Tagged FRONT

Special Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel sparks Tucson-Phoenix romance

Rachel Goodman and Zakhary Khazanovich (Sheila Wilensky)

Before she left on Mayanot Israel’s 2010 Friendship Trip, a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for young adults with special needs in late July, 20-year-old Tucsonan Rachel Goodman was satisfied with her professional life but not her personal life. “I was fretting about not having a future that I wanted,” she… Read more »

Philanthropist, Zionist, activist, Tucsonan Evie Pozez dies at 84

Evie Pozez

Evelyn Shirley Whitebook Pozez was “always gracious and grateful to people around her,” says Stuart Mellan, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. “First and foremost, I’ll remember her shining spirit and ever-present smile.” Mrs. Pozez, 84, died on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. Born in Iowa… Read more »

Hit comedy draws on Italian-Jewish Brooklyn heritage

Steve Solomon

Sometimes being Jewish is not enough. Sometimes, you have to be Italian too, to really send you over the edge. To find out more, the AJP interviewed playwright Steve Solomon, author and star of the award-winning show “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m in Therapy.” The show… Read more »

Brouhaha in Texas House a Jewish test case for Tea Party

Texas state Rep. Joe Strauss looks set to stay in the powerful speaker's role after a broad coalition repudiated challenges based on his Judaism. (Office of Rep. Joe Strauss)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In Texas, the Tea Party passed its first Jewish test even before its legislators had been sworn in. Deeply conservative forces in the Lone Star State firmly repudiated the effort by evangelical Christians to unseat the powerful Jewish speaker of the Texas House of Representatives because… Read more »

Poll: Slight majority of Israeli Jews unfavorable to Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A slight majority of Jewish Israelis has negative views of President Obama, but his supporters are more numerous than previously reported, according to a poll. The Brookings Institution poll of Jewish Israelis showed 51 percent responding with negative views of the U.S. president to 41 percent… Read more »

For deaf Jews, Jewish community only slowly opening up

ASL interpreter Naomi Brunnlehrman, left, and Alexis Kashar are co-founders of the Jewish Deaf Resource Center. (Ava Kashar)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (JTA) — Alexis Kashar was listening intently to the speaker at a recent Jewish federation event in this New York City suburb. A closer look revealed that her eyes were trained not on the podium but on Naomi Brunnlehrman, who was seated in front of the… Read more »

A cutting-issue rabbi sues the Army: Let me keep my beard

Rabbi Menachem Stern, with his baby, Esther, says serving in the Army is "my calling and mission." (Mendy Chanin)

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week) — Menachem Stern’s bushy black beard is at the center of a federal court case. Stern, 29, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi from Brooklyn, N.Y., filed suit recently against the U.S. Army saying that a no-beard restriction violates his religious freedom. In January 2009, Stern had applied… Read more »

After Israel’s deadly fire, mourning, vows to rebuild and finger pointing

At least 40 Israelis have been killed in a forest fire in northern Israel described as out of control, Dec. 2, 2010. (Flash 90)

In the aftermath of the deadliest fire in Israel’s history, Israelis this week set to the task of burying the dead, cleaning up and figuring out what exactly went wrong — and who is to blame. Even before the blaze in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa came under control… Read more »

Chanukah on Christmas Avenue: Raising a Jewish family in Winterhaven

Gila Silverman’s husband, David, created this 10-foot dreidel the third year that the family lived in Winterhaven.

I live in a neighborhood known for its Christmas displays. No one is more surprised about this than I am. And, to my even greater surprise, I have found living here to be a moving experience. The one thing I have known for certain my entire life is that… Read more »

Lame-duck Congress jeopardizes school lunch program for poor, groups warn

Hillel members from several New York City universities interacting with the homeless community during a resource fair in New York, Oct. 17, 2010. (JCPA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The framers of an interfaith effort with the grand goal of halving American poverty in the next decade had a small but focused message this week: Keep those school lunches coming. At a meeting Monday on Capitol Hill at an event attended by congressional staffers, the… Read more »

Whither the Jewish baby boomers?

Fifty percent of affiliated American Jews are Baby Boomers, like these participants at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North Americain New Orleans, Nov. 9, 2010. (Courtesy JFNA)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (JTA) — As America’s 77 million baby boomers retire, they will place an unprecedented burden on the Jewish community’s infrastructure. They will need more services, and many will want to become involved in a community that isn’t making room for them. The federation system in particular… Read more »

Beck under fire over Soros comments

Some Jewish groups are saying that Glenn beck, above, went too far with his criticism of George Soros. (Gage Skidmore)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Fox News provocateur Glenn Beck spent several days taking aim at billionaire businessman and philanthropist George Soros, but so far — at least within Jewish circles — the barrage appears to be backfiring. On his radio and TV shows earlier this month, Beck portrayed Soros as… Read more »

Is reform movement going kosher?

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Kosher — it’s the first word in the book. And tackling the “k” word head-on is part of what makes the first Reform guide to Jewish dietary practice so significant. “The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic,” to be published next month by the… Read more »

UA Hillel Israel fellow’s journey to Judaism began in Russia

Max Rusinov

Max Rusinov is an adventurous guy. Born in Kirov, Russia, he knew nothing about Judaism at age 12, but at 24, he’s the new Israel fellow at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation. Rusinov made aliyah — alone —at age 14 and has served in combat units in the… Read more »

P.S.: Tucson chef creates Guinness world record matzah ball; Israeli’s Israel travels; Pilates guru; Hadassah hears Marquez

Shlomo & Vito’s New York Delicatessen Chef Jon Wirtis (left), deli owner Dean Greenberg (center) and Jim Liebeskind (right) measure the world’s largest matzah ball.

World’s largest matzah ball On Sunday, Nov. 7, Chef Jon Wirtis of Shlomo & Vito’s New York Delicatessen set the Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest matzah ball. The massive creation weighed 488 pounds and measured 36 inches across. This extraordinary feat was witnessed (and devoured) by thousands… Read more »

‘Selling the Fountain of Youth’ author to speak

Arlene Weintraub

The quest for the fountain of youth has become a fountain of profit for the anti-aging industry and a waste of money for the youth-seekers, says award-winning investigative reporter Arlene Weintraub, who will discuss her findings at Temple Emanu-El on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m. Weintraub, a Tucson… Read more »

17 arrested in $42.5 million fraud at claims conference

Gregory Schneider, executive vice presdient at the Claims Conference, together with the U.S. Attorneys Office announced the discovery of a $42.5 million fraud scheme, Nov. 9, 2010. Claims Conference)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York has arrested 17 people for participating in a $42.5 million fraud at the Claims Conference. Those arrested include former and current employees of the Claims Conference, which distributes more than $400 million per year from the German government… Read more »

As Feingold exits, Senate loses independent liberal

The political career of Sen. russ Feingold, shown on the campaign trail for Barack Obama in Eau Claire, Wis., in August 2008, was marked by a fierce independence. (Phil Freedman)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The speech that Russ Feingold gave to end his career in the U.S. Senate was much like his career itself: by turns crystal clear, obscure, ornery, defiant and gracious — and quoting a fellow Great Plains Jew to boot. “But my heart is not weary, it’s… Read more »

In the war on breast cancer, Israel leads

Participants in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk through the streets of Jerusalem on Oct. 28, 2010 to raise awareness about breast cancer. (Rose Inbal)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Irit Paneth, in and out of remission from breast cancer for more than a decade, was among the thousands who wound their way like a giant pink-and-white ribbon through Jerusalem’s streets in the first Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure held in Israel. “What’s… Read more »

First sign of the new U.S. political reality — Bibi’s swagger

Randy Altschuler, a Republican who holds a slim lead in his suburban New York congressional district, campaigning this summer with Rep. Eric Cantor, currently the only GOP Jewish lawmaker in the Congress. (Courtesy Randy Altschuler for Congress)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The sharpest signal of what last week’s elections meant for Jews came not from Washington but from New Orleans, Nova Scotia and Australia. In New Orleans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech Monday calling for moving beyond sanctions to mounting a “credible military threat”… Read more »