winter leadership conference at the Adelson-owned Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, April 2. (Ron Kampeas/JTA)

At the Republican Jewish Coalition’s winter leadership retreat here, it was the absence of certain likely candidates for president that had the crowd most excited. While names like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann generate enthusiasm at some conservative gatherings, their absence here had the Jewish crowd giddy that ahead… Read more »

After bombshell Op-Ed, questions for Goldstone and Israel

Richard Goldstone, left, shown meeting on June 1, 2009 with Ghazi Hamad of Hamas at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, now says his report’s finding that Israel intentionally targeted civilians in the Gaza war was mistaken. (Rahim Khatiz/Flash 90/JTA)

Richard Goldstone’s original U.N. report on the Gaza war of 2008-09 landed like a bombshell in the PR war over Israel, damaging Israel’s reputation around the world with its finding that Israel potentially committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during its three-week war against Hamas. Now that Goldstone… Read more »

Revue to celebrate Invisible Theatre’s 40th

Susan Claassen (left) and Molly McKasson, 1977

The Invisible Theatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary season on April 9 and 10 with “Painting the Town Red,” a “retro-spectacular ca­ba­ret”conceived, written and directed by Susan Claassen, the theatre’s managing artistic director. Hosted by Claassen and Molly McKasson, the show will include appearances by returning guest artists including… Read more »