Special Sections

With new health and safety measures, Tucson J reopening many programs

Tennis courts at the Tucson Jewish Community Center will reopen June. 1. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

After a nine-week closure, the Tucson Jewish Community Center announced plans this week to reopen its facility in early June. The J is following guidelines set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Arizona, as well as advice from a recently formed medical… Read more »

Felicia’s Farm honors memory of founder’s wife by feeding hungry Tucsonans

Felicia CutlerThe late Felicia Cutler was the inspiration for Felicia’s Farm in Tucson. (Courtesy Felicia’s Farm.)

Showing kindness to others is the best feeling in the world. So says David Cutler, founder of Felicia’s Farm in central Tucson. All of the farm’s fresh produce and eggs are donated to organizations that provide for people who might otherwise go hungry. Staff and volunteers regularly reap the benefits… Read more »

Amid pandemic, Jewish groups get creative for Shavuot festivities

Health care staff at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital participate in the Days of Gratitude project, holding up signs in Hebrew and Arabic reading "Thank you for taking care of yourself," "Thank you for coming to work" and Thank you for your dedication." (Courtesy of M2)

When Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly during a 2015 vacation to Mexico, Sandberg found solace in Jewish tradition. “One of the ways you find strength is to remember what is still good in your life,” Sandberg said. During the coronavirus crisis, actress, scientist and author… Read more »

The coronavirus didn’t just upend Broadway — it put all kinds of indie projects in limbo

The release of Emma Seligman's indie film "Shiva Baby" was delayed because of the coronavirus. (Sharon Attia)

(JTA) — Emma Seligman is trying to stay optimistic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25-year-old came extremely close to fulfilling every film student’s fantasy: having her debut indie film played at coveted festivals and becoming an up-and-coming name to know in the industry. Her film “Shiva Baby” involves both… Read more »

Synagogues demur as Trump demands that states let houses of worship reopen

People protesting to allow churches to reopen in San Diego, May 1, 2020. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — President Donald Trump wants synagogues and other houses of worship to open their doors — but many Jewish leaders say his pressure won’t affect their timelines. The president went on the offensive Friday, telling governors that he would override them to require houses of worship to be… Read more »

A Jewish camp in Maine is actually opening. Here’s how it plans to keep COVID-19 away.

Campers playing on the water at Camp Modin. The camp is perhaps the first Jewish camp in the country to announce, in detail, how it plans to open. (Courtesy of Camp Modin)

(JTA) — Here’s a story that would have been unremarkable until just a few months ago: A Jewish camp is planning to open this summer. Camp Modin in Maine has announced that it will open July 9 — two weeks later than originally planned — despite the ongoing COVID-19… Read more »

Most Israelis infected with COVID-19 had strain that originated in US

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Most Israelis who had the COVID-19 virus were infected with a strain that originated in the United States. About 70% of the infected patients were infected by Americans visiting Israel or by Israelis who brought the virus back with them from the United States, according to… Read more »

Tucson J virtual programs can help adults, kids stay active and sharp during pandemic

Loving Kindness Meditation with Pamela Adler is one of the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s virtual classes. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center has been offering a variety of virtual classes and programs at www.tucsonjcc.org to help people stay physically fit, mentally sharp, and spiritually focused while the facility is closed as a preventative measure due to the coronavirus. “You can stay active in your own home! Here… Read more »

Rattlesnake bites on the rise — watch where you step, warns UArizona poison center

A rattlesnake crosses the Loop path near Swan Road on April 25. (Facebook)

Warm weather may lead to more outdoor activities, but be aware of rattlesnakes, cautions the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center located in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. So far this year, 36 rattlesnake bites have been reported to AzPDIC. Twenty-four of those bites occurred in April, up… Read more »

UArizona, with state funds, begins COVID-19 antibody tests

Graduate student Tyler Ripperger in Janko Nikolich-Žugich lab at the University of Arizona puts plates into a 37 degrees Celsius bath to allow for optimal detection conditions. (Photo: Kris Hanning/University of Arizona Health Sciences)

The University of Arizona has started analyzing blood samples from hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to determine who has developed antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. The state of Arizona is providing $3.5 million to test 250,000 health care workers and first responders throughout Arizona. To lay the foundation… Read more »

Tucson Pops plans virtual Mother’s Day concert

Maestro Laszlo Veres isn’t allowing the cancellation of the spring season of Tucson Pops Concerts to get in the way of his celebrating Mother’s Day.  Traditionally, the orchestra performs ‘My Yiddishe Momme” each year as part of the special concert celebrating mothers.  The poignant piece written in the early 1900s… Read more »

Fauci to Orthodox Jews: Ease into communal prayer as gatherings become possible

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the White House, April 10, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs infectious disease research for the federal government, advised Orthodox Jews to phase in communal prayer as local governments lift coronavirus pandemic restrictions. “The kind of social interactions which is the core of the beauty of your culture has unfortunately led to… Read more »

London city worker secures Jewish funeral for 95-year-old man who died alone

A picture of Herbert Max Fraenkel that a team of volunteers studying his ancestry found in January at his home in London. (Courtesy of The Jewish News)

(JTA) — After several weeks at a London mortuary, the unclaimed body of 95-year-old Herbert Max Fraenkel was slated to be buried in a shared grave at a pauper’s funeral. Fraenkel, who was born in 1924 in Berlin, died alone at his home in January. City workers were unable… Read more »

COVID-19 antibody testing slots available in Pima County

The University of Arizona – State of Arizona’s COVID-19 antibody testing initiative has additional testing slots now available in Pima County for health care workers, first responders, and members of the general public.  The testing will determine if an individual has developed antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19.… Read more »

Local restaurateurs meet their customers at the door with takeout, delivery

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Our Tucson restaurant partners are operating during the mandatory restaurant shut-down, keeping hungry folks fed. We encourage readers to patronize local restaurants to keep businesses afloat and staff employed during this difficult time. Here’s a sampling of innovative and tasty options and specials that are available for takeout and… Read more »

History of Mother’s Day in Israel almost as old, complex as the Jewish state

Henrietta Szold (Alexander Ganan - National Library of Israel, Schwadron collection, from Wikipedia.org)

Nothing in Israel is simple. Even a secular holiday like Mother’s Day is seeded with conflict, starting with the fact that there used to be two Mother’s Days celebrated in Israel: one in Haifa and one in the rest of the country. Although in the 1990s the day’s purview… Read more »