Tagged FRONT

Handmaker adds hugging booth to courtyard visits

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging reisdent Sophia Bowman hugs daughter Gretchen through the "hugging booth" plastic divider, with son Kevin looking on. (Photo courtesy Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

For the last month or so, residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging have been enjoying visits with friends and family outside in one of the courtyards, 6 feet apart, and masked, per COVID-19 safety precautions. “We even have a hugging booth, so residents can hug their visitors… Read more »

Surprise package adds to CHAI Circle 16th annual retreat, held online

Members of CHAI Circle, a support group facilitated by Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona for women in the Jewish community with a history of cancer, received a surprise self-care package as part of the group's 16th annual retreat, held via Zoom on Nov. 8. (Photo courtesy Jewish Family & Children's Services of Southern Arizona)

CHAI Circle held its 16th annual retreat, “A Day of Connecting and Self-Care,” on Sunday, Nov. 8 through Zoom, with 33 participants.  With CHAI  standing for “Cancer, Healing, and Inspiration,” the circle is a support group for women with cancer in the Jewish community, whether they are newly diagnosed… Read more »

Northwest Needlers brings Jewish knitters together to create a bounty of tzedekah projects

The Northwest Needlers created twiddle muffs for residents with dementia at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging and other senior living facilities. (Photo courtesy Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life)

Armed with knitting needles and crochet hooks, the Northwest Needlers are women of valor, says founder Judith Feldman. For the past five years, the Northwest Needlers, who currently meet Tuesday afternoons via Zoom under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Ruth and Irving Olson Center for… Read more »

New Israel Fellow at UA Hillel sees future in education

Hagar Ben-Bassat, the new Israel Fellow at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, visits a zoo in her hometown of Petah Tikva on Aug. 18, 2020.

Hagar Ben-Bassat, the new Israel Fellow at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, was delighted when the Jewish Agency for Israel, which coordinates Israeli emissaries for a number of programs worldwide, gave her permission to come to Tucson despite the global coronavirus pandemic. Although it was a long process… Read more »

Tucson International Jewish Film Festival launching 30th year with three pre-festival screenings

A scene from 'Doing Jewish: A story from Ghana' (Photo courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson International Jewish Film Festival is presenting three pre-festival screenings in advance of its January lineup for the 30th annual festival. The festival is using the Eventive platform to screen films that viewers can watch on a computer, mobile device, or smart TV, and Zoom for post-film programs.… Read more »

UA Hillel students active in MitzVote, a national, nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort

ua-hillel-oct2020During the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation’s Shabbat meal pick-up on Oct. 9, student MitzVote ambassadors, from left, Rachel Kaplan, Lauren Bander, and Sarah Schneider, hand out MitzVote swag to encourage voter registration and early voting in the U.S. elections. (Photo: Abbii Cook/University of Arizona Hillel Foundation)

Three University of Arizona students are volunteering with Hillel International’s nonpartisan MitzVote program, which encourages and enables college and university students to vote in the national elections. Rachel Kaplan, Lauren Bander, and Sarah Schneider are working with UA Hillel Assistant Director Abbii Cook on the project. All three of… Read more »

JFSA still making a difference for Homer Davis Elementary

Warmth from afar: a volunteer from California crocheted hats and ear warmers to keep kindergarteners at Homer Davis Elementary School in Tucson cozy this winter. (Photo: Shari Shapiro-Runnells)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools in the Flowing Wells School District are currently using remote learning instead of in-person classes. But the situation hasn’t stopped the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s support for Homer Davis Elementary School. Michelle Shapiro, graphic artist at the Arizona Jewish Post, recently connected… Read more »

UArizona Poetry Center, with support of Hurand Connection Fund, to launch virtual Institute for Inquiry and Poetics with U.S. poet laureate

Joyce HarjoU.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Shawn Miller)

The University of Arizona Poetry Center, part of the College of Humanities, is launching a new, virtual Institute for Inquiry and Poetics. The inaugural convening, offered in partnership with the Hurand Connection Fund, will feature U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and poets Jennifer Foerster and LeAnne Howe, editors of… Read more »

One Zoom employee saved High Holidays streaming for 300 synagogues

Mitch Tarica is the streaming platform’s director of North American sales. (Courtesy of Tarica)

(JTA) — When Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday night, some 300 synagogues across North America streaming their High Holidays services via Zoom will be able to set it and forget it thanks largely to one man: Mitch Tarica. Tarica is the streaming platform’s director of North American sales. He’s… Read more »

A tale of two High Holidays: Why Orthodox Jews are going to synagogue while everyone else is on Zoom

A socially distanced outdoor service at the Green Road Synagogue in suburban Cleveland, June 2020. (Courtesy of Rabbi Binyamin Blau)

(JTA) – At the Jewish Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, this year’s High Holidays will be anything but normal. With eight services happening in various spaces throughout the building, on the roof and in the street (closed off to facilitate services), approximately 400 people will gather for socially distanced… Read more »

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, first Jewish woman to serve on Supreme Court, dies at 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a tireless advocate for gender equality, has died at 87. A fierce jurist known for her outsized presence and outspokenness, Ginsburg died from “complications of metastatic pancreas cancer,” the Supreme Court announced… Read more »

The Israel-UAE-Bahrain peace deals, explained

From left to right: UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump at the signing ceremony for the agreements on "normalization of relations" reached between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain at the White House, Sept. 15, 2020. (The White House/Tia Dufour/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Israel has signed diplomatic agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, two of its Arab neighbors, and the word “historic” has been used a lot. For Israel and the region, the so-called Abraham Accords signings truly were historic: There was a big ceremony on the White… Read more »

JFSA and JCF to partner with SVP Fast Pitch program

Fast-Pitch-Finalists-on-StageFinalists from Social Venture Partner Tucson’s Fast Pitch 2017 celebrate on stage at the main event. (L-R) Danielle Figeuroa of Youth on Their Own, Liz Hernandez of Project Safe Place at Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Lisa Shipek of Watershed  Management Group, Amalia Luxardo of The Florence Project, Sean Cronin of Stories That Soar! at Literacy Connects, L’Don Sawyer of St. Luke’s Home, and Jennifer Moore of Abbie School (Social Venture Partners Tucson)

The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona are collaborating with Social Venture Partners Tucson to grow and advance its Fast Pitch program, which helps local nonprofits raise funds, boost awareness, and build their capacity. In Fast Pitch, which debuted locally in 2015, SVP staff and volunteers… Read more »

THA to honor Mellans with Tikkun Olam award

Nancy and Stuart Mellan

Stuart Mellan, longtime leader of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and his wife, Nancy, will be the honorees for Tucson Hebrew Academy’s 2020 Tikkun Olam Celebration. “Then and Now: Celebrating 25 Years of Leadership” will be presented as a YouTube video on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.… Read more »

High Holiday profiles: Local environmentalists’ passion stems from Jewish roots, family

A view of the Arizona Desert Laboratory from atop Tumamoc Hill, with the sprawl of Tucson beyond it. (Photo Paul Mirocha)

The year 2020 has brought us face-to-face with many significant obstacles, from the global coronavirus pandemic to issues of racial injustice. Among the challenges that we are confronting is climate change, which forces us to ask ourselves, “How will we leave the environment for future generations?” In time for… Read more »

Grants from Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund continue

In March, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and Jewish Community Foundation, along with local families, launched the Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund to help community members facing financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, the fund has raised more than $404,000 and its task force has… Read more »

JCC reopens fitness center after five months, moves cultural programming online

tucson_J_social_distancing_1024pxThe number of people in any space at the Tucson Jewish Community Center is limited to allow for social distancing. (Courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center reopened its fitness center on Aug. 28, following a decision from the Arizona Department of Health Services that allowed gyms in Pima County to resume operations with safety measures in place. The J’s fitness center had been closed since late June, when it briefly… Read more »

Dan Karsch, longtime Tucson doctor and community activist, dies at 78

dan_karsch-_tom_newman_large_obitAt left, Daniel Karsch (left) and Tom Newman, former partners in Old Pueblo Urology, during a visit Karsch and his wife, Carol, made to Tucson from Israel in February 2020. At right, Karsch and Newman co-host 'The Plumber's Ball' in 1974. (Courtesy Carol Karsch)

Daniel Nathan Karsch, M.D., 78, died of cancer on July 23, 2020. Dan was born in Philadelphia to Lil and Joe Karsch and grew up in the large Jewish neighborhood of Wynnefield, centered around Har Zion Temple, Jewish schools, synagogues, and Camp Ramah. A graduate of Ursinus College and Jefferson… Read more »

Partnerships with Israel, Mexico key to UArizona’s global environmental strategy

Joaquin-Ruiz-profile-article460pxJoaquin Ruiz, Ph.D.

Joaquin Ruiz, Ph.D., the University of Arizona’s first vice president for Global Environmental Futures, gets excited about the work of its partners around the world, such as farmers in Israel’s Arava region. “There are a bunch of kibbutzes in the Negev that are growing stuff on rocks and with… Read more »