In Focus

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

(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)

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 »

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 »