News

Jewish community stands up for racial justice

Tony Zinman, co-founder of Tucson Jews for Justice, attends a candlelight vigil in Tucson June 1, one week after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapoolis. (Courtesy Zinman)

The Southern Arizona Jewish community has joined communities across the globe in expressing outrage at the murder of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. And it is grappling with how best to support the struggle for racial justice. On June… Read more »

New JCF chair advocate of impact investing

Anne Hameroff

Retired attorney Anne Hameroff, the new chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, wants to see the Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona work together in ways that make them “more nimble and responsive” to meet the overall philanthropic desires of their donors. It’s a goal… Read more »

JHM and Paisanos Unidos offer legal advice and food to immigrant community

Groceries for distribution to the immigrant community are set outside the Jewish History Museum, June 7. (Courtesy Laurie Melrood)

Paisanos Unidos (Citizens United) is an immigrant self-defense organization that works to inform members of the immigrant community about their rights while living and working in the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish History Museum has partnered with the organization to provide an outdoor space in which… Read more »

From ‘Son of Sam’ to busting scams, TV reporter’s memoir is a wild ride

Matthew Schwartz of KVOA News 4 Tucson shares more than 40 behind-the-scenes stories from his 37-year career as a hard-hitting journalist in his newly published memoir, “Confessions of an Investigative Reporter” (Koehler Books). Hard hits come with the territory. He’s been swung at with a baseball bat, hit by a… Read more »

‘We’ve been milling our heads off’: For some small kosher food purveyors, the coronavirus era is boom time

Ian Yosef Hertzmark at his farm in Randallstown, Md., in February. His sales of flour have more than doubled during the pandemic. (Mike Tintner)

(JTA) — Like many small business owners, Ian Yosef Hertzmark’s small flour operation saw a precipitous drop when the coronavirus pandemic hit the Unites States in March. Almost overnight, Hertzmark’s Migrash Farm, which produces certified kosher flour from grain grown in the Chesapeake Bay region, lost virtually his entire… Read more »

Undeterred by COVID-19, couple plans Israeli wedding in less than 24 hours

Nina Abrahams and Amit Bigler are married after completely changing their wedding plans due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Nadav C.J.)

Nina Abrahams and Amit Bigler knew the coronavirus pandemic would have an impact on their wedding, which was already taking place in Israel, far from their home in New York. But they didn’t expect to have their guest list whittle down from 330 to about 20 — and for those… Read more »

Stop using Israel as an excuse not to support Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter protester raises his fist during a march to honor George Floyd in New York City, May 31, 2020. (John Moore/Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Alma. Take a moment and remember where you were when you first heard about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. I was in Tel Aviv getting ready to go to the movies after Havdalah. I didn’t end up going —… Read more »

Boston federation lays off 25 employees amid economic crisis

(JTA) – Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston’s Jewish federation, has laid off 25 employees as it plans for a year of decreased donations and increased need for services. The move, which was announced in an email sent to community members earlier this month, follows widespread layoffs at Jewish organizations across the… Read more »

Bighorn Fire Evacuation and pets

For those under evacuation orders — currently north of Ina Road from 1st Avenue to Alvernon Road — there is a Facebook group for people looking for/offering pet and livestock shelter. Sign up for the Pima County Emergency Alert Notification system. Stay safe, everyone!… Read more »

White Jews have been able to flee to the suburbs. Black Americans largely could not. Here’s why that matters today.

A view of suburbia (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (JTA) — I turned on my phone and felt an overwhelming sense of frustration, sadness and hopelessness. While I had been enjoying two days without electronics in observance of Shavuot and Shabbat, cities across the country were engulfed in a combination of civic protests and police riots. Weapons… Read more »

Trump authorizes sanctions against International Criminal Court and blasts its investigation of Israel

(JTA) — President Donald Trump authorized sanctions against the International Criminal Court should it pursue cases against U.S. citizens and cited what he said was its anti-Israel bias. In an executive order issued Thursday, Trump approved economic sanctions and travel restrictions against ICC workers directly involved in investigating American… Read more »

In a dramatic shift, AIPAC gives lawmakers a green light to criticize Israel over annexation

People gather to stage a demonstration to protest against the annexation plan of the Jordan Valley, located in the occupied West Bank and illegal Jewish settlements in West Bank, Tel Aviv, Israel on June 6, 2020. (Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States is telling lawmakers that they are free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there. Two sources — a congressional aide and a donor — say the American Israel Public Affairs… Read more »

UJA-Federation of New York announces 54 layoffs as CEO forgoes pay

(JTA) – In the  past few months, UJA-Federation of New York has awarded millions of dollars in emergency grants to help organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s joining the ranks of organizations having to let go of its own staff members as it anticipates declining donations. And its… Read more »

Orthodox women are using Instagram to fight racism, on and offline

Shoshana Greenwald and the fashion brand Mimu Maxi are using Instagram to talk about racism in the Orthodox community. (Screenshots from Instagram)

(JTA) – Shevi Samet started her Instagram livestream by letting out a long, deep breath. “How are you?” she asked her co-presenter and fellow Instagrammer Shoshana Greenwald. “So, so nervous,” Greenwald replied. “So nervous, so nervous,” Samet echoed. “I just want to address that briefly: Shoshana and I are… Read more »

Nearly half the Jewish sites in Syria have been ruined. The fate of most Iraqi sites is unknown.

The entrance of an abandoned Jewish synagogue in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, Iraq, pictured in 2009. (Saddam Hussein/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Nearly half the Jewish sites in Syria and a quarter of the sites in Iraq have been destroyed, according to a research project. In Iraq, at least 68 out of 297 Jewish heritage sites have deteriorated to the point that they are beyond repair, the London-based Jewish… Read more »