News

Israeli soldier seriously injured in West Bank car-ramming attack

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier was seriously injured in a car-ramming attack Thursday in the West Bank as violence there escalates. Israeli troops shot the Palestinian driver as he “drove quickly toward IDF soldiers next to a military post” in an apparent deliberate attack, the Israel Defense Forces… Read more »

Portugal’s ruling party wants to limit Jewish law of return policy

Two Israeli women arrive in Lisbon, Portugal, Feb. 15, 2020. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

(JTA) — Portugal’s ruling Socialist Party says it wants to stop giving citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews, partly because the application process has turned into a business venture. The announcement came in a draft amendment submitted Monday by the party to a 2015 law that ensured the naturalization… Read more »

Holocaust education funding bill passes U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Senate unanimously approved $10 million in funding for Holocaust education in American schools. The vote Wednesday approving the Never Again Education Act, coming after overwhelming approval for the same bill in the House of Representatives in January, sends the bill to President Donald Trump,… Read more »

Tucson Pops plans virtual Mother’s Day concert

Maestro Laszlo Veres isn’t allowing the cancellation of the spring season of Tucson Pops Concerts to get in the way of his celebrating Mother’s Day.  Traditionally, the orchestra performs ‘My Yiddishe Momme” each year as part of the special concert celebrating mothers.  The poignant piece written in the early 1900s… Read more »

Fauci to Orthodox Jews: Ease into communal prayer as gatherings become possible

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the White House, April 10, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs infectious disease research for the federal government, advised Orthodox Jews to phase in communal prayer as local governments lift coronavirus pandemic restrictions. “The kind of social interactions which is the core of the beauty of your culture has unfortunately led to… Read more »

London city worker secures Jewish funeral for 95-year-old man who died alone

A picture of Herbert Max Fraenkel that a team of volunteers studying his ancestry found in January at his home in London. (Courtesy of The Jewish News)

(JTA) — After several weeks at a London mortuary, the unclaimed body of 95-year-old Herbert Max Fraenkel was slated to be buried in a shared grave at a pauper’s funeral. Fraenkel, who was born in 1924 in Berlin, died alone at his home in January. City workers were unable… Read more »

Many people are having their conversions to Judaism delayed during the pandemic. Others are going ahead with them in creative ways.

ConversionRenee Godinez had her son pour spring water on her to symbolize immersing in a mikvah. (Courtesy of Godinez)

(JTA) — Renee Godinez had completed nearly all the steps to becoming Jewish before the coronavirus pandemic descended earlier this spring. She had studied extensively with Rabbi Rick Winer of Temple Beth Israel in Fresno, California, and adopted Jewish practices in her life. All that was missing was a… Read more »

COVID-19 antibody testing slots available in Pima County

The University of Arizona – State of Arizona’s COVID-19 antibody testing initiative has additional testing slots now available in Pima County for health care workers, first responders, and members of the general public.  The testing will determine if an individual has developed antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19.… Read more »

Tucson Hebrew Academy makes fast switch to online learning

A fourth-grade student at Tucson Hebrew Academy displays a Lego® tower he created after the school switched to remote learning in mid-March. The structure, which demonstrates engineering principles, can hold a ball for longer than two minutes. (Courtesy Stephanie Buchler/Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Gov. Doug Ducey announced the closure of Arizona schools on Sunday, March 15  to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. On March 16, Tucson Hebrew Academy was ready with online learning, says Head of School Laurence Kutler, Ph.D. ”We were prepared two weeks before it happened,” Kutler says, explaining that THA… Read more »

Tucson J plans virtual day of learning

Jennifer Selco

The Tucson Jewish Community Center will present a virtual Yom Limmud, a day that celebrates Jewish learning, on Sunday, May 17. “While we cannot be together in person due to the current health crisis, we must create opportunities to gather virtually as a Jewish community,” says Jennifer Selco, the J’s… Read more »

UArizona students find strength in virtual community

Lisa Friedman

For students, the University of Arizona experience has been turned upside down during this COVID-19 era. The university has switched to online classes and all in-person activities have been canceled or postponed until further notice. Many students have felt the impact of social distancing and have been struggling with school… Read more »

Synagogues offer plethora of online worship, study, connection opportunities

The state of Arizona has suspended all in-person worship services, classes, and other programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many local synagogues halting live events in advance of the governor’s March 30 stay-at-home order. Local congregations have migrated programs to digital spaces, including Shabbat services for non-Orthodox congregations.… Read more »