Mind, Body & Spirit

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Tucson Hebrew Academy makes fast switch to online learning

A fourth-grade student at Tucson Hebrew Academy displays a Lego® tower he created after the school switched to remote learning in mid-March. The structure, which demonstrates engineering principles, can hold a ball for longer than two minutes. (Courtesy Stephanie Buchler/Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Gov. Doug Ducey announced the closure of Arizona schools on Sunday, March 15  to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. On March 16, Tucson Hebrew Academy was ready with online learning, says Head of School Laurence Kutler, Ph.D. ”We were prepared two weeks before it happened,” Kutler says, explaining that THA… Read more »

Tucson J plans virtual day of learning

Jennifer Selco

The Tucson Jewish Community Center will present a virtual Yom Limmud, a day that celebrates Jewish learning, on Sunday, May 17. “While we cannot be together in person due to the current health crisis, we must create opportunities to gather virtually as a Jewish community,” says Jennifer Selco, the J’s… Read more »

UArizona students find strength in virtual community

Lisa Friedman

For students, the University of Arizona experience has been turned upside down during this COVID-19 era. The university has switched to online classes and all in-person activities have been canceled or postponed until further notice. Many students have felt the impact of social distancing and have been struggling with school… Read more »

Synagogues offer plethora of online worship, study, connection opportunities

The state of Arizona has suspended all in-person worship services, classes, and other programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many local synagogues halting live events in advance of the governor’s March 30 stay-at-home order. Local congregations have migrated programs to digital spaces, including Shabbat services for non-Orthodox congregations.… Read more »

Some governors are letting houses of worship reopen. Synagogues aren’t going for it.

A man taking part in a protest to reopen Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, April 20, 2020. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — The road to reopening for houses of worship has been paved in a handful of states, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to kill more than 1,500 Americans a day. But synagogues in the Republican-led states that are relaxing some restrictions — including Georgia, Texas and South… Read more »