Special Sections

For Tucson newcomer, literature, law, religion, and family are keys to life well lived

Bob Schwartz speaks on Jewish songwriters and American music at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library in Columbus, Mississippi, July 14, 2011. (Courtesy Bob Schwartz)

Bob Schwartz has been involved with the Jewish community since he was a child growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey. He has been a part of nine congregations in six states and has been active within the Jewish community in Tucson for two years. A former attorney,… Read more »

The upside to celebrating in isolation: This might be the holiest Passover ever

A mezuzah is seen in the doorway of a Jewish home during the celebration of Passover (Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Sitting at my Seder table with my two eldest daughters and my wife, I was struggling to find something to say that would provide meaning to this moment. Here we were: alone, beginning a Passover unlike any other we had ever experienced and, please God, will… Read more »

Passover demands we remember the Exodus. That means taking care of our most vulnerable.

A homeless man crosses the almost deserted Times Square in New York City, April 13, 2020. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Every Passover, we strive to experience Egypt in our own lives. Locating the suffering of our Egypt wasn’t hard this year: It seems like most days my husband and I share the names of new people we personally know who have passed away from COVID-19… Read more »

Chinese-American groups return a Jewish message of solidarity by providing protective gear to agencies

A cardboard box is filled with packaged blue surgical masks imported from China during an outbreak of the coronavirus in San Ramon, Calif., April 5, 2020. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Jewish community’s expression of solidarity with Chinese Americans during the coronavirus pandemic has yielded an unexpected return: scads of personal protective equipment for Jewish organizations. David Bernstein, the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish public policy umbrella that initiated the solidarity… Read more »

In some European Jewish communities, getting the coronavirus carries a stigma

Haredi Orthodox Jews walk in Antwerp, Belgium, March 16, 2016. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

(JTA) — The coronavirus has spread rapidly among members of the Jewish community of Antwerp, which has a large Orthodox population. At least five have died and another 10 are hospitalized in serious condition. But the virus is hardly ever mentioned there by name. “People call it ‘the disease’… Read more »

Celebrity-studded Saturday Night Seder yields 1M viewers, $2.6M for charity and 4 big insights about the Jewish people

Jason Alexander, upper right, invites non-Jews Josh Groban, upper left, Darren Criss, lower left and Rachel Brosnahan to join in a virtual Seder webcast on YouTube, April 11, 2020. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — With its glittering assembly of stars, jokes that worked and attendees who could, well, sing, it was the Zoom Seder you wished you had. The Saturday Night Passover Seder that aired on YouTube over the weekend brought together dozens of celebrities and raised $2.6 million for the… Read more »

Revising previous guidance, Orthodox groups say no shared Passover seders should take place

The coronavirus has thrown a wrench in Passover seder plans. (Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Leading Orthodox Jewish groups have come out firmly against shared Passover meals, two days before the holiday begins and two weeks after the groups left open the possibility of communal seders under narrow circumstances. “Everyone must plan to celebrate Pesach where they are currently,” reads… Read more »

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 »