In Focus

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 »

JCC Holocaust memorial is subject of NW remembrance

From left, Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz, Ken Light, Fred Steiniger and Emily Ellentuck helped lead the Yom HaShoah program at the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life on May 2.

On Thursday, May 2, the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life held a Yom HaShoah Remembrance event. More than 40 attendees heard guest speakers Ken Light and Fred Steiniger talk about the Holocaust memorial at the entrance to the Tucson Jewish Community Center and watched a video… Read more »

Tucson Hebrew High holds creative commencement

Front row (L-R): Erika Spivack, Natalie Feldman, Jillian Cassius, Michael Gross; second row: Geva Ozeri, Mallory Hulsey, Rachel Davenport, Rebecca Dubin, Maya Levy; Back: Yuval Barel, Aaron Green, Téa Weiner, Brandon Esbit, Rafael Herreras-Zinman. Not pictured: Isaac Hammer

“Live, from Tucson, it’s Tuesday night!” The class of 2019 kicked off the 41st Tucson High School for Jewish Studies (Hebrew High) Commencement on April 30 in the rousing spirit of “Saturday Night Live.” The program, driven and written by the students, featured all the hallmarks of SNL, includin… Read more »

YMG poker tournament proceeds benefit Homer Davis Elementary School kids

(L-R): Ben Silverman, Steve Landau, Scott Goorman and Andrew Isaac play a hand at the JFSA Young Men’s Group Poker Tournament, April 21. (Photo Damion Alexander)

Mike Wexler reigned over the Young Men’s Group Poker Tournament April 21. Other top finishers, in order of rank, were Peter DeLuca, Josh Silverman, Myles Levine, and Mckenzie Carlat. Fifty players raised $1,800 at the event for “Making a Difference Every Day: The Homer Davis Project.” Proceeds will provide… Read more »

Or Chadash Sisterhood honors Saboda

(L-R) Missy Driggers, Kathylynn Saboda, Pearl Joseph, Emily Joseph, Rabbi Thomas Louchheim, and Cantor Janece Cohen at Congregation Or Chadash on April 14 (Courtesy Congregation Or Chadash)

The Sisterhood of Congregation Or Chadash honored Kathylynn Saboda as its first Eshet Or (Woman of Light) at a luncheon and end of year meeting on Sunday, April 14. Saboda served as Sisterhood president in 2004. She served on the congregation’s board of directors from 2005-2008; since 2008 she… Read more »

Homer Davis 10th anniversary celebration includes Maizlish gift

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMEJody Gross speaks to supporters at the “Making a Difference Every Day: The Homer Davis Project” 10th anniversary celebration event March 31. She presented a $12,000 Maizlish Foundation check for computer equipment to Principal Lyle Dunbar, left. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

A $12,000 donation will fund computers for additional classrooms at Homer Davis Elementary School. Jody Gross presented a check, on behalf of the 12 grandchildren who are part of the Maizlish Family Foundation, to the school’s principal, Lyle Dunbar, at the 10th anniversary celebration of “Making a Difference Every… Read more »

Jewish Latino Teen Coalition lobbies in D.C. for immigration reform

Members of the Jewish Latino Teen Coalition with U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, April 3, (L-R): Elliot Baruch, Katie Kantor. Lily Molina, Derek Contreras, Mia Martinez, Amari Lampert, Kirkpatrick, Sofia Lyon, Bella Wexler, Shira Dubin, Noah Richter, Gavin Carmichael Photos courtesy Jewish Latino Teen Coalition)

Eleven members of the Jewish Latino Teen Coalition, a program founded by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Jewish Community Relations Council and the Office of U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, visited Washington, D.C., March 31-April 5 to lobby lawmakers on immigration reform. In addition to meeting with a dozen… Read more »

JCRC volunteers provide lunch, supplies for TIHAN’s Poz Café

(L-R): Jewish Community Relations Council volunteers Jim Rich, Steve Shawl, Ruth Tepper, Jill Rich, Jeanette Shawl, Sharon Geiger, and Leslie Kahn at TIHAN’s Poz Café March 21. (Photo courtesy Jill Rich)

Members of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Jewish Community Relations Council volunteered March 21 at Tucson Interfaith HIV/Aids Network’s Poz Café, along with other faith-based organizations. The café serves a monthly catered meal to those living with HIV. Organizations supply the food, cooked by the TIHAN chef with… Read more »

In Focus 3.22.19: UA Hillel commemorates Holocaust

Holocaust survivor Yulia Geninatalk makes a tile at the 28th Annual Holocaust Vigil on the University of Arizona mall.

At least 500 people stopped by the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation’s 28th Annual Holocaust Vigil, held over 24 hours beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13. Volunteers read the names of victims throughout the vigil. Visitors also had the opportunity to participate in an art project, meet… Read more »

In focus 3.22.19: THA class wins blue ribbons at regional science fai

Students in Melissa Landau’s third-grade class at Tucson Hebrew Academy won a SARSEF first place Grand Award for their project at the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation fair on March 7 in the animal and plant sciences category. The project, “Germination Station,” allowed students to use the… Read more »

In focus 3.8.19

Rain Pryor, center, with event chair Dana Narter, right, and Narter’s husband, Ed Baruch. (Martha Lochert)

Pryor’s show is a hit for Hillel The multi-talented Rain Pryor performed “Fried Chicken and Latkes,”  her one-woman show about growing up biracial in the 1970s, to a near sellout crowd on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Leo Rich Theatre. The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation fundraiser exceeded its… Read more »

In focus 2.22.19

(L-R): Judy Berman, Jody Gross and Ellen Goldstein share hors d'oeuvres at a Lions of Judah happy hour Feb. 7. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

Twenty-four Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Lions of Judah came together on Thursday, Feb. 7 for a “Nosh Nosh: Who’s There?” happy hour at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy. Using only cold ingredients, the Lions engaged in a culinary competition, with the results enjoyed by… Read more »

Super Sunday pushes Federation campaign toward goal

Leslie Glaze, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Campaign co-chair, talks to Super Sunday volunteer Barbara Selznick, Jan. 27. Debe Campbell/AJP)

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona held its annual Super Sunday phone-a-thon on Jan. 27 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. During the festive, sports-themed event, 120 phone and clerical volunteers reached out to community members, collecting more than 260 pledges and donations for the 2019 Community Campaign, which… Read more »

In Focus: Handmaker celebrates Tu B’Shevat

Handmaker residents Sarah Segal (left) and Marcie Sutland with Congregation Or Chadash fifth-grade student Alex Strizver on Jan. 27. Courtesy Nanci Levy/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging recently celebrated Tu B’Shevat, known as the New Year for the Trees, with representatives of three local synagogues. Rabbi Batsheva Appel of Temple Emanu-El led a talk about the holiday on Friday, Jan. 18; Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim led a Tu… Read more »

In Focus 1.25.19

JFNA chief updates JFSA leaders Jewish Federations of North America President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Silverman briefed the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s national and overseas planning and allocation committee at a working lunch Wednesday, Jan. 9. Silverman highlighted JFNA’s activities as a convener and supporter of 147… Read more »

THA kids present Hanukkah Hop

Tucson Hebrew Academy’s lower school (kindergarten through fourth grades) put on a ’50s-style Hanukkah Hop show of song and dance on Thursday, Dec. 6. The production was attended by parents, grandparents, other family and friends.… Read more »