Shalom Tucson brunch to showcase adult education

Shalom Tucson will sponsor a free bagel brunch, “Gateway to Adult Education,” on Sunday, Jan. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Attendees will be able to chat with representatives from Tucson’s congregations, Jewish organizations and agencies about adult education opportunities, such as lectures,… Read more »

Jewish community blood drive Jan. 14; interfaith conversation Jan. 27

A Jewish community blood drive will be held Friday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Advance appointments to donate are required. To make an appointment contact Jane Scott at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, 577-9393, ext. 114. In addition, an interfaith community conversation,… Read more »

Anshei Israel plans ‘White House’ birthday

Congregation Anshei Israel will celebrate its 80th anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 13, with a “White House” dinner event (a tongue-in-cheek play on the synagogue being a large white building). CAI received its charter in April 1930. It was originally located in a small adobe building at 526 South Stone… Read more »

Rabbi and Esther Becker will lead Israel trip

The Southwest Torah Institute, the educational and outreach arm of Congregation Chofetz Chayim, will lead its first Israel Experience with Rabbi Israel and Esther Becker from May 1 to 15. Limited to 20 participants, the trip will be designed for those “seeking a spiritually uplifting yet physically challenging experience,”… Read more »

Venezuelan Jews report shift in tone from Chavez government

Venezuelan Jews celebrate the opening of a new synagogue in Caracas, December 2010. (Jasmina Kelemen)

CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) — On a balmy tropical evening in early December, a few hundred families, mostly of Moroccan descent, gathered to inaugurate the first phase of what eventually will be a grand, two-story marble shul located in a wealthy Caracas neighborhood. Among them, Claudio Benaim’s family beamed as… Read more »

Israeli population in U.S. surges, but exact figures hard to determine

Israeli ex-pats were among those who showed up in Los Angeles for an Israel Independence Day celebration. (Courtesy Israeli Leadership Council)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — The number of Israelis living in the United States grew by about 30 percent over the past decade, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau figures. Some 140,323 people living in the United States today were born in Israel, up from 109,720 in 2000. Of… Read more »

Tucson Jewish community anguished over shooting rampage

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was gravely wounded on Jan. 8, 2011 in Tucson

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was holding her first “Congress on Your Corner”event since being re-elected in November. It was a typical sunny Saturday morning in Tucson in front of the Safeway market at Ina and Oracle, where some 25 to 30 people stood in line to have a word with… Read more »

Special Prayer Gathering Jan. 9

Congregation Chofetz Chayim has announced that “in response to yesterday’s shocking events,” it will  hold a prayer and perspective gathering tonight from 5 to 6 p.m. Rabbi Becker will speak and special Psalms will be incorporated into a special service. The gathering is open to men and women of… Read more »

Some Arab conspiracy theorists seeing WikiLeaks-Israel link

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Unless you’re a reader of Islamist websites, you’d probably be surprised to learn that the WikiLeaks trove of U.S. diplomatic cables is an Israeli conspiracy. Wonder why there was so much material about Arab regimes petitioning the United States to contain Iran’s nuclear program? How… Read more »

Katsav rape conviction hailed as watershed moment

Women demonstrating outside the Tel Aviv courtroom where former Israeli President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape and other sex crimes, Dec. 30, 2010. (Roni Schutzer/Flash 90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — For years it was considered an open secret in Israeli political and media circles that Moshe Katsav had a habit of sexually harassing women who worked for him. In a nation at arms with a decidedly machismo bent, sexual encounters between powerful male politicians and… Read more »

Greece-Israel relations soar as ties with Turkey fade

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara (center), on a Greek Navy boat with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and his wife, Ada, August 2010. (Amos BenGershom/Government Press Office/FLASH 90/JTA)

Israel’s ambassador to Greece, Arye Mekel, was on the phone with a journalist earlier this month when the call came in that Israel’s Carmel region was up in flames. The Israeli prime minister needed to speak urgently with his Greek counterpart. Mekel quickly located Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou… Read more »

Museum seeks ketubot and wedding finery

The Jewish History Museum is looking for ketubot (marriage contracts), wedding attire and wedding photos to borrow for its third annual Ketubah Exhibit, which will be held Jan. 8 through Feb. 14, 2011. A fashion show of historic gowns will be held Jan. 9. A ketubah for display may… Read more »

THA tidbits: anti-bullying skits empower kids

Tucson Hebrew Academy has taken a more-than-proactive approach to bullying. “We deal with bullies all the time in life,” says Ronnie Sebold, THA director of admissions, noting that even adults often run into bullies, from the person who cuts you off while driving to a boss or co-worker who… Read more »

Foundation chooses Areivim Legacy partners

Five Tucson synagogues and six Jewish organizations have been selected to build endowment funding through the new Areivim Legacy Community Project, in partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. “Since we created the Endowment Book of Life almost 20 years ago, the Jewish Community Foundation and the… Read more »

Army’s Capt. Greenberg will speak at CAI

Capt. Isaac Greenberg

Captain Isaac A. Greenberg will present “Being Jewish in the Army and Afghanistan” at Congregation Anshei Israel’s Shabbat service on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. Greenberg, a native Tucsonan, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2005 with a degree in international relations. He… Read more »

Musician Joe Black to perform at Temple

Joe Black

On Friday, Dec. 24, Temple Emanu-El will host recording star Rabbi Joe Black, who will perform at Chardonnay Shabbat services at 5:45 p.m. A frequent visitor to Tucson, Black is one of the most popular Jewish contemporary artists in the United States. He has shared his music with hundreds… Read more »

Imagine Greater Tucson seeks Jewish input

Imagine Greater Tucson, a community-based effort to identify shared values and create an action plan for the future of the region, will hold a Jewish community conversation in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Tucson Hebrew Academy. If you… Read more »

13 ‘Extraordinary Women’ will take stage

Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will present “13 Extraordinary Women Tell Their Secrets” at a brunch on Sunday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. at the Marriott University Park Hotel. The 13 women, who will have three minutes each to share their formulas for success in their… Read more »

Philanthropist, Zionist, activist, Tucsonan Evie Pozez dies at 84

Evie Pozez

Evelyn Shirley Whitebook Pozez was “always gracious and grateful to people around her,” says Stuart Mellan, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. “First and foremost, I’ll remember her shining spirit and ever-present smile.” Mrs. Pozez, 84, died on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. Born in Iowa… Read more »