Back to School

Southwest Torah Institute’s Spirit study program returns

Rabbinical student Harry Kleinerman, left, and Robert Nye of Green Valley study together at Congregation Chofetz Chayim in 2016. (Courtesy Southwest Torah Institute)

“In the Driver’s Seat” is this year’s theme for the Southwest Torah Institute’s Dr. Paul W. Hoffert Spirit Program, which begins Wednesday, July 26 and runs through Tuesday, Aug. 8. Begun in 2000, the program offers two weeks of free learning for Jewish men and boys ages eight and… Read more »

JFSA helping synagogues boost youth engagement

Cantorial soloist Marjorie Hochberg guides Temple Emanu-El religious school students in singing the Four Questions at a second night Passover seder in 2015. (Steve Shawl)

Declining youth engagement has been a problem facing synagogues across the country for a decade or more.  To help local synagogues reverse this trend, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is providing them with new allocations for religious schools and family education programs. Each synagogue will decide how to… Read more »

Darkaynu adds staff, toddler program

Darkaynu Tucson Jewish Montessori is making changes for the new school year, adding a new covered playground, new staff members and a toddler program. The preschool now accepts children ages 1-6. Darkaynu will become the first preschool in the area with Imagination Playground Blue Blocks (as seen at the… Read more »

Rabbi and wife join Jewish Arizonans on Campus team at UA location

Esti and Rabbi Moshe Schonbrun with their son, Yehuda (Courtesy Jewish Arizonans on Campus)

Rabbi Moshe Schonbrun, who recently came to Tucson as rabbi for Jewish Arizonans on Campus at the University of Arizona, says after he and his wife, Esti, were married, they decided to put all of their efforts into maximizing their positive impact on the Jewish community. After meeting the… Read more »

Tucson J-Rays swim school will teach toddlers to teens

The Tucson Jewish Community Center has launched a year-round J-Rays Swim School created by Brandon Rannebarger, the J’s aquatics director and head swim coach. The school will work primarily with children ages 3-14 years in private or group lessons for any skill level, with a constructive play curriculum. It… Read more »

Taste of Judaism heads into 17th season

Temple Emanu-El will offer its 17th year of free Taste of Judaism classes beginning next month. The program explores Judaism in three two-hour sessions on Jewish spirituality, values and community, taught by Temple Emanu-El’s rabbis. In Tucson, the national outreach program, open to all, has had over 5,800 participants… Read more »

Local Jewish schools eager to start new year

As students sharpen their pencils and charge their laptops and smartphones for the new school year, Tucson’s Jewish schools are keeping their programs fresh with everything from new electives to new teachers. Temple Emanu-El’s Kurn Religious School will hold a geniza (archive) ceremony field trip as students learn about… Read more »

Tucson Jewish Montessori preschool opening

Tucson Jewish Montessori, Tucson’s first Jewish Montessori preschool, founded by Rabbi Israel and Esther Becker, will open Monday, Aug. 31. Classes are aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds, and will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with childcare available before and after classes. “Our focus is honoring the… Read more »

At autism forum, educator says inclusion also a spectrum

Stephen Shore

For some students who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s syndrome, the start of a new school year can be especially difficult. Adjusting to new teachers, schedules, classmates and rules can be hard for all children, but for children with ASD or Asperger’s syndrome, changes in… Read more »

Grief group for young adults returns to UA

Tu Nidito is reaching out to college students and other young adults who may need support as they cope with the death of a loved one. More than 31,600 students will be returning to the University of Arizona this month, and odds are more than 6,300 of them will… Read more »

THA seeking community input via confidential survey

Mindful of its rich 40-year history, Tucson Hebrew Academy has launched a new business strategy and branding project. “We want to talk with and hear input from the Jewish community,” says Jon Ben-Asher, interim head of school. Bromberg Consulting has developed a confidential questionnaire to elicit an “open dialogue… Read more »

New year brings innovation to Tucson Jewish schools

Tucson’s Jewish schools are heading into the new school year with new programs and teachers on tap. As Tucson Hebrew High begins its 37th year, Rabbi Yudi Ceitlin joins the faculty, teaching a course on overlooked epic moments in history. Cantor Janece Cohen will direct the first Tucson Hebrew… Read more »

College-level online Jewish ed expanding

Deborah Kaye

Online Jewish education is thriving, and the University of Arizona’s Center for Judaic Studies is part of the trend. As with other online Jewish studies programs, most of the center’s courses will be “blended learning, part in-person and part online,” says Deborah Kaye, Ph.D., a full-time adjunct lecturer at… Read more »

Local Jewish schools change it up for back-to-school

A new school year is beginning and innovative plans are on the agenda for Tucson’s Jewish schools. Congregation Bet Shalom’s religious school is adding a seventh and eighth grade Sunday program that will combine text study with “inspirational informal learning.” It will include a class on the Mishnah, which… Read more »