Religion & Jewish Life

Brazilian-born Holocaust survivor has bar mitzvah at age 91

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – At 91, Holocaust survivor Andor Stern no longer fears the Nazis who imprisoned him in Auschwitz. Living in his native Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest metro area of nearly 25 million, what scares him today are burglars – his modest house has been broken into… Read more »

Series will blend Torah insights, modern psychology

A new Chabad adult education course will explore what Judaism has to say about common negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, anger, guilt, and shame. “Worrier to Warrior: Jewish Secrets to Feeling Good However You Feel” will be presented by Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin at the Tucson Jewish Community Center,… Read more »

From ‘Antcars’ to ‘Mousecars,’ Tucson’s Truly Nolen delivers smiles worldwide

Vickie and the late Truly David Nolen (Photos: Courtesy Truley Nolen Pest Control)

If you’ve spent any time in Tucson you’ve seen the swarms of quirky yellow VW bugs dressed up with floppy black ears and a tail. They’re the iconic Truly Nolen Pest Control Mousecars. But, did you know there really was a man called Truly David Nolen … and that… 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 »

A year after disaster, Pittsburgh is so much more than a site of tragedy

A group of volunteers takes to the streets to beautify Pittsburgh. (Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh)

PITTSBURGH (JTA) —As we approach the one year since the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history, I am grateful for the outpouring of support for the Pittsburgh Jewish community. Over the last year, people across the world have stood shoulder to shoulder with all of us in the 412.… Read more »

Squeezed for burial space, Jerusalem prepares to open an underground city of the dead

At capacity, a new tunnel network will hold some 23,000 bodies and is expected to be filled within a decade. (Sam Sokol)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Carved into the rock on the side of a mountain directly under the Har HaMenuchot cemetery here lies the entrance to Jerusalem’s newest necropolis, a city of the dead that its designers hope will relieve a shortage of burial space in the capital. A local engineering… Read more »

A Rosh Hashanah ritual — in space

Daniel Shorr, far right, and other members of Stanford’s Student Space Initiative escort a rocket he built. (Courtesy of Shorr)

SAN FRANCISCO (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Typically, Jews gather after Rosh Hashanah services to recite a brief prayer and then symbolically cast away their sins by tossing breadcrumbs into a body of water. The ritual, called tashlich, isn’t mandated by Jewish law — it’s just… Read more »

Tucson teens’ b’nai mitzvah projects celebrate community, giving

The b’nai mitzvah project has become an important part of the traditional coming of age ritual for many Jewish teens. Whether they volunteer in the local community or raise funds for a worthy cause, it’s a chance to exercise compassion and responsibility. Sometimes, it’s also a lesson in flexibility,… Read more »

America’s 7.5 million Jews: older, whiter, more liberal than U.S. as a whole

A senior couple and young girl preparing food for the Mitzvah Weekend at Temple Beth Sholom. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

In the past seven years, the American Jewish population has grown 10 percent. It remains a population that is mostly liberal, college-educated, and overwhelmingly white. And it’s not getting any younger. This is all according to a new American Jewish population estimate of the 48 contiguous U.S. states put… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Sukkot — A holiday of joy and unity

Joy Often repeated during the High Holiday season: “What are you celebrating now?” “Who cares? We Jews always pray, eat, and are merry!” During prayers on every Jewish holiday, we mention “Mo’adim L’Simcha,” a holiday to rejoice. Yet, on Sukkot there is an extra emphasis on being happy and… Read more »

Lithuanian descendants return for dedication

Tucsonans Joel Alpert and Nancy Lefkowitz attended the Synagogue Square Memorial dedication in Yurburg, Lithuania, on July 19. (Courtesy Joel Alpert)

The town of Yurburg, Lithuania, dedicated a new Synagogue Square Memorial on July 19. Tucson genealogist and author Joel Alpert and his wife, Nancy Lefkowitz along with 10 of his relatives from Israel, Canada, and the United States, represented the descendants of emigres from the once-thriving Jewish community. “It… Read more »

JFSA NW center reaches out to young families

Rabbi Batsheva Appel and kids enjoy Shabbat Shabang at the Ruth & Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life, Sept. 13./Ariel Miklofsky/JFSA

On Friday, Sept. 13, 12 children and their families joined Rabbi Batsheva Appel of Temple Emanu-El and PJ Library at the Ruth & Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life for the Northwest Family Shabbat Shabang. The rabbi led a service full of songs, prayers, and storytelling while teaching the… Read more »

Documents about Holocaust survivors online

After Hitler’s regime was defeated, many Holocaust survivors and liberated forced laborers wanted to leave Europe. Along with the United States, the most desirable emigration destinations included Canada and Australia. Most of the emigrants were carried by nearly 400 ships the Allies supplied for this mass migration movement; some… Read more »

Amar’e Stoudemire is now an undergrad, goes to his campus Hillel and wants to boost black-Jewish relations

Amar'e Stoudemire is leading an initiative to connect Jewish and African-American students at Florida International University. (Courtesy of FIU Hillel)

(JTA) — Despite his serious thoughts about an NBA comeback, Amar’e Stoudemire is taking a little break from basketball to go to school. The former six-time NBA All-Star, who had never attended college, started this fall as a freshman at Florida International University in Miami. Though the semester just… Read more »

By chilling out on Rosh Hashanah, I made my Judaism truly meaningful

Julie Matlin (Courtesy of Matlin)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Picking through gefilte fish in the kosher department, searching for the freshest packages, I think of my Grandma Fanny. She made her gefilte fish from scratch, lovingly combining the cod, whitefish, pike and whatever other secret ingredients she threw in that made it so good. “This… Read more »