Special Sections

With good works, delicious food, local restaurateurs nurture community

Spectacular views of the Catalina Mountains, live nightly music and globe-spanning cuisines all contribute to Tucson’s trendy dining out scene. Many local restaurants are also extending their role in the community beyond the creation of sumptuous dishes. Fire + Spice: An Arizona Grill at the Sheraton Tucson Hotel and… Read more »

Tucson exercise physiologist advocates ‘return to senses’

Stephen Stone (Sheila Wilensky/AJP)

Tucsonan Stephen Stone, 70, conducted what may have been one of the first studies of obesity in American children, a precursor to First Lady Michelle Obama’s current childhood health mission. “Childhood Obesity: Identification, Management and Prevention,” his research project that began in 1985 at the University of Maryland, identified… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Ivan Gur-Arie

Ivan Gur-Arie

“Jewcentricity:  Why the Jews are Praised, Blamed, and Used to Explain Just About Everything” by Adam M. Garfinkle, a very readable book, encompasses historical, psychological, cultural and sociological themes. It has always intrigued me why Jews throughout history always got the limelight, for good or bad. This book certainly… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Phyllis Braun

Phyllis Braun

For me, it isn’t any one book, it is books in general — though I have fond memories of reading all of Louisa May Alcott’s works when I was a girl, despite what I see now as her somewhat overbearing preachiness. I can still remember being a pre-reader, at… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Mark Rubin

Mark Rubin

I’ve been reading for almost 50 years and will read almost anything. For pure pleasure, though, my favorites are “The Day the Goose Got Loose” by Reeve Lindbergh (Steven Kellogg, Illustrator), “The Digging-Est Dog” by Al Perkins (Eric Gurney, Illustrator) and “The Lorax” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, read aloud… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sheila Wilensky

Sheila Wilensky

Once upon a time, I owned a children’s bookstore.  My two children grew up at Oz Books in Southwest Harbor, Maine, which I owned from 1982 to 1997. In a way, it seemed that we grew up together reading children’s books. In high school I read a lot of… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rabbi Jason Holtz

Rabbi Jason Holtz

“As a Driven Leaf,” by Rabbi Milton Steinberg, is a 20th century book that’s a retelling of an ancient rabbinic story.  The protagonist, Elisha ben Avuyah, is a respected rabbinic scholar living in the ancient land of Israel.  Despite his traditional Jewish learning and stature in the community, he… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Steven Freedman

Steven Freedman

When I was a young boy, I would go camping with my parents, older brother and younger sister. My mother would read a book aloud as my father drove the station wagon with the camping gear neatly stowed on top. On one trip, mom read short stories by Sholom… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rebecca Kunsberg

Rebecca Kunsberg

A friend loaned me “The History of Love,” by Nicole Krauss, and it sat on my night stand for two months. I was in grad school at the time, and didn’t have time to read a book for leisure. I finally had time between semesters, and to this day,… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Penelope Starr

Penelope Starr

“The Penelopeiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus” by Margaret Atwood is a book that confirmed what I already believed, an excellent way for a book to get your attention. Atwood was asked to reinterpret an ancient myth as part of the Canongate Myth Series. She takes the story… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

I grew up in a Jewish family in Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border, in a predominantly Mexican-Catholic community.  Since the early ’60s, I have been on a rich journey of embracing interracial/interfaith friendships and marriage.   The wisdom and maturity I gained along the way have served as a… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Beth Alpert Nakhai

Beth Alpert Nakhai

“A Tale of Love and Darkness,” a memoir by Amos Oz (Harcourt, 2003; translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange) is among the most gorgeous books I have ever read. Oz is a master of words and in this book he crafts them to create the story of… Read more »

Books that made a difference –Tom Miller

Tom Miller

In recent years I have become obsessed with “Don Quixote de La Mancha.” The book, published in two parts some 400 years ago, follows the exploits of Alonso Quijano, who imagines himself a knight-errant dedicated to acts of chivalry and takes on the name Don Quixote as well as… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Arthur Yavelberg

Arthur Yavelberg

Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen” came to me at an important time. I already had a passion for baseball— how I wanted the ball hit to ME when it really counted. So when the Hasidic yeshiva student, Danny—at that time the menacing, Darth Vader-like Danny—recognized the spin in Reuven’s curve… Read more »

Books that made a difference – introduction

We call ourselves “People of the Book” because of the commandment that every Jew study Torah. Over generations, this moniker has also come to signify a more general esteem for books and learning.  The metaphor of the book so permeates our identity that during this High Holiday season, we… Read more »

Sermon spurred Soviet Jewry movement

NEW YORK (JTA) — On a fall day in 1963, Abraham Joshua Heschel unburdened his soul. Speaking the truth without regard for whether it scandalized or hurt was something he would do fairly often in that decade of social upheaval. Already branded as an eccentric and an outsider, that… Read more »

Keeping kosher — but just on holidays

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — When I’m invited to a Shabbat or holiday meal in a Jewish home, I always bring kosher wine. Not just that, I try to make it Israeli. It’s not because I keep kosher. And it’s not because the people I’m visiting necessarily keep kosher either.… Read more »

Inspired by the GPS

Rabbi Yossie Shemtov

An 82-year-old Jewish man was recently marveling to me about the wonders of the Global Positioning System, otherwise known as the GPS satellite-based global navigation system. An observation of his got me thinking. “You see,” he said, “a person can go anywhere but if he doesn’t have a destination… Read more »

Rosh Hashanah reminds us that we have the power to change

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

It’s that time of year again. Backpacks and school binders tumble off the shelves at local stores, crossing guards in bright orange vests patrol the roads and parents are bemoaning the frenzied schedules that “back to school” requires. But there’s a positive energy in the air as kids, tanned… Read more »