Make For Yourself a Teacher, Acquire for Yourself a Friend

I was nervous about coming to Tucson because I knew I would be a co-rabbi with Rabbi Thomas Louchheim. He seemed nice at my interview weekend, but how would this work in practice?! Would it be awkward? Would it be unclear who had rabbinic authority? What would be the… Read more »

It’s Human to Want to Give

Arizona. California. Israel. Peru. Boston. No matter what state, country, time zone or zip code, I call my mother every day. And at 97, she still answers the phone with energy and excitement. Calling home was a decision I made over two decades ago to intentionally stay connected to… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Burton E. Becker

Burton (Burt) E. Becker (born January 11, 1941) passed away Tuesday, April 25, preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He is survived by his daughters Beth Becker of Silver Spring, Md. and Amy Platizky (Adam Platizky) of Phoenix. He is also survived… Read more »

THA Students Commemorate Yom HaShoah with Poignant Assembly

To commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the Tucson Hebrew Academy’s (THA’s) Hebrew and Humanities departments collaborated to design an assembly presented by the sixth-grade students to acknowledge the 1.2 million children that were murdered by the Nazis. The assembly began with the students reminding the audience that a butterfly… Read more »

Tucson J Convenes 180 JCC Professionals for JCCA Western Regional Conference

As Jewish people, we are connected with a global Jewish peoplehood past and present; as a Jewish Community Center, one way we maintain and deepen that connection is by strengthening our bond with other JCC’s in the JCC Movement. On Sunday, March 26, the Tucson J had the honor… Read more »

Handmaker Thrilled to Welcome Guests Once Again to Passover Seders

For many years, Handmaker Passover Seders were large events with children and grandchildren joining parents, grandparents and great-grandparents for this wonderful holiday celebration. The Handmaker Seders for the last several years have been more intimate events, due to COVID restrictions, but not so much this year. For the first… Read more »

UArizona Hillel Leads an Inspiring Trip to Israel

“Absolutely life changing.” “The most extraordinary experience of my life.” “Will inform how I consider literally every conflict going forward.” These are just a few pieces of student feedback from UArizona Hillel’s first Perspectives trip to Israel and Palestine, funded by the national Maccabee Task Force. The trip is… Read more »

Rabbi Thomas Louchheim to Retire – Kol Ami Invites Community to Celebrate His Career

Thomas Alan Louchheim was born on February 9, 1957, in Los Angeles, California, the third child of Sandy z”l and Marlene Louchheim. He graduated Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Finance in 1979. Tom remained in Washington, where he… Read more »

Tucson Artist Facilitates Healing Through Art

This article was originally published by the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. Artist Beth Surdut is a wildlife illustrator, environmental educator, stained glass designer and writer. She began painting on silk in the 1980s, starting with scarves, which have been on display in the Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C., and… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Phyllis Seltzer

Our beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, Phyllis Joan Seltzer passed away peacefully on March 25, 2023 at the age of 85 years old. The world will be less colorful and bright without her big beautiful presence, smile, and energy. She has left an indelible mark on the lives… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Irene Steindler

Irene Steindler, 98, of Highland Park, Illinois, died at home on Tuesday, March 14 after a long and beautiful life. Her daughter, Carol Miller, was by her side as she took her last breath. Irene was born on December 3, 1924 in Dieburg, Germany to Louis and Elsa (Loeb)… Read more »

THA Students Win Four Awards at Southern Arizona Research, Science, and Engineering Fair

Congratulations to the THA students who brought home awards at SARSEF last weekend! SARSEF is the Southern Arizona Research, Science, and Engineering Fair. Sixth graders in Mrs. Lehrfeld’s class worked tirelessly throughout the third quarter to identify personal interests and research topics, ultimately coming up with a testable scientific… Read more »

Shalom Baby! JPSA Welcomes Newest Members of Our Community

Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona (JPSA) and other partner organizations warmly welcome the newest little members of our community with a wonderful box full of baby items and resources about the Tucson Jewish community.   JPSA Interim CEO Emily Richman explains, “JPSA is involved in every stage of Jewish… Read more »

New Community Engagement Director Joins the J with Support from JPSA

As a result of recent community work around the Jewish Community Ecosystem of Southern Arizona, the Tucson J has is pleased to announce the hiring of a Director of Community Engagement. Naomi Sandweiss has accepted and after working remotely, recently begun her position at the Tucson J. The position… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Mel Zuckerman

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mel Zuckerman z’l, pillar of our Tucson Jewish community and visionary philanthropist. Mel passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 18 at age 94 surrounded by his loving family. As dedicated leaders in our Jewish community, Mel Zuckerman and his devoted… Read more »

From Purim to Passover at Handmaker

Handmaker residents and staff enjoyed eating many hamantaschen during Purim this year! Staff were greeted at the main entrance to Handmaker with a basket full of hamantaschen on Purim, alongside a sign with information about the holiday. These delicious cookies were made by Executive Chef Claire and Pastry Chef… Read more »