News

Abbas ends Palestinians’ agreements with Israel, including security cooperation

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared an end to all agreements with Israel, including security cooperation, effectively turning over to Israel’s government the running of the entire West Bank. “The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the… Read more »

PBS film explores recent rise of anti-Semitism in U.S., Europe

Russell Walker (right) was a candidate for North Carolina's State House in 2018. His racist statements prompted the North Carolina Republican Party to withdraw its support for him. (Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations)

A new PBS documentary, “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations” will premiere May 26. The film, which will air at 9 p.m. on Arizona Public Media’s channel 6, explores the rise and spread of anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe in recent years. The project has been underway for more than… Read more »

Retiring JFSA CEO Mellan fostered cohesive, diverse community

Stuart Mellan

Contemplative, compassionate, collaborative: these are some of the words friends and colleagues use to describe Stuart Mellan, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, who is retiring at the end of this month after more than a quarter century leading the organization. The coronavirus pandemic and… Read more »

Social welfare calls bolster community bonds

To ease loneliness caused by COVID-19 social distancing during Passover this year, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation organized a Passover ‘Potluck’ held via Zoom on April 13, one of the intermediate days of the holiday.

As part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and Jewish Community Foundation response to the coronavirus pandemic, staff and volunteers have made more than 1,300 social welfare phone calls to members of the community. The project is ongoing. “It started with my desire to reach out to donors of… Read more »

Tucson J virtual programs can help adults, kids stay active and sharp during pandemic

Loving Kindness Meditation with Pamela Adler is one of the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s virtual classes. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center has been offering a variety of virtual classes and programs at www.tucsonjcc.org to help people stay physically fit, mentally sharp, and spiritually focused while the facility is closed as a preventative measure due to the coronavirus. “You can stay active in your own home! Here… Read more »

Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund taking two-phase approach

Last week, the Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund approved an allocation of $25,000 to the Community Food Bank to rescue over 30,000 meals from the international border that otherwise were destined for the landfill. The fund also allocated an additional $20,000 to Interfaith Community Services for emergency financial assistance… Read more »

Two Tucsonans elected to BBYO regional board

Two Tucson teens, Gabe Friedman and Rachel Rudner, have been elected to the BBYO Mountain Region board. Friedman is the 73rd regional aleph godol (BBYO AZA president), overseeing the engagement of Jewish teens across Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Also part of the teen team responsible for the BBYO On… Read more »

Rattlesnake bites on the rise — watch where you step, warns UArizona poison center

A rattlesnake crosses the Loop path near Swan Road on April 25. (Facebook)

Warm weather may lead to more outdoor activities, but be aware of rattlesnakes, cautions the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center located in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. So far this year, 36 rattlesnake bites have been reported to AzPDIC. Twenty-four of those bites occurred in April, up… Read more »

UArizona, with state funds, begins COVID-19 antibody tests

Graduate student Tyler Ripperger in Janko Nikolich-Žugich lab at the University of Arizona puts plates into a 37 degrees Celsius bath to allow for optimal detection conditions. (Photo: Kris Hanning/University of Arizona Health Sciences)

The University of Arizona has started analyzing blood samples from hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to determine who has developed antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. The state of Arizona is providing $3.5 million to test 250,000 health care workers and first responders throughout Arizona. To lay the foundation… Read more »

Emerging from lockdown, French Jews take stock of community’s ‘enormous losses’

Rabbi Michael Azoulay, second from right, reading the Torah with congregants at the synagogue of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb, Dec. 11, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

(JTA) — Regulars at the synagogue in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine call its main hallway “the traffic jam.” The term, often uttered with an eye roll, refers to the bottleneck that forms several times a day outside the offices of the popular synagogue, housed in a 1930s Bauhaus… Read more »

Central Council of Jews in Germany launches ‘Meet A Jew’ project

(JTA) — The Central Council of Jews in Germany has launched a “Meet a Jew” project designed to increase contact between non-Jews and Jews in Germany, who make up 0.2 percent of the population. One of the project’s over 300 Jewish volunteers from different denominational backgrounds are paired with… Read more »

With hope fading and regulations tightening, more Jewish camps set to cancel

Rising sixth-graders at Camp Ramah in California on the beach during an overnight trip. The camp has said "we cannot open camp in mid-June or run our summer sessions as scheduled." (Courtesy of Ramah in California)

(JTA) — At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and as recently as a couple weeks ago, some Jewish camps had hoped they could run for part of the summer. For a growing number of camps, that hope now appears to be vanishing. Two Conservative Ramah camps look increasingly… Read more »

Union for Reform Judaism announces layoffs and furloughs

(JTA) – Two weeks after announcing the cancelation of its summer programs in the United States and Israel, the Union for Reform Judaism announced staff layoffs Wednesday. Approximately 60 full-time employees, constituting 20% of the organization’s staff, were laid off. The organization also implemented a temporary pay reduction between… Read more »

Senate legislation would expand COVID-19 projects with Israel to lessen dependence on China

(JTA) — The Senate has introduced legislation to enhance partnerships between American and Israeli companies on COVID-19 projects, thus lessening U.S. dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments. The bipartisan legislation was introduced on Wednesday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a whirlwind eight-hour visit to Israel, criticized… Read more »

‘The entire system got confused’: Israeli schools reopen, but many parents aren’t sending their kids back

Israeli first- to third-graders social distance and bring doctor's notes at the entrance to their Jerusalem school, May 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — On the first day that Israel’s schools reopened nine weeks after closing to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Kalanit Taub’s 8-year-old daughter stayed home. As a third-grader, her classes were among the first wave of those to resume. But her 10-year-old brother’s classes hadn’t yet… Read more »