IJSS November and December Happenings

Melanie Einbund

At our November Shabbat, with his pragmatism, scholarly history, and prognostications, Rabbi Sanford Seltzer addressed the war in Israel with concern, historical references, and guidelines as to how we can act and support Israel. The prayers and traditional worship offered were enhanced by Cantorial Soloist Eliyanah Powers and accompanist Dr. Josh Nichols. Their musical accompaniment resounded throughout the service and helped many with their thoughts and apprehensions.

Joy Erickson hosted the Oneg in celebration of her husband Bill Erickson’s special birthday.

Questions Abound on Israel

Many want information about Israel. In response, the Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS) sponsored a meeting with Yuval Malka. Yuval represents Israel through the Shaliach program. These envoys are posted throughout several countries. Their duties include informing, educating, and integrating with the members of their community to learn about Israel. Yuval spoke about her personal experiences witnessing the events of Oct. 7 from Tucson in her country, Israel.

Abbi Cook, Director of the Weintraub Israel Center, which brings a little piece of Israel to Tucson, spoke about programs and events.

The meeting was very well attended and received by the audience.

From this meeting, a new group was formed called “Stand With Israel.” The intent of this group is to be proactive, informational, and participate in the local Jewish community. Current objectives include speakers to educate the community regarding issues, history, and next steps. We plan to provide supportive material and resources and participate in local Jewish events, as well as writing letters to our representatives to support Israel. Also, we will write letters to the  Israel Defense Forces soldiers and auxiliary personnel to let them know that we support them.

A January meeting will be held. The speaker will be from Stand With Us, an organization that stands up to misinformation and hate.

Chanukah was Dec. 7 through 15, a celebration of the miracle of oil lasting eight days when there was only enough for one at the rededication of the Temple. We came together to enjoy each other with the symbolic food of potato pancakes and jelly doughnuts.

Shabbat services were on Dec. 15. We wish to thank Sharon and Art Treister for hosting the Oneg at their home, sponsored by Sharon and Art Triester and Barbara and Jack Rosenthal, in honor of birthday celebrations for Barb Rosenthal and Sharon Triester and the 62nd anniversary of Barb and Jack Rosenthal. Rabbi Seltzer officiated, assisted by Eliyanah Powers and Dr. Josh Nichols. If you wish to sponsor an Oneg for a special event, remembrance, or celebration, contact Sherry Kaplan at [email protected].

Upcoming Shabbat Services are on Jan. 12 and Feb. 16.

Tu B’shevat

IJSS will be holding a Tu B’shevat seder on Jan. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering and/or attending, please contact Melanie Einbund at [email protected].

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Esta Goldstein at 520-825-1181 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

IJSS wishes the community a time of peace, health, and joy in the 2024 new year.