In Focus

Beth Shalom Temple Center holds outdoor Simchat Torah celebration

Cliff-S-and-Rabbi-Roman-Beth-ShalomCliff Shekter (left) assists Rabbi Norman T. Roman during Beth Shalom Temple Center of Green Valley’s Simchat Torah service on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Beth Shalom Temple Center)

Rabbi Norman T. Roman and about 30 congregants of Beth Shalom Temple Center of Green Valley gathered Sunday, Oct. 11, to celebrate Simchat Torah. For the sake of safety as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the service was held outside the synagogue. Everyone wore masks, kept a respectable distance, and… Read more »

Staying connected at Handmaker

Handmaker resident Lois Waldman follows along with Facebook live Passover Festival services from Temple Emanu-El, April 9. (Photo: Angela Salmon/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Digital apps and dedicated staff have been helping Handmaker residents stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. For Passover, Handmaker provided all interested Jewish residents with dinner, seder plates, wine or grape juice, battery operated candles, and Haggadot for one or two seders, depending on their request. Some residents joined… Read more »

Holocaust survivors flock to JFCS group Zoom meetings

Top row (L-R): Sharon Glassberg; Daniel, Alma, and Consuelo Hernandez; Theresa Dulgov. Middle: Raisa Moroz, JFCS Holocaust survivors services program manager; Barbara Agee; John Kessler. Bottom:  Sidney Finkel, Pawel and Sara Lichter (not pictured). Also on the call, by phone, were Walter Feiger, Yulia Genina, and Wanda Wolosky. (Photo courtesy Jewish Family & Children’s Services)

Jewish Family & Children’s Services weekly Holocaust survivors group meetings have been taking place over Zoom, sometimes with special guests, such as a recent meeting with State Reps. Alma Hernandez and Daniel Hernandez Jr. and their sister, Consuelo Hernandez, a member of the governing board for Sunnyside Unified School… Read more »

THA plans online commencement

Standing (L-R): Jack Scrimer, Jared Matheson, Aidan Goldberg, Eidan Schachter-Brooks, Liam Parnaby, Ben Gerber, and Anisa Rutherford; seated: Lariella Citron, Abigail Ruskin, Alex Farbrook, Halle Hirshman, Matias Naiman-Molina, Yileana Pasillas, and Mielle Griver. (Standing (L-R): Jack Scrimer, Jared Matheson, Aidan Goldberg, Eidan Schachter-Brooks, Liam Parnaby, Ben Gerber, and Anisa Rutherford; seated: Lariella Citron, Abigail Ruskin, Alex Farbrook, Halle Hirshman, Matias Naiman-Molina, Yileana Pasillas, and Mielle Griver. (Photo courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Due to restrictions on large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, Tucson Hebrew Academy will hold an online eighth-grade graduation ceremony on Monday, May 18.  The 14 graduates will attend the following high schools in the fall: Catalina Foothills High School, The Gregory School, Tucson High Magnet School, and University High… Read more »

Firefighters hold Passover seder

Matt Gordon (foreground) and fellow Golder Ranch firefighters held a Passover seder at fire station 377 in Oro Valley on April 8. Family friend Hedy Feuer provided the matzah ball soup, kippot, and Haggadahs, and the firefighters prepared the rest of the meal. Gordon’s father is Jewish, Feuer explains,… Read more »

Connections postponement prompts impromptu brunch

(L-R) Lynn Rae Lowe, Fay Roos, Linda Wahl, Dana Adler, Laurie Kassman, and Lenore Ballen at Adler’s home on March 8. (Courtesy Lynn Rae Lowe)

Six members of Congregation Or Chadash who had planned to attend the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Connections brunch on March 8, which was postponed due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), gathered that morning at the home of Dana Adler. They watched the Federation’s exclusive interview… Read more »

Or Chadash salutes JFSA’s Stuart Mellan- In Focus

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona President and CEO Stuart Mellan, left, and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim with the September 1995 Arizona Jewish Posts announcing their respective endeavors, at Congregation Or Chadash’s Feb. 21 dinner honoring Mellan.

Eighty people attended Congregation Or Chadash’s “Celebrating 25 Years of Gratitude,” a dinner honoring Stuart Mellan, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 21. Mellan will retire at the end of May. Following the dinner, held at Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for… Read more »

In focus- Handmaker residents help Homer Davis kids

Handmaker residents and staff with weekend food packs for Homer Davis Elementary Schol, Feb. 18. Back row (L-R): Nahid Nematollahi, Elaine McLain, Carol Donisi, Norma Friel, and Brayton Person; front row: Roslyn Friedman and Donald Tuttle

Residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging had an opportunity to do a mitzvah Feb. 18. They built weekend food packs for 96 food insecure students at Homer Davis Elementary School, as part of the Homer Davis Project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, coordinated by Mary… Read more »

Social action by M’kor Hayim warms hearts at local migrant shelter

Bryan Kaplan displays donations for the Casa Alitas migrant shelter from Congregation M’kor Hayim.

Congregation M’kor Hayim has supported the Casa Alitas shelter for asylum seekers, run by Catholic Community Services. This month, the congregation answered a call for small size coats, jackets, and sweaters for the women and children who pass through the shelter, often on their way to colder locations. With… Read more »

State legislative committee approves Holocaust education bill for Arizona schools

State Rep. Alma Hernandez with Holocaust survivors and Jewish Family & Children’s Services staff from Southern Arizona at the capitol in Phoenix Jan. 27. (L-R) Erika Dattner, Susan Kasle (JFCS vice president of community services), Raisa Moroz (JFCS Holocaust survivors program manager), Michael Bokor, Wanda Wolosky, Sharon Glassberg (JFCS clinical therapist/wellness and support specialist), Hernandez, Theresa Dulgov, Sara Lichter, Pawel Lichter, Sidney Finkel, Barbara Agee

On Monday, Jan. 27, which was International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, bill #HB2682, submitted by Arizona Rep. Alma Hernandez with bipartisan support, passed unanimously in the House education committee. The bill requires Arizona schools to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides.… Read more »

Brunch kicks off Women inPower fellowship

Women inPower fellows (L-R) Marian Schiltz, Robin Kelley, and Debbie Boggs engage in a self-reflection activity on values.

The Tucson Jewish Community Center launched its 2020 Women inPower Tucson leadership program with a brunch orientation session Jan. 12. The fellows chosen for the pilot program funded by the JCC Association are Elise Bajohr, Debbie Boggs, Gabby Erbst, Katie Filous, Katharine L. Gerst, Maya Horowitz, Robin Kelley, Shannon… Read more »

Women enjoy mahj, margaritas, mitzvahs

After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, women get down to the business of playing mah jongg at a Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona event Jan. 8.

A multi-generational group of more than 100 women gathered Jan. 8 at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy for an evening of food and drink, mah jongg — with many newcomers learning the game— and giving, hosted by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Women’s… Read more »

JLTC celebrates quinceañera

Humberto Lopez, left, and Paul Baker, Jewish Latino Teen Coalition quinceañera co-chairs, display wind chimes presented to them and longtime JLTC Leader Shari Gootter (not pictured). Local artist Julie Szerina Stein created the unique pieces, which capture both cultures to make a “milagro-mizrach,” she says, using the Spanish word for a votive folk charm and the Hebrew word for an ornament hung on an eastern wall to indicate the direction for prayer.

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona welcomed more than 150 people Jan. 5 to honor Jewish Latino Teen Coalition founders Humberto Lopez and Paul Baker at a quinceañera/15th year celebration. Young adult alumni shared their stories, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and former Mayor Jonathan Rothschild delivered greetings, and Shari… Read more »

Temple Emanu-El Hanukkah Spectacular

About 150 people attended Temple Emanu-El’s Hanukkah Spectacular on Sunday, Dec. 15, with students from the Kurn Religious School and Strauss ECE singing, dancing, acting, and playing music. Here, Kurn teacher Sarah Fire leads children in “I’m a Little Latke” and “Hanukkah is Here.”… Read more »

CCC marks Hanukkah and 40th anniversary

About 100 people attended Congregation Chofetz Chayim’s dinner party on Sunday, Dec. 29, celebrating both the final night of Hanukkah and Rabbi and Esther Becker’s 40th year in Tucson.… Read more »

PJ Library, COC celebrate with Handmaker

Aaron Winter cheers on his daughter as she colors a menorah at Handmaker, where PJ Library kids and Congregation Or Chadash students joined with residents to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, Sunday, Dec. 22. Participants also designed menorah drip mats, laminated by PJ Library coordinator Mary Ellen Loebl, and joined in candle lighting, songs, and stories with COC’s Cantor Janece Cohen and rabbinical student Julia Berg.

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