News

Pro-Israel, with questions? Beinart pins his thesis to the synagogue door

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president. Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits… Read more »

Tucsonans learn leadership skills for changing world

“The world is changing so fast, that none of us feels completely prepared for leadership. Engaging with very bright thinkers helps position us,” Stuart Mellan, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, said during the 5th Saul Tobin Jewish Community Leadership Institute, held in April and… Read more »

Socially responsible Jewish investing on rise

NEW YORK-In the same manner that she shops for locally grown produce, Abigail Weinberg chose to sidestep the bank behemoths and instead open an account at a small, local bank that invests in her Ann Arbor, Mich., community. “I consider myself someone who wants to be socially and environmentally… Read more »

Perfidious son: longtime advocate Aaron David Miller rejects peace process

WASHINGTON Depending on your view of the Middle East and the Obama administration, Aaron David Miller is either a hero or a turncoat. Miller, a peace process functionary under both Bush administrations and the Clinton administration, published a declaration of independence last month from what he called the “religion”… Read more »

Israelis slam Goldstone apartheid role; some say he helped dismantle system

WASHINGTON (JTA)-Two weeks after pro-Israel groups in South Africa withdrew threats to picket Richard Goldstone at his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah, Israeli critics are charging that the former judge “mercilessly” sentenced dozens of blacks to death on behalf of the apartheid- era regime during his judicial tenure. The charges, aired… Read more »

Jewish community recovering, pitching in following floods in Tennessee

Debris from home interiors fills the lawns at River Plantation in the Bellevue area of Nashville. (JTA Photo Service)

NASHVILLE, TENN. (JTA)-Ruth Klar and Alicia Safdie knew they Jewish community recovering, pitching in following floods in Tennessee were lucky, safe and healthy amid the flood’s muddy wreckage. But the little things made them cry. “My cookbooks are gone,” Klar said in her den at River Plantation, a large… Read more »

JCRC, Reform rabbis decry Arizona immigration law

The Jewish Community Relations Council, the public affairs and social justice arm of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, has adopted a position statement in response to Gov. Jan Brewer’s recent signing into law of SB 1070, Immigration:  Law Enforcement; Safe Neighborhoods Act and its potential impact on human… Read more »

University of Arizona community responds to new immigration law

Passage of SB1070, the state law that requires local police to enforce federal immigration law, has prompted boycotts of Arizona because of possibilities for racial profiling and civil rights violations. The law has not yet gone into effect, but its reach is already being felt at the University of… Read more »

Jewish Community Foundation 2010 grants emphasize self-sufficiency

“When Doris and Bill Rubin thought about what their legacy would be, they realized that they wanted to help those in need move towards self-sufficiency,” says Jewish Community Foundation Executive Director Carol Karsch. Since 2003, the Rubins’ vision has resulted in 76 grants totaling $788,870 through their endowment fund… Read more »

Tucsonans join in guarded optimism at Jewish funders’ gathering

As more than 200 major funders of Jewish nonprofits gathered here last month, signs of the economic carnage of the past 18 months appeared to be waning. The funders were in Phoenix for the annual conference of the Jewish Funders Network, held April 11-13 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.… Read more »

Obama advisor: leave Jerusalem for last

 WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top adviser to President Obama said talks on Jerusalem should be left for last. “The president agrees that Jerusalem as an issue can’t be the first issue for negotiations,” David Axelrod, Obama’s top political adviser, told a small group of journalists working for Jewish media.… Read more »

U.S. Communities are building ties to Haiti

 PETIT-GOAVE, Haiti (JTA) — Not a single Jew lives among the 170,000 inhabitants of Petit-Goâve, nor among the 20,000 refugees from Port-au-Prince who have crowded into this town since a magnitude-7.0 earthquake leveled Haiti’s capital in January.  But Jews are among those helping bring Petit-Goâve back to life.  “After… Read more »

Young Israeli choreographer brings hot dance group to U.S.

Israeli choreographer Shlomi Elimelech, center, rehearses with Tzuza Dance Troupe members

Israeli choreographer Shlomi Elimelech, 21, started Tzuza Dance Troupe, which performed to a standing-room-only crowd at Tucson’s Israel Festival on April 25, when he was just 16. Tzuza now has schools in two cities with more than 500 students and recently took second place in an Israeli dance competition… Read more »

Palestinians seek nonviolent movement

BIL’IN, West Bank (JTA) – Rami Burnat sits in his wheelchair toward the back of a sprawling courtyard where Palestinian speakers take turns championing the cause of nonviolent resistance. Burnat, 29, has been disabled ever since a bullet pierced his neck in clashes in late 2000, shortly after the… Read more »

At Shavuot, Or Chadash to dedicate orphan Torah scroll

Herb Cohn reads from Or Chadash's new Czech Torah scroll.

When Congregation Or Chadash formally received a Czechoslovakian Holocaust Scroll in December 2009, a once vital Czech Jewish community “was brought back to life,” says Rabbi Thomas Louchheim. Scroll MST-1408, an orphan scroll that survived World War II, is on long-term loan to Or Chadash from the Memorial Scrolls… Read more »

Wounded days after nuptials, Israeli soldier gets plastic surgery in Tucson

Wounded Israeli soldier Aharon Karov lights the memorial torch at the Israel Center's Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) ceremony April 18.

The morning after his wedding on Dec. 25, 2008, Aharon Karov, a 2nd Lt. in the Israel Defense Forces Paratroopers Brigade, was called up for service in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Twelve days later, the 22-year-old platoon leader was critically wounded as his unit entered a booby-trapped building.… Read more »

Immigration bill thrusts Arizona into national spotlight; Tucsonans react

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070, the Safe Neighborhoods; Immigration; Law Enforcement Act on April 23, opening the floodgates to torrents of criticism and discussion of state vs. federal immigration policy. The debate has ranged from outrage about potential racial profiling, to legal opinions about the new… Read more »