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May 12, 2017 16 Iyar 5777 Volume 73, Issue 10

S O U T H E R N A R I Z O N A ’ S A WA R D - W I N N I N G J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R

Classifieds ..........................17 Commentary ......................6 Community Calendar.......22 Local ... 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19 National .............................17 Our Town ...........................21 Sports................................ 10 Synagogue Directory.......20

and refugees,” White, the former CEO of the regional Red Cross office, said that while the country has “an imperfect record” on welcoming immigrants, people around the world still look up to the United States “as a haven, a place that opens up its doors and takes in people when they are in crisis.”


AJP Executive Editor


he immigration crisis in Southern Arizona was the topic of a breakfast forum organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona on Friday, April 28. Opening the meeting, which was held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, JCRC Chair Richard White explained that it would be an educational forum. “I think at this point the crisis is large enough that we can justify not trying to bring everyone in” to debate all sides of the issue, he said, citing ongoing border issues, deportation orders and immigration raids. Touching on the Jewish community’s “roots as immigrants

Helping legal permanent residents Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild also gave opening remarks, explaining the city’s citizenship campaign, launched in November, which aims to get information to legal permanent residents who are eligible for naturalization. More than 35 organizations, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, are partners in this effort.

Photo: Simon Rosenblatt

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JCRC immigration forum highlights city’s citizenship campaign

Immigration lawyer Alan Bennett speaks at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 28.

“I wanted to become a member of the Cities for Citizenship campaign when I learned that in Pima County, there are 33,000 people living here who are eligible for citizenship, but have never taken

the steps to obtain citizenship,” he said, eliciting murmurs of “wow” from some of the approximately 90 people in attendance. “Naturalized citizens earn more, See Immigration, page 4

Progressive Jewish Latina embraces community with gusto KORENE CHARNOFSKY COHEN Special to the AJP

A Photo courtesy Alma Hernandez


Alma Hernandez at her bat mitzvah party in the Holocaust History Center garden, April 8

lma Hernandez is passionate and strives every day to make a difference. People say her values and actions represent the core of Judaism, which is noteworthy because Hernandez didn’t grow up Jewish. At age 24, she has been active in the Jewish community for several years, even before she completed her conversion to Judaism. She describes herself as a progressive Jewish Latina and has been involved with politics and social action since she was a teenager. The ultimate go-getter, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree, recently became a bat mitzvah, serves as the part-time coordinator of the Jewish Community


May 12 ... 6:55 p.m.

Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and volunteers with several organizations, including the Jewish History Museum. Hernandez grew up in a family that did not practice any particular religion, but she always felt connected to Judaism, to which she does have family ties, as her maternal grandfather’s family was Jewish. Her mother, Consuelo, is from Mexico and her father, Daniel, is from California. Hernandez’ interest in Judaism started as a teenager. Her parents let her and her brother and sister explore different religions, and they attended various religious services. When she was 16 she discovered that she felt more comfortable in a synagogue than other places of worship. She converted

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two years ago after studying with Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim, and her bat mitzvah took place on April 8. When Hernandez met Aaron she immediately felt very welcome at Chaverim. “Judaism never felt scripted or repetitive to me, and Rabbi Aaron’s services and sermons are always enjoyable,” she says. “My experience at Chaverim helped me to decide to convert. I was 18 when I made this decision, and it took on great meaning not only for myself but I also wanted to honor my mother’s family.” Another reason for converting, she says, is that when she has children she wants them to have a Jewish education and lifestyle. “I have met other people who wanted to convert but did not

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See Latina, page 2

continued from page 1

have support from their families,” Hernandez says. “I am fortunate that my family has always been supportive.” She says her parents always pushed her and her siblings to achieve their goals. She took classes at Chaverim for two years, and describes it as a “fun” process. She found most of the education easy, but learning Hebrew was a challenge because Spanish is her first language. “I still tend to say certain Hebrew words with a Spanish accent,” she says. She took the Hebrew name, Malka, in honor and memory of her great-grandmother Mercedes (her mother’s father’s mother). “My parents and brother and sister come to Shabbat services at Chaverim and for holidays,” Hernandez says. She sings in the choir and rarely misses services. “Going to services brings peace to my very busy life,” she says, “and the congregation feels like my extended family.” Hernandez credits her brother, Daniel Jr., 27, with getting her and her sister, Consuelo, 25, involved with the Jewish community, politics and social action. Daniel., who is currently serving as the Arizona State Representative for District Two, is known to many as the intern credited with saving Gabrielle Gifford’s life when she was shot, along with 18 others, on Jan. 8, 2011. He had only been working in Gifford’s office for a week before the shooting. Hernandez says her brother, who has been involved with pro-Israel activities for many years, got her involved with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which works with Democrats and Republicans in Congress and leaders in the executive branch to protect and strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Her sister was a member of the Jewish Latino Teen Coalition, which is a program of the JCRC and the Office of Rep. Raul Grijalva. As a University of Arizona undergraduate, Hernandez was president of Wildcats for Israel and trained other students to be pro-Israel activists. When she was 21 she went to Israel with a group of campus leaders from different universities. Patrice White, a former president of Chaverim, has known Hernandez for five years. White comes from a

strong Christian family, but grew up feeling that something was missing, and eventually discovered she felt deeply connected to Judaism. She and Hernandez met during conversion classes at Chaverim. “I got to know Alma pretty well through our classes, going to services and working with her on social action projects,” White says. “I have watched her go through college, graduate school and her bat mitzvah, and she has such a great determination to make a difference. She exemplifies the values of Judaism in wanting to make the world a better place.” These days Hernandez continues her busy lifestyle. She is a full-time graduate student in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at University of Arizona and expects to complete her master’s degree in December. She is a teaching assistant in the UA School of Sociology and a program coordinator for Power Source Tucson, which provides resources and support for women with HIV/AIDS. Hernandez and her sister are participants in the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute program. As the part-time coordinator for the JCRC, “I get to work with the whole community, not just the Jewish community, helping to improve people’s lives,” Hernandez says. She has worked on immigration reform and refugee issues, coordinated with synagogues and other agencies to help the needy, and helped plan major meetings including the annual JCRC meeting on Feb. 19 and the Local Leaders Forum: Immigration Crisis in Southern Arizona, held April 28 (see related story, page 1). “Alma’s passion for her work is clear. She has no off switch, and drives me to work harder,” says Richard White (no relation to Patrice), chair of the JCRC. He was the regional CEO for the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter, and prior to that was the vice president of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. He also has served on the board of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. Hernandez "is a remarkable person, especially for her age, and as a convert to Judaism and as a Latina she brings a special perspective to her job,” he says. “She has a good perspective on Tucson’s political climate from working on her brother’s campaign for state representative. I have never seen her stumped no matter what type

“Every person has a story that deserves to be shared, it’s their legacy that will be carried on into the next generation.” Ask us about a complimentary online obituary.

Photo courtesy Alma Hernandez


Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, left, and Alma Hernandez at Hernandez’ naming ceremony at Congregation Chaverim, April 8, 2016.

of event we are organizing.” Richard White said the annual JCRC meeting is usually a low-key event to honor people for their time and service to the community, but he told Hernandez, “Let’s raise the bar on this event and create something meaningful. I want it to be educational and to help further our mission of connecting the Jewish community with other communities.” The theme was fighting intolerance and included guest speakers Lecia Brooks of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “It was a resounding success, and many people who attended came forward and wanted to know how to get involved with the JCRC,” he says. “We helped to create tolerance in an increasingly intolerant world.” “I feel that we owe it to the next generation to improve things now,” says Hernandez. “I believe we were put on this earth to make a difference by helping others.” And the journey continues — Hernandez says the next step is medical school.

Korene Charnofsky Cohen is a freelance writer and editor in Tucson.

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(L-R): Linda Behr, Congregation Bet Shalom Cantor Avraham Alpert, Eileen Weizenbaum and Andrea Siemens, LMSW, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 23. Behr and Weizenbaum are Jewish Family & Children's Services Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family program board members.



vraham “Avi” Alpert’s spiritual journey has led him from Judaism to atheism to being an observant Jew. Now he wants to help other Jews find their own path to Jewish traditions, values and celebrations that bring families closer together. His April 23 talk at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, “The Role of Spirituality in a Healthy Household,” was part of the Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family Lecture Series, a supplementary program of Jewish Family & Children’s Services’ LEAH (Let’s End Abusive Households) program. Alpert, who has been the cantor and spiritual leader at Congregation Bet Shalom since 2012, will receive his rabbinical ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles on May 29. “I had a strong Jewish identity in elementary school, and I took note of the religions of other kids,” Alpert said. Even though he felt connected, Alpert says he and his younger sister grew up in a liberal Jewish family where few traditions and practices were observed. “In 10th grade I became an atheist,”

Alpert said. “I believed in science and began to think about all the bad things in the world and didn’t see how G-d could be part of all this.” It wasn’t until his sophomore year as a music major at Arizona State University that he began to “recover” from atheism, after a professor got him interested in Hillel. He became involved in Hillel’s activities, made connections with other Jewish students, trained through the Hillel Teaching Scholar program and taught for a year in a religious school at a local synagogue. After graduating college, Alpert and his future wife, Kamala, spent three months in Israel where Alpert studied at a Conservative yeshiva and sang with the choir at the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. It was a slow process, but Alpert said that over time, Shabbat, holidays and dietary laws became increasingly important to him. “When I was dating I was trying to figure things out — I grew up Reform and suddenly I was buying kosher meat,” he said. “Sometimes it is hard to figure out, but you can start from scratch, take ownership of the tradition and start on your own — just try it.” See Identity, page 8

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enjoy greater security and participate in civic life, all of which strengthens our communities,” said Rothschild. The mayor cited statistics from “The Economic Impact of Naturalization on Immigrants and Cities,” a 2015 research report on 21 U.S. cities that concluded that if all who are eligible become citizens, in the aggregate those cities would see $5.7 billion in increased earnings and more than $2 billion in increased tax revenues. The report is available on the mayor’s website,, which also has resources for immigrants. The citizenship campaign is designed to help overcome financial, educational and cultural hurdles to citizenship, he said, applauding a recent naturalization fair in Nogales, Ariz., sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva’s office, which helped 22 people complete their citizenship applications, saving them nearly $18,000 in document preparation and naturalization fees. In Southern Arizona, we tend to focus on the large Mexican population, Rothschild said, but the hurdles affect people who have come here from all continents, including Asia, the Middle East and Africa. While the citizenship campaign can help legal permanent residents, the real problem, the mayor said, is the lack of a pathway to citizenship for those who are not here legally. Noting that both U.S. senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake, are proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, he called for the country to get past the “immigrant-bashing” rhetoric and find solutions. Refugees vs. asylees Alan Bennett, an immigration lawyer who has worked at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, served as moderator for the panel, which included Ricardo Pineda Albarrán, cónsul of México in Tucson; Maria Vianey Valdez-Cardenas, immigration chair of the Arizona League of United Latin American Citizens; Bob Feinman, vice chair of Humane Borders; and Francisco Salcido, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals student recipient. Bennett explained the difference between a refugee, someone displaced from their home country, and an asylee, someone who has made it to a country, for example the United States, where they are applying for asylum because of persecution or the threat of persecution in their native land. Asylees are not here illegally, he pointed out — by law, the United States is required to accept asylees and give them “a credible fear interview.” This is important in Southern Arizona, he said, because a great number of asylees have made the dangerous trek here from Central America, from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where gangs have been persecuting children, especially girls. Children often arrive unaccompanied by an adult; Bennett’s current clients include a 16-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl. Many good people work for Homeland Security, Bennett said. However, he fears that knowing the Trump administration proposes to hire 5,000 new Customs and Border Protection officers and up to 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will make families in Central America more reluctant to send their children to seek safety here.

Continuing community outreach Putting the situation in Southern Arizona into perspective internationally, Pineda noted that the United Nations estimates there are 244 million struggling migrants worldwide — enough people to create a country that would be the fifth most populous in the world. Historically, he noted, migration between the United States and Mexico has flowed in both directions. Today, he said, there are 32 million Mexicans and MexicanAmericans living in the United States; 5.8 million Mexicans are here without proper authorization, a decline of 1 million since 2007, while 3 million Mexicans in the United States are eligible for citizenship. The Tucson consulate now operates a 24-hour hotline (855-463-6395), fielding up to 1,500 calls daily from across the country, on immigration and other issues. Undocumented immigration creates challenges, Pineda acknowledged, “but the facts show constantly that immigration benefits the region as a whole.” Despite what people may think, Humane Borders

Local bike drive, volunteer training aim to aid refugees The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has launched “Bikes Without Borders” to distribute bicycles to newly arrived refugees through local refugee resettlement agencies. “Bikes Without Borders” is seeking donations of new or used adult and child-sized bicycles and helmets, locks, lights and other bike supplies. Volunteers can gather donations and help repair donated bikes. For more information, contact Ori Parnaby, Jewish community concierge, at 299-3000, ext. 241 or • Congregation Or Chadash will host a Tucsonwide free training session for volunteers who want to work with refugees on Monday, May 22 from 6-8 p.m. “Refugee 101: Info Night” is a cooperative effort among the three local refugee resettlement agencies — Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Community Services and the International Rescue Committee — and many other local organizations that aid refugees. Topics to be covered include the terms refugee, asylee and immigrant; how welcoming refugees can help strengthen the country’s security; how to welcome a family in your neighborhood; and how new Americans become self-sufficient. “It’s rather exciting that so many are working together to make the transition for refugees more efficient and uniform,” says Fran Braverman, an Or Chadash member who volunteers with Noor Women’s Association. Participants can RSVP to Braverman at fran. “Refugee 101” trainings are also scheduled for June 29 at Catholic Community Services, 140 W. Speedway Blvd., Suite 130; July 20 at Refugee Focus, 120 N. Stone Ave, #220; Aug. 17 at the IRC, 2100 N. Kolb Road, Suite 103; and Sept. 5 at the University of Arizona Downtown Campus, 44 N. Stone Ave.

Maria Vianey Valdez-Cardenas speaks at the Jewish Community Relations Council forum at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 28.

gales, Sonora, Mexico, and came to the United States in 1994. In 1997 she became a naturalized citizen. She works for the Tucson Unified School district as a community liaison and has volunteered since 2008 with LULAC, where she is the state treasurer as well as immigration chair. She is currently a student at the University of Arizona, pursuing a career as an immigration lawyer. In 2013 she began a program at El Pueblo Center promoting the benefits of citizenship to seniors. She said many seniors have lived here for 50 or 60 years, renewing their permanent resident card every 10 years. In 2016, she said, she helped 97 people, mostly seniors, apply for citizenship, utilizing a fee-waiver program for those with low incomes. (Contact her at 8084330, or Valdez-Cardenas recently helped form a support group, Corazones Unidos (United Hearts) of Arizona, to educate undocumented people about programs that can help them and correct misinformation. They are looking for U.S. citizens to help (contact unitedheartscorazone “There’s a lot of fear out there,” said Valdez-Cardenas. Fear and education were also the main themes for Salcido, whose family fled Mexico in 2003 after they witnessed a murder. A student at Pima Community College, Salcido said it is taking him much longer than two years to earn his degree because he and his father are supporting a family of eight. He has two jobs, one on the Tohono O’odham reservation,

which means he must cross a checkpoint daily. Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, he said, he’s been detained every time, with waits of 20-45 minutes to process his background check. Salcido also coordinates an ambassador program through Scholarships A-Z (contact that educates people on immigration history, why people migrate to the United States, and community organizing. They help train educators on how to work with undocumented students and their families, he said, and hold forums to make sure people know their rights and what is happening in the community. Sometimes, he’ll be at work and see a group text about someone being stopped on the road by Border Patrol. “To not be able to leave my job so I can go see what’s going on and protect my community, it’s really scary,” he said. In a Q&A following the panel presentations, one audience member asked whether Tucson is a sanctuary city. Since the mayor had left for another appointment, Pineda responded, saying that Rothschild has said that Tucson “is a migrant-welcoming city” and that there is no actual definition of “sanctuary city.” Another questioner wanted to know how people can help promote more compassion and tolerance. Valdez-Cardenas said education is the key. “Learn and share,” she advised. Salcido also said it is all about education, including talking about “different intersectionalities, different multi-issue people: What does it mean to be a woman, a worker … what does it mean to be part of the LGBT community, undocumented, and black?” Salcido added that people need to “be more intentional in how we speak [about] and treat other people.” It’s an issue he’s raised in his own family, he said, while in various organizations he works with, “we’re always calling each other out” about potentially hurtful language or behavior, because “we’re all the same, right? We’re all human.”

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volunteers are not the people who stand in front of Border Patrol vehicles, said Feinman. Humane Borders works with law enforcement to save lives, he said, explaining that while group was political in its early days, members soon decided they could prevent more deaths by sticking to humanitarian actions, such as providing water tanks on the desert routes where the most migrant deaths have been documented. Tanks are placed with written permission of the landowners, he noted. Humane Borders, a nonprofit agency, needs drivers, donations of food packs and clothing, and office help, he said. (Visit or call 398-5053). Valdez-Cardenas was raised in No-

Francisco Salcido speaks at the Jewish Community Relations Council forum at the Tucson Jewish Community Center April 28.

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COMMENTARY Emmanuel Macron wins French election, but Marine Le Pen wins legitimacy CNAAN LIPHSHIZ JTA


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mmanuel Macron, the 39-yearold former investment banker and political centrist, handily defeated the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election. Exit polls showed Macron winning Sunday’s vote by a margin of 65 percent to 34 percent. Although her bid to lead the country failed, Le Pen’s divisive campaign against Macron achieved some of the goals that her supporters have sought for years. Going mainstream Under Le Pen, the National Front went from being a fringe movement with no real shot at achieving power to a veritable contender. Her percentage of votes was by far the party’s best electoral performance since its establishment in the 1970s. While the support may diminish over the next five years, the National Front is now indubitably a major political power and a legitimate choice in the eyes of a third of the electorate. Le Pen referenced this during an interview Friday, saying, “We moved everything, we have changed everything already.” The transition came with a personal price for Le Pen, who had a public falling-out with her father and mentor, Jean-Marie, the National Front’s founder. Convicted multiple times for Holocaust denial and incitement of racial hatred against Jews, the elder Le Pen is a hero to the hardcore of the French ultra-right for his apparent disregard for both his country’s laws against hate speech and his

Emmanuel Macron addresses supporters at the Louvre in Paris after winning the French presidential election, May 7, 2017.

rhetoric’s political cost. Since taking over the leadership of the National Front in 2011, Marine Le Pen has worked to rehabilitate the party’s public image by distancing it from the racist rhetoric favored by her father, the party’s founder. Jean-Marie Le Pen lost control of the party to a new generation of National Front politicians, led by his daughter, who viewed his provocations as an impediment to contending for power. In 2015, Marine Le Pen kicked her father and dozens of other politicians who made antiSemitic remarks out of the party. Still, Le Pen has remained the farright’s go-to candidate thanks to her insistence on a ban on Jewish and Muslim religious symbols and ritual slaughter, and on immigration by Muslims, among other discriminatory policies.

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Jean-Marie Le Pen had to go because he “personifies the ultra-right that does not seek to reach power” in a form of “self-destruction,” Florian Philippot, a National Front vice president and ally of Marine Le Pen, said in a 2015 interview. Philippot may have been overstating things — in the 2002 presidential elections, the party attracted a respectable 18 percent of the vote. Still, Marine Le Pen has clearly taken the National Front to a new level of acceptability while retaining the spirit of its founding mission. Isolating minorities The communal representatives of French Jews and Muslims mobilized almost without exception for Macron. In both communities, even clergy abandoned their carefully cultivated nonpartisanship in an unusual effort, the likes of which had not been seen in at least 15 years. On May 5, French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia co-authored, with the president of the Protestant Federation of France and a Muslim faith leader, a statement endorsing Macron. Tellingly, the Catholic Church of France, by far the largest Christian denomination in the country, sat out the declaration. “Fully aware that our roles require us to be nonpartisan,” the three clergymen wrote, “peace supersedes all other things and only a vote for Emmanuel Macron guarantees” it. The rare statement followed efforts by French Jews to prevent a Le Pen victory on “a scale that was last witnessed in 2002, ahead of the runoff led by her father,” according to Philippe Karsenty, a Jewish Macron supporter and deputy mayor of the Paris suburb of Neuilly-surSeine. Originally supportive of Francois Fil-

lon, the Republicans candidate who lost in the first round last month and stands significantly to the right of Macron, Karsenty joined the Macron camp not because he believes in the candidate’s policies, but “to block Le Pen from ruining France,” as Karsenty put it in an interview with JTA Saturday. CRIF, the federation of Jewish communities of France, called on all Jews and non-Jews to vote for Macron, describing Le Pen as a “danger for democracy.” And the Union of Jewish Students of France held a string of rallies May 5 against Le Pen, including a concert “against fascism.” While these efforts served as a show of unity within French Jewry and with other faith groups, they also cast a partisan light on French Jews and Muslims, which leaders of both communities have worked hard to avoid. And that has the potential of highlighting a distinction, favored by many Le Pen supporters, between these minorities and the general population. At the same time, this may also reinforce stereotypes held by many French about Jews and Muslims — presenting Le Pen and her party as the archenemy of groups that conspiracy theorists in France like to describe as cabals working in unison. Making international alliances Critics of Le Pen, who has vowed to dismantle the European Union, warned that her victory would leave France internationally isolated. In a world where international trade is more important than ever, her isolationist policies had the potential of making France “a pariah nation with no international allies,” according to a position paper published by the liberal think tank Terra Nova in March. However, her campaign showed that National Front has allies from Washington to the Kremlin — and also among some of the leading politicians of countries that founded the very European Union that she is seeking to break down. President Donald Trump, whom Le Pen endorsed openly during the U.S. presidential election, partly returned the favor on April 21, when he offered what was widely interpreted as tacit support for Le Pen. The far-right candidate, Trump said, is “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.” Stopping short of giving her his explicit endorsement, Trump added: “Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”

In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Le Pen at the Kremlin and reportedly wished her good luck in the elections — though he, too, insisted Russia did not have any favorites in the runoff. Macron did not visit the Kremlin during the campaign. Still, Putin, a rival and critic of the European Union, seemed to have an unsurprising soft spot for the woman who vowed to dismantle it. Several computer experts claimed that Russian operatives were behind the hacking of huge amounts of internal correspondence by Macron’s campaign that were published 36 hours before the vote and presumably intended to sow chaos and discredit the front-runner. Le Pen also has powerful allies within the European Union, including Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who in March led his Party for Freedom as it became Holland’s second largest political movement for the first time in its history. He publicly endorsed her. So did Nigel Farage and his UKIP populist party in the United Kingdom, which lobbied forcefully and, ultimately, successfully, in favor of a yea vote in last year’s referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union. Reopening debate on the Holocaust By uttering five words followed by the name of a place that most young French have never heard of, Marine Le Pen has reopened a debate on France’s complicity during the Holocaust, potentially

reversing the results of decades of soul searching that led to a belated admission of guilt. On April 9 she said, “France is not responsible for Vel d’Hiv” — the name of a Paris stadium where French police officers in 1942 rounded up more than 13,000 Jews for the Nazi occupation forces, who had them sent to death camps. For decades after the war, leaders in France equivocated about the nation’s responsibility for the deportations. In 1995, former President Jacques Chirac delivered a landmark speech at Vel D’Hiv that for many had put the issue to rest. “Yes, it is true that the criminal insanity of the occupying forces was supported by some French people and the French state,” Chirac said. Coming amid stubborn resistance by the French railway company lawyers to demands that it assume responsibility for its central role in the deportations, Chirac’s speech was the first admission of collective guilt of its kind by a French head of state. He made it at what the Yad Vashem museum had for years called “a symbol of the responsibility of the regime and the French nation” for the Holocaust. Marking a long and anguished journey by a nation that initially had perceived itself only as a victim of Nazism, Chirac’s speech opened the door to restitution agreements with the railway company. It also mainstreamed the consen-

sus of historians, relegating apologists for French collaborators to the fringes. The impact of Marine Le Pen’s revisionism is not yet clear. But again, more than a third of French voters supported a candidate who sought to whitewash the historical record. And, according to some observers, it has politicized the Holocaust in a way that did not exist before the campaign. Following Le Pen’s remark, Macron visited the Memorial for the Martyrs of the Deportation in Paris on April 30 during the last stretch of his presidential campaign. The gesture, however wellintended, infuriated the French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and other critics. Finkielkraut said he was “furious” at Macron for “making the extermination of Jews a campaign argument.” Attracting Jewish support While the Jewish establishment rejected Le Pen and her party, it did not prevent Le Pen from making significant inroads into the Jewish community and in Israel. According to a 2014 poll, 13.5 percent of Jewish voters said they would vote for her. And while that figure is significantly lower than Le Pen’s approval rating in the general population, it is a major achievement for her considering the nearly nonexistent support her father got from Jews. Numbering approximately 500,000, French Jews lack the electoral weight to

determine a major political campaign nationally. But Jewish supporters aid Le Pen’s attempts to argue that her party has changed for the better. Le Pen’s life partner, Louis Aliot, makes no secret of his Jewish origins. Aliot recently visited Israel, meeting in January with a low-level representative of its ruling Likud party. Under Le Pen, the National Front has an active club of Jewish supporters, the Association for Patriots of Jewish Faith, led by Michel Thooris, a 36-year-old police officer who is also a member of the Central Board of the National Front. She has secured Jewish support by saying that Jews are allies of other French people endangered by Islam — a potentially potent argument within a community traumatized by jihadist terrorism. In 2015, she promised to be “the shield” for Jews against Islamists but asked Jews to “make a sacrifice” in the fight, including giving up ritual slaughter and the right to wear religious symbols. Even CRIF, the federation of Jewish communities of France, appeared to soften its opposition to Le Pen. In 2015, its then president, Roger Cukierman, said she “cannot be faulted personally” for anti-Semitism. Although he later said that CRIF would continue to shun the National Front, his comments earned widespread criticism from prominent Jewish groups and individuals who consider Le Pen irredeemable. Editor's note: For more on Emmanuel Macron and French Jewry, visit

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“From a Jewish perspective spirituality is not just about being Jewish or how observant you are,” Alpert said. His sister and her husband and three sons are Orthodox, and Alpert considers himself a traditional Jew. Once Alpert and his sister became observant, his parents decided to reclaim their Judaism, to the point where his father stated, “I don’t know how people don’t keep kosher.” Sometimes Alpert is astonished by his own transformation. “In a few weeks I will be a rabbi and now people look to me for advice and learning and I find myself thinking — are you kidding, you’re asking me?” The joy of Jewish values, traditions and celebrations can help people find family cohesiveness and cultivate spirituality, he said. For those who are not Jewish, he said the same principles can apply: look at your relationships with family, friends and community and focus on the joy of life, respect for others, sharing with family and friends and thinking of other people’s needs. Observing nature can provide insights for family relationships. Alpert and Kamala have been married for 18 years and have three children; two sons, ages 8 and 14, and a daughter, age 11. “We should look to other creatures and see how they relate to each other, and think about how many [human] parents do not appear to care very much about their children,” he said. A pair of doves built a nest in a potted plant in his back yard, he said, and when he and his wife discovered two eggs in the nest, they decided to observe the doves more carefully. “I was blown away by how the mother and father took care of the eggs and then the hatchlings, and after Passover the doves taught the babies how to fly,” he said. After the babies had matured enough to fly away he wanted to take down the nest, but his wife said no, and the doves returned to raise two more hatchlings. His children loved watching the doves, he said, especially because they could get very close to the nest. “Look at the ‘partnership’ of mother and father doves and how they take care of their young,” Alpert said. “We should take pleasure in our children and stop trying to accomplish rather than raise our children.” Plants can also provide lessons, he said. Observe a blooming aloe vera plant as it attracts hummingbirds and bees with its beautiful flowers and later on produces seed pods. The plant expends a

lot of energy to produce new aloes — are we putting enough energy into ourselves and our children? Alpert placed great emphasis on increasing spirituality in the family by observing Shabbat and holidays. “If you only take one thing away from today’s lecture, pay attention to Shabbat,” he said. “Shabbat is a very precious and rejuvenating experience, and to get the full benefits, Shabbat should be a communal experience.” Initially, Alpert found observing Shabbat limiting in some ways, but it also helped him to grow spiritually. He said that Shabbat teaches children that it is good to get the family together every Friday night for dinner and to be together on Saturday. “We don’t allow our kids to even take out an electronic device during meals to show them that they can get along without their electronic gadgets,” he said. “Even though the kids initially fought and complained, our 14-year-old son now says that he thinks that Shabbat is the most important thing we do together as a family.” Alpert also teaches that we should incorporate a little bit of the spirit of Shabbat into every day. Paying attention to spiritual matters also helps couples have healthy relationships, Alpert said. “You have to be in a healthy place with your own ideas before you can have good relationships with other people. You need to work on yourself first, and if you are positive, people will be intrigued and want to be around you. “Problems can arise in marriage when people don’t think of their spouse as a partner, but rather just a wife or just a husband,” he explained. The concept of “love thy neighbor” applies to your spouse as well as to a neighbor, friend or stranger. Couples need to deal with issues such as anger and ego. Don’t bottle up your anger; talk about what is bothering you, Alpert recommends. “But sometimes it is better just to walk away when you are angry — cool down and hit the ‘reboot’ button,” he said. Strive to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Observing Shabbat may also help relationships because it is an opportunity to hit the “reset button” and let go of the frustrations and negativity that happen during the week. Alpert also said one of the best pieces of advice he received at his wedding was, “Make each other laugh.” Alpert summed up his talk with these thoughts. “The people G-d gives you in your life — how do we deal with each person? We try to lighten the burdens of others. We try to treat each other with kindness.”

Korene Charnofsky Cohen is a freelance writer and editor in Tucson.


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Tracing Roots and Building Trees, an intergenerational program that brings together residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging with students from Tucson Hebrew High, wrapped up its second year with a reception at Handmaker on Sunday, April 30. Fifteen Handmaker residents and 13 teens participated in the program, which is funded by a “Better Together” grant from a national philanthropist. About 75 people attended the reception. Teens are paired with one or two Handmaker residents for the program year. As part of their monthly meetings, the participants created a cookbook, “L’dor v’dor: From Generation to Generation. Stories and memories around family and food.” Speaking at the event, Erika Spivak, a teen participating for her second year, said, “I think that teens and seniors don’t get the opportunity to talk together and have conversations as much as we should. In getting to know Marcie [Sutland] and Carol [Zuckert], I realized … we have so much in common. I enjoyed learning about them and their histories. I got far more out of [the program] than I expected.” Teen participant Yochanan Gibly said, “When I signed up for this I didn’t know what to expect…I was amazed by the programming. It was great the way they prompted conversations so that we could learn more about these amazing people.” Handmaker resident Les Waldman, who was paired with Gibly, said, “When you look at teens on TV today, it

(L-R) Carol Zuckert, Erika Spivack and Marcie Sutland at Handmaker on Feb. 12.

doesn’t look real good for the future. But then you meet someone like Yochanan. He is an all-American boy. He gives me hope for the future knowing that there are teens like him in the world to carry on our traditions.” Copies of the cookbook are available for $20; proceeds will help fund future intergenerational projects. Contact Nanci Levy, community outreach coordinator at Handmaker, at 322-3632 or, or Sharon Glassberg, Hebrew High principal and vice president at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, at 577-9393 or

Three rabbis to explore ‘Finding G-d’ in Handmaker talk Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging will continue its Rabbi Lecture Series with “Finding G-d (in the) Every Day,” featuring Rabbis Yossie Shemtov, Robert Eisen and Thomas Louchheim, on Sunday, May 21 at 3:30 p.m. “The Baal Shem Tov taught us that everything you see or hear can serve as a lesson to serve G-d better,” says Shemtov of Chabad Tucson/Congregation Young Israel. He will illustrate this principle with stories from the life of the Baal Shem Tov, “Master of the Good Name,” the 18th century rabbi who founded the Chasidic movement. “I begin with the premise that if we’re going to look for G-d or try to find G-d, we have to let G-d find us,”

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Handmaker resident Les Waldman, third from left, with the Gibly family: Haya, Yochanan, Zakai, Raquel, Nati and Ayelet, at the April 30 Tracing Roots and Building Trees reception at Handmaker.

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says Eisen, rabbi at Congregation Anshei Israel. “We have to break down the barriers that separate us from the possibility and potential of relating to that which is greater than ourselves.” Louchheim, rabbi at Congregation Or Chadash, says, “We can have a personal relationship with G-d, but also understand that G-d is calling us to be responsible in this world in a particular way. My emphasis on the 21st will be that sense of Divine purpose that G-d gives to us … understanding our responsibility to walk with G-d.” The event will include a question and answer session. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Nanci Levy at 322-3632 or

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LOCAL / SPORTS Three Tucsonans to compete on Team USA at Maccabiah Games in Israel KAYE PATCHETT Special to the AJP


Photo courtesy Sam Beskind

Sam Beskind Sixteen-year-old Sam Beskind has played basketball on the Catalina Foothills High School varsity team since his freshman year. He participated in the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in 2015 and 2016, in Dallas and St. Louis, helping his teams to victory with a gold and a bronze medal. Since qualifying for the 2017 Maccabiah Games, he’s worked on fundraising to finance the trip to Israel and is approaching his goal. Participation in the games in- Sam Beskind of Catalina Foothills High School drives to the basket against cludes a week of cultural experiences and touring in Is- Walden Grove High School, Jan. 12, 2017. rael. “I love playing basketball, but I’m super-excited to my own.” learn about Jewish heritage and seeing all the incredible In any activity, he says, the key is “consistency, workplaces in Israel,” he says. ing hard, and loving what you do.” Beskind’s father will accompany him, along with his Looking ahead to college, he hopes to win a basketgrandfather from Maine, whose lifelong goal has been ball scholarship to a good school. “Playing professionto visit Israel with his family. “It’ll be three generations ally would be cool,” he says, but he’s setting his career at once,” says Beskind. sights on something in math or science. “Both of my He started playing basketball at age 4, at the Tucson parents are in the medical field. Eventually basketball Jewish Communiy Center. He’s also played baseball, stops, and I’d like to impact the world in a different way.” football, soccer, tennis and hockey, but says, “I really had a love for basketball. It’s encouraged me to find the value Tamara Statman University of Arizona sophomore Tamara (“T”) of working together as a team, setting and staying foStatman, 19, is a member of the UA Wildcats softball cused on a goal, and listening to others’ advice.” team. She was selected to play in the softball Women’s Most days, he and a buddy hit the gym before school, lifting weights, working out and honing their skills be- Open division for Team USA, following Maccabiah tween games. Practicing as a team comes first, he says, Games tryouts in Chicago. Like the annual JCC Mac“but instructors are busy people, and not always there. cabi Games, the Maccabiah tournament offers a unique A lot of development and individual growth is done on opportunity to vie with other Jewish athletes, says V E T E R A N S



Photo courtesy Tamara Statman

hree young Jewish athletes from Tucson will compete in the elite Maccabiah Games in Israel. Held every four years, the games are the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 athletes from over 80 countries. Sam Beskind, Tamara Statman and Brett Miller will be part of Team USA at the 20th Maccabiah Games, July 4-18, in basketball, softball and gymnastics.

Tamara ‘T’ Statman, a pitcher/utility player for the University of Arizona women’s softball team, at Hillenbrand Stadium

Statman. “There’s a fellowship of Christian athletes, but we don’t have that. This is our version of bringing athletes together," she says. Statman also enjoys taekwondo and golf, but her love affair with softball started as a first-grader in Little League. “Softball teaches you a lot about life … responsibility, and dealing with adversity and difficult situations,” she says, adding, “You have to be able to balance school work, softball, social life and other activities.” Sports aren’t for everyone, she says, but pursuing any passion can be immensely rewarding. “Whether it’s sports, instruments, or activities in general; do something and commit yourself to it.” With a major in political science and minors in sports management and communications, school is demandSee Maccabiah, page 11


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In museum talk, novelist to explore Inquisition in Mexico The Jewish History Museum will host “Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories,” a book signing and talk with novelist Marcia Fine, as part of its exhibition from the New Mexico History Museum, “Fluid Identities: New Mexican Crypto-Jews in the Late 20th Century.” The free talk will be held Tuesday, May 15 at 1 p.m. “Hidden Ones,” Fine’s seventh book, explores the lengths a family in Mexico City must go to evade religious persecution for secretly practicing Judaism — risking discovery, imprisonment and even death — while helping the matriarch of the family escape from prison during the 17th century Inquisition. Today’s citizens of the Southwest are linked to this

history, says Fine. She explains, "When the Inquisition expanded to open offices in Lima, Peru, Mexico City and Cartegena, Colombia, fear spread through all the areas controlled by Spain. That included almost half of North America. Many traveled north into the Southwest Territories to escape. Today there are many discovering their heritage in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado through DNA and genealogy.” One of Fine’s previous historical fiction novels, “The Blind Eye: A Sephardic Journey,” was chosen by the Arizona State Library as the OneBookAZ for 2015. Fine lives in Scottsdale. For more about her work, visit

Closing dates for AJP publicity releases are listed below. E-mail releases to, mail to Arizona Jewish Post 3822 E. River Rd., Suite 300 Tucson, 85718 or fax to 319-1118.


May 26 May 16 June 9 May 30 June 23 June 13 July 7 June 27

MACCABIAH continued from page 10

Photo courtesy Brett Miller

ing, but she deftly interweaves academics with her Wildcats training regimen, lifting weights three times a week, with two days of sports conditioning and team practice most days. Statman received partial funding from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona to enable her to participate in the Maccabiah Games. She’s also raised additional funds through the Maccabi USA internet portal. Though this will be her first trip to Israel, she’s discovered she has connections with two other Team USA members — a former student and softball player from her old high school, Horizon High School in Phoenix, and a friend who attends California Polytechnic. But, she says, “I’m excited to meet and play [against] girls from different countries. We speak different languages, but we have something together, and that’s softBrett Miller executes an ‘L hold’ at the Men’s 2016 Junior Olympic National ball.” Brett Miller Brett Miller, 26, a computer programming student at Pima Community College, started doing gymnastics when he was 2 years old. “My twin sister and I had so much energy that my mom didn’t know what to do with us,” he says, “so she put us in the Baby and Me class at Gym Magic, in New Mexico, and just let us run around until we were worn out. Ever since then we loved it, and stuck with it.” He started competing when he was 7. Over the years, he’s won numerous individual and team trophies, including the 2015 Arizona State Boys Gymnastics Association Gymnast of the Year award. Miller, a member of Congregation Bet Shalom, will compete in the Elite division at the Maccabiah Games. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to combine my religion with my love and passion for gymnastics,” he

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says. “Just the thought of being able to represent the U.S. men’s gymnastics team and my Jewish community is unbelievable. Thanks to the Jewish Federation, who made a very generous donation, I get the chance to travel to Israel and become a stronger Jew and gymnast.” He trains five days a week for three and a half hours at Tucson’s Gymnastics World Central, with coach Yoichi Tometa. “Yoichi is very well known in the gymnastics community,” says Miller, “and I hope to make him proud at the Maccabiah Games.” Miller’s mom, uncle and two sisters will accompany him to Israel. “I am incredibly excited about the Maccabiah Games,” he says. “When I perform, I feel confident knowing I trained as hard as I could — and although I get a little nervous and may not win, I’ll know that I did my best.” Kaye Patchett is a freelance writer and editor in Tucson.


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he Navajo cradleboard at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum held Cantor Janece Cohen when she was a baby. It continues to hold many stories for her and her father, Dr. Seneca Erman, 88, who gave a gallery chat at the museum on Feb. 3. Erman had done a two-month internship in Fort Defiance on the Navajo Nation Reservation as a medical student in 1954, focused on control of tuberculosis. After he graduated, he and his newlywed wife, Dottie, moved to the reservation at Tuba City, where he would work from 1955-1957. Dottie worked as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. Erman davened by himself. In order to keep kosher, every two to three months they would have a quarter of a cow shipped in from Denver and keep it in the deep freeze. They developed many good friendships among both the Navajo and the Hopi people who lived in the area. At the gallery chat, Cohen said a Hopi man got permission to bring her parents to the kiva, the chamber reserved for tribal members to pray, while her mother was pregnant. “During the drumming, I was dancing in utero and they knew I would be a cantor because I responded so strongly to religious music,” said Cohen. A neighbor, Mark Begay, whose wife was a nurse working with her father, made the cradleboard. There


is a tradition that the board must be made the day of the birth and finished by sundown. Another neighbor was one of the Windtalkers, the Navajos who used their language as a code during World War II. The difficulties of the tonal language made it a good choice for a code, Cohen explained. In a later interview, Erman noted that the Windtalkers also used slang, such as “butterfly” to mean a B-27 bomber. Erman learned Navajo from the daughter of the chairman of the Navajo Nation, who worked as an x-ray technician at the hospital. He developed sufficient proficiency to do a medical history and physical in Navajo. But he laughed remembering one mistake: After he gave an elderly woman instructions to take a medicine in the morning, at noon, and before going to bed, people laughed, explaining that he had said, when she went to bed with him! The tribe “adopted” her parents because her father had such respect for their traditions, said Cohen. He invited medicine men to participate in caring for patients instead of taking an attitude of “we’re the real doctors,” she said. At the Jewish History Museum talk, Erman explained that the Post Office building on Speedway used to be a tuberculosis sanitarium for Navajo patients. It was no longer needed after an effective TB regimen was developed on the reservation. Erman gave the pills to medicine men to give to patients so he would be sure

Photo courtesy Seneca Erman

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Dr. Seneca Erman and Cantor Janece Cohen at Congregation Or Chadash in 2016


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patients would take them. In a later interview, he explained that he convinced these healers that a tiny microorganism could kill people by showing them slides of the progression of disease in mouse blood. Asked about similarities between Navajos and Jews during the gallery talk, Erman smiled. He said the families are very similar, with no boss except for the mother. He added that once a Navajo befriends you, you are a friend for life, and there is nothing they won’t do for a guest. The Navajo are very ethical, he said, and while they do not observe a Sabbath, they believe in one Great Spirit. Their spirituality is expressed in ceremonials called “sings” and through sand paintings. Among the Hopi, the kachina (dancers representing ancestral spirits) are like angels in that they are messengers, he added. The Ermans left the Navajo reservation so Erman could do a surgical residency. They moved to the Tohono O’odham reservation in Sells in 1961, where he was in charge of the hospital. Their younger son, Russ, was born in Sells, and Erman performed the bris himself, with some friends driving out

Dr. Seneca Erman holds his son Russ, whose bris he performed, in Sells, Ariz., in 1961, with Janece at his side.

from Tucson to attend, he said. While the Ermans became involved in the spiritual life of the community of Sells, it was different from Tuba City since there had been more Spanish influence. He attended Bible study at the Catholic church and sang in the Episcopal choir, but if there were any traditional O’odham events happening then, the Ermans were not invited, he said. With two small children, they drove weekly to the Jewish Community Center in Tucson for preschool activities. While his wife taught in the school at Sells, she did not think it was adequate, and the See Navajo, page 16


With so many things to do, we suggest getting an early start on your want-to-do list. There’s a lot to do at Villa Hermosa Senior Living Community — clubs, events, socializing, and more. So, go ahead and make your want-to-do list. But please don’t include a bunch of chores. We’ll take care of most of those for you. We invite you to see all that Villa Hermosa has to offer (including assisted living services if needed) at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call for more information.

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et’s face it — international travel has become less fun and more of an ordeal. These days air travel can be so arduous that it impacts our desire to visit distant “bucket list” destinations. Airplanes are jammed, routes are indirect, fares are higher, and a variety of fees for checked luggage and more are on the rise. As we age those security lines seem endless, long walks on concourses seem like forever distances, and having to go to baggage claim to retrieve and recheck luggage an unnecessary evil. But there are ways to minimize some of this and its cost on our bodies, time, and wallet. Some are common sense; others are less obvious. Making Reservations When making airline reservations, consider flight criteria that improve the value of your travel experience. This might include convenient flight times with shorter connections, services (meals and entertainment) provided by the airline, and even the flight’s on-time service record. Most of this information can be found on the airline’s website. Bring your patience to the search, finding the information isn’t always intuitive. Online travel search engines, like Kayak and Expedia, package roundtrip flight options. I use them as an airline routing source then go to that airline’s website, where I can pick the route I want. It has been years since I booked a roundtrip ticket from anyone other than directly from the airline(s). Check out one-way flights in order to pick and choose the times and connections that are most convenient for you. Airlines are notorious for suggesting either the outbound or return flight at a less desirable time plus a longer than desired connection. The days of offering a discount for booking a roundtrip ticket are gone, so take the time to pick your most convenient flight times. And

look at the total flight time specified; the shortest one doesn’t typically show at the top of the list. If you use a travel agent, be specific about these desired travel times. TSA Pre-Check If you don’t have Global Entry, Nexus (Canada) or Sentri (Mexico), sign up today – see for information and applications. Not only does a handy “Trusted Traveler” card help you avoid hours of standing in immigration or security lines, it can easily make the difference in making an international connection. When downloading your boarding pass, make it a habit to fill in your Trusted Traveler number. Those words don’t stand out on the boarding pass form, but filling them out with the number on your card almost always assures you “Pre-check” status. If you have this “trusted” designation, and it doesn’t appear on your boarding pass as TSA Pre-check, call the airline and start the boarding procedure over. It may not be convenient, but it is better than standing in a major airport’s hour-plus security line, then having to remove your shoes (one bonus for those of us age 75 or older — the TSA usually will not require you to remove your shoes). While separate Pre-check lines are not always opened, going through security with a Trusted Traveler card is still simplified. Luggage Lightweight, soft-sided, rolling carry-on suitcases save on baggage charges, but equally important, they can enable you to make a connection with a different airline without having to retrieve checked baggage then re-enter the departure area through security again. Even partner airlines with code-share agreements can arbitrarily decide not to transfer any checked baggage.

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If you see me in an airport and I look as if I may be headed for the Arctic, it is because I am boarding a long flight and wearing two to three layers of clothes: the first layer is something comfy for sleeping, the second is a fleece top to keep me warm during the night, and the third includes my heaviest coat, which I’ll put in the overhead compartment. I’m also wearing the bulkiest shoes I’ll need for the trip. These are typically hiking boots. Whenever flying on an outbound flight, I’m also likely to be lugging emergency snacks: I never travel without hardboiled eggs, unsalted individually packed almonds, a protein bar or two, and dried fruit. Add to this, any not-too-messy leftover from the previous dinner. Always carry a food or retailer “designer” (Lululemon, Whole Foods, Macy’s) shopping bag filled with food/ snacks for the trip. This is not included in your one-bag limit for boarding a plane. Packed below my snack are clothes and items that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. Airlines don’t appear to have a problem bringing food aboard, and they have never noticed that the rest of the bag is full. I also wear a fanny bag exposed on my back. It holds personal items and its front appearance looks like a belt. Keep in mind that pockets come in handy for

stuffing small items. No-iron is the key to packing light and simple. Pack clothes that can be easily washed and dried, and do not require ironing. Don’t carry anything that you can easily purchase at your destination, such as a spare T-shirt or out of season cold/warm weather gear you might be tempted to bring “just in case.” A little planning can reduce the need for cramming more clothes — and weight — into your suitcase. Wash personal items with your hotel’s amenity shampoo. Small resealable plastic bags occupy virtually no packing space, and come in handy for carrying items and food along your journey. Think in threes — underwear, pants, shirts or sweaters, scarfs — and take them all in one color to better mix and match. Also consider leaving some of what you might have packed at your destination. Anything bought as a souvenir can use that empty space. Yes, it’s all a hassle but worth the trouble in order to keep on traveling more comfortably.

Tucson native Mary Levy Peachin is a freelance travel writer and book author who specializes in scuba diving and sport fishing articles. She continues to enjoy adventure/active travel in the autumn of her years. She has visited all seven continents, and written about all of them.

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family moved into Tucson after one year in Sells. They joined Congregation Anshei Israel when it was near the university, but because that was a distance, Erman was one of the founders of a shul at 22nd and Wilmot that no longer exists, but served a need until Anshei Israel moved to its current location at 5th Street and Craycroft Road, Erman said. When Rabbi Marcus Berger was not available, Erman served as a substitute mohel (person who performs ritual circumcision), and served as a second cantor during the High Holy Days and a substitute at other times. He also joined Congregation Young Israel and was instrumental in hiring Rabbi Yossie Shemtov. When Janece became a cantorial soloist at Temple Emanu-El at age 16, he joined there as well. When Erman opened a practice in Tucson in 1962, taking emergency room shifts and filling in for other doctors helped him through the lean times. Having an office near Tucson Medical Center made him more convenient to patients than some other surgeons, so he received more referrals. He also built his reputa-

tion through his leadership in the Masons, Lions, Elks and Shriners, he said. Erman also went to ERs in outlying areas in the earlier days, including to Benson, where in 1980 he became one of the first full-time hospital doctors, working five days a week for a fixed salary. Prior to that, when surgeons took shifts at the ER, they were only paid by patients for procedures. He and another doctor had pitched the idea of a hospital doctor in Tucson to a cool reception, but it is now the standard practice, Erman said. In 1985 he witnessed a major car accident and ran to help. He not only suffered a major coronary, but also hurt his arm, with the nerve injury preventing him from doing surgery again. He continued to do ER work, but not as a surgeon, and that year started working at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, after a brief stint in family practice, where he found the bureaucracy too limiting. During medical school, Erman had made his living first as a busboy and later as a chef in the Catskill Mountains in New York. For Janece’s wedding reception, when the caterer got sick four days before the event, Erman pulled together a salad buffet for 600, with six tables making the shape of a Star of David, so that people could move through more

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quickly. For Rodeo Days, he continues to serve the Lions club, but now “supervises” as Janece cooks the hamburgers and hotdogs. He still enjoys cooking for fun and served delicious chocolate chip cookies for our interview. He recently got off cholesterol medication that was weakening his legs and is enjoying starting to exercise again. Artwork by him, Dottie, Janece, and their good friends, the late Erni and Rose Cabat, adorns Erman’s house. He still enjoys making art; his latest creations include digital paintings made on a computer. Back in 1978, Erman had also spent a month as a cruise ship doctor in Hawaii. After he retired in 1992, he and Dottie increased their time on cruise ship service, traveling all over the world: the Baltic, Japan, the Mediterranean, many times to Alaska, and to Tahiti on a 144-passenger sailing vessel. They continued until Dottie became ill in 2002; she died in 2005. In their many trips to Hawaii, Erman and his wife spent all their time circling the islands; today he is eagerly looking forward to his first land and sea cruise there with his daughter. Deborah Mayaan is a writer and artist in Tucson. She is also a certified health coach with the Gupta Programme. Contact her at

Photo courtesy Seneca Erman


Newlyweds Dr. Seneca and Dottie Erman in Tuba City, Arizona, in 1955


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FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, May 3, 2017.




ou make us better,” James Comey told the AntiDefamation League in his final public speech as FBI director. Judging from the applause in the conference room at the venerable Mayflower Hotel here, the feeling was mutual. Mired in investigations of the scandals of 2016 (Hillary Clinton’s relationship with her email server) and 2017 (Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia), not a lot of love ended up being lost between the FBI director and either party. Democrats called for Comey’s firing last year when a week and a half before the election he reopened the Clinton case because of emails found on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner in an unrelated case. President Donald Trump, who repeatedly praised the FBI director as a candidate, fired Comey on Tuesday, ostensibly because Comey treated Clinton unfairly last July — he excoriated her for her email habits in a news conference, but recommended against legal action. The firing was drawing attention for its timing: Comey is delving into ties between the Trump campaign and transition officials who may have had ties to Russia. Among the folks whose business it is to keep Jews safe — like those gathered Monday in the Mayflower for the ADL’s leadership summit — admiration for Comey was fairly unequivocal. To a degree greater than most of his predecessors, he made the Jewish story central to the FBI mission. Comey required all FBI staffers to undergo a tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Good people helped to murder millions. And that’s the most frightening lesson of all,” he said at a museum dinner in 2015. “That is why I send our agents and our analysts to the museum. I want them to stare at us and realize our capacity for rationalization and moral surrender.”

Comey, already known as a persuasive speaker, was especially adept at understanding what moved Jewish Americans. In his ADL speech this week, he recalled meeting a man who was not far from the scene when a gunman opened fire last June at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. “My name is Menachem Green and I’m Jewish,” Comey quoted the man as saying, pronouncing Menachem impeccably, and went on to say that Green was pleased to tell him that he ran toward the shooting alongside a police officer he learned was a Muslim. “We were Jew and Muslim and Christian and white and black and Latino running to help people we didn’t know,” Comey recalled Green saying. Comey also noted the “Muslim activists who raised over $100,000 to repair Jewish headstones in St. Louis and Philadelphia — that makes us better.” The now former FBI chief also embraced one of the ADL’s signature issues, improving reporting of hate crimes by local authorities. “We must do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime to fully understand what is happening in our country so we can stop it,” he said. Just a week earlier, Comey was due to receive a recognition award from the Secure Community Network, the security affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America. Paul Goldenberg, the SCN director, said Comey was to be recognized for his work with the community in tracking down the perpetrator of dozens of bomb hoaxes on JCCs and other Jewish institutions. “Director Comey put in extraordinary resources and showed tremendous commitment to the American Jewish community,” Goldenberg said, noting that the FBI had deployed agents to Jewish communities across the states. Comey could not personally accept the recognition, and SCN delivered it to a surrogate, because Comey was on the Hill testifying to the Senate about how he handled the email and Russia scandals. In his testimony, he noted one of the FBI triumphs of recent months as a defense of the agency — helping to See Comey, page 20

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SIZZLING GOURMET Tucson sisters launch first Woops! in the West


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Photo courtesy Woops! Bakeshop


ucson’s Main Gate Square sports a chic new bakery called Woops! The Woops! phenomenon got its start in 2012 with a pop-up holiday kiosk in New York’s Bryant Square Park selling nothing but macarons, the petite, colorful French sandwich cookies (as opposed to macaroons, the chewy coconut cookies often served at Passover). The company soon grew, opening macaron kiosks and full-service bakeshops up and down the East Coast. Ellie Lippell, 47, was among the small group of friends who started Woops!, and on Aug. 29, she and one of her three sisters, Naomi Lippell, 54, opened a Woops! Bakeshop at 845 E. University Blvd. in Tucson — the first Woops! in the West. The Lippell sisters had a simple reason for setting up shop in Tucson: They wanted to be near their parents, Bea and Bert Lippell. “We knew our parents are getting older and they were going to need some help figuring out how to navigate the next several years,” says Naomi, “and Ellie and I both decided, let’s get back now, before there’s any kind of crisis, and we’ll be there for them and do this [Woops!] venture, which was truly an adventure.” The elder Lippells still live in the family home, “near Anshei,” says Ellie. Their sister Miriam also lives in Tucson, while Rebecca lives in San Francisco. Ellie grew up in Tucson, attending Tucson Hebrew Academy from fourth through eighth grades, and joining BBG, the Jewish youth group. She went to Israel for her freshman year of college, “which turned into the extended dance version,” she says, making her sister laugh. Ellie stayed in Israel for 15 years, getting a political science degree from Hebrew University and working in communications at various organizations, ending up at the Peres Center for Peace before moving to New York, where she lived for another 15 years before returning to Tucson. Naomi was in high school when the family moved here from Denver. She was a BBG member, too, and attended Rincon High School and the University of Arizona before moving out of state, getting her degree in English, with a minor in business, from the University of Mexico. Having spent the last 21 years working for a nonprofit organization in Albuquerque, “I was ready for a change,” she says. But she is surprised how much she enjoys running a café, and interacting directly with patrons, many of whom have become regulars. “It’s been a real treat,” she says. For Ellie, who worked in marketing and development for Woops! in New York, running the shop has also been different and fun, despite the long hours. “We are loving it,” she says. With its European vibe, the bakery attracts international students from the UA, including Israelis, giving her a chance to brush up on her Hebrew. The décor is rustic, reminiscent of a French country farmhouse, and the sisters enjoy adding little touches, like pretty porcelain plates just the right size for a single macaron.

Sisters Naomi Lippell (left) and Ellie Lippel at Woops! Bakeshop

The café also serves sandwiches and coffee — the combination of good coffee and good pastry was hard to find in Tucson, says Ellie, which has helped make Woops! a success. Since Woops! was started by an international circle of friends from Israel, France, India and the United States, the pastry lineup is international, too. Much of it is created in the main bakery in the Bronx, N.Y., and shipped par-baked to Tucson. But their croissants are imported from France — “they’re the real deal,” says Naomi — and their Belgian waffles, which rival the macarons in popularity, are from Belgium. While the café is not kosher, Woops! macarons, available in 18-20 flavors, are kosher-certified by the Orthodox Union and can be delivered in sealed packaging, Ellie notes. Woops also carries Jewish-inspired rugelach, but with updated flavors like sweet Nutella and savory jalapeno and pizza. The sisters joke that they won’t sell customers rugelach until they learn to say it properly, with a throaty “kh” at the end. Living again in Tucson, they are impressed with the growth of the downtown, and with the community spirit of other vendors in the community, who are “very open to collaboration and finding ways to support one another,” says Ellie. Patrons have also been extraordinarily friendly, says Naomi, and were patient with their initial “growing pains.” “It’s such a lovely community. It’s made doing this new venture such a positive experience,” she says.

SIZZLING GOURMET Well-traveled entrepreneur finds culinary niche with Roma Imports


AJP Executive Editor

Photo: Koreen Johannessen


hen Lilian Spieth bought Roma Imports in 1999, she had never run a business or worked in a restaurant. But her kids were in college and she was bored. “I was a little bit intimidated at starting something from scratch,” she says, but she figured she could take an existing business and build on it. “Food had always been my passion.” Eighteen years later, Roma Imports, located at 627 S. Vine Ave., is thriving. Over the years, Spieth has shifted the focus from wholesale to mostly retail sales, with a wide array of prepared foods as well as imported groceries. Although the restaurant and catering menus emphasize Italian dishes such as eggplant parmesan and tiramisu, as you’d expect from a place with “Roma” in the name, Spieth has added to the “world food” sections of her refrigerated and frozen meals, whipping up everything from French coq au vin to Greek moussaka to Hungarian goulash. Of Iraqi-Jewish descent, Spieth was born in Calcutta, where she lived un-

Lilian Spieth at Roma Imports

til she was 14, surrounded by the colors and spices of India. Her mother learned to cook kosher versions of the local cuisine, substituting coconut milk for cream in her curries. “I learned all those recipes from her,” she says, but Spieth also ate Indian street food and meals cooked by neighbors who were not Jewish. Today, in her store, Spieth offers several Indian meals, including saag paneer,

a dish that combines spinach and Indian cheese, plus lamb and chicken curries. From Calcutta her family moved to Hadera, Israel, a part of her journey that she says is reflected in the store’s Mediterranean platter, which includes hummus, pita bread and olives. She also caters bar mitzvahs, and says that her baba ganoush, made with roasted eggplant mixed with mayonnaise

rather than tahini, is the true Israeli version of the dish. Spieth was working in the foreign exchange department of an Israeli bank when she went on a backpacking tour of Europe with a girlfriend. She met her husband, who is German, in Scotland and they were married in Plymouth, England. The family lived in Denmark and Germany as well as Washington and Colorado before moving to Tucson. Look for sauerbraten and other German specialties in her world food section, along with English shepherd’s pie, one of her bestsellers. Speith still supplies a few loyal restaurant clients with wholesale items. The dry goods section of the store continues to offer a large selection of Italian pastas, tomatoes including San Marzanos – the certified kind, she says — olive oils, Italian cookies and other desserts, and specialty items such as marinated anchovies that can still be hard to find elsewhere. Knowing she can’t compete with the shelf space available in supermarkets, “really I just try to keep the items that you would come down for,” she says. For more information, visit

Want more "FOODIE" info? Check out our Restaurant Resource section every month and our Dining Out Guide twice annually for the best eats in town! If your favorite restaurant could use more loyal and devoted customers, contact Berti at





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A reA C ongregAtions CONSERVATIVE

Congregation anshei israel

5550 E. Fifth St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 745-5550 Rabbi Robert Eisen, Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny • Daily minyan: Mon.-Thurs., 7:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; Fri., 7:30 a.m.; Sun. & legal holidays, 8 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. / Mincha: Fri., 5:45 p.m. / Shabbat services: Sat., 9 a.m., followed by Kiddush; Tot Shabbat, 1st Fri., 5:45 p.m.; Family Service, 3rd Friday, 5:45 p.m.; Holiday services may differ, call or visit website. / Torah study: every Shabbat one hour before Mincha (call or visit website for times) / Talmud on Tuesday, 6 p.m. / Weekday Torah study group, Wed., 11 a.m. beverages and dessert provided.

Congregation Bet shalom 3881 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 • (520) 577-1171 Hazzan Avraham Alpert • Services: Fri., 5:30 p.m. (followed by monthly dinners — call for info); Sat., 9:30 a.m.-noon, Shabbat Experience includes free break-out sessions for children and adults, followed by Kiddush lunch and discussion led by Rabbi Dr. Howard Schwartz and Dr. David Graizbord 12:30-1:30 p.m. / Daily services: Mon.-Fri. 8:15 a.m.; Sundays and legal holidays, 9 a.m.; Hagim 9:30 a.m.


Congregation ChoFetz Chayim/southwest torah institute 5150 E. Fifth St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 747-7780 Rabbi Israel Becker • Shabbat services: Fri., Kabbalat Shabbat 15 minutes before sunset; Sat. 9 a.m. followed by Kiddush. / Mincha: Fri., 1 p.m.; Sat., 25 minutes before sunset, followed by Shalosh Seudas, Maariv and Havdallah. Services: Sun., 8 a.m.; Mon. & Thurs., 6:50 a.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 7 a.m.; daily, 15 minutes before sunset. / Weekday Rosh Chodesh services: 6:45 a.m.

Congregation young israel/ChaBad oF tuCson 2443 E. Fourth St., Tucson, AZ 85719 • (520) 881-7956 Rabbi Yossie Shemtov, Rabbi Yudi Ceitlin • Daily minyan: Sun. & legal holidays, 8:30 a.m.; Mon. & Thurs., 6:30 p.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 6:45 a.m. / Mincha & Maariv, 5:15 p.m. / Shabbat services: Fri. at candlelighting; Sat. 9:30 a.m. followed by Kiddush. Mincha, Maariv and Havdallah TBA.

ChaBad on river 3916 E. Ft. Lowell Road • (520) 661-9350 Rabbi Ram Bigelman • Shabbat services: Fri., Mincha at candlelighting time, followed by Maariv. / Sat., Shacharit service, 9:30 a.m. / Torah study: women, Tues., 10 a.m.; men, Thurs., 7 p.m.

ChaBad oro valley 1217 W. Faldo Drive, Oro Valley, AZ 85755 • (520) 477-8672 Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman • Shabbat services: 3rd Fri., 5 p.m., Oct.-Feb., 6 p.m. March-Sept., all followed by dinner / Sat. Torah study followed by services, 10 a.m. Shabbat morning minyan, 1st Sat., 10 a.m., followed by Kiddush.

ChaBad sierra vista 401 Suffolk Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 • (520) 820-6256 Rabbi Benzion Shemtov • Shabbat services: Sat., 10:30 a.m., bimonthly, followed by class explaining prayers. Visit website or call for dates.

REFORM CONGREGATION CHAVERIM 5901 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 320-1015 Rabbi Stephanie Aaron • 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.



continued from page 17

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Name Address



Congregation Kol simChah

(Renewal) 4625 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 Mailing Address: 2732 S. Gwain Place, Tucson, AZ 85713 • (520) 296-0818 Shabbat services: 1st and 3rd Fri., 7:15 p.m.

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 • 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 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.

the institute For JudaiC serviCes and studies Mailing Address: 36789 S. Golf Course Drive, Saddlebrooke, AZ 85739 (520) 825-8175 • Rabbi Sanford Seltzer Shabbat services: Oct.-April, one Friday per month at 7 p.m. — call for details.

temple emanu-el 225 N. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85716 • (520) 327-4501 Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Rabbi Batsheva Appel • Shabbat services: Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. / Torah study: Sat., 8:30 a.m. except when there is a Rabbi’s Tish.

temple Kol hamidBar 228 N. Canyon Drive, Sierra Vista • (520) 458-8637 Mailing address: P.O. Box 908, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636 Shabbat services: Fri., 7:30 p.m.


Beth shalom temple Center

1751 N. Rio Mayo (P.O. Box 884), Green Valley, AZ 85622 (520) 648-6690 • Shabbat services: 1st and 3rd Fri., 7 p.m. / Torah study: Sat., 10 a.m.

Congregation etz Chaim (Modern Orthodox) 686 Harshaw Road, Patagonia, AZ 85624 • (520) 394-2520 • Rabbi Gabriel Cousens Shabbat services: Fri., 18 minutes before sunset / Torah study: Sat., 9:30 a.m. handmaKer resident synagogue

2221 N. Rosemont Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85712 • (520) 881-2323 Shabbat services: Fri., 4:30 p.m., led by Lindsey O’Shea, followed by Shabbat dinner; Sat., 9:30 a.m., led by Mel Cohen and Dan Asia, followed by light Kiddush lunch.

seCular humanist Jewish CirCle Call Cathleen at 730-0401 for meeting or other information.

university oF arizona hillel Foundation 1245 E. 2nd St. Tucson, AZ 85719 • 624-6561 • Shabbat services: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and alternative services two Fridays each month when school is in session. Dinner follows (guests, $8; RSVP by preceding Thurs.). Call for dates/times.

solve the JCC bomb threats. “Children frightened, old people frightened, terrifying threats of bombs at Jewish institutions, especially the Jewish community centers — the entire FBI surged in response to that threat,” Comey said in his opening remarks Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In March, an Israeli-American teen was arrested in Israel on suspicion of calling in more than 100 bomb threats. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department charged the teen, Michael Kadar, with making threatening calls to JCCs in Florida, conveying false information to the police and cyberstalking. “Working across all programs, all divisions, our technical wizards, using our vital international presence and using our partnerships especially with the Israeli national police, we made that case and the Israelis locked up the person behind those threats and stopped the terrifying plague against the Jewish community centers,” Comey said. Comey may be gone, but the shock among Democrats ­— and some congressional Republicans — at his departure means his memory is unlikely to fade anytime soon. “We must have a special prosecutor,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the minority leader in the Senate, said in a statement delivered at a briefing for reporters late Tuesday. Schumer said he told Trump in a phone call that firing Comey was a “very big mistake.” Trump fired back on Twitter, recalling that Schumer had said recently that he did not have confidence in Comey. “Then acts so indignant,” Trump said, calling the New York lawmaker “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer.” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which is also probing the Trump campaign’s Russia ties, said there was no contradiction between being appalled at Comey’s handling of the Clinton case and at his firing. Schiff noted that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russia investigation because he had met with a Russian diplomat during the transition, had signed off on the firing. “The decision by a president whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an attorney general who has recused himself from that investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter,” he said.

Reader’s Pet Portraits Wanted Send us your favorite color photo of your pet, with the pet’s name (and yours), to be published in the AJP’s May 26 issue. Photos must be submitted by Wednesday, May 17 to Please put “Pet Photo” in the subject line. Questions? Call 319-1112.

OUR TOWN Gabriel Eli Green, son of Rachel and Jonathan Green, will celebrate becoming a bar mitzvah on Saturday, May 20 at Congregation Anshei Israel. He is the grandson of Fay Green of Tucson, the late Barry Green, Renata Limmer of Huntsville, Ala., and the late

Ralph Limmer. Gabe attends Esperero Canyon Middle School where he is a member of the basketball and soccer teams. He also plays soccer for Tanque Verde Soccer Club. For his mitzvah project, Gabe is volunteering with The Grow 2B Fit Foundation, which teaches Tucson families about fitness and nutrition.

Community commemorates Yom HaShoah Some 200 people attended the Jewish community’s 2017 Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sunday, April 23 at Temple Emanu-El. The event, organized by the Jewish History Museum, explored the theme of “Art and Totalitarianism: 80 Years After the ‘Degenerate Art’ Exhibition” and included a Holocaust survivor processional and candle lighting ceremony.

Photo: Keith Dveirin

Bar mitzvah


Haley Dveirin lights a candle with her grandmother, Holocaust survivor Annique Dveirin.

Business briefs

IRIS KARAS has opened a consulting practice specializing in personal counseling, educational support and college guidance. Karas has worked with children, teens and adults for more than 30 years as a teacher, therapist and guidance counselor. Originally from the East Coast, she recently relocated to Tucson from Indiana. She earned a Master’s in Education in community mental health from Northeastern University, a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Northeastern University and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in guidance counseling from American International College. More information is available at or (413) 575-2625.

The Weintraub Israel Center held a Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) ceremony, honoring Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, Sunday, April 30 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. More than 100 people attended the ceremony, which was preceded by “My Israel Moment” reminiscences from local rabbis and Jewish community leaders. Marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the ceremony included reflections on the 1967 Six-Day War.

Photo: Marty Johnston

INTERFAITH COMMUNITY SERVICES, Catholic Community Services Pio Decimo Center and Primavera Foundation will share nearly $1 million in grant funding over two years from the Office of State Attorney General Mark Brnovich to support local programs to prevent homelessness. The funding will help the three agencies serve approximately 1,500 individuals or households. The grants come from a February 2016 joint state settlement that was reached between Arizona, 18 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice with Standard and Poor’s (S&P) to resolve a consumer lawsuit surrounding S&P’s finance ratings service.

Honoring Israel’s fallen

(L-R) Israelis Or Maoz, University of Arizona Hillel Foundation Israel Fellow; Bar Alkaher, Tucson shinshin; Netanel Achituv, Tucson Hebrew Academy teacher-emissary; Yuval Barel, daughter of Tucson shlicha Oshrat Barel; and Leah Avuno, Tucson shinshin, perform at the Yom Hazikaron ceremony on April 30.

Shinshinim program thanks More than 100 people turned out May 1 for a Weintraub Israel Center party thanking Tucson’s shinshinim (Israeli teen emissaries) Leah Avuno and Bar Alkaher; their host families, the Silvermans, the Weiners and the Barels; and the site supervisors from the schools they worked with this year. The shinshinim will continue their year of service (shnat sherut in Hebrew) as counselors at the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Camp J until the beginning of August. The party, fittingly, was held on Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.

Photo: Marty Johnston

At the invitation of Rep. Martha McSally and the Office of the Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives, RABBI THOMAS LOUCHHEIM of CONGREGATION OR CHADASH will open the House of Representatives with prayer as the guest chaplain on Wednesday, May 17 at 12 p.m. (EDT).

Bar Alkaher posted this photo on Facebook, commenting, “This photo basically explains the whole year — Leah Avuno and I happily sharing anything about ourselves and our country with the wonderful Jewish community in Tucson and surrounded by the kids we love so much! … Thanks for everyone for coming to our event, it was very powerful and emotional for me, and of course a special thanks to Oshrat Barel Tucson Shlicha who made it all possible!” May 12, 2017, ARIZONA JEWISH POST


COMMUNITY CALENDAR The calendar deadline is Tuesday, 10 days before the issue date. Our next issue will be published May 26, 2017. Events may be emailed to, faxed to 319-1118, or mailed to the AJP at 3822 E. River Road, #300, Tucson, AZ 85718. For more information, call 319-1112. See Area Congregations on page 20 for additional synagogue events.

Men’s Mishnah club with Rabbi Israel Becker at Cong. Chofetz Chayim. Sundays, 7:15-8 a.m.; Mondays and Thursdays, 6:15-6:50 a.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 6:157 a.m.; Saturdays, call for time. 747-7780 or Chabad of Sierra Vista men’s tefillin club with Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, first Sundays, 9 a.m., at 401 Suffolk Drive. 820-6256 or “Too Jewish” radio show with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon on KVOI 1030 AM (also KAPR and KJAA), Sundays at 9 a.m. May 14, Matti Friedman, Israeli journalist and author of "Pumpkinflowers" and "The Aleppo Codex"; May 21, Yonatan Nir, Israeli filmmaker of "My Hero Brother"; May 28, Pamela Schuller, Jewish inclusion advocate and standup comedian.

ONGOING Cong. Anshei Israel women’s study group led by Rabbi Robert Eisen. First Mondays, noon. Discussion based on “The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman’s Commentary on the Torah.” Bring dairy lunch; beverages and dessert provided. Contact Helen at 299-0340. Tucson J current events discussion, Mondays, noon-1:30 p.m. Members, $1; nonmembers, $2. Lunch, bring or buy, 11:30 a.m. 2993000, 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.

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.

“Along the Talmudic Trail” for men (18-40) at Southwest Torah Institute, Mondays, 7 p.m. 747-7780 or

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.

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.

Cong. Anshei Israel parent-tot class (9-24 months), Mondays, 9-11 a.m. Facilitated by Gabby Erbst. Mandatory vaccination policy. Contact Lynne Falkow-Strauss at 745-5550, ext. 229.

JFCS Holocaust Survivors group meets Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-noon. Contact Raisa Moroz at 795-0300.

Temple Emanu-El mah jongg, Mondays at 10 a.m. 327-4501.

Tucson J social bridge. Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon-3 p.m., year round. Drop-ins welcome. Meets in library on second floor. 2993000.

Jewish Federation-Northwest chair yoga with a Jewish flair taught by Bonnie Golden. Mondays, 10-11 a.m., except May 15, 22 and 29. $7 per class or $25 for four. 505-4161 or

Northwest Knitters create hand-stitched items for donation in the Jewish community. Meets at Jewish Federation Northwest Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m. RSVP to or call 505-4161.

Cong. Anshei Israel mah jongg, Mondays, 10 a.m.-noon. All levels, men and women. Contact Evelyn at 885-4102 or

Cong. Anshei Israel Talmud on Tuesday with Rabbi Robert Eisen, Tuesdays, 6 p.m. 7455550.

Friday / May 12

Saturday / May 13

5:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El family Shabbat dinner followed by Shabbat Rocks! service with the Avanim Band at 6:30 p.m. Dinner: $12, adults (13 and older); children, free. RSVP at 327-4501. 6 PM: Temple Emanu-El Northwest Shabbat dinner and service with Rabbi Batsheva Appel and cantorial soloist Lindsey O'Shea, at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo Del Norte. Kosher chicken dinner (vegetarian upon request) followed by Shabbat service at 7 p.m. Dinner: Temple members, $12; nonmembers, $14; children 12 and under, free. RSVP at 327-4501. 9:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El Downtown Shabbat at Jewish History Museum, 564 S. Stone Ave., with the Armon Bizman band and Rabbi Samuel Cohon; oneg follows. 327-4501.



2-4 PM: Secular Humanist Jewish Circle video and discussion, “The Jewish Journey – Jewish Immigration to America Through the Centuries,” at Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Bring a snack to share and $1 for the Community Food Bank. Information at RSVP to Dee, 299-4404 or 5 PM: Temple Emanu-El Wandering Jews and Babies & Bagels Lag B’Omer picnic and bonfire, at the Youngerman Ranch. Adults, $7; ages 4-12, $3; under age 3, free. 327-4501. 7:30 PM: Loft Cinema series at the Tucson J, "Deconstructing the Beatles' Rubber Soul." Continues Sunday, May 14 with Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety," Thursday, May 18 with "Rooted in Peace," Wednesday, May 24 with Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles," Saturday, May 27 with "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," and Sunday, May 28 with Mel Brooks' "Spaceballs," all shows

Tucson J Israeli folk dance classes. Tuesdays. Beginners, 7:30 p.m.; intermediate, 8:15 p.m.; advanced, 9 p.m. Taught by Lisa Goldberg. Members, $5; nonmembers, $6. 299-3000. Shalom Tucson business networking group, second Wednesday of month, 7:30-9 a.m., at the Tucson J. Contact Ori Parnaby at 299-3000, ext. 241, or 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 Temple Emanu-El Talmud study with Dr. Eliot Barron. Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m. One-time $18 materials fee. 327-4501. Chabad of Sierra Vista women’s class with Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, last Wednesdays, noon-2 p.m., 401 Suffolk Drive. 820-6256 or Lunch and learn with Cantor Avraham Alpert of Cong. Bet Shalom, Wednesdays, noon-1 p.m. at the Tucson J. 299-3000. Jewish Federation-Northwest mah jongg, Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. 505-4161. Chabad Tucson lunch and learn with Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin, Wednesdays, 12:15 p.m. at Eli’s Deli. Weintraub Israel Center Shirat HaShirim Hebrew Choir, Wednesdays, 7 p.m., at the Tucson J. Learn to sing in Hebrew. Contact Rina Paz at 304-7943 or Jewish mothers/grandmothers special needs support group for those with children/ grandchildren, young or adult, with special needs, third Wednesdays at 7-8:30 p.m. at Tucson J. Contact Joyce Stuehringer at 299-5920.

7:30 p.m. Tickets at or the Loft box office.

Sunday / May 14 2 PM: Loft Cinema Series at the Tucson J, "Mamma Mia!" with a Mother's Day singalong, including pre-show ABBA music videos, goodie bags, and prizes for the best ABBA-inspired outfits. Tickets at or the Loft box office. 5 PM: “Why is the Media Confused about Israel?” Free lecture and dinner at Cong. Chofetz Chayim with award-winning journalist and author, Matti Friedman, a former Associated Press reporter and author of “The Aleppo Codex” and “Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story.” RSVP required. 5779393, ext.133 or

Tuesday / May 16 1 PM: Jewish History Museum book signing and museum talk, with Marcia Fine, author of "Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories,” at 564 Stone

Cong. Bet Shalom Lunch and Learn with Cantor Avraham Alpert, Thursdays, noon-1 p.m. at Eli’s Deli. 577-1171. Tucson J canasta group. Players wanted. Thursdays, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Instruction available and a beginners’ table every week. Call Rhoda at 886-4334. Tucson J “Keep Tucson Warm” knitting group creates afghans for local shelter. All skill levels. Yarn donations welcome. Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon in the art gallery. Contact Tanya at 299-3000, ext. 147. Jewish History Museum gallery chats. 15-minute programs led by community members. First and third Fridays, 11:30 a.m., through May 19. 564 S. Stone Ave. 670-9073. “Biblical Breakthroughs with Rabbi Becker” at the Southwest Torah Institute. Fridays, noon, for men and women. 747-7780 or yzbecker@ Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center, open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Friday noon-3 p.m. 564 S. Stone Ave. Adults, $7; members and students, free. No admission charge on Saturdays. 670-9073. Jewish History Museum exhibition, “Fluid Identities: New Mexican Crypto-Jews in the Late 20th Century,” at 564 S. Stone Ave., through May 31. 670-9073. Tucson J art show, “Groovin' Together: Artists of Many Hands Courtyard and the Tucson Arts Cooperative Multi-Media Exhibit,” through May 30 in the Fine Art Gallery. 2993000. Jewish Federation-Northwest/Cong. Or Chadash Hebrew and Judaism tutorials for school-aged children, at Jewish FederationNorthwest, now through summer. Call 9007030 or email Rina Liebskind at hebrewnw@

Ave. Part of the traveling exhibition, "Fluid Identities: New Mexican Crypto-Jews in the Late 20th Century." Free. Contact Lisa Schachter Brooks at or 670-9073.

Wednesday / May 17 6:30 PM: Tucson J Celebration of Heritage Concert, "Remembering Mr. Cole: A Tribute to Nat King Cole" with Joe Bourne & The Trio. $10. 2993000.

Friday / May 19 5:45 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Family Shabbat Experience service, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and open lounge with games. Dinner: $25 family (two adults and up to four children); $10, adults (age 13+); RSVP by May 15 at 745-5550 or 6 PM: Temple Emanu-El Northwest dinner and Shabbat service with Rabbi Batsheva Appel and

cantorial soloist Lindsey O’Shea, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo Del Norte. Kosher chicken dinner (vegetarian upon request), followed by Shabbat service at 7 p.m. Dinner: Temple members, $12; non-members, $14; children 12 and under, free. Register at or 327-4501. 6:30 PM: Cong. Or Chadash Shabbat service with birthday and anniversary blessings. 5128500. 7:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El Confirmation Shabbat evening service; oneg follows. 327-4501.

SATURDAY / MAY 20 9 AM: Cong. Or Chadash Eat, Study, Pray: "Torah In the Wilderness: Why There?" Lox and bagel breakfast with Rabbi Louchheim. Free. 5128500. 10 AM: Cong. Or Chadash Brotherhood Shabbat service, led by members of Brotherhood. 5128500. 10 AM: Temple Emanu-El Shabbat morning service with adult b'nai mitzvah. 327-4501.

SUNDAY / MAY 21 9:30 AM: Cong. Anshei Israel Men's Club breakfast. "Making the Most of Your Charitable Contributions," with Craig Nochumson. Men's Club members, free; guests, $4. RSVP to Lew Crane at 400-9930 or 10 AM-NOON: Chai Circle: "Understanding Your

Joint Health," with Patrick Sims, M.S., at the Tucson J. RSVP to Andrea Siemens at 795-0300, ext. 2365, or 10:30 AM-12:30 PM: Desert Caucus brunch with Rep. Joe Wilson (R - S.C.). Potential members only. RSVP to Jennifer Miller Grant at 4901453. 2 PM: Temple Emanu-El Sunday Salon, "My Life and Work as a Jewish Artist," with Michael B. Schwartz. Free. 327-4501. 2 PM: Tucson J presents Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Just for Kids free series. 299-3000. 3:30 PM: Handmaker lecture: Finding G-d (in the) Every Day, with Rabbis Yossi Shemtov, Thomas Louchheim and Robert Eisen. Q&A and light refreshments included. Free. RSVP to Nanci Levy at or 322-3632. 7 PM: Weintraub Israel Center, Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome, Tucson J Special Needs department and the Tucson International Film Festival present encore screening of “My Hero Brother,” at the Tucson J. Skype Q&A with Israeli filmmaker Yonatan Nir follows. Free; suggested donation, $5.

MONDAY / MAY 22 5-6:30 PM: Jewish Federation-Northwest and Hadassah Book Club discusses "Someone Knows My Name" by Lawrence Hill. 505-4161 or

7-9 PM: Tucson Tikkun Community presents "How the United States Provoked the New Cold War with Russia," with David N. Gibbs, Ph.D., professor of history, University of Arizona; at the Tucson City Council Ward 6 office, 3202 E. First Street. Contact Michael Zaccaria at zaccarim@

WEDNESDAY / MAY 24 7 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Yom Yerushalayim program: “A Dream That Has Come True: 50 Years as One,” celebrating the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Activities include: “Jerusalem Then and Now,” “Our Prayers of, for and


from Jerusalem,” “The Melody of Her Presence” and “The History of Her ‘Form and Function.’” Free. RSVP by May 22 at 745-5550.

FRIDAY / MAY 26 7:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El Confirmation Shabbat evening service; oneg follows. 327-4501.

SUNDAY / MAY 28 9:15 AM: Jewish War Veterans Friedman-Paul Post 201 breakfast meeting at B'nai B'rith Covenant House, 4414 E. 2nd St. $4. Contact Honey Manson at 529-1830.


cheesecake or dairy dessert. 327-4501.

7 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Tikkun Leil Shavuot: A Guide to the Evening of Shavuot. Includes service, 7 p.m., dairy dinner, 7:30 p.m., “Does the Book of Ruth Matter?” with Rabbi Robert Eisen, 8:30 p.m., “Developing Loving Relationships Through the Holidays” with Rabbi Ruven Barkan, 9:30 p.m., dessert, 10:30 p.m. and reading of the Book of Ruth, 11 p.m. Dinner, $8 per person. Service, study sessions and dessert, free. RSVP for all activities at 745-5550.


8 PM: Temple Emanu-El Tikkun Leil Shavuot evening service, “All-Night” study session on “The 10 Commandments – One at a Time …” and cheesecake bake-off. Bring your favorite


9 AM: Cong. Anshei Israel 1st Day Shavuot service. Mincha service, 5:30 p.m. 745-5550. 9:30 AM: Temple Emanu-El Shavuot service with Yizkor 327-4501. 4 PM: Chabad Oro Valley Shavuot service with reading of the Ten Commandments, at 1217 W. Faldo Dr. Followed by a dairy dinner. Free. 4778672 or 9 AM: Cong. Anshei Israel 2nd Day Shavuot service with Yizkor. Mincha 7:50 p.m. 7455550.


520.881.3391 CONTACT BEVERLY at 520.577.9393 to register May 12, 2017, ARIZONA JEWISH POST




Arizona Jewish Post 5.12.17