News

Philanthropy association to honor Jewish community members

Several Jewish community members will be among those honored Nov. 13 at the National Philanthropy Day virtual celebration hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Arizona Chapter. Acclaimed restaurateur Janos Wilder will receive the award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, one of the association’s major annual awards. Wilder was nominated by the Community Food Bank of Southern… Read more »

David Wolsky, 66, dies

David Irwin Wolsky, 66, died suddenly on Sunday, September 27, 2020. David was born July 13, 1954 in Chicago, where he lived until moving to Tucson with his family in 1994. He embraced life in Tucson and developed many close friendships as well as a love for bike riding… Read more »

Northwest Needlers brings Jewish knitters together to create a bounty of tzedekah projects

The Northwest Needlers created twiddle muffs for residents with dementia at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging and other senior living facilities. (Photo courtesy Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life)

Armed with knitting needles and crochet hooks, the Northwest Needlers are women of valor, says founder Judith Feldman. For the past five years, the Northwest Needlers, who currently meet Tuesday afternoons via Zoom under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Ruth and Irving Olson Center for… Read more »

PJ Library to present Thanksgiving — It’s in the Bag

Following on the success of its Rosh Hashanah — It’s in the Bag program, in which 100 local children participated, PJ Library of Southern Arizona will present Thanksgiving — It’s in the Bag on Sunday, Nov. 15, on Zoom at 3:30 p.m. Participants will paint a Thanksgiving turkey along… Read more »

Local comic has roots on New York’s Lower East Side

Growing up on New York’s Lower East Side, Simon Goldstein, 83, aka “Simon the Bald,” loved the humor of comedian Myron Cohen. As he got older, he became a fan of edgier comics, such as Rodney Dangerfield and George Carlin. A former actor, he decided to try his luck… Read more »

New Israel Fellow at UA Hillel sees future in education

Hagar Ben-Bassat, the new Israel Fellow at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, visits a zoo in her hometown of Petah Tikva on Aug. 18, 2020.

Hagar Ben-Bassat, the new Israel Fellow at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, was delighted when the Jewish Agency for Israel, which coordinates Israeli emissaries for a number of programs worldwide, gave her permission to come to Tucson despite the global coronavirus pandemic. Although it was a long process… Read more »

Author to discuss power of gratitude in free JFSA talk

Janice Kaplan

What began as an ambitious idea — to spend a full year living gratefully — became a life-changing experience for author Janice Kaplan. Her inspirational memoir, “The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life” (Dutton, 2015) was a New York Times bestseller.… Read more »

Amplifying Voices series continues with Tamar Manasseh in discussion with Tucson J’s Todd Rockoff

Taman Manasseh, a rabbinical student, will be featured in the Amplifying Voices series on Nov. 8. (Photo courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Amplifying Voices series, an in-depth opportunity to explore the intersectional relationship between the Black and Jewish communities, will continue with Tamar Manasseh, an African American rabbinical student who is leading the fight against senseless killings on the south side of Chicago. Manasseh will be in discussion with Todd… Read more »

Tucson International Jewish Film Festival launching 30th year with three pre-festival screenings

A scene from 'Doing Jewish: A story from Ghana' (Photo courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson International Jewish Film Festival is presenting three pre-festival screenings in advance of its January lineup for the 30th annual festival. The festival is using the Eventive platform to screen films that viewers can watch on a computer, mobile device, or smart TV, and Zoom for post-film programs.… Read more »

AJP wins two Arizona Newspapers Association Awards

ana-awards-2020The Arizona Jewish Post’s “Voices of hope: The ongoing legacy of the Holocaust” won a first place Arizona Newspapers Association Award for Best Sustained Coverage or Series.

The Arizona Jewish Post won two awards in the Arizona Newspapers Association’s 2020 competition. This year’s ANA awards were announced via Facebook Live on Oct. 15. The AJP received a first place award in the Best Sustained Coverage or Series category for “Voices of Hope: The ongoing legacy of… Read more »

Jewish History Museum virtual benefit to honor Rabbi Stephanie Aaron

Rabbi-AaronRabbi Stephanie Aaron speaks June 6, 2017 at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson. [Photo: Steven Michael Braun)

“Be Strong and of Good Courage” (Deuteronomy 31:7) is the title for the Jewish History Museum’s 10th annual fall benefit, which will be held virtually on Sunday, Nov. 1. This year’s benefit honors Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim. “I think of Rabbi Aaron as my primary partner in… Read more »

UA Hillel students active in MitzVote, a national, nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort

ua-hillel-oct2020During the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation’s Shabbat meal pick-up on Oct. 9, student MitzVote ambassadors, from left, Rachel Kaplan, Lauren Bander, and Sarah Schneider, hand out MitzVote swag to encourage voter registration and early voting in the U.S. elections. (Photo: Abbii Cook/University of Arizona Hillel Foundation)

Three University of Arizona students are volunteering with Hillel International’s nonpartisan MitzVote program, which encourages and enables college and university students to vote in the national elections. Rachel Kaplan, Lauren Bander, and Sarah Schneider are working with UA Hillel Assistant Director Abbii Cook on the project. All three of… Read more »

JFSA still making a difference for Homer Davis Elementary

Warmth from afar: a volunteer from California crocheted hats and ear warmers to keep kindergarteners at Homer Davis Elementary School in Tucson cozy this winter. (Photo: Shari Shapiro-Runnells)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools in the Flowing Wells School District are currently using remote learning instead of in-person classes. But the situation hasn’t stopped the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s support for Homer Davis Elementary School. Michelle Shapiro, graphic artist at the Arizona Jewish Post, recently connected… Read more »

Strategic planning moving forward for Southern Arizona Jewish community

stretigic-planning-oct2020The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona strategic planning process has included interviews, surveys, and Zoom meetings with members of the local community to identify core values. One such value is ‘mobilizing loving-kindness,’ and one way to put this value into action is by caring for priority populations, such as seniors, says JFSA/JCF CEO Graham Hoffman. (AJP file photo)

Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona have been moving ahead with the strategic planning process known as “2020 and Beyond: Reimagining Jewish Life in Southern Arizona” and will soon share a road map outlining the path ahead.… Read more »

Tucson J plans physically distant Sculpture Garden opening

j-sculpture-garden_Cutline: New and established works will be on display at the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Sculpture Garden opening on Oct. 25. (Photo: Jacob Kaufman)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center will hold a physically distanced opening for its Sculpture Garden on Sunday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The Sculpture Garden, created in 2009, includes new and established artists and is a cornerstone of the J’s arts programming. The opening will feature nine new… Read more »

Volunteers make a difference for local Jewish agencies

Suzanne Baron HelmingSuzanne Baron Helming

Jewish community agencies honored volunteers with special recognition awards as part of the Community Awards Celebration & Annual Meeting 2020 that the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona hosted last month on Zoom. Here, the agencies offer a closer look at these dedicated lay leaders. University of Arizona Hillel Foundation… Read more »

Amplifying Voices series to examine junction of Black and Jewish identity, community

(L-R) Professors Marc Dollinger, Jerome Dotson, and Gil Ribak will kick off the Amplifying Voices series with a Zoom discussion of Dollinger’s book, “Black Power, Jewish Politics” on Oct. 18.

This month, the Tucson Jewish Community Center will launch Amplifying Voices, a six-part virtual series designed to help explore the intersectional relationship between Black and Jewish identity and community. The series will begin Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. with Professors Marc Dollinger of San Francisco State University and Jerome… Read more »