Special Sections

Jewish meditation practice can help expand the spirit

Brian Yosef Schacter-Brooks, right, leads a recent meditation in Sedona, Arizona.

Integral Jewish Meditation is a synthesis of the best traditional meditation modalities, brought together into a simple practice that is easy to learn, yet radical in its effectiveness, says Tucsonan Reb Brian Yosef Schacter-Brooks, who developed the program. It includes chanting, focused intention, contemplation of sacred text, body movement,… Read more »

Honoring our veterans via the gift of hospice

Pinchas Paul Zohav

Before becoming a hospice chaplain, I did not know that one the highest honors of this role would be attending and serving our veterans, the men and women who have served us. The places they’ve gone, the people they’ve seen, the history they have made, astounds me each and… Read more »

Super volunteer takes community’s health to heart

Rhina Gerhauser

A familiar face at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, Rhina Gerhauser in March marked a quarter-century there as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. Her motto is, “It’s never too late to start living healthier. And always too soon to stop.” In 2015, she was voted Tucson’s Top Group… Read more »

Local businesses can apply for program to save energy

A coalition of local businesses and nonprofits throughout the state are collaborating to develop and launch a new pilot program that will make it easier for local businesses to save energy and money by implementing sustainable practices. The Sustainable Communities Accessing Lending and Expertise Upon Performance (SCALE UP) program will… Read more »

Israel at 70: What women in Israel and the West learned from each other

Hamutal Gouri, a founding leader of Women Wage Peace, says the feminist movement in Israel "learned a tremendous amount from American Jewish activists.” (Courtesy of Gouri)

NEW YORK (JTA) — American Jewish women have idealized Israeli women as feminist role models since the days of prestate Israel, when women were photographed plowing fields alongside men. Post-independence posters featured images of female soldiers fighting alongside men. A chain-smoking Golda Meir served as Israel’s prime minister nearly 50… Read more »

At every stage of life, good oral health habits are vital to overall health

(Shutterstock)

A  healthy smile makes an important first impression. Maintaining that smile and its health becomes increasingly important throughout life. Beyond routine brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups, local dental professionals suggest there are other ways to maintain a healthy smile at every stage. When babies begin teething at three… Read more »

Camp builds character, resilience says new Camp J director

The Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Camp J — the only day camp in town accredited by the American Camping Association — is gearing up for summer with a new director, Josh Shenker; 11 specialty camps, including a new junior robotics camp; traditional camps that cater to four age groups;… Read more »

At summer day camps, ‘fun’ Hebrew immersion program catches on

The organizers of Kayitz Kef, a Hebrew language immersion program running at 10 Jewish day camps across America, want to expand it to 48 camps over the next decade. (Next Exit Photography)

On a warm summer day at a Jewish day camp east of Cleveland, an Israeli counselor instructs his charges in Hebrew to get their water bottles. The kids, none of them fluent Hebrew speakers, strain to comprehend. One of them, misunderstanding the instruction entirely, returns with a container of… Read more »

Camp weekend for adults coming to Southern California

Trybal Gatherings include classic camp activities.

Last year, Trybal Gatherings (trybalgatherings.com) launched a series of four-day all-inclusive getaways at Jewish summer camps across the country for young Jewish adults in their 20s and 30s (see azjewishpost.com/2017/finally-jewish-camp-for-adults). For 2018, Trybal Gatherings plans three new camps for young adults, including one Sept. 21-24 in Malibu, California, at… Read more »

ISRAEL AT 70: An American Holocaust survivor recalls fighting in Israel’s War of Independence

Mordechai Schachter at his home in Teaneck, N.J. (Josefin Dolsten)

TEANECK, N.J. (JTA) — Mordechai Schachter didn’t know he would soon be a soldier when he traveled from his native Romania to prestate Israel in 1948. He was a 17-year-old with a passion for Zionism, leaving behind a country that was becoming increasingly anti-Semitic a few short years after at… Read more »

Kosher supermarkets hate cleaning for Passover as much as you do

An illustrative photo of a shopper at a grocery store picking up a box of matzah. (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Pomegranate, a gourmet kosher supermarket in Brooklyn, spends $75,000 every year getting its kitchen ready for Passover. Hungarian Kosher Foods, a supermarket in Chicago, starts clearing its aisles for Passover eight weeks ahead of the holiday. The week before Passover, at Zabar’s, a Jewish favorite… Read more »

Dark chocolate espresso truffles are vegan — and kosher for Passover

Most of us need few excuses to make a batch of chocolate truffles, especially when coffee is involved. My take on chocolate espresso truffles combines a velvety chocolate base with just enough espresso flavor to give you your caffeine fix. The fact that this version is vegan, kosher for… Read more »

Here’s a Passover menu that’s low on calories and carbs

I’m a big fan of whole grains, but they can easily become heavy — even the healthy ones. I’m offering a lighter, lower calorie and lower carbohydrate option for Passover meals this year. I love cauliflower as a stand-in for potatoes and rice. Not only is it delicious, it’s… Read more »

Why this cherished, home-based holiday is about a lot more than good food

A scene from Exodus

What is the essence of Passover? On the one hand, it seems obvious: Passover is about gathering together with loved ones to recall, through sumptuous home rituals, the exodus from Egypt. We gather round our seder tables and quickly become engulfed in the warmth of family and friends, the… Read more »

Why matzah is a non-Jewish staple in the Netherlands

A shopper browses for matzah at the Amsterdam Noord branch of the Jumbo supermarket chain, March 17, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

ENSCHEDE, Netherlands (JTA) — For most matzah bakeries, Passover is their lifeline and only claim to financial viability. After the weeklong holiday, during which Jews are commanded to consume matzah to commemorate their ancestors’ hurried flight out of Egypt, demand for the famously tasteless cracker drops sharply. Except, that is,… Read more »

A tour guide uncovers Passover secrets in the Met Museum’s Egyptian wing

Nachliel Selavan giving a tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (Debra Nussbaum Cohen)

NEW YORK (JTA) — I have roamed the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian wing many times, marveling at sarcophagi, statues of Horus and Ra, and portraits of young men on ancient panels who gaze back at visitors, looking shockingly familiar and contemporary. But on a Sunday just before Passover,… Read more »

5 Haggadahs and other Passover supplements to modernize your seder this year

Even an 18th-century Haggadah from Switzerland like the one seen here could benefit from a link to the present. (Godong/UIG via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Although Jews have celebrated Passover by reading from the Haggadah in one form or another for 2,000 years, Jewish organizations and publishers strive each year to connect the holiday to modern times with fresh Haggadahs as well as supplements. If you’re looking to give your seder a… Read more »

A Spanish university’s first-ever Passover seder is being organized by American students

Fulbright scholars McCall Wells, left, and Danielle Elliott are organizing an interfaith seder at the Universidad Camilo José Sela in Villafranca del Castillo, Spain. (Melissa Marazas)

MADRID (JTA) — Every Passover, Danielle Elliott joins her parents in Chicago. She helps prepare haroset, delights in her mom’s elaborate Passover decorations and enjoys spending the holiday with her family. But this year Elliott will be recounting the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt several thousand miles… Read more »