June 15, 2018 2 Tammuz 5778 Volume 74, Issue 12
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INSIDE Mind, Body & Spirit ....20-25 Restaurant Resource ... 13-16
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THA grads blend fun, spirituality on Israel trip
CCC program aims to bolster ‘The Connection’ PHYLLIS BRAUN
Classifieds ............................. 12 Commentary ..........................6 Community Calendar...........26 Letter to the Editor ................7 Local ..............2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 20 News Briefs .......................... 19 Our Town ..............................27 Synagogue Directory........... 12 World .....................................17
SUMMER SCHEDULE The last print edition for the summer will be July 13, 2018. Look for the next print edition on Aug. 17, 2018.
AJP Executive Editor
wo rabbis and 12 yeshiva students from New Jersey will join forces with Rabbi Israel and Esther Becker of Congregation Chofetz Chayim and the Southwest Torah Institute later this month for a multifaceted program called “The Connection.” The goal of the free, threeweek program is “to help the Jewish community of Tucson build, strengthen and explore their connection with Judaism.” Subtitled the Edye Anne Singer Learning Program, it honors the memory of sponsor Brian Singer’s mother. The Connection, which will offer a variety of classes and study options for both men and women, is inspired by the Dr. Paul W. Hoffert Spirit Program, which Chofetz Chayim has offered since 2000, but “this opportunity is way beyond,” says Rabbi Becker. The Foxman Torah Institute of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is led by Rabbi Shimon Max. Becker explains that the yeshiva is moving its Bais Medrash, its post-high school program, to Tucson from June 26-July 17. The yeshiva students “will be presented with the challenge, the opportunity, to expand their horizons and interact with Jews of all ages and backgrounds and share their knowledge, their Torah illumination.” See Connection, page 4
Photos courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy
Arts & Culture .........................5
On a predawn visit to Masada are, back row (L-R): Ezekiel Bradshaw, Heriberto Pasillas, Jon Makov, Coach Quincy Hudson, Sara Silverberg, Ronnie Barel, Frieda Zippy White, Liora Buchler; front row: Levi Mendel, Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz, Ben Meyer, Michael Pisetsky, Samantha Kanter, Sigal Devorah (lower front), Panina Rast, Martin Weich.
The group made its first visit and shehecheyanu (blessing for new experiences) at the Kotel on Wednesday, May 9, and returned to the Western Wall for a presunset Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday, May 11.
Hiking in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve included a dip in the David waterfalls and springs, in the Judean Mountains on the shores of the Dead Sea.
June 15 ... 7:14 p.m.
Tucson Hebrew Academy eighth graders enjoyed the annual graduation trip to Israel, May 6-17. Highlights included an archeological dig at Beit Guvrin and Bar Kochva Caves, and a Bedouin experience with a drum circle and desert tent sleepover in Kfar HaNokdim, along with the requisite camel ride. Unique on this journey was that two boys celebrated becoming b'nai mitzvah, Martin Weich and Ben Meyer. Two days were spent at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in Hof Ashkelon with members of the Partnership2Gether twinning program. Students met their counterparts face-to-face and stayed overnight with them in their homes. Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz also celebrated his 60th birthday on the trip.
June 22 ... 7:16 p.m.
June 29 ... 7:17 p.m.
LOCAL Honored with renaming of law center, Kozolchyk discusses trade, identity KORENE CHARNOFSKY COHEN Special to the AJP
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, June 15, 2018
Photo: Korene Charnofsky Cohen
here is hope for better international trade relations if leaders will adhere to basic ideas of fairness, good faith and honesty, says Boris Kozolchyk, S.J.D., a world-renowned expert on international banking and commercial law. He is the founder of the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, a nonprofit organization that was renamed May 30 as the Kozolchyk National Law Center, following his retirement last year after 48 years as the Evo DeConcini Professor of Law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Speaking to a gathering of 15 people at the May 28 meeting of the Tucson Tikkun Community, Kozolchyk said his parents and Jewish values helped form his philosophy. The Tucson Tikkun Community was founded in 2005 on the initiative of the late Rabbi Joseph Weizenbaum, inspired by the interfaith spiritual activism of Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun Magazine, says Michael Zaccaria, a cofounder along with his wife, Marcia. Kozolchyk’s
Tucson Tikkun Community member Michael Rohrbach (left) and Billie Kozolchyk enjoy her husband Boris’ comments in his talk at a Tucson Tikkum Community meeting held May 28 at the Sonora Cohousing multipurpose room.
talk was part of the organization’s series of programs on identity. Speakers have included a South Asian-American, Black-Americans, a Muslim-American and several people with immigrant experiences, says Zaccaria. “We listen to each other without judging another person’s perspective,” says Marcia Zaccaria. “We try to create an atmosphere of safety where people feel safe
expressing their views and feelings.” Kozolchyk identifies himself as an optimist, and says that identity is created, in part, by culture and biology. His parents were from Krinik, a shtetl (small town) outside of Bialystok, Poland. During the 1920s and early 1930s, the family immigrated to Cuba. Kozolchyk was born in Havana in 1934 and immigrated to the United States in 1956 to at-
tend law school. “My family migrated from Poland because of anti-Semitism and inequality, but there also was anti-Semitism in Cuba,” says Kozolchyk. “My mother was bothered by issues of inequality, and was very concerned with all the poverty in Cuba. She became a socialist because she thought that they would create an egalitarian society.” His father was a peddler who eventually started a successful retail and wholesale business. There was a Jewish population of about 20,000 Jews in Cuba, and Kozolchyk attended a Jewish school, one of three in the capital. His father discouraged him from going into law in Cuba because there was too much corruption. Kozolchyk was influenced by the teachings of Hillel, the Jewish sage of the first century B.C.E., who advocated being reasonable in dealing with people, espousing the need to be altruistic — being good to others, but also being good to yourself. He describes Hillel’s approach to law as hard lines modified by curves, and says this idea is symbolized in the straight and curved lines of the Supreme See Kozolchyk, page 7
LOCAL Museum honorees have deep roots in Tucson Division (now Women’s Philanthropy), a JFSA life board AJP Editorial Assistant member and past JFSA WomThis is the final part of a an of the Year. series on the Jewish agency One of Rogoff ’s many volunteers who received 2018 volunteer jobs, a couple of Special Recognition Awards at decades ago, was taking Hothe Jewish Community Awards locaust survivors into local Celebration, held May 10. schools to speak. “It was such Lynda Rogoff he Jewish History a haunting yet inspiring expeMuseum recognized rience,” she recalls. “When the a pair of volunteers, Holocaust [History] Center Lynda Rogoff and Linda Tuopened, I knew that I had to markin, for outstanding serbe there. It’s been incredible to vice, because they are such see first-hand how we continclose friends and outstanding ue to honor the survivors, to co-workers. teach students what happened Rogoff and Tumarkin are and what continues to happen the regular Wednesday dotoday.” Rogoff also loves talkLinda Tumarkin cents and greeters, and make ing about the JHM’s structure, a fabulous team, says the which is the first synagogue in museum’s director of operations, Lisa Arizona, built in 1910, and the history Schachter-Brooks. “Word must be out surrounding it. “We have a gem in our that Wednesdays is their day because it community that everyone must visit!” is the busiest day of the week,” she says, Tumarkin arrived in Tucson in 1971 adding, “They gracefully handle large with her husband, Gerry, and young groups and manage both spaces easily. family. “We found a home with our wonBoth are also responsible for bringing derful, welcoming and growing Jewish people into the museum as visitors. community. I’ve had the opportunity to “They served on the Fall Benefit learn and grow personally through my event planning committee and, of her continuous involvement, and to work own accord, Linda visited concierges at with incredible people,” she says. Along many local hotels to take brochures and the way, she served as Jewish Commuto share the work of the museum. They nity Relations Council chair, JFSA presibring their longtime love of and involve- dent and, with Gerry, led five interfaith ment in the Tucson Jewish community missions to Israel. She is currently on the to their work here as community ambas- Jewish Community Foundation board. sadors at the Jewish History Museum.” An enthusiastic “greeter” at the museRogoff moved to Tucson 40 years ago um, she loves being there for many reawith her husband, Ed, and immediately sons. “It has given me the opportunity to began volunteering in the Jewish com- constantly learn, to interact with fascimunity. That is when she struck up an nating people from all over the country enduring friendship with Tumarkin. “So, and the world, to be an ambassador for it’s even more special to share this honor our Jewish community, to work with an of recognition with her,” says Rogoff. She excellent staff, and the icing on the cake is a past president of the Tucson Jewish is to spend time with my best friend Community Center and the Jewish Fed- Lynda. I’m honored to share this award eration of Southern Arizona Women’s with her.”
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June 15, 2018, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
CONNECTION Morning “Taste of Talmud” classes will begin June 26, but the official opening of The Connection will be on Wednesday, June 27, with simultaneous classes at 7 p.m. for men and women at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona building, also known as the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, 3718 E. River Road. “Torah Together” on opening night will be a chance for local men to meet the rabbis and yeshiva students and engage in an hour of interactive learning. Esther Becker will lead the opening night women’s class, “Torah in Three Dimensions,” exploring a Medrash, part of the Jewish oral tradition that provides interpretation and commentary on Biblical texts. In this interactive session, she will challenge participants to glean new insights from ancient texts. “Jewish learning should not be distant, it should be very close emotionally, not just intellectually,” says Rabbi Becker, adding that too often when people hear about studying Torah, “to many it’s a mystery.” He is thrilled, he says, to have the Federation and the Tucson Jewish Community Center as cosponsors, which gives the program a broader reach, “because we want Jewish learning to be something very vibrant and very much a passion for Tucson Jews.” Such sponsorship, Becker adds, is likely unprecedented for a yeshiva program. “Esther’s class is really going to be extraordinary, because Esther has tremendous ability that is untapped, where she can take a Medrash, a story, an illustration, and take it apart and present provocative questions … to help partici-
Photos courtesy Foxman Torah Institute
continued from page 1
Students at the Bais Medrash of the Foxman Torah Institute in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, study with Rabbi Shimon Max.
pants come up with really powerful insights,” says Becker. “My goal is to expose as many Jewish women as I can to the beauty of Torah … where they can take that information and grow with it on a day-to-day basis,” says Esther. “Also for them to get to know us, Southwest Torah Institute, and to understand that we’re here for them on whatever level they’re [at], whatever level they want to study at.” The Connection will include one-onone or small group learning, she adds. For women, it will be an opportunity to ask her questions and for her to break down barriers and misconceptions. Over the years, when she has given classes, she explains, it has been beautiful and heartwarming to “see the lightbulbs going on in the women’s faces — ‘Oh, so that’s why we do that, oh, I never understood it that way.’ “And it has nothing to do with observing [rituals]… it has to do with who we are and what we are and our connection to G-d, and the guidebook, the Torah that he gave us,” she says.
The Beckers will host a kumzitz, a celebration with music and food at their home on Thursday, June 28 at 7 p.m. Flexibility will be a hallmark of The Connection, Becker emphasizes — participants can attend as many or as few sessions as they like. The private or small group sessions, dubbed “Let’s Talk Torah,” allow participants to set the time, duration and topic. There also will be drop-in learning for men nightly, Sunday-Thursday, from 7-9 p.m. at Chofetz Chayim. A nine-part series for both men and women, “Not Just Words: A Guide to Understanding Prayer,” also will be held at 7 p.m., July 2-5 and 8-12 at Chofetz Chayim. “In that series, we will take apart the daily Amidah [a three-part series of blessings], and really focus on the concepts of prayer: request, praise, gratitude, supplication,” says Becker, to illuminate “all the things that normal human beings pray for and desire, and to show how through prayer, we not only understand and appreciate ourselves, but we connect to G-d in a very profound and
impactful way.” “Biblical Breakthroughs” will be held Fridays at noon at Chofetz Chayim for men and women and a lunch and learn for men and women will be held Tuesday, July 10 at noon at the Jewish Federation. Along with class descriptions and registration links, a website, www. theconnectionaz.com, provides photographs and capsule biographies of the scholars who will be coming to Tucson from New Jersey — and whose diverse hobbies, including basketball, Frisbee, skateboarding, parkour, guitar, piano, farming, metal- and wood-working, archery, fixing cars, and baking show that there’s more to these students than just a devotion to study. Singer, a third year medical student at the University of Arizona, says for his mother, “education and learning was always a huge part of her parenting … she never pushed us to learn but cultivated a love of learning in us that has really propelled my success in life.” This has made the rigors of medical school somewhat easier, says Singer, adding that his sister, Holly Tayne of Phoenix, recently completed pharmacy school. A bad car accident when he was in the fourth grade left his mother hospitalized and in rehab for a year. He recalls doing his homework in her hospital room. “She would never let anything stop her from being a good mom. She instilled a lot of confidence in us,” he says, adding that he hopes The Connection will “instill further confidence in the Jews of Tucson in their own learning and their own Judaism in whatever way they view or approach their Judaism.” Cosponsors of the program also include Brake Masters, in memory of founders Eric and Shalom Laytin’s mother, and Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery.
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ARTS & CULTURE / LOCAL JHM seeks family photos for exhibit on Jewish arrival in Southern Arizona
Photo courtesy Jewish History Museum
he Jewish History Museum will stage a digital exhibit, “Mapping Migration,” that documents the trajectory of Jewish community migration to Southern Arizona through triptychs comprising historical to contemporary family photos. The exhibit will open Sept. 1. “Two things I particularly love about this concept are that it is inclusive of all who identify as Jewish and live in Southern Arizona, and that it helps tell the backstory of Jewish arrival in the region,” says JHM Executive Director Bryan Davis. Submissions must include three highresolution (300 dpi) scans of photos or digital photographs, as follows: 1. A photo of an individual or multiple family members that is the oldest known photo in your family’s history. 2. A photo that represents an iteration of your family’s lineage, perhaps a generation or more after the first photo. 3. A photo of your family in the present, which may include yourself. Include the year of the photo, names of all individuals pictured, and loca-
tion of the photo for each. Additionally, provide the year your family arrived in Southern Arizona. Submissions will only be included in the exhibit if they contain
all three images and descriptions. Email photos to submissions@ jewishhistorymuseum.org or visit www. jewishhistorymuseum.org/submissions
for more information. Digital projections of the photographic triptychs will be on long-term view in the Jewish History Museum.
June 15, 2018, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
COMMENTARY Bourdain used food to bridge divides — even between Arabs and Jews CHARLES DUNST JTA NEW YORK
Photo: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic/Getty Images
nthony Bourdain was quick — and often willing — to publicly offer his own flaws. “Until 44 years of age, I never had any kind of savings account,” Bourdain said in 2017. “[I] always owed money. I’d always been selfish and completely irresponsible.” Despite or maybe because of such flaws, Bourdain would stumble into fame, parlaying his latent talent as a writer into hosting three increasingly sophisticated variants of the same food-oriented travel show — first on the Food Network, then on the Travel Channel and finally on CNN. “For a long time, Tony thought he was going to have nothing,” his publisher, Dan Halpern, told The New Yorker. “He can’t believe his luck. He always seems happy that he actually is Anthony Bourdain.” In his professional ascendance, Bourdain developed a unique journalistic voice, demonstrating an underlying, at times seemingly innate ability to acquaint viewers with foreign lands and cultures diver-
Anthony Bourdain at the Whitby Hotel in New York, July 17, 2017.
gent from their own without mocking his subjects. Instead he humanized the local tapestry of individuals, implicitly encouraging his viewers to do the same. It is for this reason that various communities, including the Jewish community, trusted Bourdain with their respective cultures and heritages — and mourned deeply the news of his death, at 61, on Friday.
In the opening of the 2013 episode in which he visits Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Bourdain notes that the region is “easily the most contentious piece of real estate in the world. And there’s no hope — none — of ever talking about it without pissing somebody, if not everybody, off.” And yet, still simply happy to be here — happy to have accidentally secured the
reverence now attached to his name — he worries not of angering partisans, instead focusing on his task: telling individual stories through food. “By the end of this episode, I’ll be seen by many as a terrorist sympathizer, a Zionist tool, a self-hating Jew, an apologist for American imperialism, an orientalist, fascist, socialist CIA agent and worse. So here goes nothing,” he said. In addition to addressing his own internal struggles, by wrapping himself in tefillin at the Western Wall and praying, as a Jew, for the first time in his life (he described himself as “hostile to any sort of devotion”), Bourdain interrogates his subjects, who span the cultural, ethnic and political spectrums. He coaxes them to explicate the extremism of their respective communities. Over a meal in a Jewish settlement, Bourdain asks a resident about local graffiti reading “Death to Arabs”; the settler admits that it should “probably” be expunged. At the Aida refugee camp outside Bethlehem, he prods a local children’s theater director, asking why communal heroes See Bourdain, page 8
‘Radical inclusion’ of interfaith families is best response to Michael Chabon EDMUND C. CASE JTA
n an essay for JTA on Michael Chabon’s intermarriage views, Sylvia Barack Fishman, Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer describe a “left camp” that argues for greater acceptance, welcoming and inclusion of the inter-
married and their family members, and a “Jewish right” that argues for holding on to distinctions between the inmarried and the intermarried. As a proud member of the left camp, I’ve never said that marriage between two Jews is a bad thing, and if that is what Chabon meant, he’s wrong. But in his commencement speech last month at
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Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the novelist didn’t “inveigh against inmarriage itself.” This is what he actually said: “Any religion that relies on compulsory endogamy [inmarriage] to survive has, in my view, ceased to make the case for its continued validity in the everyday lives of human beings.” What Chabon rejects is compulsion when it comes to marriage partners. He doesn’t tell Jews they shouldn’t marry Jews. That would be just as compulsory, and just as misguided, as telling Jews they shouldn’t intermarry. It’s also not fair to say that Chabon wants to “dismantle Judaism.” Remember, this was a speech to HUC graduates. He explains that division and boundaries ultimately can lead to the feeling that “we are not those people over there.” His real concern is that religious traditions have justified or prettified the dirty work of denying other humans their humanity. In his charge to the graduates, Chabon urges them to move outward, opening hearts and minds to those on the other side; to knock down walls, find room in the Jewish community for all who want to share in our traditions; to expand the protective circle of Jewish teachings around the “other” and, yes, to seize the opportunity to enrich the Jewish cultural
genome by the changes that result from increased diversity – i.e., intermarriage. It doesn’t sound like dismantling Judaism to say, as Chabon does, that it has reinvented itself over history by being mutable and flexible, and that could and must happen again. Fishman and her co-authors write that those in the left camp don’t believe the right is sincerely committed to tolerance and welcoming. Their own words, perhaps unintentionally, undermine such a commitment. They talk about intermarriage as “a threat to the health of American Jewish life.” That analogizes intermarriage as an illness, sickness, virus, cancer. Saying that intermarriage is “a step toward Jewish self-destruction” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. With all respect, they don’t seem to understand the negative, off-putting impact that these kinds of statements have on interfaith couples who might otherwise be interested in engaging in Jewish life. If the authors really want more interfaith families to engage in Jewish life and community — a goal on which the right and the left could agree — why not emphasize the value and meaning that Jewish life provides, and treat as a great positive that many interfaith families in fact are experiencing that for themselves? See Chabon, page 8
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Jews should protest separating of families We have a special responsibility as Jews to stand up and stop the Administration policy of separating families of undocumented immigrants at the border. When I see the horrible pictures of children in detention centers, it brings to mind the powerful Arizona Theatre Company production of “Diary of Anne Frank” that I saw earlier this year. One of the harshest parts of the play was at the end when we were told about the Nazis separating the family apart after we got to know them in the show. The Jewish people have a long his-
tory in the United States standing up for marginalized groups, and it is time for us to step up on this issue. So what can we do? Right now we can write our politicians, and support protest against the policy. Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently proposed a law that would bar the intentional separation of asylum-seeking parents from their children when they cross the border. Hillel said: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” — Tony Zinman, Tucson Jews for Justice
the Organization of American States and the International Chamber of Commerce. He was the principal drafter of the Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits, introducing the international standard banking practice as the tool for the examination of letter of credit documents, which is followed worldwide. He has authored influential commercial law textbooks and has received numerous awards for his publications. Founded in 1992, the newly renamed Kozolchyk National Law Center, which is affiliated with the UA law school, has become the leading institution in the drafting and implementation of commercial laws and compilations of customs aimed at fostering economic development, especially for small and medium sized businesses around the world. Although Kozolchyk does not see the element of good faith practiced as much in government and business in the United States today, he remains optimistic. “I am very proud of my work,” says Kozolchyk. “I hope that people around the world are able to cooperate. Cooperation works, and it is a good legacy.”
continued from page 2
Court building in Israel. Ideas of the biologist E. O. Wilson also contribute to Kozolchyk’s approach to law and life. Wilson described animal societies, such as ants and bees, as the most successful because they exhibit the most cooperation. Wilson advocated the need to combine altruism and egotism because people need to look after themselves and their interests as well as the interests of others, and altruistic groups do better than selfish groups because they have more cooperation. “People need to combine the right forces to succeed,” says Kozolchyk. “These include trust, honesty, reasonableness, and fairness.” He adds that it is the responsibility of lawyers to be the guardians of good faith. Kozolchyk has pioneered the use of standard and best commercial practices as tools for economic development throughout the world, and has represented the United States in drafting treaties and uniform laws at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law,
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BOURDAIN continued from page 6
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are armed gunmen, hijackers and suicide bombers rather than TV stars or singers. The director, like the settler, offers a moderate apology, acknowledging that the situation is not healthy. In Israel proper, Bourdain speaks with the Jewish Natan Galkowicz, who lost a daughter in a missile attack from Gaza. “I know that my daughter was killed for no reason, and I know that people on the other side have been killed for no reason,” Galkowicz tells Bourdain. “Bottom line is, let’s stop with the suffering.” The father’s voice underscores the entirety of — that Israelis, Palestinians, Colombians, Georgians, Malaysians, Cambodians and Hungarians, among countless others, welcomed Bourdain into not only their locales and cultures but also into their own homes. He did not glorify conflict nor local struggles, but yearned to understand and talk about individuals within their midst.
CHABON continued from page 6
As they write, millions of Jews “cherish the cultural richness that the celebration of the Jewish calendar year brings to their lives and the lives of their families.” So, too, do many intermarried Jews and their families, just as they can be and are “captivated by the intellectual wealth, moral wisdom and cultural complexity of Judaic text study,” “the warmth of Jewish community” and the opportunity to “demand social justice in the name of Judaism” and to engage with Israel. Wouldn’t including interfaith families in that conversation attract instead of repel them? How mainstream Jewish leaders think and talk about intermarriage is what’s important, not what Michael Chabon did or didn’t say or mean. The deeper issue is that the right wants to hold on to distinctions between the inmarried and the intermarried. But there is a critically important difference between holding up distinctive Jewish traditions and saying that only those with distinctive Jewish identity can participate in those traditions. While recognizing that Jewish traditions have continuously adapted throughout Jewish history, I also recognize the positive salience of distinctive Jewish traditions. But in the context of intermarriage, distinguishing between Jews and their partners from different faith backgrounds is counterproductive. In order to engage interfaith families, Jews and Jewish leaders and organizations need to adopt radically inclusive attitudes — treating interfaith couples as equal to inmarried couples, and partners from different faith traditions
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Floating above the ocean of biased or one-sided media coverage that only serves to reinforce pre-existing communal extremism, Bourdain was a lifeboat of, and for, humanity. He made us all a little more interesting, a little smarter and a little more tolerant of others. A chef and accidental journalist, Bourdain did the type of reporting that all within the field, particularly in the midst of a global expansion of attacks on the free press, should aim to emulate. His suicide, ominously following news of this week’s CDC report indicating that suicide is rising sharply, shows perhaps how deeply he suffered from his own flaws and contradictions. It was these contradictions, however, that made Bourdain so quick to recognize and respect similar tensions in not only other individuals but in other communities. For his voice, and for all he taught his viewers, Bourdain will be severely missed, not only in the Jewish community but also, due to his international expansiveness, around the globe. Charles Dunst is an editorial fellow at JTA.
Editor’s note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7, is 1-800-273-8255.
as equal to Jews — and to embrace the radically inclusive policies that follow from those attitudes, supporting full and equal participation in Jewish life and community. That is the central thesis of the book I have written for publication in the spring of 2019. Radical inclusion is the opposite of the compulsory endogamy Chabon rejects, and opens up to the “other” distinctive Jewish traditions that offer ongoing validity for their lives. We need to broaden our thinking about heirs to Jewish tradition and include not only those who are born Jewish or Jews by choice, but those who are in relationships with Jews. We need to adapt our concept of Jewish “people” to a broader Jewish “community” that includes everyone who is Jewishly engaged — Jews, their partners from different faith backgrounds and their children — to welcome and include all of those people as heirs to our valuable heritage. The left is not indifferent to intermarriage and, unlike Chabon, does not celebrate intermarriage because it’s intermarriage. Instead, it celebrates any marriage involving a Jewish partner and seeks to maximize the Jewish engagement of those marriages. I urge those who are holding on to distinctions between the inmarried and the intermarried to consider what it would mean to maximize the Jewish engagement of interfaith families — the Jewish partner, the partner from a different faith background and, most important, their children. What steps can be taken toward that end? What do we lose by turning our backs on those families? What do we gain by embracing them? Which side of that question are you on? Edmund Case, the retired founder of InterfaithFamily, writes on intermarriage issues at www.edmundcase.com.
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LOCAL Tucson Jewish community has long, proud history of embracing refugees DEBE CAMPBELL AJP Editorial Assistant “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well. No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.” — Refugee poet Warsan Shire ach year the United Nations celebrates World Refugee Day on June 20 to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee their homes for fear of their lives, due to war, religious or political persecution, drought and famine, or conscription. Fleeing across borders in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, refugees take cover in squalid camps with thousands of others, seeking international United Nations refugee status recognition, which can take up to 20 years. Only then does the rigorous process of identification and vetting begin. It may take more years to achieve eligibility for legal, documented migration to a third country. Even then, the United Nations Refugee Agency controls their ultimate destiny, based on national quotas. When assigned to the U.S., the nine national resettlement agencies designate the destination community for resettlement. Three agencies currently resettle refugees in Tucson: the International Rescue Committee, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest and Catholic Community Services. “Tucson has a very long history of being a very supportive community for refugees,” Charles Shipman, the state refugee coordinator for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, told the Arizona Daily Star last year. Jewish Family & Children’s Services also resettled refugees in Tucson for 18
Photo: Debe Campbell
Factory owner Bruce Beyer (rear, in green) with newly hired refugees and other employees, June 1.
years, working initially with Jews from the former Soviet Union but later with non-Jews from countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. Faced with a reduction in the number of refugees allowed in the country after the 9/11 terror attacks and a corresponding reduction in federal funds for resettlement, JFCS closed its program in 2007. “Tucson has been a welcoming place and many refugees have been successful here,” confirms Jill Rich, who previously chaired the JFCS refugee resettlement committee. Although JFCS no longer resettles refugees in Tucson that does not put a stop to the Jewish community’s involvement and interest in reaching out to welcome these new Tucson residents. Disturbed by the federal refugee ban in March 2017, Jewish community member Brenda Landau approached a group of friends to sponsor an incoming refugee family. “We had 17 people on board
within three days,” she recalls. “We believe in equal rights for everyone, so we decided to help someone and requested a Muslim family to bridge the gap.” Within two weeks, the group had gone through sponsorship training by the resettlement agency, furnished an apartment, put sheets on the beds and hung a welcome sign for the incoming couple with four children. “If I had to say what the high point of my year was last year, it was bringing them into our family,” she says, pointing to children’s hand-drawn artwork. “They instantly felt like family,” she adds on behalf of the sponsor group. Synagogues and congregations frequently sponsored refugee families through JFCS in the past, and continue to do so. “We’ve learned so much about the people not having a place in the world,” says one sponsor, Anne Lowe. She now feels relaxed in her attitudes about strangers from different back-
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grounds. “It’s something I had to overcome, and I didn’t even realize I had anything to stop me from that interaction. It is people-to-people, community helping community. It is not about religion or politicizing things. They want to give back to the community,” she adds. Local community sponsors were instrumental in advocating for employment for their new families. “We hired a refugee who has skills that were underutilized where he was working and there was no English being spoken there,” says Dale Green, supervisor at a local Jewish agency. “He works hard to get done what needs to be done,” he says, adding that his employee is quick to jump in to help with anything. “He doesn’t want to be left out of being part of the team.” When communications become difficult, Google Translator comes to the rescue. “Everyone deserves a second chance, an opportunity to live the life they want to live. There are so many refugees in Tucson. We support them and want to make sure they live healthy productive lives,” Green says. He realizes such employees can feel lonely without others who share their language, culture and beliefs. He is happy that this employee’s wife may obtain a childcare position at the same facility. When hired, she will join another refugee woman who began working 14 months ago, shortly after her family arrived. “Our hearts and arms are very open to receiving good workers,” says Lori Maurer, the center’s administrative director. Among the 90 staff members in her department there are many languages spoken. “We have so many immigrants here like her, who came with very little English. Now she has no difficulty communicating. Everyone loves her,” adds Maurer. “I don’t even get homesick here, everyone has helped me a lot, and I thank See Refugees, page 10
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REFUGEES continued from page 9
you so much,” the staffer says in perfect English. Outside the facility, a contractor provides security services, overseen by Green. One guard is a refugee who gained his U.S. citizenship in October. “Everyone loves him,” says Green. Those frequenting the facility will recognize him as the friendly crossing guard, always ready with a warm smile and a kind word for parents and children. Refugee staff from a kosher catering company last Sunday held a Syrian and Iraqi cooking class at a local community center, while a local kosher deli recently hired another refugee worker. Last month local factory owner Bruce Beyer expanded his workforce to complete a large customer order. Fortunately, a local refugee resettlement agency over the past 18 months trained a cadre of women to sew. Along with their sewing skills, these women brought three new cultures and languages to the factory floor and immediately began churning out quality, completed products. Encouraged, Beyer is excited
Celebrate love on the Anniversary of Marriage Equality
about the growth opportunity “Everyone deserves a free life, doing what they can to improve themselves and their community,” says Beyer. “Many people move around the U.S. too, for jobs or a better lifestyle and we think nothing of it. There is no reason anyone in the world should not have the same opportunity.” In Tucson, the Refugee & Immigration Provider Network will celebrate World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 16 at Catalina Magnet High School, 3645 E. Pima St. At 10 a.m., there will be opening remarks and a youth citizenship ceremony, where refugee children receive citizenship papers. Around noon a Family Fun Fest will start, with cultural performances, activities, games, giveaways, handicrafts and Syrian sweets sales. The public is invited. For more ways to become involved in Tucson’s refugee community, join Arizona Welcomes Refugees on Facebook. Debe Campbell works part-time as a refugee employment specialist at Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Refugees’ names and other identifiers have been omitted out of an abundance of caution.
DEADLINE FOR GREETINGS IS TUESDAY, JUNE 19 The Arizona Jewish Post is pleased to offer our readers an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26, 2015 decision on marriage equality with a personal greeting in the AJP’s June 29, 2018 edition. $5 from every ad purchased will be donated to JPride, a joint program of the Tucson Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.
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LOCAL UA hosts talks by Israeli water, energy experts
s part of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center’s ongoing efforts to compare water management experiences of Israel and Arizona, the WRRC has scheduled two lectures this spring and summer. On May 21, Uri Shani, Ph.D., a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presented “The Red-Dead Conduit — A Regional Approach to Water Scarcity.” Shani served as general manager and chairman of the Israeli Governmental Water and Sewage Authority (2006-2011), chairman of the steering committee for the Red Sea — Dead Sea Conduit (2007-2015). He is the founder, major shareholder and chairman of NDrip, which has developed a novel irrigation technology that combines flood irrigation infrastructure and costs with drip irrigation advantages. His lecture provided an overview of the water challenges faced by Israel and its neighbors and what Israel has been doing to address them. He spoke of the Israeli-JordanianPalestinian agreement to develop a pilot Red Sea desalination plant in Jordan and exchange water. This project exemplifies Shani’s premise that regional approaches can lead to water solutions rather than conflicts. The presentation slides can be accessed at www.wrrc.arizona.edu/ events/brown-bag/policy-principles-reddead-conduit-and-regional-solutions. On Wednesday, July 18 at 8:30 a.m., the WRRC will host a seminar by two experts from the Arava region of Israel.
David Lehrer, executive director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, and Dorit Davidovich Banet, founder and CEO of Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy, will present “Food, Water, and Energy in the Arava Valley: Turning disadvantage to advantage in the hyper-arid climate of the region.” More information on the seminar, which will be held at the WRRC, 350 N. Campbell Avenue, can be found at www.wrrc.arizona.edu/brownbag-seminars or 621-9591. “Israel is recognized globally for its water management and technology accomplishments. It is always exciting to host Israeli water and environmental professionals, who are most gracious about sharing their expertise, as well as interested in learning more about the water issues of our region,” says WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D.
Clarification: The articles in the June 1 issue on the Lions of Judah trip to Italy and Deanna Evenchik-Brav’s upcoming Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award honors at the international Lions conference should have stated that the local Lions of Judah program is part of Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.
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CONGREGATION CHAVERIM 5901 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 320-1015 Rabbi Stephanie Aaron • www.chaverim.net Shabbat services: Fri., 7 p.m. (no service on 5th Fri.); Family Shabbat, 1st Fri., 6 p.m. / Torah study: 2nd Sat., 9 a.m., followed by contemplative service,10 a.m.
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, June 15, 2018
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Congregation m’Kor hayim 3888 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 (Tucson Hebrew Academy) Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31806, Tucson, AZ 85751 • (520) 904-1881 Rabbi Helen Cohn • www.mkorhayim.org Shabbat services: 2nd and 4th Fri., 7 p.m. / Torah study, 2nd and 4th Sat., 9:30 a.m.
Congregation or Chadash 3939 N. Alvernon, Tucson, AZ 85718 • (520) 512-8500 Rabbi Thomas Louchheim, Cantor Janece Cohen www.orchadash-tucson.org Shabbat services: Fri., 6:30 p.m.; 1st Fri., Friday Night LIVE (Oct.-May); 2nd Friday, Tot Shabbat (Oct.-June), 6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. / Torah study: Sat.,8:30 a.m.
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Murder of Jew in Germany fuels anti-migrant backlash
A picture of Susanna Maria Feldmann is placed among flowers at a makeshift memorial in Wiesbaden where the 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered by an Iraqi asylum seeker, June 8, 2018.
TOBY AXELROD JTA
n Germany, the case of a young Muslim refugee charged with the rape and murder of a teenage girl has captured media attention and rocked Germany’s Jewish community: The victim, 14-year-old Susanna Feldmann, was Jewish. Missing since May 22, the girl’s body was found June 6 buried in a shallow grave near her hometown of Mainz. The case has rattled Germany, which is beset with worries about crime emanating from the large Muslim refugee population — many of whom are young, single men, frustrated and aimless. Before it appeared that anti-Semitism likely played no role in this crime, the story spread in German Jewish social media circles — so much so that the Central Council of Jews in Germany stepped in with a statement meant both to show sympathy and douse flames. “A young life has been cruelly cut short. Our deepest sympathy goes to her relatives and friends,” the council’s president, Josef Schuster, said in a media statement June 7 that noted the family’s membership in the Mainz Jewish community. But, he added, “premature conclusions or speculation [about the case] are out of the question.” Schuster told JTA that he decided to comment in part because he had “heard that in social media the victim was being instrumentalized for xenophobic, anti-migration ends.” He said the case, which he called “very tragic,” is relevant to everyone in Germany, not just to Jews. While many facts have come out since the body of Susanna Feldmann was found and the suspect was arrested and interrogated, the incident still feeds populist speculation and anger at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in 2015 opened the door to more than a Tired of dealing with tenant issues? Let a professional with 20+ years of experience handle the hassles for you.
million refugees from the war-torn Middle East on humanitarian grounds. Many are young, single men between 16 and 30 years old — like Ali Bashar, the 20-year-old former asylum seeker who admitted killing Susanna. “There are no young women here” for migrants like him, Susanne Schroter, director of the Global Islam Research Center at Goethe University in Frankfurt, said in an interview Saturday with the web.de online magazine. “We’re no longer talking about isolated cases” of violence against women, she said, adding that German society urgently needed to confront reality. “I’m not making a blanket accusation against refugees, Arabic men or Muslims,” Schroter said. “But we clearly are going through something I would call a culture clash.” Many of these men believe that any woman who is not wearing a headscarf, who shows a bit of skin in the summertime, who drinks alcohol and smokes, is a “slut,” she said. The tragic story of Susanna Feldmann begins on the night of May 22, when she failed to return home after a night out with friends. According to news reports, her worried mother, Diana, received a WhatsApp message that heightened her fears: “Mama, I’m not coming home. I’m with a friend in Paris. Don’t look for me. I’ll be back in two or three weeks. Bye.” Susanna was likely already dead when the message was sent. On June 6, after a 13-year-old boy who had lived in the same refugee shelter with Bashar turned informant, Susanna’s body was found in a shallow grave in a park near Mainz. Social and news media exploded with news that the suspect in her rape and murder was a Muslim
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Kurdish refugee who fled Germany with his family back to their native Iraq. The fact that Susanna was Jewish also leaped into headlines. There was speculation about Bashar’s family leaving with airline tickets that did not match their ID. In addition, Bashar apparently is a suspect in other violent crimes committed in Germany. (He was denied asylum but granted a stay of deportation so he could appeal.) Ultimately, Kurdish elite forces arrested Bashar on Saturday in Erbil, Iraq. German police took him in handcuffs on a flight to Frankfurt, where he was interrogated. Bashar admitted to the murder but contested the rape charge. There is no indication of any anti-Semitic motive. The story fed right into the populist cauldron of anger at refugees and at the liberal mindset. As a card at one makeshift memorial read: “Susanna, 14 years old, victim of tolerance.” A legislator from the right-populist, anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany held a minute of silence for Susanna in the Bundestag on Friday, and was roundly accused of politicizing the murder. On Sunday, two clashing demonstrations with several hundred participants were held in Mainz. On one side, right-populist, anti-Merkel protesters carried candles and photos of Susanna. On the other, jeering counterdemonstrators toted signs condemning violence against women and “right-wing instrumentalization.” More rallies are being planned. The fact that Susanna was Jewish is barely mentioned
in later news stories, and that is fitting, Schuster said. “I assume that a girl of any religious background could have become a victim as well,” the Jewish leader said. Schuster decried the abuse of such cases “by right populists.” “They use victims as a means to an end, and that’s simply disgraceful,” he said. Initial speculation that the crime could have had anti-Semitic motivations was quickly set aside, noted Elio Adler, a Berliner who founded the Jewish nonpartisan political group Values Initiative that has criticized Merkel’s policy on refugees. Early on, Adler had shared the news about Susanna on Facebook, emphasizing that she was Jewish. There was a sense of personal connection to the victim because of her Jewishness, he told JTA. But otherwise “there is no special conclusion to draw from this case.” “It just shows where the system in the big picture doesn’t work properly” — regarding the intake and integration of refugees. “And maybe this is going to be a turning point,” Adler said. Schuster sees this as one of many cases from which German politics must learn. “I expect the judiciary to come down just as hard on crimes by migrants as it does on crimes by Germans,” he said. But “if someone abuses his privilege to remain in Germany as a guest, the consequences for his right of residence must be examined and the full force of the law applied.” As one Jewish Facebook member said in a post, if Germany had ejected Ali Bashar based on earlier crimes or abuses, “Susanna might still be alive.”
NEWS BRIEFS “The Band’s Visit,” a jewel-box mu- United Nations Nikki Haley opposes the sical based on an Israeli film about an measure and has proposed amendments
Egyptian band stranded in a hardscrabble Negev town, won the 2018 Tony Award for best musical. “The Band’s Visit” dominated its categories during the 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night. Ari’el Stachel, the California-born son of an IsraeliYemeni father and an Ashkenazi mother from New York, won the award for best featured actor in a musical for his performance as a romantic Egyptian trumpeter in the musical. Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”) won for Best Actor in a Musical and Katrina Lenk for best actress in a musical for their roles as, respectively, the leader of the band and the Israeli cafe owner who takes him in. “The Band’s Visit” also won awards for best book (by Itamar Moses), best direction of a musical, best original score (by David Yazbek), best lighting design, best orchestration and best sound design. Stachel, 26, is making his Broadway debut in “The Band’s Visit.” The play is based on the 2007 award-winning Israeli movie directed by Eran Kolirin. In her acceptance speech, Lenk paid tribute to the late Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz, who originated her role in the film. In his acceptance speech, Stachel acknowledged his parents, who were in the audience, saying the musical led him to again embrace an identity he had long avoided. “Both my parents are here tonight. I have avoided so many events with them because for so many years of my life I pretended I was not a Middle Eastern person,” he said. “And after 9/11 it was very, very difficult for me, and so I concealed and I missed so many special events with them. And they’re looking at me right now and I can’t believe it.” He also thanked producer Orin Wolf “for telling a small story about Arabs and Israelis getting along at a time where we need that more than ever.”
The United Nations General Assembly at an emergency meeting on Gaza was to vote on a resolution that con-
demns Israel for an “excessive use of force.” The measure to be voted on Wednesday afternoon was backed by Arab countries and also called for “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza. It is similar to one that was introduced at the U.N. Security Council earlier this month that was vetoed by the United States. Some 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests along the Gaza border began on March 30, including many who are members of the Hamas terrorist group that controls the strip. There have not been any Israeli casualties, though thousands of acres of Israeli agricultural land and woodlands have been burned by incendiary kites and explosives-laden balloons flown from Gaza into southern Israel in order to start fires. U.S. Ambassador to the
that condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, inciting violence during the border protests and using resources that could help civilians build terror tunnels to infiltrate Israel. Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are nonbinding, while Security Council resolutions are binding. In a similar scenario in December, the General Assembly approved a resolution condemning the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by a wide margin after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council. Nine countries voted against the resolution, including Israel, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Togo, and 35 abstained, including EU member states Poland, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Latvia. The rest of the European Union was among the 128 nations that voted in favor.
Pope Francis called on his emissaries and followers to never forget the Holocaust. “The memory of the Shoah
and its atrocious violence must never be forgotten,” the pope said in a message through the Vatican’s secretary of state in Berlin to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Neocatechumenal Way. “It should be a constant warning for all of us of an obligation to reconciliation, of reciprocal comprehension and love toward our ‘elder brothers,’ the Jews.” The Neocatechumenal Way is one of the Catholic Church’s biggest and most controversial missionary movements. The movement, founded in Spain in the 1960s, works to teach Catholic adults within their faith and each year sends out families on missions around the globe. Missionaries — estimates say there as many as 1 million — have been accused of cultural insensitivity. Among the events over the weekend marking the anniversary was a Symphonic-Catechetical celebration at the Berlin Philharmonic commemorating Holocaust victims. “The Suffering of the Innocents” was composed by Kiko Argüello, the Neocatechumenal Way’s co-founder. “Rooted in and inspired by the Biblical lamentation, this symphony commemorates the many victims of the Shoah,” read the message the pope sent through the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro-Parolin, to the archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, which was read aloud at the event. Pope Francis, the former cardinal of Buenos Aires, in December called the Holocaust a “hell” in a book on Nazi medical experiments. “The human arrogance exposed during the Shoah was the action of people who felt like gods, and shows the aberrant dimension in which we can fall if we forget where we came from and where we are going,” the pope wrote. June 15, 2018, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
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ormer U.S. congressional representative and Tucson resident Gabrielle Giffords brought aphasia into the public eye during recovery from the 2011 mass shooting at her “Congress on Your Corner” event in northwest Tucson. Two million people in the United States have aphasia, a communication disorder, but 84.5 percent of Americans say they have never heard the term aphasia. National Aphasia Awareness Month each June strives to change that. Aphasia can rob individuals of their ability to speak, understand language, read and write. The cause is damage to the language areas of the brain, typically as the result of stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, infection or degeneration. In Giffords’ case, it was a gunshot to the head. The Aphasia Center of Tucson guided and continues to guide Giffords’ path to recovery of her ability to speak. Fabi Hirsch, Ph.D., directs the center, with more than 20 years of experience as a certified speech-language pathologist. Supporting the challenge is a significant rank of devoted volunteers, graduate students and patient family members. Jewish community member Suzy Gershman is among those volunteers. She came to the center at the side of her
Volunteers at the Aphasia Center of Tucson practice a memory game with Director Fabi Hirsch (right).
friend and neighbor Giffords. Accompanying and participating with Giffords in therapy, Gershman became interested in the work and stayed on at the center as a volunteer. “It’s fun, the people are lovely, and it’s a family atmosphere,” she says. “This really helps people communicate,” she adds, referring to the group and individual therapy sessions. The center offers 6- and 12-week semester group pro-
grams, twice weekly for three hours each. Group work includes conversation and word challenges, numbers, reading, listening to and discussing TED talks, and brain stretching exercises. Participants include attorneys, professors, mechanics, computer programmers, retirees, and even a weatherman. It is a wide spectrum of people from all socioeconomic, ethnic and educational backgrounds,
says Hirsch. “We never turn anyone away,” she adds, noting that the center has received an increasing number of younger people suffering from stroke. Patients present with various levels of communication capabilities. Gershman described one man who speaks perfectly but has no comprehension of others’ speech. Gershman elaborated: “He will listen intently to a series of instructions and then declare, ‘I didn’t understand a word you said.’” However, he understands the words when they are written. Another patient recognizes an object and can mimic how it is used. Yet when he tries to describe it in words, it makes no sense. Another tells a story in staccato key words. Hirsch patiently works to help fill in the blanks until she earns a bright smile and a resounding, “Yes!” Aphasia does not affect intelligence; it affects the ability to communicate. One long-time volunteer says she continues to participate because the patients are interesting. “Some worked for Harvard, British Petroleum, were high ranking government officials … they become comfortable in this setting and can learn faster without anxiety. Fabi is so wonderful and kind. She works well with people. It makes it a very positive environment.” “The center is the only place in Arizona with a comprehensive group program,” Hirsch says, adding that group work includes lunch and frequent social outings. “Aphasia can be isolating. The socialization is a big benefit. Friendships form, they go hike, meet for lunch and even travel together.” “The Aphasia Center is great for the Tucson community,” adds Giffords. Since its inception six years ago, the Aphasia Center has been part of Saguaro Speech & Language. To build capacity and funding, the center is moving under the non-profit umbrella of Friends of
Aphasia, newly formed by Hirsch, Giffords and Gershman. “We need more research to provide innovative treatment for people,” Hirsch says. Expanding access to patient-centered aphasia therapy, building community awareness, education and advocacy also are goals. Something as simple as a loaner iPad program would be helpful, so patients who cannot speak can learn to use a communication tool. With donated pads, patients could learn to use them and decide if they like them before they buy one, says Hirsch. It would greatly expand the aphasia-friendly resources that the center provides clients. For more information, visit www. AphasiaCenterOfTucson.com.
Aphasia Facts • A disorder that affects ability to communicate • Affects one or several areas of communication: talking, understanding, writing, reading • Caused by damage to language areas of the brain (usually left side) • Brain damage causes: stroke, transient ischemic attack, head injury, brain tumor, surgery, encephalitis, degeneration • The most common cause is stroke • Affects well over one million Americans • More than 100,000 Americans acquire aphasia each year • Growing number of people in stroke-prone ages (Baby Boomers) • Stroke incidence doubles with each decade after age 55 • Aphasia can occur in any human
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These Jews are leading the fight for equal treatment of women in health care ABIGAIL PICKUS
Photo courtesy Hadassah
Hadassah leads a 28-organization coalition focused on raising awareness and advocating for policies to address women’s health disparities. The coalition hosted its second annual summit in Washington, D.C., on May 16, 2018.
sorts of areas. Women metabolize drugs differently than men and often present symptoms differently. Yet medical research, diagnostic tools and treatments usually are centered on male physiology — even in animal and cellular research subjects. As a result, women suffer greater risks from inadequate prevention strategies and medical treatment. For example, an advanced artificial heart that was designed to fit 86 percent of men’s chest cavities fit just 20 percent of women’s. The original prescribed dose for the sleep aid Ambien turned out to have dangerous side effects for women; it had been tested exclusively on men. Women under age 55 expe-
childbirth and postpartum. The United States ranks 50th globally for its infant mortality rate and is one of eight countries where the rate is climbing. During last year’s back and forth over the Affordable Care Act, the coalition pushed Senate leaders to oppose changes in the law, informally known as Obamacare, that would have limited access to preventive health services, disproportionately affecting women of color, women with disabilities and lowincome women. Hadassah and the coalition hosted the 2nd Annual Women’s Health Empowerment Summit in Washington, D.C., to coincide with Women’s Health Week (May 13-19). The May 16 conference brought together women’s health experts and Washington officials to discuss risks, research and legislative recommendations to promote women’s health equity. Mirza was among the speakers.
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riencing a heart attack are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed and sent home from the emergency room than males presenting with the same symptoms, according to research recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America has made leveling the playing field for women a top priority. Two years ago, Hadassah launched the Coalition for Women’s Health Equity, so the nation’s most prominent women’s and health organizations could create a unified force to advocate for women’s health equity. Today, the 28-member coalition is focused on raising awareness and advocating for policies to address women’s health disparities. Coalition members helped push legislators in Congress to introduce the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017, a bill to help reduce the death rate among mothers during pregnancy,
Photo courtesy Starr Mirza
y the time Starr Mirza went into cardiac arrest at age 22 and nearly died, she had spent a lifetime trying to convince doctors she was sick. “The doctors were always pulling my parents aside and saying, ‘She’s doing this for attention. There is nothing physically wrong with her. You need to send her to a psychiatrist,’” recalled Mirza, now 38, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. But despite seeing more than 100 doctors during her teenage years to treat extreme fatigue and regular fainting spells, it wasn’t until Mirza went into cardiac arrest in 2002 that her doctors finally did the tests necessary to determine her diagnosis. They discovered Mirza has Long QT syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the heart’s rhythm and sometimes causes sudden death. “The electrical part of my heart was short-circuiting,” Mirza said. “But because I am female, I was just considered hysterical all these years.” She’s not alone. Recent studies have shown that female patients routinely are undertreated and forced to wait longer than males for appropriate medication — by doctors of both genders. Women also are likely to receive less aggressive medical treatment than men in their initial encounters with the health care system until they prove that they are as sick as male patients. That phenomenon was dubbed the “Yentl syndrome” by cardiologist Bernadine Healy in 1991 after the Isaac Bashevis Singer character, a young Polish girl who pretends to be a boy so she can study in a yeshiva. The gender disparity extends to all
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“Hadassah is committed to pooling our organization’s wisdom, experience and resources in the fight against gender disparities and inequities in all aspects of health,” said Ellen Hershkin, Hadassah’s national president. “We believe every woman deserves quality, affordable and equitable health care, and we will continue to work alongside coalition members and policymakers until we achieve that.” Hadassah is well known in Israel for bringing modern health care to the country in 1912. Originally founded to provide emergency care to infants and mothers in prestate Israel, Hadassah Hospitals’ medical and research centers have led to breakthroughs in treatments of such diseases as multiple sclerosis, melanoma and macular degeneration. In America, where the women’s organization has over 300,000 members, Hadassah has been focusing on education and grassroots advocacy — particularly when it comes to equity in women’s medical research. Jill Lesser, president of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, one of the original members of the Coalition for Women’s Health Equity, says it’s important that the conversation about women’s health issues not be limited to women’s reproductive parts — “bikini medicine” — such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and death during childbirth.
Alzheimer’s, for example, is predominately a women’s disease: Nearly two-thirds of the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women, according to WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s. “When we talk about women’s health and women’s health equity, we really need to talk about women’s health at all ages, not just the ‘bikini health’ thinking about women’s reproductive organs,” Lesser said. “That’s why what Hadassah is doing by convening this coalition is so important.” Hershkin says Hadassah’s work in this area is just beginning. In conjunction with the summit, Hadassah hosted a women’s health and advocacy conference in Washington, “From Passion to Action,” May 15-17. On the 17th, Hershkin led a delegation of women from across the country for a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. “Women’s health doesn’t advance itself,” Hershkin said. “We have to fight to advance it.” This article was sponsored by and produced in partnership with Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., which is celebrating the 100th year of Hadassah Medical Organization, the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing and the Hadassah Ophthalmology Department. This article was produced by JTA’s native content team.
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A new study for cancer risk in Ashkenazi Jews aims to be a model for genetic testing
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JOSEFIN DOLSTEN JTA NEW YORK new study will provide free testing for three mutations that substantially increase the risk for developing breast, ovarian and prostate cancer among people with Eastern European Jewish ancestry. The BRCA Founder Outreach Study (BFOR), which was launched in March, will test 4,000 men and women in four U.S. cities — New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston — for mutations in the BRCA gene that are more common among those with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Those who test positive for one of the mutations will receive genetic counseling to figure out next steps. “We think it’s important because it will save lives,” Dr. Kenneth Offit, who is serving on the study’s executive committee, told JTA. The BRCA gene is found in all humans, but mutations can cause it to func-
tion improperly and increase the risk of developing certain cancers: breast and ovarian in women, breast and prostate in men. Those with Ashkenazi Jewish roots are 10 times more likely to have a BRCA mutation than the general population, with one in 40 carrying a mutation in the gene. But the study’s goal extends beyond cancer or Ashkenazi Jews, said Offit, who serves as chief of the clinical genetics service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center here. “We think it’s a model for the future of genetic testing in health care,” he said. What’s new about the way testing is conducted in the BFOR study, Offit said, is the fact that patients sign up online and can choose to receive their results from their primary care provider. The testing will be free for participants, and the study is open to anyone over 25 years old who has health insurance and at least one grandparent with Ashkenazi heritage. “This study is different because we’re making an effort to ensure that the test-
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ing is not done at a distance from your doctor. We’re really reaching out to have doctors involved,” Offit said. In 1996, Offit discovered the most common BRCA gene mutation for Ashkenazi Jews, but he said the vast majority of people have not been tested for the mutation or the two others that are prevalent in the group. “In the [Ashkenazi] Jewish community, where these mutations are quite common, we think that probably 90 percent of people who could be tested have not been tested,” he said. Offit said some people are scared of finding out the results and view testing as too much of a hassle. In addition, insurance companies only cover testing for those with a family history of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, but up to 40 percent of those with the mutation do not have a family history of those types of cancer, according to Offit. An Israeli study published in 2014 recommended that all Ashkenazi women age 30 and over should be screened for BRCA mutations. Women with a BRCA mutation have a risk as high as 80 percent of developing breast cancer and as high as 40 percent of developing ovarian cancer. Men with a mutation have an increased risk of developing breast and prostate cancer. The BFOR study, which received funding from the Sharon Levine Corzine Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other donors, allows people to register on their smartphone or computer, receiving testing at a local laboratory. They can choose whether to receive the results from a primary care provider or a cancer specialist. Primary care providers will receive training about how to provide follow-up counseling if a patient tests positive. For those who test positive for a BRCA mutation, there are steps that can
be taken to lower cancer risk, Offit said. Since ovarian cancer is almost always discovered at an advanced stage, it is recommended that women with a BRCA mutation have their ovaries surgically removed after they finish childbearing. In terms of reducing the risk of developing breast cancer, some women choose to undergo a mastectomy, while others elect to get frequent breast screenings. Men should be screened regularly for prostate cancer, including by taking a test to measure the level of PSA, a protein that could indicate prostate cancer. Offit said doctors should use a lower cutoff for the level of PSA for men who have a BRCA mutation in order to perform a biopsy to check for cancer. Offit hopes to learn more about how people opt to receive the test results — whether through their primary care providers or a specialist — and how many primary care providers will feel comfortable giving the information to their patients. “Yes, we will be testing many individuals of Ashkenazi background and we will save lives for sure because we know that,” he said, “but the research question is to improve the way we offer this information to the whole population.” Offit said similar testing could be offered for the general population for a wide variety of diseases. The executive committee consists of doctors from institutions in the four cities. Offit said he is hoping to launch a larger study later this year. For those who are not eligible to participate in the study, he recommends speaking to a doctor about risk factors. For those who do not have a family history of breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, insurance does not cover testing for BRCA mutations. In those cases, Offit recommends regular screenings for breast and prostate cancer.
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COMMUNITY CALENDAR The calendar deadline is Tuesday, 10 days before the issue date. Our next issue will be published June 29, 2018. Events may be emailed to ofﬁce@azjewishpost.com, faxed to 319-1118, or mailed to the AJP at 3718 E. River Road, #272, Tucson, AZ 85718. For more information, call 319-1112. See Area Congregations on page 12 for additional synagogue events. Men’s Mishnah club with Rabbi Israel Becker at Cong. Chofetz Chayim. Sundays, 7:15 a.m.; Monday-Friday, 6:15 a.m.; Saturdays, 8:15 a.m. 747-7780 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Chabad of Sierra Vista men’s teﬁllin club with Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, ﬁrst Sundays, 9 a.m., at 401 Suﬀolk Drive. 820-6256 or www. jewishsierravista.com. “Too Jewish” radio show with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon on KVOI 1030 AM (also KAPR and KJAA), Sundays at 9 a.m. June 17, Beth Warren, author of “Secrets of a Kosher Girl: A 21Day Nourishing Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Even If You're Not Jewish).” June 24, Eric Lindbergh of Nefesh Mountain, Jewish bluegrass duo recording artists. Beth Shalom Temple Center of Green Valley bagel breakfast and Yiddish club, ﬁrst Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Members, $7; nonmembers, $10. 648-6690 or 399-3474.
ONGOING Temple Emanu-El mah jongg, Mondays, 10 a.m. 327-4501. Cong. Anshei Israel mah jongg, Mondays, 10 a.m.-noon. All levels, men and women. Contact Evelyn at 885-4102 or email@example.com. Tucson J current events discussion, Mondays, noon-1:30 p.m. Members, $1; nonmembers, $2. Bring or buy lunch, 11:30 a.m. 299-3000, ext. 147. Cong. Bet Shalom yoga. Mondays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. $5. 577-1171. Jewish sobriety support group meets Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m. at Cong. Bet Shalom. firstname.lastname@example.org. Spouse Bereavement Group, cosponsored by Widowed to Widowed, Inc. at the Tucson J, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Contact Marvin at 885-2005 or Tanya at 299-3000, ext. 147.
Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society, second Sundays, 1-3 p.m. at the Tucson J. Contact Barbara Stern Mannlein at 731-0300 or the J at 299-3000.
JFCS Holocaust Survivors group meets Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-noon. Contact Raisa Moroz at 7950300.
Tucson J Israeli Dance, taught by Brandi Hawkins, 2nd and 4th Sundays, partners, 4:456 p.m., open circle, 6-7 p.m. Members, $8; nonmembers, $10. 299-3000.
Integral Jewish Meditation group led by Brian Schachter-Brooks, Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., at Cong. Bet Shalom, free. www.torahofawakening.com.
FRIDAY / JUNE 15
NOON-3 PM: Tucson J class, summer pies, with Executive Pastry Chef Jaime Lawhorn. Members $50; nonmembers $60. Register at www.tucsonjcc.org or 299-3000.
5:45 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Family Shabbat Experience Service & Dinner. Followed by dinner at 7 p.m.: members, $25 family of 2 adults and up to 4 children; nonmember family $30; adult (13+) $10. RSVP for dinner availability at 745-5550 or www.caiaz.org.
SATURDAY / JUNE 16 NOON: Cong. Anshei Israel “Zip Code” Kiddush. Mingle with neighbors; tables arranged by zip code. Free. 745-5550 or www.caiaz.org. 1:30-3:30 PM: Secular Humanist Jewish Circle Salon, "How Jewish was Turn-ofthe-Century Vienna?" with Thomas Kovach, UA Professor, Department of German Studies. Free. RSVP for directions to Becky at 296-3762 or email@example.com
SUNDAY / JUNE 17 3:15 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Summer Film Series. “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.” Popcorn and lemonade. Free. 745-5550 or www.caiaz.org.
MONDAY / JUNE 18 7 PM: Israel Scouts Tzoﬁm Caravan free performance at Tucson J. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNDAY / JUNE 24 9:15 AM: Jewish War Veterans FriedmanPaul Post 201 breakfast meeting at B'nai B'rith Covenant House, 4414 E. 2nd St. Contact Seymour Shapiro at 398-5360.
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, June 15, 2018
3:45 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Summer Film Series. “An American Tail – Fieval Goes West.” Popcorn and lemonade. Free. 745-5550 or www.caiaz.org.
MONDAY / JUNE 25 7-9 PM: Tucson Tikkun Community presents “Healthy Air is in our Hands Strategies,” with Skye Siegel, Pima County Department of Environmental Quality community outreach coordinator. At Tucson City Council Ward 6 oﬃce, 3202 E. 1st St. Contact Michael Zaccaria at email@example.com.
TUESDAY / JUNE 26 8 AM-NOON: Cong. Chofetz Chayim/Southwest Torah Institute, JFSA and Tucson J present The Connection: Taste of Talmud, interactive learning for men with rabbis and yeshiva scholars. Continues daily through July 17. At Congregation Chofetz Chayim. Register at www.tucsontorah.org/the-connection.html. 7-9 PM: Cong. Chofetz Chayim/Southwest Torah Institute, JFSA and Tucson J present The Connection: Drop in Learning, interactive learning for men with rabbis and yeshiva scholars. Continues daily through July 17. At Congregation Chofetz Chayim. Register at www.tucsontorah. org/the-connection.html.
WEDNESDAY / JUNE 27 7-8 PM: Cong. Chofetz Chayim/Southwest
Tucson J social bridge. Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon-3 p.m., year round. Drop-ins welcome. Meets in library on second ﬂoor. 2993000. Tucson J canasta group. Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon. Instruction available and a beginners’ table every week. Call or text Lisa at 977-4054. Cong. Anshei Israel Talmud on Tuesday with Rabbi Robert Eisen. Meets 6 p.m. 7455550. Tucson J Israeli dance classes. Tuesdays. Beginners, 7:30 p.m.; intermediate, 8:15 p.m.; advanced, 9 p.m. Taught by Lisa Goldberg. Members, $8; nonmembers, $10. 299-3000. Shalom Tucson business networking group, second Wednesdays, 8-9 a.m., at the Tucson J. 299-3000, ext. 241, or concierge@ jewishtucson.org. Cong. Anshei Israel gentle chair yoga with Lois Graham, Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Members of Women’s League, $6 per class; nonmembers, $8 per class. Contact Evelyn at 885-4102 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Chabad of Sierra Vista women’s class Torah Institute, JFSA and Tucson J present The Connection: Torah Together, interactive learning for men with rabbis and student scholars. At JFSA, 3718 E. River Road. Register at www.tucsontorah.org/torah-together.html. 7-8 PM: Cong. Chofetz Chayim/Southwest Torah Institute, JFSA and Tucson J present The Connection: Torah in Three Dimensions, women’s in-depth study of the Medrash (interpretation and commentary on biblical text) with Esther Becker. At JFSA, 3718 E. River Road. Register at www.tucsontorah.org/torah-inthree-dimension.html.
THURSDAY / JUNE 28 7 PM: Cong. Chofetz Chayim/Southwest Torah Institute, JFSA and Tucson J present Kumzitz, a musical gathering with food for men and women at the home of Rabbi Israel and Esther Becker. Register at www.tucsontorah.org/ the-connection.html.
SATURDAY / JUNE 30 5 PM: Temple Emanu-El Wandering Jews and Babies and Bagels Havdallah hike, dinner, and service at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. First 50 people get free admission. To register or for more information, call 327-4501.
TUESDAY / JULY 2 7 PM: Cong. Chofetz Chayim/Southwest Torah Institute, JFSA and Tucson J present The Connection: Not Just Words, A Guide to Understanding Prayer. Continues July 3-5 and 8-12. At Congregation Chofetz Chayim. Register at www.tucsontorah.org/the-connection.html.
with Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, last Wednesdays, 2 p.m., 401 Suﬀolk Drive. 820-6256 or www.jewishsierravista.com. Chabad Tucson lunch and learn with Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin, Wednesdays, 12:15 p.m. at Eli’s Deli. info@ChabadTucson.com. Jewish mothers/grandmothers special needs support group for those with children/grandchildren, youth or adult, with special needs, third Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. at Tucson J. Contact Joyce Stuehringer at 299-5920. Temple Emanu-El Jewish novels club with Linda Levine. Third Thursdays, through June 21, 2-4 p.m. 327-4501. “Biblical Breakthroughs with Rabbi Becker” at the Southwest Torah Institute. Fridays, noon, for men and women. 747-7780 or email@example.com. Thrive & Grow Vegetable Gardening Workshops, with Michael Ismail. Fridays from 2-3:30 p.m. at Tucson J, through June 15. $10. www. tucsonjcc.org or 299-3000. Tucson J Fine Art Gallery art exhibit, “Arts For All,” through June 28. 2–4 p.m. 299-3000. Jewish History Museum/Holocaust History Center closed through Aug. 30. Visits by appointment only; call 670-9073.
NORTHWEST TUCSON ONGOING
Jewish Federation-Northwest chair yoga with a Jewish ﬂair taught by Bonnie Golden. Mondays, 10-11 a.m. $7 per class or $25 for four. 505-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Northwest Needlers create handstitched items for donation in the Jewish community. Meets at Jewish Federation Northwest Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m. RSVP to email@example.com or 505-4161. Jewish Federation-Northwest mah jongg, Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., 505-4161. Chabad of Oro Valley adult education class, Jewish learning with Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman. Wednesdays at 7 p.m., at 1217 W. Faldo Drive. 477-8672 or www.jewishorovalley.com.
MONDAY / JUNE 25 5-6:30 PM: Jewish Federation-Northwest book club discusses “The Lost Letter,” by Jillian Cantor. 505-4161.
Remember to recycle this paper when you are ﬁnished enjoying it.
OUR TOWN People in the news
TEMPLE EMANU-EL’s board of directors has announced that RABBI BATSHEVA APPEL will continue as the congregation’s sole rabbi. Her title will be “rabbi” rather than “rabbi educator,” and she will provide oversight of the Kurn Religious School and the Jewish Lifelong Learning program (formerly the Adult Education Academy), rather than direct supervision. Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg will assist Appel with meeting the congregation’s pastoral and spiritual needs.
ZACHARY MANUEL, 15, will travel to Israel this summer to play on Israel’s Lacrosse Boys U-15 Open Team, which will compete in the World Lacrosse Festival, to be held in Netanya in July. Manuel attends Ironwood Ridge High School and played on the varsity team with the Oro Valley Lacrosse Club, which won the Arizona Lacrosse League D2 state championship this year. He also plays for Brady’s Bunch Lacrosse, a national club that raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer. Israel also will host the FIL Men’s World Lacrosse Championships. Tucson’s Weintraub Israel Center is helping to sponsor Manuel’s trip.
TEMPLE EMANU-EL has named ABBY LIMMER, PH.D., religious school director. She was previously the religious school coordinator. Limmer received her B.A. in anthropology from the College of William and Mary and received her doctorate in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona. She has been an adjunct Hebrew instructor and lecturer at the University of Arizona since 2007 and has taught Hebrew at ASU’s Critical Languages Institute since 2014.
JOIN THE NEWEST CHAPTER OF PJ LIBRARY® FOR KIDS AGE 9-11 Choose a free book each month, create and share reviews, watch videos & book trailers! Signing up is easy: Visit www.pjourway.org
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Tucson photographer STEVEN MECKLER will receive the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award at the Tucson Advertising Hall of Achievement event on Sept. 6 at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. The Silver Medal is a nationally recognized award that honors men and women who have made significant contributions to raising advertising industry standards and creative excellence. Meckler is a member of the AAF Tucson board of directors. Tickets are available at AAFTucson.org; proceeds benefit the Tucson Advertising Federation Education Foundation scholarship fund.
Photo courtesy Nanci Levy
Nathan Rix, right, “passes the torch” of leadership to Maya Levy.
Tucsonans continue NFTY regional leadership Maya Levy was elected president of the NFTY Southwest Region in April at the NFTY Spring Kallah in Mesa, Arizona, succeeding Nathan Rix, another Tucsonan.
Send news of your simchas to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-1112
BRANDEIS The sale of these books will fund a scholarship for a Tucson student to attend Brandeis University.
For pick-up or membership information, call 747-3224 bncTucsonbooks@yahoo.com
June 15, 2018, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
PLAN FOR THE HOLY DAYS
DEADLINE FOR GREETINGS IS TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2018
The Arizona Jewish Post will again observe Rosh Hashanah with a beautiful special edition.
Sending good wishes to your friends and relatives through this holiday issue assures you that no one will be forgotten. Don’t leave for vacation and return too late to place your personal holiday greeting in the Arizona Jewish Post. For your convenience, we will accept your greeting now for the August 31 Rosh Hashanah issue! A - $45
B1 - $3
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a n a h S ’ L Tova u Tikatev
We wish e ver in the Jew yone communit ish - $30 y a very 2 B happy & h ealt New Year hy this y a M YOUR NA ear ME be a y e
ac of pe ll for a
be u e yo h t y a n i M d e rib f Life c s o in k y o p p Bo ha year a for althy age) e ess h m l na and erso rp
ou or y
May the New Year Be Ever Joyous for You and Your Family
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ARIZONA JEWISH POST, June 15, 2018