Mind, Body & Spirit

How Jewish communities are deploying Passover aid amid coronavirus lockdowns

Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann packs boxes of frozen kosher chickens to be distributed to families for Passover. (Courtesy of JewishColumbus)

In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Passover will be like no other in living memory. With families kept apart by lockdown orders and millions struggling with uncertain financial futures, the needs are great and the logistics of coordinating Passover aid are daunting. Across America, Jewish federations… Read more »

Israel declares complete coronavirus lockdown on eve of Passover

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israelis will be under a complete lockdown beginning on Tuesday through at least Friday to stem the spread of the coronavirus during the Passover holiday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the closure on Monday evening in a nationally televised address from his official residence in… Read more »

Jewish community responds to pandemic with relief fund

Graham Hoffman is president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona and president and CEO-elect of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona

In response to the growing spread of COVID-19, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation have created a Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable members in the Jewish and greater communities. “We have set it up to… Read more »

10 minutes sewing a face mask can save a life

Mending Souls Co-founder Rose Skelly

The Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life is encouraging community sewing groups and individual sewers to participate in the Mending Souls Project. All you need is a sewing machine and basic skills to prepare antibacterial face masks for local healthcare providers. By reviewing the website and calling… Read more »

Jewish Emergency Financial Assistance at JFCS expands in time of need

Deborah Kalar-Crowder

Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern Arizona assists Jewish individuals facing financial crises in this difficult time. Jewish Emergency Financial Assistance, sometimes referred to as LEAF (Local Emergency Assistance Fund), provides financial assistance, and case management plays a crucial role in ensuring the program effectively helps those in… Read more »

Banner Health accepting donations of medical supplies and PPE

The Banner Health Foundation is collecting donated medical supplies and personal protective equipment, or PPE. Tucson donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Banner Home Health Office, 575 E. River Road. Donated supplies will be deployed in Banner Health’s Arizona hospitals and medical centers. The following items… Read more »

UA to present Covid-19 webinars

The University of Arizona will present webinars on  the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 7, 9:30-11 a.m. at https://global.arizona.edu/covid-19-resources. Today’s webinar, hosted by the College of Medicine,  will feature Dr. Monica Kraft, Robert and Irene Flinn Professor of Medicine and Department of Medicine chair, and… Read more »

An unwanted symptom of the coronavirus crisis in France: Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, left, and Alain Soral arrive at the Paris courthouse for Soral's trial for inciting hatred against Jews, March 12, 2015. (Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Anti-Semitism has plagued French society for centuries, flaring up in times of crisis — especially during epidemics. In the 14th century, for instance, Jews were massacred in France during the Black Death epidemic after they were blamed for spreading the disease by poisoning water wells. In the… Read more »

Haredi rabbinic leader calls on followers to pray alone

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a prominent leader in the haredi Orthodox community, called on his followers to pray alone without a prayer quorum. The ruling on Sunday came after a steep rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Bnei Brak, a mostly haredi city in Israel,… Read more »

For Italian Jews, the ‘smell of death’ is all around

A cyclist protecting himself from the coronavirus passes in front of a synagogue in Turin, Italy, March 18, 2020. (Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

(JTA) — At least twice a day, Micol Naccache breaks down in tears over what the coronavirus is doing to her city of Milan and its Jewish community. A high school teacher and mother of two, Naccache describes herself as “an optimistic person.” But she is struggling to stay… Read more »

On Sunday, the rabbi logged on to Zoom: A bride and groom were waiting

Jalna Silverstein and Asael Papour are married in New York, March 22, 2020. (Courtesy of Silverstein)

(JTA) — Before everything changed, Jalna Silverstein and Asael Papour were planning a wedding much like many other Jewish nuptials on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They had a band and caterer lined up, a ceremony planned for the synagogue where Silverstein grew up and all the little… Read more »