In Focus

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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Shlicha hosts Hanukkah open house

Photo: AJP Phyllis Braun

Inbal Shtivi, director of the Weintraub Israel Center and one of Tucson’s shlichim (Israeli emissaries), and her family hosted a Hanukkah open house on Thursday, Dec. 26, the fifth night of the holiday, with food, fellowship, and song. Here, Shtivi (left) and Cantorial Soloist Sara Golan Mussman prepare to… Read more »

Five generations at BSTC

Back row (L-R): Scott Casey (grandfather), Jacob White (father); middle row: Rachel Casey White (mother) with baby Eli, Kim Ronkin Casey (grandmother), Pam Weston (great-grandmother), Sandy Ostroff (great-grandfather), Sarah Casey (aunt); front row: Yeta Bart Weston (great-great-grandmother)

Yeta Weston, 104, one of the earlier members of Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley, recently became a great-great-grandmother. She returned to BSTC to celebrate the naming of Eli White. The baby and parents were in town for the special service on Friday, Dec. 27, conducted by Rabbi… Read more »

J-Street honors Gellman

J Street founder and President Jeremy Ben Ami (right) honored Larry Gellman Dec. 16 at the first major event the pro-Israel group hosted in Tucson. More than 110 people, including a broad range of political leaders, rabbis, and Jewish professional and community leaders, attended. The event featured a timely… Read more »

M’kor Hayim joins URJ

(L-R): Carol Weinstein; Janice Brumer, a member of the Union for Reform Judaism national board; and Rabbi Helen Cohn Photo courtesy Congregation M’kor Hayim

Congregation M’kor Hayim has joined the Union for Reform Judaism, the association of nearly 900 Reform congregations in North America.  “Our congregation began in 2008. Now that we are fully established locally, we felt it was time to connect with the wider Jewish community,” Rabbi Helen Cohn said. She… Read more »

Border trip enlightens NW/Hadassah group

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About 85 community members joined a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Nogales, Arizona, on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The bus trip, hosted by the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life and Hadassah Southern Arizona, included several speakers along the journey: immigration attorneys Alexandra Miller from Humane… Read more »

Holocaust survivors mark Kristallnacht

(L-R): Howard Levkowitz, Ella Levkowitz, Elayne Levkowitz, Tom Herz, Bertie Levkowitz, Helene Goodman, and Dan Goodman at the Tucson Hebrew Academy Tikkun Olam dinner Oct. 27. (Courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Tucson’s Jewish History Museum hosted a panel of local Holocaust survivors on Friday, Nov. 8, in commemoration of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” a series of pogroms on Nov. 9, 1938 that signaled the beginning of the Holocaust. The survivors read from “To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors… Read more »

THA honors co-founder Bertie Levkowitz

More than 250 people joined Tucson Hebrew Academy in celebrating one of its primary founders and supporters, Bertie Levkowitz, at its annual Tikkun Olam gala on Sunday, Oct. 27. The night began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by dinner and a tribute award program. Howard Levkowitz,… Read more »

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 »