Religion & Jewish Life

Tiffany Haddish’s celebrity-filled bat mitzvah, in photos

Rabbi Susan Silverman, left, with Tiffany Haddish at Haddish's bat mitzvah at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Dec. 3, 2019. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)

(JTA) — Tiffany Haddish celebrated her bat mitzvah Tuesday night surrounded by an array of Jewish celebrity friends, including Billy Crystal, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman. The comedian, who celebrated in Beverly Hills on the occasion of her 40th birthday, released her Netflix standup special, “Black Mitzvah,” on the same… Read more »

CAI scholar-in-residence to animate Shabbat with song, story

Rabbi Cantor Hillary Chorny, left, and Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny

Update 11.22.19: This scholar-in-residence weekend is supported by The Rabbi Marcus Breger Fund at Congregation Anshei Israel. Rabbi Cantor Hillary Chorny of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles will bring new music and innovative, interactive Shabbat services to Tucson as Congregation Anshei Israel’s scholar-in-residence, Dec. 13 and 14. Her… Read more »

Through JFCS, national fund boosts safety net for local Holocaust survivors

Tucson Holocaust survivors (L-R) Sidney Finkel, Wolfgang Hellpap, Walter Feiger, and Pawel Lichter (Photo: John Pregulman)

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona recently partnered with a national initiative that provides emergency funding to local Holocaust survivors. Assistance from the Seed the Dream Foundation and KAVOD-Ensuring Dignity for Holocaust Survivors now is available for any Holocaust survivor through the new KAVOD Survivors of the… Read more »

Pozez lecture will tackle ‘Aliyah of the Mind’

David Hazony

David Hazony, Ph.D., will present “Aliyah of the Mind: Zionism as Jewish Emancipation” on Monday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, as part of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies’ Shaol & Louis Pozez Memorial Lectureship Series. Most people think Zionism is about supporting… Read more »

Life was good for the Jews of this New York suburb. Then a schoolteacher was stabbed.

Toshnad Heichel Torah Utfila, the synagogue near where a teacher was stabbed, was active the day after the attack, Nov. 21, 2019. (Ben Sales/JTA)

RAMAPO, N.Y. (JTA) — On the street where a man was stabbed to within an inch of his life on Wednesday, yellow buses waited to ferry young children to elementary school. Steps away from where his blood had splattered on the asphalt, young men shuffled in and out of… Read more »

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 »