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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 »

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 »

It’s official: Most Reform Jewish camps will cancel this summer due to COVID, affecting at least 10,000 kids

Eisner Camp in Massachusetts, a view of its lake seen here, is among 16 Reform movement overnight camps that will not open this summer. (Wikimedia Commons)

This is a developing story.  (JTA) — Nearly all Reform Jewish summer camps, and at least one Conservative camp, will remain closed for the 2020 summer due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned. The landmark decision, made Thursday afternoon, will affect 15 Reform overnight… Read more »

Domestic violence hotline doubles its hours during stay-at-home orders

“For some of them, we’re their lifeline," Nechama Bakst, senior director of family violence services at the Met Council, said of the domestic violence helpline. (Ravikiran Rajagopal/EyeEm via Getty Images)

(JTA) – The change was clear as soon as New York City’s stay-at-home order went into effect: Calls to the domestic violence department at the city’s leading Jewish poverty nonprofit departed from their regular pattern. Women used to call during the day while at work or while their abusers… Read more »

No time for a breather: A nurse’s account of Israel’s first coronavirus death and life inside a COVID-19 ward

Nurse Rachel Gemara wears a hazmat suit in the coronavirus ward at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. (Courtesy of Gemara)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nearly six weeks have passed since Arie Even, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor, died of the coronavirus. It happened at the end of Shabbat dinner on a Friday night in March at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Even drew headlines as Israel’s first COVID-19 fatality.… Read more »

New York City police break up another Orthodox funeral as crowds gather

New York police turned out in force for an Orthodox funeral in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Thursday, leading to tensions. (Photo/screenshot from Twitter user @hasidic_1)

(JTA) – Two days after New York City’s mayor called out “the Jewish community” when vowing to crack down on gatherings, city police intervened in another funeral in a Jewish neighborhood, resulting in a tense scene and at least one arrest. A video shared on Whatsapp showed a chaotic… Read more »

JWI Flower Project supports victims of domestic violence, who are even more at risk during coronavirus pandemic

Jewish Women International's Flower Project raises funds through its Mother's Day card program to support victims of domestic violence

More than 45,000 women and children spend each Mother’s Day in domestic violence shelters. At this unprecedented time in the U.S., many women who have escaped abuse for the safety of shelters now find themselves stuck in place, unable to move forward with rebuilding their lives. Jewish Women International’s Flower… Read more »

‘We don’t have time’: Rabbi launches Jewish climate change initiative during coronavirus crisis

A demonstrator holds a poster in front of the U.S. Capitol during a climate protest in Washington, Dec. 27, 2019. (Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Jennie Rosenn has spent most of her career working on Jewish social justice causes. Until recently, however, there was one issue that didn’t resonate as strong. “The environment was something that I knew was important, but I wasn’t passionate in my kishkes about… Read more »

Video chats help local senior living facility residents stay connected during pandemic

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging Community Outreach Coordinator Nanci Levy facilitates a recent video chat for resident Tony Eichorn. {Angela Salmon/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Senior living facilities in Southern Arizona and all across the country have been on lockdown for several weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, with non-essential visitors not allowed. “This means no family and friends, and it also means no exercise teachers, musical performers, Shabbat service leaders, lecturers, Torah study… Read more »

B’nai B’rith homes seek DVDs, art supplies

B’nai B’rith Strauss Manor requests donations of DVDs/Blu-Rays and art supplies to occupy residents during the coronavirus pandemic. The Gerd and Inge Strauss Manor is a federally assisted multi-family senior housing project with 81 apartments. “I’ve started a library where residents can check out movies,” says Luz E. Gallego, Strauss… Read more »