Focus on Families

Helping Families with their Divorce Transition Journey

With the divorce rate still lingering around 50%, divorce affects many local families in our community. The many emotional, financial, and overall changes divorce brings leaves many unscathed by this adjustment. For some, the support of friends, family, and hobbies are useful tools to get them through. For others,… Read more »

PJ Library and PJ Our Way to Hold Relaunch Event in February

After three years of mostly virtual programming, there will be a relaunch event for PJ Library and PJ Our Way in Southern Arizona, Purim Palooza! on Sunday, February 19 from 10am to 2pm at the Children’s Museum of Tucson. The program is free and open to families currently enrolled… Read more »

New skills, old values: next generation enriches community

Nathan Bacal holds a photo of his great-grandfather, Harry Bacal, the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s first board president. (Julie Zorn/Tucson Jewish Community Center)

In many Jewish communities, the phrase “l’dor v’dor” (loosely translated as “from generation to generation”) is used to highlight the importance of passing values, education and history from one generation to the next. Scholars and community organizations often speak of the importance of teaching children as a way to… Read more »

Encourage kids to put down screens and play

Sharon Loper

Jean Piaget, the famous Swiss developmental psychologist, said play is the work of the child. In this era of technology, many of us don’t realize how important it is for children to put down their screens and play. Research shows that without play, we are bypassing the most critical… Read more »

Grandparents sparked young magician’s global journey

Danny Cole will perform at Tucson’s Temple of Music and Art Dec. 28, 2013 with Tucson native Eric Buss and juggling champion Ivan Pecel.

Danny Cole has been performing magic since he was 10. Now, at 35, he has more than a dozen magic awards to his credit —starting with the Kleinman Award for Most Promising Young Magician at age 15 — and has performed all over the world, from Toledo, Ohio, to… Read more »

Family, music and heritage harmonize for JCC Jewish cultural specialist

(L-R): Scott, Haley, Julie and Dylan Zorn on a family vacation in Lake Tahoe in February 2013

Even though her full-time position as Jewish cultural specialist at the Tucson Jewish Community Center doesn’t begin until Jan. 6, Julie Zorn has been a familiar face at the JCC for almost a decade. Her husband, Scott Zorn, is the director of children, youth and family engagement; her children… Read more »

Savvy siblings flourish in Tucson restaurants

Zachary, Tyler and Courtney Fenton of Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink

There’s an old stereotype about sibling rivalry, but for three sets of Tucson siblings, family and food have only brought them closer. Whether it’s gluten-free baked goods, pizza, or craft beers, co-owning and operating local restaurants have become a way of life for Daphna and Eyal Ron, Aric and… Read more »

Research for novel sparks discovery of long-lost relatives

A family reunites outside the New Jersey home of Elise and Hal Hirshberg, parents of Tucsonan Amy Lederman. Front row: (L-R) Sylvia Boris, Lederman, Lynn Pollan, Carol Lewis, Farida Deske, Elise Hirshberg, Myriam Nahmani. Back: Shelley Hirshberg, Bella Bernard, Jeff Hirshberg (Robert D. DeCuir)

Since the beginning of time, in every culture, across every continent, one thing connects us all: the deeply human need to convey what is important to us from one generation to the next. The telling and retelling of the stories of our lives is essential to the creation of… Read more »

Advice for Jewish dads: teach, share, enjoy

After I offered parenting advice to Jewish mothers in these pages a while back, a couple of readers asked if I had advice for Jewish fathers. One asked whether there was a stereotypical “Jewish Father.” I dislike all stereotypes whether based on gender or religion so I prefer to… Read more »

For three generations, Tucson family has made interfaith traditions work

Kayla Tilicki at her Bat Mitzvah with her grandparents Joe and Sandra Bolze

Sandra Bolze and her husband, Joe, have an unusual marriage: for 43 years, he’s gone with her every Friday night to Shabbat services. And she’s gone with him every Sunday morning to church. Their daughter, Tucsonan Niki Tilicki, is in a similarly successful interfaith marriage. But Bolze is quick… Read more »

Search by survivor’s son leads to global reunion

(N.J. Jewish News) — Marlene Stevens says she gets goose bumps when she thinks that very soon she will meet the daughter of the sister she lost 70 years ago during the Holocaust. Her sister Frima died in 1984 before they were able to reconnect, but thanks to Marlene’s… Read more »

Family Reunion: My great-great-grandfather was a revered Chasidic rebbe

(Tablet Magazine) — Last May I traveled, along with about 75 ultra-Orthodox, to Mako, Hungary, for the yahrzeit of my great-great-grandfather. Specifically, I’m referring to my mother’s father’s father’s father, Reb Moshe Vorhand, aka the Makove Rav (usually pronounced roov), a minor-league but well-respected Chasidic rebbe, who died in… Read more »

My family tree is loaded with tinsel

SAN FRANCISCO (j. weekly) — This Dec. 25, while many Bay Area Jews will be lighting their Chanukah candles and tucking into their traditional Chinese takeout, I’ll be where I am every year — enjoying Christmas dinner at my mother’s house. Yes, my mother isn’t Jewish. And yes, I… Read more »

Document evokes family’s life in 18th-century Germany

Tucsonan Ed Loebl with a document passed down from generation to generation showing that his forebears owned a home — including a “synagogue or prayer chamber”— in 18th-century Germany. [Sheila Wilensky)

It was very rare for Jews to own property in Germany in the 1700s, but retired physician Edward Loebl has documentation that his family did. Passed down from generation to generation, the signed and sealed notification of property ownership was written in German and unintelligible to Loebl until recently.… Read more »

Since 1946, annual family reunions have kept the Paley clan connected

In this 1920s family portrait, Tucsonan Al Paley is the boy in the second row, second from left, sitting on his father Max Paley’s lap. (Courtesy of Howard Paley)

It was a miracle that inspired the Paley clan to gather in 1946. Eight cousins had fought in World War II and all returned home safely. It was a reason to rejoice and ever since, the Paleys have been meeting annually to celebrate their family and tell the stories… Read more »

Special Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel sparks Tucson-Phoenix romance

Rachel Goodman and Zakhary Khazanovich (Sheila Wilensky)

Before she left on Mayanot Israel’s 2010 Friendship Trip, a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for young adults with special needs in late July, 20-year-old Tucsonan Rachel Goodman was satisfied with her professional life but not her personal life. “I was fretting about not having a future that I wanted,” she… Read more »