Tucson tallit artist: ‘Everything is generated by story’

The Rosh Hashanah-inspired pomegranate tallit Beth Surdut created for Rabbi Malka Drucker of Santa Fe, N.M., includes a quote from Psalm 96.

From Providence, R.I., to Santa Fe, N.M., to Tucson, with many stops in between, tallit maker Beth Surdut has always been an artist. Her approach to Judaism is as expansive as her art, always growing and changing. “Being brought up Jewish you’re brought up to have an inquiring mind,”… Read more »

Local B’nai Mitzvah students serve community, world with diverse projects

Aliya Markowitz with Cubby Graham, charity: water school partnerships manager, at the organization’s office in New York City

In the spirit of infusing the ethic of tikkun olam, repairing the world, into the process of becoming  B’nai Mitzvah, many synagogues now require their students to complete a mitzvah project in addition to learning Hebrew and chanting from the Torah. Students typically choose their own projects based on… Read more »

Bridal show at Jewish History Museum brings back splendor of bygone eras

Models pose at the home of Catherene Morton prior to the Jewish History Museum’s bridal style show on Jan. 1. (Athol Cline/JHM)

Exotic gowns in red, purple and gold as well as the traditional white are on display at the Jewish History Museum’s sixth annual ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) and wedding dress exhibit, which continues through March 30. The exhibit features gowns from the 1500s to 2010, with origins from New… Read more »

Seattle couple gets married … and married … and married

(JTA) — In less than a year, Dane Kuttler and Rowan Parker exchanged vows in 10 different wedding ceremonies at 10 different venues on two coasts under nine different marriage canopies. In what Kuttler calls “Wedding Tour ’13,” the introverted Seattle couple wanted to share their celebration with as… Read more »

B’nai Mitzvah projects reach beyond Tucson

Ryan Ballis, center, with award from the Wounded Warrior Project, is flanked by Quentin Irion, the group’s outreach coordinator (left) and Derek L. Duplisea, Wounded Warrior alumni director for the Western United States. (Courtesy Mark Ballis)

Each year, caring and energetic 12- and 13-year-olds contribute immeasurably to the social action efforts of the Jewish community in Tucson and around the world. These B’nai Mitzvah students participate in a “mitzvah project,” as these endeavors have come to be known, adding another layer of meaning to the… Read more »

JDate success leads to smiles under chuppah, laughter on dance floor

Cari Frisch and Jason Drimer under the chuppah (Elyse Hall)

Cari Frisch, daughter of James and Myrna Frisch of Tucson, and Jason Drimer, son of Jeffrey and Linda Drimer of Syracuse, N.Y., were married on Oct. 28, 2012, at Skyline Country Club, with Rabbi Robert Eisen of Congregation Anshei Israel officiating. Honored guests included Jason’s grandmother, Selma Radin of… Read more »

Tucson gang celebrates a match made in preschool

(L-R) Jennifer Kern, Ashley Heather, Jodi Pulman, Shelley Hoffman, Katy Darnaby, Ilana Shenitzer, Lindsay Nagel, Megan Rovner, Bari Levine, Leslie Pearlman, Joey Blumenfeld, Sadie Reuben (Elyse Hall)

High school romances that endure and result in marriage are not unheard of. But marrying your friend from preschool days is a precious rarity. Ilana Shenitzer and Jeremy Rothstein have enjoyed a life-long friendship that blossomed into love in their late teens. They cemented their relationship under the chuppah… Read more »

Creating a wedding menu that transcends borders

(JointMedia News Service) — As borders become more faint, and online dating services more prevalent, many of us are pushed out of our respective ethnic bubbles and into the arms of a special someone from a different background. While Jews share many customs and traditions, we also have our… Read more »

Health and wellness, food and hunger issues spur B’nai Mitzvah projects

Gavin Cohen with his cousin, Trinity Hungerford

Every year dozens of Tucson teens who turn 13 choose a cause to support — through deeds, funds or both — as they prepare for the ceremonies and celebrations that mark their coming of age as B’nai Mitzvah. These mitzvah projects, as they’ve come to be known, assist a… Read more »

Presumptuous JDate suitor is ‘the one’

Rebecca Light and Joshua Wertlieb

Rebecca Sara Light, daughter of Marcia and Ken Light of Tucson, and Joshua Michael Wertlieb, son of Dr. Donald Wert­lieb and Lorre Polinger of West Newton, Mass., were married May 20, 2012 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Rabbi Steven Foster of Denver, Colo., a family friend, officiated. The matron… Read more »

Israelis seeking alternatives to traditional ceremonies

In November, Anna Melman and Ari Bronstein were planning their wedding, held in January in Israel. They had a venue and a rabbi. But they wanted to find ways of making the traditional ceremony more egalitarian. “In the wedding ceremony as it is now, the bride is inherently passive,”… Read more »

Torah reading brings together high-flying groom and Tucson bride

Michele Goldstein and David Clementi (Shelley Wellander/She.we Studio

Michele Goldstein, daughter of Dana Goldstein and Gene Goldstein of Tucson, and David Clementi, son of Rosanne Clementi and Frank Clementi of Tampa, Fla., were married on Sept. 4, 2011 at Skyline Country Club. Rabbi Marc Sack of Tampa and Ronald Sandler of Tucson, a family friend, officiated. The… Read more »

Tucson newlyweds began as pre-teen pals

Zachary and Stacey Singer first met in B’nai Mitzvah class at Congregation Anshei Israel. (Photos: Kadie Pangburm of Pangbum Photography)

Stacey Leigh Borin, daughter of Tom and Sara Borin, and Zachary Jonathan Singer, son of Steve and Shelley Singer, all of Tucson, were married on March 27, 2011 at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort with Rabbi Robert Eisen and Cantor Ivor Lichterman of Congregation Anshei Israel… Read more »

From hunger to bullying, local teens tackle social issues with hands-on mitzvah projects

Noah Pensak (left) and Jacob Meyer donate books to the Ocotillo Learning Center library. (Courtesy Ocotillo Learning Center)

It started as a novel way to teach Jewish children about philanthropy, social justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world). Today, the mitzvah project has become a cherished part of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah scene. Yet for each child who chooses to take part in this burgeoning tradition,… Read more »

Models to wear vintage bridal gowns in museum show

Ashlee Hall models antique wedding gown

The Jewish History Museum, 564 S. Stone Ave., will host a style show of vintage and antique wedding dresses on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 1:30 p.m. The story of the Jewish bride who originally wore each dress will be told. Included are an 1880s gown from the Arizona pioneer… Read more »

Under Tucson sunset and grandmother’s lace, couple takes their vows

Bride Rebecca Kunsberg is veiled by her mother, Linda Kunsberg (left), and the groom’s mother, Beanie Rohtbart, in the ‘bedeken’ ceremony, witnessed by Rabbi Robert Eisen (far left) and groom Ted Goodman. (John Hursh - Focus On Events Photography)

Rebecca Kunsberg, 31, daughter of Andrew and Linda Kunsberg of Tucson, and Theodore Goodman, 33, son of Beanie and Markus Rohtbart of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Don and Gloria Goodman of West Bloomfield, Mich., were married on Nov. 14, 2010 at Westward Look Resort with Rabbi Robert Eisen of… 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 »

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 »