News

These 7 smartphone apps make life easier for religious Jews

Smartphone apps can help with everything from putting on tefillin correctly to finding a minyan to locating a kosher restaurant. (Lior Zaltzman)

(JTA) — These days there are smartphone applications for pretty much anything, from ordering food to finding a date to reporting anti-Semitic incidents. But what about tools for living a religious Jewish life? Well, there are apps for that, too. Whereas in the time before smartphones, observant Jews may have… Read more »

Progressive Jewish Latina embraces community with gusto

Alma Hernandez at her bat mitzvah party in the Holocaust History Center garden, April 8 (Courtesy Hernandez)

Alma Hernandez is passionate and strives every day to make a difference. People say her values and actions represent the core of Judaism, which is noteworthy because Hernandez didn’t grow up Jewish. At age 24, she has been active in the Jewish community for several years, even before she… Read more »

JCRC immigration forum highlights city’s citizenship campaign

Immigration lawyer Alan Bennett speaks at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 28. (Simon Rosenblatt)

The immigration crisis in Southern Arizona was the topic of a breakfast forum organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona on Friday, April 28. Opening the meeting, which was held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, JCRC Chair Richard White explained that… Read more »

‘Recovered atheist’ and future rabbi speaks from heart on Jewish identity, healthy homes

(L-R): Linda Behr, Congregation Bet Shalom Cantor Avraham Alpert, Eileen Weizenbaum and Andrea Siemens, LMSW, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 23. Behr and Weizenbaum are Jewish Family & Children's Services Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family program board members. (Korene Charnofsky Cohen)

Avraham “Avi” Alpert’s spiritual journey has led him from Judaism to atheism to being an observant Jew. Now he wants to help other Jews find their own path to Jewish traditions, values and celebrations that bring families closer together. His April 23 talk at the Tucson Jewish Community Center,… Read more »

Three Tucsonans to compete on Team USA at Maccabiah Games in Israel

Sam Beskind of Catalina Foothills High School drives to the basket against Walden Grove High School, Jan. 12, 2017. [Courtesy Beskind)

Three young Jewish athletes from Tucson will compete in the elite Maccabiah Games in Israel. Held every four years, the games are the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 athletes from over 80 countries. Sam Beskind, Tamara Statman and Brett Miller will be part of Team… Read more »

From Navajo reservation to exotic cruises, medical career is window to world

Dr. Seneca Erman and Cantor Janece Cohen at Congregation Or Chadash in 2016 (Elliot Framan)

The Navajo cradleboard at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum held Cantor Janece Cohen when she was a baby. It continues to hold many stories for her and her father, Dr. Seneca Erman, 88, who gave a gallery chat at the museum on Feb. 3. Erman had done a two-month internship… Read more »

Tracing Roots celebrates two years linking teens, seniors

Handmaker resident Les Waldman, third from left, with the Gibly family: Haya, Yochanan, Zakai, Raquel, Nati and Ayelet, at the April 30 Tracing Roots and Building Trees reception at Handmaker. (Nanci Levy)

Tracing Roots and Building Trees, an intergenerational program that brings together residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging with students from Tucson Hebrew High, wrapped up its second year with a reception at Handmaker on Sunday, April 30.  Fifteen Handmaker residents and 13 teens participated in the program,… Read more »

Tucson sisters launch first Woops! in the West

Sisters Naomi Lippel (left) and Ellie Lippel at Woops! Bakeshop (Courtesy Woops!)

Tucson’s Main Gate Square sports a chic new bakery called Woops! The Woops! phenomenon got its start in 2012 with a pop-up holiday kiosk in New York’s Bryant Square Park selling nothing but macarons, the petite, colorful French sandwich cookies (as opposed to macaroons, the chewy coconut cookies often… Read more »

Three rabbis to explore ‘Finding G-d’ in Handmaker talk

(L-R) Rabbi Yossie Shemtov, Rabbi Thomas Louchheim and Rabbi Robert Eisen

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging will continue its Rabbi Lecture Series with “Finding G-d (in the) Every Day,” featuring Rabbis Yossie Shemtov, Robert Eisen and Thomas Louchheim, on Sunday, May 21 at 3:30 p.m. “The Baal Shem Tov taught us that everything you see or hear can serve… Read more »

Local bike drive, volunteer training aim to aid refugees

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has launched “Bikes Without Borders” to distribute bicycles to newly arrived refugees through local refugee resettlement agencies. “Bikes Without Borders” is seeking donations of new or used adult and child-sized bicycles and helmets, locks, lights and other… Read more »

In museum talk, novelist to explore Inquisition in Mexico

The Jewish History Museum will host “Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories,” a book signing and talk with novelist Marcia Fine, as part of its exhibition from the New Mexico History Museum, “Fluid Identities: New Mexican Crypto-Jews in the Late 20th Century.” The free talk will be held Tuesday,… Read more »

James Comey, fired by Trump and reviled by Democrats, had admirers among Jewish defense officials

FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, May 3, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) — “You make us better,” James Comey told the Anti-Defamation League in his final public speech as FBI director. Judging from the applause in the conference room at the venerable Mayflower Hotel here, the feeling was mutual. Mired in investigations of the scandals of 2016 (Hillary… Read more »

Israel’s justice minister says Trump peace plan won’t go anywhere — and she’s happy about it

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked casts her vote in preliminary parliamentary elections in Jerusalem, April 27, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Ten days before Donald Trump was inaugurated, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked visited the Jewish settlement in Hebron. A community of several hundred ensconced in a city of 150,000 Palestinians, Hebron’s Jewish residents are considered to be among the most extremist and controversial Israeli settlers.… Read more »

President-elect Macron and his French Jewish supporters may be on a collision course

A man looks at an Emmanuel Macron poster at the French consulate in Jerusalem, May 7, 2017. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS (JTA) — French Jews may have voted en masse for Emmanuel Macron in the final round of France’s presidential elections, but that doesn’t make him their dream president. Like many other supporters of the 39-year-old former investment banker, who on Sunday became the youngest French president in recent… Read more »

ANALYSIS Emmanuel Macron wins French election, but Marine Le Pen wins legitimacy

Emmanuel Macron addressing supporters at the Louvre in Paris after winning the French presidential election, May 7, 2017. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old  former investment banker and political centrist, handily defeated the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election. Exit polls showed Macron winning Sunday’s vote by a margin of 65 percent to 34 percent. Although her bid to lead the country failed, Le Pen’s divisive campaign against Macron achieved some of… Read more »

Trump executive order allows campaigning from the pulpit

President Donald Trump greeting clergy members, including Rabbi Marvin Hier, right, in the Rose Garden at the White House, May 4, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Jewish groups largely came out against a new executive order allowing clergy to endorse or oppose candidates from the pulpit, fearing that it will erode the separation between church and state. The order, which President Donald Trump signed Thursday at the White House on the National… Read more »

How the Six-Day War changed American Jews

Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War energized the movement to free Soviet Jewry, leading to pro-Israel and anti-USSR demonstrations like this one in New York City in June 1967. (Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On the morning of June 5, 1967, as Arab armies and Israel clashed following weeks of tension, Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg sat anxious amid his congregants at daily prayers — fearful that the Jewish people would face extinction for the second time in 25 years.… Read more »

A celebrity photographer trains his lens on Holocaust survivors

Holocaust survivor Felix Fibich in “Survivor: A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust.” (Harry Borden)

(JTA) — Harry Borden is Britain’s Annie Leibovitz. Sort of. The American-born, U.K.-raised portrait photographer, 52, admits there “are some parallels” in their careers, though “obviously, I’m nowhere near as successful,” he told JTA. Still, Borden is England’s go-to photographer when a publication wants a celebrity portrait. Elton John, Paul… Read more »