This weekend: Family music event, women’s learning, party with purpose

There’s lots to do over the long weekend:

On Sunday, a Jewish Music Extravaganza is scheduled for 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the Phoenix Hebrew Academy. Families can listen to stories read by Rabbi Michael Wasserman of The New Shul and Rabbi Bryski from Chabad of Scottsdale will read stories, do crafts with PJ Library, and hear music from Ari Ben-Yam and David Goldstein. Food from King Solomon’s Pizza will be for sale. Call 480-203-0424 or email

Also that day, the Women’s Jewish Learning Center hosts “Turn, Turn Turn: Teshuva: 2012,” a multimedia study adventure with Rabbi Elana Kanter in preparation for the High Holidays. 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Mustang Library.

On Monday, Chabad of the East Valley hosts a family fun day 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The pre-High Holiday event and open house will include a shofar factory demonstration and apple and honey tasting. 480-855-4333.

jLIVE, for Jewish young professionals ages 22-32, will host “Party with a Purpose” 7:30-10 p.m. at a private home. Proceeds benefit Leket, an Israeli food bank. $10 suggested donation. Call 480-930-6173.

On Sunday through Wednesday, a scribe from Colorado Springs will be in Scottsdale to check mezuzot, a visit that is organized through Shomrei Mitzvas Mezuzah of Arizona. To make an appointment to check your mezuzah before the High Holidays, visit

And, so you can plan ahead, here are some things happening next week:

Tuesday/Sept. 4

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society offers a free Jewish genealogy presentation on “The U.S. Census Now and Then” led by Janette Silverman. 7 p.m. at the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center.

Wednesday/Sept. 5

Valley Beit Midrash kicks off its season with the debut of the Seymour Sacks z”l Memorial Lecture 7 p.m. at Temple Chai. The featured guest is Rabbi David Ellenson, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

The Bureau of Jewish Education holds a Mother’s Circle tea 10-11:30 a.m. at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus. The program is for non-Jewish women raising Jewish children.

Thursday/Sept. 6

An introductory meeting for Chai Mitzvah will be held at Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley. The program’s aim is to encourage Jewish adults to revisit and recommit to Jewish life. Two meeting times available: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The opening reception for the next JGallery exhibit is 5:30-7 p.m. at the Valley of the Sun JCC. Artist Judith Rothenstein-Putzer displays her work.
Shabbat Shalom!

This week’s candlelighting time is 6:37 p.m.

Have a peaceful Shabbat and a safe long weekend!

This weekend: Mitzvah planning expo, Unity Torah dedication and more

After a somewhat slow summer, activity in the Valley’s Jewish community is now  increasing. There’s lot’s to do this weekend, from the dedication of the Jewish Unity Torah at Arizona State University to the Mitzvahs & More Expo at the Biltmore designed primarily for Jewish families preparing to host events.

Mitzvahs & More Expo

The Mitzvahs & More Expo, presented by Living Energy, will feature about 60 exhibitors at this bar/bat mitzvah and wedding event planning expo produced for the Phoenix Jewish Community.

The free event, noon-4 p.m. this Sunday, will be held at the Arizona Biltmore. Jewish  News is a media partner.

Jewish Unity Torah

Students and other volunteers have been busy renovating the Chabad house at ASU  (“Synagogue Impossible“) these past three weeks in preparation for the dedication of the ASU Jewish Unity Torah, sponsored by the Larry and Beth Cohen family of Fountain Hills, whose three children attended ASU.

The celebration starts at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Memorial Union at ASU and is followed by a parade to the Rohr Chabad House-Jewish Student Center.

’80s Shabbat Lounge

Feeling nostalgic about 80s music? Then head over to Temple Solel this Friday night for the ‘’80s Flashback” Shabbat Shira featuring Cantorial Soloist Todd Herzog and his band, Rabbi John Linder and Rabbi Ilana Mills. There’s an oneg at 5:30 p.m. and the service starts at 6 p.m.

After the service is Solel’s Shabbat Lounge, for young professionals and couples ages 21-45. The event includes an open bar and free food. There’s even free babysitting to those who need it, but reservations must be made in advance. Call Adina, 480-991-7414.

Jewish Heritage Day at Chase Field

Show your Jewish pride at a baseball game this Sunday, when the Diamondbacks play against the San Diego Padres. The game starts at 1:10 p.m. at Chase Field. A portion of tickets sold for Jewish Heritage Day will be donated to Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Tickets start at $12.

And that’s not all that’s happening! Here’s more:

Kick-off event for the Friendship Circle:
Teens are invited to participate in a kick-off event for the Friendship Circle 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at Chabad of Arizona. The event includes a training session with a panel discussion of parents of children with special needs, a light dinner and a chocolate party. The Friendship Circle provides programming for children and teens with special needs and their families and offers several volunteer opportunities for teens.

Ice cream social and open house for Temple Beth Emeth of Scottsdale, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. 480-941-4112.

Open house and gift boutique at Temple Gan Elohim in Phoenix: 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. 602-361-3330.

Get to know your candidates

We received this information too late to appear in last week’s issue but thought some might be interested in attending a Republican primary congressional debate tonight and a Meet the Candidates evening tomorrow night.

Here are the details:

The Monday night debate is between Travis Grantham and Martin Sepulveda and moderated by William J. Wolf, host of the Middle East Radio Forum.

The debate starts at 7:45 p.m. and will be held at Young Israel of Phoenix. Attendance is free and audience members will get a chance to ask questions.

Tomorrow night, Chabad of Scottsdale will host a Candidates Night at 7:15 p.m. All candidates for the state legislature representing Districts 23 and 28 have been invited to speak briefly about why they are running. The free event will be followed by mingling and light, kosher refreshments.

RSVPs are appreciated but not required.

Go, Maccabi Team Phoenix!

Members of The JCC Maccabi Team Phoenix are busy winning medals in the 2012 Maccabi Games in Houston and Memphis.

Follow the teams on Facebook at JCC Maccabi Team Phoenix and on Twitter @MaccabiTeamPhx

Go, Team Phoenix!

Having trouble reaching the Jewish Community Association?

The Jewish Community Association is having some trouble with their phone lines so if you are unable to get through, there’s an alternate way.

If you can’t connect using the Association’s main phone number (480-634-4900),  call the VOSJCC Welcome Desk at 480-483-7121, ext. zero, and someone there will  connect you to the appropriate individual at the Association.

Mazel tov to local Daf Yomi students

Tonight is the Phoenix Siyum HaShas 2012, which will celebrate the Valley’s first Daf Yomi class to complete a full cycle of page-a-day study of the Babylonian Talmud.

While more than 90,000 people are expected to gather in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey tonight to celebrate the completion of the Talmud study cycle, a local celebration, presented by the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of Greater Phoenix in conjunction with Agudath Israel of America will also be held in Phoenix.

Here’s the schedule we received:

4 p.m. pre-program: Live broadcast from Met Life Stadium                                                       Featured pre-program speakers: Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky Shlit”a , Novominsker Rebbe Shlit”a

Local programs begins at 5 p.m. with a communal mincha

5:15 p.m. Siyum buffet opens, with reservations only.

5:30-6 p.m. Local Siyum Hashas/Start of Brachos, Rabbi David Rebibo, Rabbi Zvi Holland/Rabbi Yisroel Isaacs/Music & Dancing)
Rav Yissocher Frand  (Live Broadcast)
Divrei Bracha Rabbi Reuven Mann
Presentation to Mesaymei Hashas & Lomdei Daf Hayomi
Rav Yaakov Hillel, Rav Yisrael Meir Lau, Kei Moleh Rachamim IMO Kedoshei Hashoah-Chazzan Helfgot (Live Broadcast)
Divrei Bracha-Rabbi Shimon Green

Approximately 7:30 p.m.: community maariv.

The celebration will be held at thePhoenix Hebrew Academy Auditorium, 515 E. Bethany Home Road.

Dinner is $10 per person, with reservation only. Click here to register.

Mazal tov to those who have completed studying the entire Talmud!