Renowned therapist to headline annual Connections brunch

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Ruth Westheimer promises she won’t talk about sexual satisfaction in her March 8 presentation at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy annual Connections brunch. Best known as “Dr. Ruth,” Westheimer is an American sex therapist, media personality, author, radio and television talk show host, and Holocaust survivor.… Read more »

Why is a church still holding services in the former Nazi headquarters of Auschwitz-Birkenau?

A view from outside the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland (Alexandre Marchi/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

OSWIECIM, Poland (JTA) — As the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz approaches, survivors are preparing to gather and commemorate the event, testifying to their faith in life over death. Political and religious leaders from around the world will be there, too, declaring that what happened in that dark abyss will… Read more »

With Holocaust summit in Jerusalem, Israel gets dragged into Europe’s memory wars

An aerial view of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, Dec. 17, 2019. Dozens of world leaders are set to converge there for a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A major gathering of world leaders in Jerusalem meant to highlight the world’s determination to learn the lessons of the Holocaust has become mired in controversy even before it has started, dragging Israel into a battle over history debates still raging in Europe three-quarters of a… Read more »

Ukraine’s Jewish president heaps praise on Israel in pre-visit interview

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a ceremony welcoming Ukrainians who were freed by pro-Russian rebels during a prisoner exchange at the Boryspil Airport outside Kyiv, Dec. 29, 2019. (Sergei Chuzavkov/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine extolled Israelis as a “united, strong, powerful” and “unique” people in his first interview for an Israeli publication. The Times of Israel published the interview with the Jewish Zelensky on Sunday ahead of his arrival in Israel to attend the World Holocaust… Read more »

At 97, a Dutch resistance hero wants to give fellow Jewish fighters overdue recognition

Selma van de Perre signs her book at the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam, Jan. 9, 2020. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Shortly after her capture by the Nazis in 1944, Dutch resistance fighter Selma van de Perre was transferred from a regular prison to the worst concentration camp in the Netherlands. Van de Perre arrived at the infamous Camp Vught about five months after its commander, Adam… Read more »

Where the top 7 Democratic candidates stand on Iran

From left to right: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The post-debate analysis this week focused largely on the ongoing spat between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. While we hope they can sort that out soon, the debate featured something else more relevant to JTA readers: Everyone on stage thought that President Donald Trump made a… Read more »

Meet the Jewish travel blogger who soon will have visited every country

Drew "Binsky" Goldberg, seen here in Kerala, India, makes a living traveling the world and posting about it on social media. (Courtesy of Goldberg)

(JTA) —In 2012, Drew Goldberg spent part of his junior year of college studying abroad in Prague. It was only his second time leaving the United States — the other time was for Birthright, the free Israel trip for Jewish young adults. The trip to the Czech capital was… Read more »

What is causing the rise in anti-Semitism in New York?

MONSEY, NY - DECEMBER 29: A member of the Ramapo police stands guard in front of the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg on December 29, 2019 in Monsey, New York. Five people were injured in a knife attack during a Hanukkah party and a suspect, identified as Grafton E. Thomas, was later arrested in Harlem. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — For weeks, anti-Semitic attacks have been surging in and around New York City — from assaults in Brooklyn to the shooting in Jersey City to the recent stabbing in Monsey on Hanukkah. What’s still unclear is why the spike is happening now — and whether… Read more »

With adoption of major spending bills, Congress signals support for two-state solution

The Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepts rockets that were fired from Gaza, Nov. 13, 2019. Congress is approving funds to continue financing this and other anti-missile systems. (Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — If where you spend your money is the clearest sign of your priorities, Congress seems to be saying that it remains invested in Israeli-Palestinian peace and in robustly supporting Israel’s defense systems. The House of Representatives threw its support this week behind a spending package that… Read more »

Hugh Grant campaigns with Luciana Berger in London’s most Jewish borough

Actor Hugh Grant and Liberal Democrat Luciana Berger speak to a local resident during a campaign event Lodon, the United Kingdom on December 1, 2019 (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

(JTA) — As the United Kingdom nears the final stretch of what is shaping up to be one of its most fateful general elections since World War II, all eyes are on the leaders of its two main parties: Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the Conservatives and Jeremy Corbyn… Read more »

Tucson J and Arts for All will integrate, expand programs

Taglit participants, friends, and Tucson Jewish Community Center staff gather for a semi-formal dance at the J on April 19, 2019. (Photo JCC)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center will expand its capacity to serve people with disabilities by integrating Arts for All, a Tucson-based organization founded in 1985, into its programming early next year. Arts for All provides opportunities for adults and children with and without disabilities to participate in performing and… Read more »

This Portuguese Jewish community couldn’t afford a rabbi. Now it made a $1 million movie appearing on Netflix.

Actors portraying Portuguese Jews in the film "Sefarad," which was shot in 2018 in Porto, Portugal. (Courtesy of the Jewish Community of Portugal)

(JTA) — A decade ago, the tiny Jewish Community of Porto didn’t have enough money to hire a rabbi or even fix the roof of its synagogue. Today, this Orthodox congregation of 400 people in northern Portugal has enough for both, along with a kosher hotel, a ritual bath,… Read more »

Holocaust rescuer gets a surprise 100th birthday party in Poland

Jozef Walaszczyk was taken by an Italian sports car to his centenary birthday party in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 14, 2019. (From the Depths)

(JTA) — The day after he turned 100, Jozef Walaszczyk prepared to attend yet another Holocaust commemoration ceremony in his native Warsaw. Walaszczyk is Poland’s oldest living Righteous Among the Nations – a title given by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to non-Jews who risked their lives to save… Read more »

Museum to honor Eilat-Kahn, second generation Holocaust survivor

Rosie Eilat-Kahn, left, with brother Phillip and parents, Holocaust survivors Meyer and Susan Neuman, upon the family’s arrival in Tucson in 1956. (Courtesy Rosie Eilat Kahn)

The Jewish History Museum/Holocaust History Center will honor Rosie Eilat-Kahn on Sunday at its 2019 Fall Benefit, “A Call to Courage.” “Rosie has been a leader among the second generation of Holocaust survivors in this community for decades,” says Bryan Davis, executive director of the museum. “She has coordinated… Read more »

For Ukrainian Jews, having a Jewish president is a source of pride — and fear

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky smiles after meeting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the General Assembly in New York, Sept. 26, 2019. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

ODESSA, Ukraine (JTA) — Arkady Kesselman, a 20-year-old Jewish student, was set on leaving his native Ukraine for the West last winter. In a war-torn nation losing about 1.2 million citizens each year, where the average monthly salary is about $300, it’s not an unusual decision. But Kesselman has… Read more »

Israeli political analyst parses Sept. 17 elections for Tucsonans

Political analyst Hani Zubida speaks at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy Oct. 10. Courtest Weintraub Israel Center)

Israel’s Sept. 17 elections, its second national elections in less than six months, produced no clear victory for either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party or his top rival, Benny Gantz, retired commander–in-chief of the Israel Defense Forces who now serves as the head of the Blue… Read more »

Nearly 9 in 10 American Jews say anti-Semitism is a problem in U.S.

Members of the Jewish community and their allies protest anti-Semitism and a National Students for Justice in Palestine conference at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, Nov. 6, 2018. (Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — More than eight in 10 American Jews say that anti-Semitism has spiked in recent years and even more believe it is a problem in the United States, according to an American Jewish Committee survey. More than three-quarters of respondents see the extreme political right as more… Read more »

Launching Oct. 24: Annual campaign funds local, global needs

Melissa Goldfinger, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona annual campaign chair for 2020, is surrounded by (L-R) Deborah Oseran, Ronnie Sebold, Andy Kunsberg, and Leslie Glaze. Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP

Educating the community — that’s our real campaign task,” says Melissa Goldfinger, chair of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s 2020 fundraising drive. “We kick off our 100 Days of Impact on Oct. 24, with our 2020 theme: Powered by You — Stronger Together. Our job is to help… Read more »

Reliving the massacre every minute: How Pittsburgh survivors are struggling a year later

The doors of the Tree of Life synagogue feature memorials surrounding the building nearly a year after the attack there that killed 11 worshippers. (Grace Yagel)

PITTSBURGH (JTA) — As this city’s Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, the Tree of Life synagogue stood closed, its doors blocked by a chain-link fence. A brown, wilted wreath hung on a tree near the synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 worshippers last year in the worst… Read more »