Special Sections

Apples add sweet meaning to holiday fare

Joan Elder (left) serves ‘Gorgeous Beet and Apple Salad’ to Ester Leutenberg at the Northwest Rosh Chodesh group’s apples and honey potluck last month.

The Northwest Rosh Chodesh group, a program of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Northwest Division Jewish Connections, met Aug. 9 at the Oro Valley home of Ester Leu­tenberg. Seventeen wom­en, ranging in age from a middle school student to women in their 70s, came together to greet the… Read more »

Unique device aids in shofar mitzvah

Tucsonan Peter Ruiz, who has cerebral palsy, with the mechanical device that will allow him to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

Blowing a shofar via a mechanical device? When 23-year-old Peter Ruiz, who has cerebral palsy, presses a touch screen at Congregation Or Chadash’s contemporary Rosh Hashanah service on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m., he will remarkably do just that. “This may be the first time this has been… Read more »

High Holidays are free at some shuls, and worshippers flock

WASHINGTON (Forward) — When the waiting list for High Holidays tickets reached 700, leaders of the downtown Sixth and I Historic Synagogue decided to look outside the box — in their case, to the Chinese Community Church across the street. The church was a perfect match for the needs… Read more »

Understanding the lost art of repentence and its urgency

Louis E. Newman (Courtesy of Jewish Lights Publishing)

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (JTA) — In the past several months I have had some version of the following exchange several times. I tell a friend that I’ve just finished a book on repentance, and they respond that they find the subject of forgiveness very interesting. It’s psychologically so much healthier… Read more »

Op-Ed: Holidays remind us of what we still need to do in Haiti

American Jewish World Servce President Ruth Messinger, shown here on a visit to Chad, says it's time to step up what we're doing in Haiti (Mia Farrow)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, many of us are haunted by the ubiquitous liturgical refrain asking “Who shall live and who shall die?” As I sit in synagogue and hear these words chanted over and over again, I can’t help but question whether the… Read more »

Mitzvah projects empower teens — and provide food, enrichment for others

Koby Shochat wears the tallit his father wore at his Bar Mitzvah. Koby’s mitzvah project involved donations of used tallitot.

One of the explicit and implicit tenets of Judaism is that we are supposed to live our lives doing mitzvot, literally translated as “commandments” but informally known as “good deeds.” In addition to the usual whirlwind of activity associated with B’nai Mitzvah preparation, such as learning Torah, attending services,… Read more »

Ask the Expert: High Holidays tickets

Question: My wife and I decided not to buy High Holidays tickets this year because they’re so expensive. What can we do to mark the holidays at home on our own? –Norman, Chicago Answer: Every year as the High Holidays approach I hear people grumbling about the price of… Read more »

Israeli triathletes undeterred by terror scars

Just six months before the end of his Israeli army service, Elad Belachsan suffered a life-changing injury in a Palestinian attack. On a mission in the West Bank city of Nablus with his paratrooper unit, Belachsan, now 27, was near the front of the group when a bomb exploded,… Read more »

Heart attack survivor, nurse to present talks

The Foundation for Cardiovascular Health, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, will offer two free presentations next month on reversing coronary artery disease. The first was on Sunday, Aug. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m., at the Northwest YMCA Pima County Community Center, 7770 N. Shannon Road, and the second will be on… Read more »

Ritual Cleansing of the dead is the ultimate kindness

To describe the dead body that lay before me at my first tahara, the simple word “real” seems most appropriate. A tahara is the traditional Jewish cleansing performed on a body before burial. At my recent first tahara, none of the cliches occurred. I did not feel scared or… Read more »

Volunteer helps kids forget troubles, get happy at Tu Nudito summer camp

Volunteer Heidi Felix, right, with a camper at Tu Nudito's Summer Camp (Jesus Guzman)

Smiles and happiness are the first things volunteer Heidi Felix, 24, mentions about the children at Tu Nidito’s Treehouse Summer Camp. Smiling faces may be the norm at most summer camps, but for Tu Nidito, a local nonprofit agency that serves children who are grieving, seriously ill, or have… Read more »

Free diabetes tests are Medicare benefit

Olympia Dukakis and her husband, Louis Zorich, urge older Americans to get free diabetes screenings.

(StatePoint) — Could you have diabetes and not know it? Approximately seven out of 10 adults aged 65 or older have diabetes or pre-diabetes and many don’t know it. Almost half of older Americans with diabetes aren’t aware they have the disease. Fortunately, Medicare has been offering free diabetes… Read more »

Making aliyah in the golden years

Former Tucsonan Harvey Brooks, 65, a bass guitarist who once played with Bob Dylan, is among a growing number of older American Jews making aliyah.

In 1948, Harold Levine of the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn was rumbling through Israel’s Negev Desert in a mobile dental clinic servicing recruits of the fledgling Israeli army. He did not know it would take him more than 60 years to fulfill his dream of making the country his… Read more »

On 100th birthday, Temple Emanu-El volunteer gets a blessing and a laugh

Elsa Leibovitz receives a blessingfrom Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon of Temple Emanu-El on her 100th birthday, June 25. (Joe Steiner)

Elsa Leibovitz celebrated her 100th birthday on June 25 in grand style by receiving a blessing from Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon at Temple Emanu-El’s Friday night service and sponsoring the evening’s Oneg Shabbat. “It’s wonderful to reach this age,” Leibovitz told the AJP by phone on the morning of… Read more »

Dog therapy contributes to local senior’s post-op recovery

Irving Silverman with Jagger

If “Jagger” evokes an image of the frenzied gyrations of the Rolling Stones lead singer, the Tucson dog bearing his name had an opposite, calming effect on 90-year-old Irving Silverman, who participated in dog therapy with Jagger at Tucson’s St. Joseph’s Hospital. Following surgery for a benign brain tumor… Read more »

Avoid swimming pool accidents: key safety tips for homeowners

(StatePoint) — Swimming and lounging by the pool are some of the great joys of summer, but homeowners need to take precautions to ensure that children, grandchildren and visitors are safe. Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under five in the United States, and each… Read more »

Sunflowers yield healthy treat, mood-busting blooms

Sunflower in Deborah Maayan's Tucson garden

When I think of snacks in Israel, along with the ubiquitious Bamba (peanut butter-flavored corn puffs), something healthy comes to mind— sunflower seeds. While I didn’t quite get the hang of splitting shells easily with my teeth like a sabra, I did acquire a taste that I fulfill not… Read more »

‘Saving Henry’ recounts son’s brief, zestful life

WASHINGTON-Fourteen years ago, Washington, D.C., resident Laurie Strongin remembers, it seemed almost like “science fiction” the notion that you could “pick the baby you could get pregnant with.” Moreover, cells from that newborn might save the life of her young son, Henry, who was suffering from a rare genetic… Read more »

Jerusalem: The city that drives people mad

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A middle-aged Russian tourist dressed in white and claiming to be Jesus checked in last week at the Petra Hostel in Jerusalem’s Old City.       He did not stay long, the hostel’s clerk said. Just a few days and he was gone.       The man likely… Read more »

Outdoor setting, quirky moments make for intimate Tucson wedding

Friends and family lift Gabrielle Rubin and Andrew Burgess for the traditional chair dance. Photo: Lyn Sims

Gabrielle Rubin and Andrew Burgess were married Oct. 25, 2009 at Skyline Country Club with Rabbi Robert Eisen, Rabbi Arthur Oleisky and Cantor Ivor Lichterman officiating. Gabrielle is the daughter of Madeline and Barry Friedman and Norman Rubin and Kathy McGuire, and the granddaughter of Murray Rosenbaum and Gert… Read more »