Tagged Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

Four steps to tackle our biggest issue now, starting with building bridges

Rabbi Sam Cohon

The emergence of violent anti-Semitism as a widespread American scourge can leave no Jews with warm thoughts about the year that just passed. Until October 2018, just 15 months ago, there had never been a fatal attack on a synagogue in the United States. Now there have been two… Read more »

Council aims to build inclusive, interfaith Scout groups

Members of Cub Scout Pack 613 bring in the colors at the opening of the Tucson Jewish Community’s Israel at 70 Festival on April 22, 2018. These Cubs moved up to become Boy Scouts in Troop 613 in May 2018. [Courtesy Herbert Cohn)

Herbert Cohn, chair of the Catalina Council Jewish Committee on Scouting, is attempting to create a more inclusive environment by reminding all in the local scouting community of the intention by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the world scouting movement, that it should embrace all faiths. Cohn has been… Read more »

New synagogue to open in Northwest Tucson

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

Congregation Beit Simcha (House of Joy), a new synagogue based in Northwest Tucson, will open later this month.  Established by a group of congregants and Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Beit Simcha will hold its inaugural Friday night Shabbat services on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Harvey and… Read more »

CCAR reverses suspension, reinstates local rabbi

On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 the Board of Appeals of the Central Conference of American Rabbis issued its final opinion in which it voted unanimously “in the interest of substantial fairness” to reverse my suspension (reported here in the Arizona Jewish Post in September) and reinstate me immediately.  I… Read more »

Senior rabbi resigns from Temple Emanu-El

Editor’s note: As of Feb. 16, the Central Conference of American Rabbis reversed Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon’s suspension and reinstated him. See more details here: https://azjewishpost.com/2018/ccar-reverses-suspension-reinstates-local-rabbi/ Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon has resigned from his position as senior rabbi with Temple Emanu-El as of Sept. 13. Mona Gibson, president of Temple… Read more »

JFSA helping synagogues boost youth engagement

Cantorial soloist Marjorie Hochberg guides Temple Emanu-El religious school students in singing the Four Questions at a second night Passover seder in 2015. (Steve Shawl)

Declining youth engagement has been a problem facing synagogues across the country for a decade or more.  To help local synagogues reverse this trend, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is providing them with new allocations for religious schools and family education programs. Each synagogue will decide how to… Read more »

Free Taste of Judaism celebrates 18th year

This year marks the 18th anniversary — the chai year — of Temple Emanu-El’s outreach and education program, Taste of Judaism. The free course offers an introduction to Jewish spirituality, values and community in three two-hour sessions. Rabbis Samuel M. Cohon and Batsheva Appel lead interactive explorations of Jewish… Read more »

New, inclusive prayer book wins local fans

Rabbi Helen T. Cohn

Congregation M’kor Hayim will start the new year with a new High Holidays machzor, or prayer book, recently published by the Reform Movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis. The two-volume machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh, should “add new energy and meaning to our High Holidays services,” says Rabbi Helen Cohn. Among… Read more »

Emanu-El debuting ‘[email protected]’ remote learning

Rabbi Batsheva Appel, center, shown repairing a Torah with students in January 2014, says distance learners will be in the physical classroom one day a week to preserve a sense of community. (Courtesy Temple Emanu-El)

Temple Emanu-El’s Kurn Religious School will implement a new distance learning strategy to increase Hebrew school engagement in the upcoming academic year. Called [email protected], it will allow students in third through eighth grades who live in remote locations or cannot make it to the school for other reasons to… Read more »

Downtown Shabbat: Hot music, cool venue draws more than millennials

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon (front) and the Armon Bizman band at a Late Night Downtown Shabbat at the Jewish History Museum on March 25. (Karen Schaffner/AJP)

Tucson, a.k.a. the Old Pueblo, is known for its laid back attitude, not for bucking a trend. Enter Temple Emanu-El’s Late Night Downtown Shabbat, which is roping in the millennials coming of age in the 21st century, statistically a hard group to round up for synagogue participation. According to… Read more »

Tucson rabbis ask Ducey to reverse stance on refugees

As thousands continued to flee civil war in Syria, the Tucson Board of Rabbis sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey last month asking him to reverse his stand on barring refugees from entering Arizona. Citing the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 by terrorists from the Islamic State,… Read more »

World’s sacred places lure Tucson rabbi on trip of a lifetime

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon at the last stop on his world tour, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru (Courtesy photo)

An intense interest in the world’s sacred places would be natural for any clergy. But Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El, took it to the next level. He purchased an around-the- world plane ticket and embarked on a whirlwind trip to more than 120 sacred places… Read more »

Freedom Seder affirms Tucson’s diversity

Actor Ed Asner, center, led a Freedom Seder on April 21 cosponsored by Temple Emanu-El and Humane Borders. He is pictured with Dinah Bear, president of the board of Humane Borders, and Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El. (Simon Rosenblatt)

Singing the traditional Passover song Chad Gadya, leaving a cup of wine for the prophet Elijah, reciting poems by Marge Piercy and other secular poets, listening to reflections by members of Tucson’s Latino community — all marked the Freedom Seder held April 21 at Temple Emanu-El, cosponsored by Humane… Read more »

Local Jews and Christians share joy on interfaith mission

Rev. Dr. John Kitagawa, Jake Gordon and Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon celebrate Jake’s Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem. ( Photo: Bruno Charbit Photography)

Instead of a traditional Jewish mission to Israel, Temple Emanu-El and St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church joined forces to expand their congregants’ understanding of the Holy Land. Twelve Jews and 11 Christians participated in the interfaith mission led by Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon and Rev. Dr. John… Read more »