News

Israeli fallen soldiers mourned in song for Yom Hazikaron

Holocaust survivors lit memorial candles at the 2019 Yom Hazikaron event at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (L-R): Dov Marhoffer, Wanda Wolosky, Walter Feiger, Pawel Lichter, and Wolfgang Hellpap. (Marty Johnston)

The Weintraub Israel Center organized a musical tribute to Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror for a local commemoration of Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, on Tuesday, May 7 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.… Read more »

Lovingkindness-driven initiatives established by JCF/JFSA joint grants

Jewish Family & Children’s Services Program Manager Elise Bajohr, left, demonstrates home-based assessment of an individual’s needs. (Courtesy Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona)

Sara’s options began to feel limited when, at the age of 72, she met with a series of major life obstacles. Beset with memory challenges, a recent cancer diagnosis, and an urgent need to move out of her apartment due to repairs, she didn’t know where she could turn.… Read more »

Outstanding community volunteers recognized

Neil Markowitz

This is part one of a series on the Jewish agency volunteers who received 2019 Special Recognition Awards at the Jewish Community Awards celebration held May 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The evening also included the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s annual meeting. Neil Markowitz, Jewish Community… Read more »

5,000-year-old yeast used by Israeli scientists to brew a pretty good beer

Beer cruse from Tel Tzafit/Gath archaeological digs, from which Philistine beer was produced. (Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

Israeli scientists are using ancient yeast to brew a beer fit for a pharaoh. The researchers have isolated yeast from ancient pottery used to brew beer and used it to create the same libation that was presumably drunk by the Egyptian pharaohs, Iron Age rulers, and ancient Jewish leaders.… Read more »

Jews for Justice plan summer community concert

Bat Florence Portugal

Tucson Jews for Justice will present a “Tucson Jewish Summer Arts Festival — A Night of Music, Laughs and Light” on Saturday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish History Museum, 564 S. Stone Ave. Tony Zinman, a Tucson Jews for Justice co-founder, explains that the evening was… Read more »

Started from seed, pomegranate bears fruit

Celebrating the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s pomegranate tree, now bearing fruit on its first anniversary, are Early Childhood Education students with (L-R): ECE teacher Kristina Li, Dale Green and Tammy Lewis from the J’s building services department, Lipowich, and Adi Olshansky, Weintraub Israel Center P2G school twinning coordinator. WIC is a joint project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the J, dedicated to bringing the cultural richness of Israel to Tucson. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

The pomegranate, said to have 613 seeds corresponding to the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah, frequently is a symbol of Israel. It is one of the seven species of Israel listed in the Torah, along with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, and dates. As part of building living… Read more »

#MeToo event encourages community-wide conversation

During an exercise at the Jewish community’s “From #MeToo to #WeToo” event May 21, audience members wrote reflections on banners marked “I Learned,” “I Feel,” and “I Commit to.” Colored stickers indicate “likes” from other attendees. (Maya S. Horowitz/JCF)

It is our collective responsibility as members of this community to examine the part that we play in these frameworks,” Graham Hoffman, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, told the audience at a recent community event addressing sexual harassment in the Jewish communal world.… Read more »

Seniors celebrate a century and intergenerational friendships

Centenarians unite On Friday, May 3, the Pima Council on Aging and Tucson Medical Center sponsored the 32nd annual Salute to Centenarians event at TMC’s Marshall Conference Center. This gathering, the largest known convergence of centenarians in the United States, attracted close to 50 attendees, ages 99+, accompanied by… Read more »

Cactus king that boosts landscaping takes centuries to mature

Once in about 50,000 plants, a saguaro grows an odd cristate crown. No one knows what causes this fascinating deformity. (Photo: National Park Service)

A sage survivor in the Sonoran desert, the stately saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) reigns over Tucson’s Southwestern landscape. The largest known cactus is symbolic of Arizona (the state flower) and iconic in classic Western films. Casting eerie, human-like shadows across the desert floor, they evoke images of solitude, expansive… Read more »

Tucson J’s Elder Camp proves summer fun isn’t just for the grandkids anymore

Sylvia Levkovitz takes part in a cup stacking challenge at the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Elder Camp 2018. {Courtesy Sharon Arkin)

Seniors who look back fondly on summer camp fun and frolic can now relive those golden days of yore. Following a banner first-year experiment, the Tucson Jewish Community Center is announcing open registration for its second season of Elder Camp. Camp will take place on four consecutive Sunday afternoons,… Read more »

Israel is holding new elections. What comes next?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after the Knesset voted to dissolve itself, May 30, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The blame game started shortly after midnight Thursday morning. The Knesset’s vote to dissolve itself and hold a second national election in five months had hardly been posted on the chyrons of news networks in Israel and around the world when the major players in the… Read more »

What is it like to be a female combat soldier in Israel? A photographer provides a unique look.

Two Artillery Corps fighters and instructors in Shivta, Israel (Debbie Zimelman)

(JTA) — Women served as combat soldiers during Israel’s War of Independence, when the fledgling country needed all the fighters it could get. But following the 1948 war, it took half a century before they were allowed back in combat. Since the late 1990s, when some units started allowing… Read more »

Meet the Jewish lawyer representing clients at the country’s strictest immigration court

Marty Rosenbluth is the only private immigration lawyer in a small Georgia town near a large immigrant detention center. (Courtesy of Rosenbluth)

(JTA) — Most of the year, Marty Rosenbluth lives alone in a small house in Lumpkin, a Georgia town with 2,000 residents and one restaurant. It’s 500 miles away from his wife and community in North Carolina. Then he drives two miles down the road to a place even… Read more »

Israeli army says it found ‘most significant’ Hezbollah attack tunnel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military said it uncovered the “longest” and “most significant” Hezbollah attack tunnel on the border with Lebanon. The discovery of the nearly milelong tunnel was made in the winter during Operation Northern Shield, which aimed to expose and neutralize cross-border attack tunnels, but was… Read more »

US, Israeli and Russian security advisers to meet in Jerusalem in June

(JTA) — The national security advisers of the United States, Israel and Russia will meet in Jerusalem in June, the White House said Wednesday. The announcement said that John Bolton of the United States, Meir Ben-Shabbat of Israel and Nikolay Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, would convene… Read more »

Why Israel will hold a second national election in 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a conference of his Likud party in Ramat Gan, March 4, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

(JTA) — Israel held a national election seven weeks ago. It will hold another one in September. If that sounds weird to you, you’re right: Israel has a famously raucous political system, but it’s never held national elections twice in one year. Until now. Just to be clear, no… Read more »

Israel will hold new elections after Netanyahu fails to form coalition

(JTA) — For the first time in its history, Israel will hold a second national election in one year, five months after the last election in April. The Israeli Knesset voted at midnight Thursday to dissolve itself, triggering elections on Sept. 17. The unprecedented vote happened after Prime Minister… Read more »