Last newspaper people standing?

Salvatore Caputo displays the award he received from the Arizona Press Club on May 18 at the Duce.

Salvatore Caputo displays the award he received from the Arizona Press Club on May 18 at the Duce.

As an employee of Jewish News, I’m proud to promote our organization by mentioning that I won the first-place award for editorial writing in the nonmetro category (nonmetro essentially means “small newspaper”). And I’ve got to thank my publisher emeritus, Flo Eckstein, and my new publisher, Jaime Stern, for the opportunity to continue to do this work in an industry that can charitably be called troubled. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank my co-workers whose support helps me get it done week after week. Lastly, my long-suffering wife puts up with the ridiculously crazy hours I put in on this work, which has been by mission for so long.

What made the award particularly meaningful to me was that the judge was Peter Canellos, editorial page editor of the Boston Globe. There are few bigger papers in this country, and for him to say, “These editorials challenge the paper’s readers to rethink their assumptions” is a feather in the cap. Journalism is many things, and one of the things it is is something to which I’ve dedicated my entire professional life. I’ve tried to work ethically, report honestly and assess situations with clear eyes, while acknowledging that what I write does not come from an omniscient presence but from a human being, with all the flaws and foibles associated with that status. The award was given for three editorials — “The uncertainty principle,” “A time for grief” and “Cancer of hate” — published in 2012.

Keeping at it through the years and bearing the sacrifices it entails hasn’t diminished the sense of mission that brought me to the field in the first place, and to have that motivation recognized by a colleague from a major daily, one of the six or seven in this country that can still be called major dailies, is quite an honor.

The ceremony, held at the Duce downtown on Saturday, May 18, was pretty much some schmoozing with old colleagues from my previous jobs at The Arizona Republic and Independent Newspapers and the recitation of the winners list by master of ceremonies Brahm Reznik, political reporter and news anchor at Channel 12, KPNX-TV, and eating bar food (mac and cheese balls, sliders of brisket or meatballs, etc.) and enjoying reasonably priced beer. This was not a glitzy evening.

It was odd, though, to see the crowd so small. The newspaper business has been gutted by the economy and the digital age, and folks of a certain age in the business are somewhat justified in feeling that they are the last people standing.

Clearly, the choice of venue both reflects the fortunes of the business and engagement of the younger people in the business. There is little question that this business is cruel to older people. It takes time to develop the knowledge and the sources to get things right, but there is little room for upward career trajectory or for valuing their intellectual capital and institutional memory when a new pool of people fresh out of college will be eager, not demanding, nor as hard on the bottom line of financial compensation.

This was as true when I was 28 and came to Phoenix to work at the Republic as it is today. But in today’s perfect storm of recession recovery and declining newspaper readership (and correspondingly catastrophic declines in revenue), the reality is singularly harsh.

That’s why it was good that one segment of the evening, a separate set of awards presented by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, focused on people who’d actually been in this profession in Arizona through the past 25 years. (The profession is highly transient because upward mobility as a reporter or editor usually comes by moving to a bigger newspaper elsewhere. It’s increasingly rare for a newspaper journalist to stay in the business a quarter-century,  let alone pursue there work in the same geographical area for that long.)

Jewish News has direct connections to two of this year’s inductees into the Order of the Silver Key Society.

The late Randi Weinstein was Randi Barocas when she worked as a Jewish News staff writer in 1997-1998 and she was managing editor of the Phoenix Business Journal when she died last year at age 40. She was honored posthumously with induction into the Silver Key Society for having been a mentor to the journalists who worked at the Business Journal during her tenure as managing editor. (Randi started as staff writer at Jewish News just as I completed a stint of about a month as a substitute copy editor and writer for the paper in 1997.)

Brett McKeand, who is president and publisher of Independent Newsmedia Inc., was my boss at my previous job as a news editor at the Chandler Independent. A division of his company, Valley Newspapers, actually prints and mails out the print edition of Jewish News each week. McKeand started as a reporter at the Sun City Independent in 1983 and has been with the company ever since.

I was touched that Reznik, when announcing my award, mentioned how much his mother kvelled over my article last year about his becoming a U.S. citizen.

But maybe just as good for me was getting to say hi to and cheer for friends and acquaintances.

As a teenager, Alia Rau was interested in journalism and her dad, whom I knew as a friend, asked if I would talk to her about the field. Today, she is a reporter with The Arizona Republic who took second place in immigration reporting with her story “SB 1070’s day in court.”

I had a chance to say hi to my old softball team’s battery, catcher Karina Bland and pitcher Scott Craven. They had a battle going in the human interest reporting category, with Scott taking first and third place, and Kari taking second. (Kari also took home a third place in column writing, a first place in personality profile writing for “Becoming Max,” a profile of a family trying to understand their transgender son’s journey, and during the Society of Professional Journalists’ segment received a First Amendment Award for her story “Domestic violence deaths in Arizona tragically consistent.”)

I was glad to see former colleagues like Richard Ruelas and Sylvia Cody take home awards as well.

It made me realize just how much of my life has been wrapped up in journalism and to wonder once again what challenges and rewards tomorrow will bring.

Salvatore Caputo, May 19, 2013

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From Soviet Jewry to Israelis and Americans

After a week off on Super Bowl Sunday, Passages will come back to the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus on Sunday with a discussion on the U.S. economic meltdown that began in 2008. The speaker will be Gretchen Morgenson and you can read more about Sunday’s program here. Here are some thoughts from the previous lecture.

When Gal Beckerman, opinion editor at the Forward, spoke on how Soviet Jews fought for their identity and freedom of movement from the 1970s through the collapse of the Soviet Union, he hit upon an essential irony that should give us all hope when we wonder about the Jewish future here in the United States.

Speaking to 176 attendees at the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Passages series at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus on Jan. 27, Beckerman pointed out that the internal travel documentation issued by the Soviets under Josef Stalin’s rule (essentially passports for travel within the then-Soviet Union) listed people’s ethnicity, and thus Jews were identified as Jews in those documents.

But, meanwhile, the officially atheist state campaigned  mercilessly against Jewish religion and ritual, seeking to assimilate all into a happily communist utopia. After decades, the only connection to Jewish identity many Soviet Jews had was those internal passports that labeled them as Jews.

So the dictator’s desire to keep tabs on everyone’s travel and potential loyalties to other forces such as Judaism or Jewish tradition or Zionism kept the spark of Jewish identity alive ready to turn into a blaze when the refuseniks began to seek the freedom to emigrate from the Soviet Union.

It is no wonder that Natan  Sharansky (born Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky) stresses the importance of identity and particularly noted in a Phoenix speech in 2008 that the Six-Day War changed everything for Soviet Jews. “Maybe (anti-Semites) hated you as much as they hated you before, but they started respecting you because power is something respectable in the Soviet Union, and Israel was powerful.”

This was the fuel that turned the spark of identity into a blaze and today, Jews who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, both in Israel and the United States, are strong players dedicated to the Jewish identity so long denied them.

That was perhaps the most important take-away from Beckerman’s talk, and it provides a hope that the spark can be kept alive through all assimilationist trends.


Maj. Gen. Shachnow speaks frankly

“During the time I was on active duty, I thought I was indestructible,” retired Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow told about 250 people gathered Sunday night at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in Scottsdale.

But almost immediately upon his retirement from the service, he underwent a series of health issues that made him consider telling his story — a journey from the concentration camp to the upper echelon of the United States Army. Like many Holocaust survivors, he said, he had been silent about his wartime experiences for 40 years. His youngest daughter insisted that he had an amazing story to tell, and told him, “If you don’t put pen to paper, that story goes with you.”

So he wrote, with the help of Jann Robbins (wife of potboiler author, Harold), “Hope and Honor,” a book-length memoir published in 2006. “Simply said, I wanted to be remembered,” he said of writing the book, which formed the basis for his presentation at the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Passages lecture series on Sunday night. Drawing some laughs, he told the audience there would be no need to buy the book once they heard him speak. He leavened his talk with humor and always spoke frankly, sometimes saltily, about incidents in his life or broader historic moments he encountered.

A native of Kaunas, Lithuania, Shachnow explained how his parents, who were educated in Germany, could not believe the reports of what would turn out to be the Holocaust and thus did not leave Lithuania. He explained, too, how the words “ghetto,” “work camp” and “concentration camp” were meaningless distinctions to those who experienced them — what was originally designated by the Germans as the Jewish ghetto in Kaunas became the Kovno concentration camp. Life, particularly the privation and suffering, in these places was the same, he said.

Within a short time after Kaunas’ 40,000 Jews were consigned to the ghetto and it became legal to kill Jews, nationalist Lithuanians had killed about 10,000 of them. By the end of the war, 2,000 survived, including Shachnow and his family.

Shachnow was smuggled out of the concentration camp after three years, and eventually was reunited with his immediate family after the camp was liberated by the Soviet Army.  He and his family came to the United States in the 1950s, finding a nearly alien world that the young man, who hadn’t gone to school before coming here, quickly adapted  to. He mentioned his lack of education in relation to his wanting to get married almost as soon as he met his future wife, Arlene. “I had a paper route,” he said, but no other means or skills to support a married life. To his parents, that was a sign of the couple’s lack of maturity, but they opposed the marriage for another reason, Arlene was Catholic, and at that time, he pointed out, that was a very big deal. They’ve been married ever since.

(Later, in a question-and-answer session, he was asked if any of his children consider themselves Jewish. He said, unblinkingly, “They consider themselves Jewish, but they don’t practice.”)

The army sent him to school and he was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1960, and in 1962, he entered the Green Berets and served in the special forces for 32 years. Today, his large family includes several military officers serving in Afghanistan and Korea.

Shachnow spoke philosophically of his time as commander of U.S. forces in Berlin, when his counterpart in the Soviet quarter of the city pointed out the irony that he had been liberated by the Soviets but now was in a U.S. uniform ready to fight them. In contrast, there was a much-sweeter irony — what he called Nemesis, after the Greek goddess of retribution — in his Berlin command. His 32-room residence had been the home of the Nazis’ finance minister, and his command headquarters had been the headquarters of Hermann Goering, the commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe.

The Holocaust is often described in terms of perpetrators and victims, he said, but the most important role was played by bystanders, who did nothing as the Final Solution was put into practice. By not acting to question or stop it, the bystanders were complicit in the evil. “They could have changed history he said.” Reflecting on this, he said that he has concluded, “There is evil in all of us. It’s a matter of degrees.”

In response to questions, he said that he didn’t personally experience any anti-Semitism in the Army, although he heard people use Jew as a verb to describe negotiating to get a price down. He said he realized they simply didn’t know any better and meant nothing by it. He added, “I didn’t hide my Jewishness. Everybody knew I was Jewish.”

The thorniest questions came at the end, when Aaron Scholar, the BJE’s director, asked whether the U.S. government understands Islam and the threat that Islamists present to the nation. Shachnow said that the government pretty much knows the threat but in the name of political correctness won’t “call a spade a spade.” He pointed to the 2009 Fort Hood killings when Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim, is accused of having shot to death 13 people and wounded 29 others and wondered how it could not be considered a case of Islamist terrorism.

When he was asked whether he had seen anything as bad as the Holocaust in his own military experience, he described the My Lai massacre conducted by American soldiers in Vietnam, in which villagers – including mostly women and children – were indiscriminately slaughtered. “War dulls our sensitivities and consciousness,” Shachnow said, adding that humanity hasn’t really learned anything from the Holocaust. “Atrocities are taking place today.”


Last days of Hanukkah

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Chabad of Arizona held a menorah lighting ceremony featuring Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton on Dec. 11 across from the state capitol in downtown Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Chabad of Arizona

We hope you’ve had a fun week of Hanukkah celebrations, filled with friends, family and lots of light and warmth (plus plenty of latkes  and doughnuts, in moderation of course).

As we go into the last two days of Hanukkah, here are some more ways to celebrate Hanukkah with other members of the community. (To see photos of other community Hanukkah events, check out our Facebook page.)

Friday night/Dec. 14

4:30 p.m. Hanukkah in the Hallway at the Valley of the Sun JCC. Shabbat and menorah lighting.

5:30 p.m. Family party and service at Temple Emanuel of Tempe.

Saturday/Dec. 15

7:30 p.m. The New Shul holds its annual coffeehouse, where its members entertain with live musical performances. Cost: $5.

7-9 p.m. Chanukah on Ice: Chabad of Scottsdale holds a Hanukkah celebration at the Ice Den, 9375 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. Kosher food, ice skating, giant menorah lighting. Cost: $10.
8 p.m.-midnight: L’Chaim Young Professionals Hanukkah Ball: Camelview Optima, 7177 E. Rancho Vista Drive, Scottsdale. Cost: $15. The event includes gourmet latkes, hors d’oevres, a free raffle, a photo booth and a cash bar. For Jewish professionals in their 20s and 30s.

Following Kiddush on Shabbat morning, Ahavas Torah will host Rabbi Meir Triebitz for a lecture, “Chanukah: Hellenism Through the Eyes of the Rabbis.” Rabbi Triebitz attended the Juilliard School of Music before receiving his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from Princeton University at the age of 22.  He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University and taught mathematics at Queens College and Stony Brook University before receiving rabbinic ordination.  Rabbi Triebitz currently resides with his family in Jerusalem, where he is a lecturer at several yeshivas  and seminaries, a Rosh Kollel, and the editor of RESHIMU: The Journal of Jewish Thought and History.

Sunday/Dec. 16

Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation hosts a Hanukkah celebration at the Oakwood Clubhouse, 24218 S. Oakwood Blvd., Sun Lakes, with a 6 p.m. cash bar and 7 p.m. dinner. Cost is $45. 623-975-4272.


Kosher Living: Health & Safety Fair

Updates keep coming on this weekend’s Kosher Living Health & Safety Fair, which will be held this Sunday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Phoenix Hebrew Academy.

There will be a variety of health and wellness opportunities – including a 12:30 p.m. Zumba class by the VOSJCC – keynote speakers (Topics include “Raising Confident Children,” “Water Safety” and “How we Became Kosher Vegans”), children’s activities (a petting zoo from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., carnival games, crafts with PJ Library) and a Healthy Kosher Eating sampling buffet.

Here are some updates of featured items of the sampling buffet, which is partially sponsored by the Greater Phoenix Vaad Hakashruth:

  • FOMZ, a nondairy fruit-based replacement for whipped cream
  • Alpine Valley Breads will distribute a free loaf of Nine Grain Organic Bread to the first 300 people (RSVP to reserve one – 1 per household).
  • Tomchei Shabbat will be holding a food drive – bring a nonperishable food item to the fair, which will be distributed by Tomchei Shabbat to local families.
  • Some of the local companies that will be providing food are: Karsh’s Bakery, King Solomon’s Pizza, Levi Catering, Segal’s Oasis Grill, Scottsdale Cafe and a new company, Healthy Kosher Cactus which is celebrating its grand opening at the fair.
  • TIPS, the Jewish Federation of Tuscon, Phoenix, and Seattle, is sponsoring a children’s story hour at 3 p.m. with Dr. Adina Bar-el who is visiting from Moshav Nir and has published 18 children’s books. She speaks English, Hebrew, and Yiddish. Story hour will be in English with a touch of Hebrew.
  • A limited supply of Levana Kirschenbaum’s new cookbook “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen” will be available for sale at 25 percent off the list price.

Come visit the Jewish News booth at the fair and click here to see the schedule.


Have you been to the Jewish Book and Cultural Arts Fair yet?

The Valley of the Sun JCC’s Jewish Book & Cultural Arts Fair is well under way this week – have you attended any of the programs yet?

So far there’s been a one-woman play, a women’s symposium, a program about Jewish baking, and a community read and coffee talk.

Here’s what’s coming up:

On Friday, there is an  author luncheon with Amy Ephron. 11 a.m. Cost is $25 JCC members, $30 nonmembers. Co-sponsored by Brandeis National Committee and Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Community Association.

This Sunday, there will be a 3 p.m. concert with Theodore Bikel that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus. Tickets are $15.
Next week:

7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12: “Before a Canyon” featuring Jeremy Tucker with Victor Villaneuva. This event is co-sponsored by Temple Solel, NFTY Southwest Region, BBYO and Jewish Youth Alliance. Tucker’s memoir is set over the 1997-98 school year at an inner-city Phoenix middle school. Villaneuva was one of Tucker’s students. Cost: $5.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13: “Yiddish Between Two Wars” featuring Israeli author Adina Bar-El. Free.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14: David Misch, author of “Funny the Book: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Comedy.” His first screenwriting job was “Mork and Mindy” and he co-wrote “Leave it to Dave,” the pilot for David Letterman. Cost: $8 members, $12 nonmembers.

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15: “Girls Night Out: Cupcakes & Cosmos!” featuring Stacey Ballis, author of “Off the Menu: A Novel.” Co-sponsored by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Community Association and Hadassah Valley of the Sun. Cost, which includes cupcakes and cosmos, is $15 JCC and Hadassah members, $20 nonmembers.
For more information on any of these programs, click here to see the brochure.


This Weekend: Kever Avot, Kosher housewares, Jewish Olympics

Here are some programs/events happening this weekend.

Kever Avot services: Sunday, Sept. 23

It it is customary to visit the graves of loved ones between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. For a list of services at cemeteries throughout the Valley, see this Valley View listing from our Sept. 14 issue.

Kosher housewares sale: Sunday, Sept. 23

10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Ohr Hatorah Congregation. The sale will offer a variety of items designed specifically for the kosher cook, with nothing costing more than $20. The sale is sponsored by the PTO of Torah Day School of Phoenix, TheKosherCook.com and Center of Town in Lakewood, N.J. All proceeds will go toward building the library at Torah Day School of Phoenix.

Jewish Olympic Odyssey : Sunday, Sept. 23

Herb Weinberg of Colorado gives a presentation about Jewish Olympic history starting with the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. Before his retirement, Weinberg covered 14 Olympic games, both summer and winter, for several publications, starting in 1972 in Munich.

The free event is sponsored by the Jerry and Harryette David Foundation and is presented by the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center’s Koach Maccabi Club. The event features popcorn and refreshments and an introduction of former JCC Maccabi players.

The program is 1-3 p.m. at the Valley of the Sun JCC. To register, call 480-483-7121.

Yoga and Teshuvah : Sunday, Sept. 23

In this pre-Yom Kippur workshop, yoga instructor Marjorie Abramson and Rabbi Elana Kanter weave together Jewish text study and yoga practice on the theme of teshuva, heightening one’s awareness in order to grow and change. The event, co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Association, will be held at 1 p.m. at the Valley of the Sun JCC. Cost is $10. Register here.

Candlelighting is at 6:08 p.m.

Shabbat Shalom!


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 info@phxjec.org.

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 www.communitytorah.com.

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.


This weekend: LuWow pool parties, 40-something movie night

Sunday/July 15

The Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center’s pool was recently converted from chlorine to saltwater. Photo courtesy of VOSJCC

LuWow pool parties: The Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus has gone green and the Jewish Community Association and the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center are celebrating by hosting two pool parties this weekend: One for families on Sunday afternoon and an adults-only party Sunday night. Find out the details here.

Movie night: Arizona Jewish Top 40 (JTF), a group for Jewish 40-somethings, is hosting a movie night on Sunday. The evening includes a private screening of the award-winning film “The Yankles,” a comedy about a major-league baseball player who is brought in to coach a yeshiva baseball team.

Cost is $20 at the door, cash-only, and tickets include a kosher catered meal and movie snacks. All attendees will be entered for a chance to win one of three FilmBar gift certificates for two free movie passes to an upcoming film. Winners must be present to win.

Watch a trailer from the film here. Follow JTF on Facebook.

Candlelighting time is at 7:21 p.m.

Shabbat Shalom!