In Focus

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 »

Young leaders apply philanthropic savvy at JFSA annual meeting

JFSA Young Leadership Campaign volunteer Sarah Singer (left) presents a check to Tucson Hebrew Academy Head of School Laurence Kutler (center) and outgoing THA Board Chair Neil Kleinman. (Martha Lochert)

Two Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Young Leadership special teams received funds to disburse in the community, which they presented at the JFSA Annual Meeting and Community Awards Celebration on Thursday, May 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Recipient agencies included the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, Jewish… Read more »

Israeli fallen soldiers mourned in song for Yom Hazikaron

Holocaust survivors lit memorial candles at the 2019 Yom Hazikaron event at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (L-R): Dov Marhoffer, Wanda Wolosky, Walter Feiger, Pawel Lichter, and Wolfgang Hellpap. (Marty Johnston)

The Weintraub Israel Center organized a musical tribute to Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror for a local commemoration of Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, on Tuesday, May 7 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.… Read more »

PJ Library kids learn value of helping others

Goldie Goldstein and her daughter share a loving moment while preparing a thank you letter to PJ Library founder Harold Grinspoon. (Photo: Mary Ellen Loebl/JFSA)

PJ Library hosted a “Kids Helping Kids” afternoon May 19 at Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Children and families gathered to learn about the mitzvah of helping others. Sharon Glassberg shared an educational presentation, reading from the book “Mitzvah Pizza.” Participants expressed their gratitude in drawings and letters to… Read more »

Tucsonans celebrate Israel at 71

Tots celebrate Israel’s 71st birthday with Tucson shinshiniyot (Israeli teen emissaries) Rotem Rappoport (left) and Ron Benacot.

More than 250 people attended a celebration of Israel’s 71st birthday on Sunday, April 28, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, enjoying food, music, an artisan fair, kids’ activities and Israeli film shorts. The Weintraub Israel Center, a program of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson… Read more »

Congregation Or Chadash blesses all creatures great and small

Alice Mayoral, with Jordan the lizard, won most unusual pet. Photos: Debe Campbell/AJP)

Pets of all description were on parade at Congregation Or Chadash May 5 for the annual pet blessing. About 50 gathered with their beloved dogs, a rabbit, and a gecko to share the Prayer for Animals, led by Rabbi Thomas Louchheim. The blessing also culminated a monthlong b’not mitzvah… Read more »

Life before war focus of community Yom HaShoah commemoration

Holocaust survivor Walter Feiger, right, lights a candle with his partner, Nancy Alexander, and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash.

The community-wide 2019 Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sunday, May 5 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center focused on highlighting Jewish life and culture before the Holocaust. Rather than rehearse the political miscalculations and complicity of European nations or the mechanics of Nazi genocidal violence, says Bryan Davis, executive director… Read more »