In Focus

PJ book inspires a baking party

Jenny Davenport, a PJ Library mother, reports that her daughter, Charlotte, age 9, received PJ’s “Once Upon an Apple Cake: A Rosh Hashanah Story,” and read it in one sitting. She then chose it as her book club selection for the next month. Seven girls in the book club… Read more »

JFSA women launch year with Sukkot party

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Fall Kickoff Co-Chair Judy Berman introduces Youth On Their Own Ambassador Hope Sherise (JFSA)

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy held its fall kickoff event, “Salsa in the Sukkah,” on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Youth On Their Own Development Director Bethany Neumann and Youth Ambassador Hope Sherise spoke about YOTO, Women’s Philanthropy social action beneficiary, which helps homeless or unaccompanied students graduate high… Read more »

Northwest celebrates Shabbat with seniors

Bob Lewkowitz, center, and Rhoda Braun, right (mother-in-law of AJP Executive Editor Phyllis Braun), were among the residents and staff who joined in a Shabbat celebration at Sunrise Senior Living. Photo: Fran Katz/JFSA

Pinchas Zohav, community chaplain for the Ruth & Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life (Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Northwest Division); his wife, Rita Zohav; Northwest Director Phyllis Gold; and Northwest staff member Carol Nudelman celebrated Shabbat on Friday, Oct. 4, with residents at Sunrise Senior Living. Zohav celebrates… Read more »

Thank you and l’hitraot to Barel family

Oshrat Barel, left, and Deborah Oseran, chair of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona boar. Polaroid photos from the event were made into an instant scrapbook for Barel and her family to take home to Israel. Roman Urias/AJP)

More than 100 colleagues and friends turned out Sept. 12 to say thank you and l’hitraot (until we meet again) to Oshrat Barel at a party in her honor at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy. Barel returned to Israel after six years in Tucson, four… Read more »

YWC fulfills mitzvah with Handmaker residents

Clockwise from left: Handmaker resident Gertrude Shankman, YWC co-chair Kathy Gerst, Miriam Emerson, and Trihn Tofel (back to the camera). Shankman will turn 105 on Oct. 26. Community members are welcome to join Handmaker for a celebration with Tucson Hebrew Academy students on Oct. 25 at 9:45 a.m., or Shabbat services and more birthday celebration on Oct. 26, 9:30-noon. (Nanci Levy/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Women’s Cabinet members visited Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging on Wednesday, Sept. 11 for a brief tour of the building, and the opportunity to get to know some Handmaker residents during a Rosh Hashanah card-making activity. Their visit was part of their… Read more »

Project Isaiah high holiday food drive underway

Committee members and synagogue social action leaders, L-R: Judith Weiser, Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Marc Sbar, Susan Kasle, Beverly Sandock, Nanci Levy, Steve Slaff, Mary Ellen Loebl, Carol Fabrizio, Rabbi Ruven Barkan, Lisa Schachter-Brooks, and Diane Katz. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

The annual community-wide Project Isaiah High Holy Days hunger project kicked off Sept. 15. It is coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Jewish Community Relations Council, with monetary and food donations benefiting the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Synagogues and Jewish agencies will collect donations. The… Read more »

Interfaith agency presents token of appreciation

Photo Debe Campbell/AJP

Jill Rich, social action chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, presented Federation CEO & President Stuart Mellan with a token of appreciation from Catholic Community Services Casa Alitas program on Sept. 13. JFSA has supported Casa Alitas over the past six… Read more »

Young Men’s Group aims for community interaction

Back row (L-R): Oren Riback, Matt Landau, Tom Brannock, Stephen Segal, Isaac Figueroa (past co-chair), Jeff Winkelman (co-chair), Howard Cohen, David Kornberg, Alec Berens, Christian Yoder. Front row: Adam Miller, Eric Mellan (co-chair), Antar Davidson, Sam Bowman, Eric Natter.

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Men’s group held its annual leadership development retreat Aug. 23-25 on Mt. Lemmon, facilitated by Jewish Federations of North America National Young Leadership Cabinet co-chair Adam Miller, from Orange County, California. The 13 young men participated in leadership development programming including community… Read more »

Young Women’s Cabinet plans to ‘Be the Change’

(L-R) Lindsay Berkman, Elyse Adams, Kathy Gerst (co-chair), Trinh Tofel, Miriam Emerson, Caitlyn Citrin Low, Mary Rose Goldstein, Jamie Kippur, Aimee Katz, Bronwyn Sternberg, Lillie Hansen, Meg Knight, Jenny Rothschild (co-chair), Katie Stellitano-Rosen. Not pictured: Jennifer Selco and Karen Sadow.

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Women’s Cabinet held its annual retreat Aug. 17-18, themed “Be the Change.” The Cabinet spent 24 hours celebrating Shabbat, getting to know each other, learning about the Tucson Jewish Community, and the mission of the Federation.… Read more »

Men connect through ChaiLife gathering

L-R: Nolan Shifren, Todd Sadow, Ted Glenn, Damion Alexander, Michael Wexler, Jeff Wortzel (co-chair), Ben Pozez, Michael Shiner, Adam Goldstein (co-chair), Josh Hurand, Isaac Figueroa.

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona ChaiLife members gathered Saturday, Aug. 24 to reconnect. ChaiLife was created for those men who have graduated from the Young Men’s Group and want to remain connected to the Federation and their chevra (group).… Read more »

Tucson J introduces goat yoga – no kidding!

Participants at the Tucson Jewish Community Center weekly Goat Yoga class get a workout and then some. They are joined by miniature kids from Goats of Tucson Yoga. At the hour-long evening program, the yogis usually are more interested in the costumed creatures than yoga poses, especially when plank,… Read more »

PJ Library celebrates founder’s birthday

Harold Grinspoon, the founder of PJ Library, celebrated his 90th birthday July 27. Members of Southern Arizona’s PJ Library prepared a gift for Grinspoon, thanking him for making free Jewish-themed books available every month for children across the world, ages 6 months-8 years. The colorful birthday-thank you book, created… Read more »

BBYO teen leader featured in national publication

Chapter and regional leaders from Tucson and Scottsdale at the BBYO International 2019 Kallah summer program. (L-R) Gabe Friedman and Sam Goldfinger of Tucson, and Caroline Carter, Elsa Harris and Mimi Yonover of Scottsdale.

Tucsonan Sam Goldfinger, president of Tucson’s AZA chapter of BBYO, was featured in an article “A Shabbat to Remember and Never Forget” from eJewishPhilanthropy, an independent online publication. Sam and five other teens gave a D’var Torah honoring visiting Holocaust survivors during BBYO’s International Kallah summer program in Lake… Read more »

Homer Davis Elementary School teachers overjoyed by donation

Homer Davis Elementary School teachers are thrilled with the school supplies donation from Truly Nolen staff and customers. (Mary Ellen Loebl/JFSA)

Truly Nolen volunteers recently delivered $700 in cash and more than a dozen boxes of school supplies donated by Truly Nolen customers and staff to Homer Davis Elementary School. Truly Nolen is a community partner in the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s community outreach program, “Making a Difference Every… Read more »

Israeli Scouts perform in Tucson

The Israeli Scouts Tzofim Friendship Caravan performed their high-energy song and dance show for about 200 people at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on Thursday, June 20. Prior to the show, the scouts spent the day at Camp J. They gave a morning show for the camp, the Taglit… Read more »

Shinshiniyot celebrate b’not mitzvah

(L-R): Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Rotem Rapaport, Ron Benacot, and Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg

About 60 community members celebrated with Tucson’s outgoing shinshinyot (Israeli teen emissaries), Rotem Rapaport and Ron Benacot, as they were called to the Torah at Temple Emanu-El on Saturday, June 15. The young women had celebrated coming of age with parties in Israel, but neither had read from the… Read more »

Truly Nolen volunteers pack food for JFSA’s Homer Davis project

Volunteers from Truly Nolen filled food bags for 60 Homer Davis students to supplement their summer nutrition. (L-R) Robert Folino, Brian Harper, Joshua King, Michael Barcelo, Spain Sivley, Tracy Masterson, and Reuben Hill. Front: Jeremy Christopherson (Photo: Mary Ellen Loebl)

On May 29, community volunteers from Truly Nolen Pest & Termite Control packed 240 bags of food to supplement nutrition for students at Homer Davis Elementary School over the summer break, when kids can’t get meals at school. The food program is part of the Jewish Federation of Southern… Read more »