Shalom in Every Home: The Role of Spirituality in a Healthy Household @ Jewish Community Center
Apr 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Sacred time and emotional fullness can help promote meaningful and long-term family health. Enjoy an interactive and reflective conversation about bringing family closer together through age-old practices such as transforming a dining room table into an altar to create shared family spirituality. Speaker Avraham Alpert is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bet Shalom in Tucson and is in his final year of rabbinical seminary at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles after serving as a hazzan for more than 18 years. He leads services and officiates a full range of life cycle events, counsels people in need, trains students of all ages, coordinates lay-leaders, develops programs, and teaches creative classes.

This is one of two April lectures in the Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family Lecture Series sponsored by Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona and the LEAH program, which is funded by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

8th Annual JFCS of Southern Arizona Celebration of Caring honoring KATHRYN UNGER @ Tucson Country Club
Apr 23 @ 5:30 pm – 8:15 pm

Please join us in honoring Kathryn Unger for her community leadership, and more than two decades of support for JFCS of Southern Arizona.

With a passion for “Tikkun Olam” (repairing the world) and “Tzedakah” (acts of kindness and justice), Kathy has selflessly dedicated her time and energy to support Jewish organizations, and the under-served diverse populations of our community. She is the Past Chair of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Board of Directors, and has served on the Boards of Directors of JFCS of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.

The speaker for the event is CNN analyst and author David Gregory, a sought-after speaker on politics, world affairs, and now faith since the release of his book “How’s Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey.” Over the last 25 years, David Gregory’s career in journalism has taken him across the country and around the world. He is a CNN political analyst, and host of his podcast which features interviews with newsmakers and thought leaders. During his 20 years at NBC News, David served as the moderator of Meet the Press for six years, and was chief White House correspondent during the presidency of George W. Bush. In his book, David writes about his life and quest to deepen his faith.

The emcee is Stella Inger, an Anchor with KGUN 9 in Tucson.

Event steering committee members include:

Barbara Befferman Danes
Heather Caine, Chair
Fred Fruchthendler
Carole Levi
Eric Mellan
Jill Rosenzweig
Betty Anne Sarver
Liz Weiner-Schulman

Shalom in Every Home: Nourishing Love & Happiness–Mindfulness Techniques & Relationship Health @ Jewish Community Center
Apr 30 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Incorporating the practice of mindfulness into our lives has a positive impact on our individual well-being. This discussion will focus on the use of mindfulness in couples counseling and specific skills that increase gratitude and compassion in interpersonal relationships. Shari Goettel, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Tucson. As a trainer and presenter, Shari draws from her background in Imago Relationship Therapy and Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy, as well her mentors and Buddhist psychology. Shari creates a rich learning space for people to explore new ideas, beliefs and habits.

This is one of two April lectures in the Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family Lecture Series sponsored by Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona and the LEAH program, which is funded by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

Splash Pad with Schmooze Young Families @ Scottsdale Quarter Splash Pad
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

For the Summer, Schmooze Young Families (20s-40s) is making a monthly stop at different Phoenix area splash pads for some nice cool fun outdoors! We’re kicking this off in June with a visit to the fun splash pad at the Scottsdale Quarter. Be on the lookout for the Schmooze sign to gather with other Schmooze members.

You can find more details and RSVP (to let us know if we should be on the lookout for you) through the Facebook event page (

Father’s Day Crafts with Schmooze @ Temple Chai
Jun 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Calling Moms, Dads, and children! Join Schmooze Young Families for a fun and crafty afternoon celebrating dads! We will be making and decorating stained wood picture frames perfect for Father’s Day gifts. The cost is $10 (per picture frame) and includes all the supplies. You can pay with cash at the event. Light refreshments will be served. Join us June 11 from 12-2 pm. Please RSVP by e-mailing

Jewish Family & Children’s Service to Host Jewish Crisis & Response Team Training @ Temple Chai
Apr 24 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Jewish Family & Children’s Service is hosting a crisis and response training for professionals and paraprofessionals from Jewish faith-based organizations. The training will take place at Temple Chai, 4645 E Marilyn Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032 on Tuesday, April 24 from 6 – 8:30 pm. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

When a crisis occurs in the Phoenix Jewish community, these trained volunteers will be available to offer immediate support services to help those impacted cope with the aftermath of the crisis.

This three-hour training will give participants the opportunity to enhance their crisis intervention skills and gives the volunteers additional insight into the challenges faced by the community in the wake of a crisis situation.

Participants will leave the training with the skills to provide culturally sensitive responses to those in crisis, including those that have been victims of a hate crime, as well as a deeper understanding of how people heal through EMDR therapy.

The training session will be presented by Ira Dressner, Ph.D., LCSW, EMDR Consultant and Trainer, and Liana Dressner, MSW, LCSW, EMDR Consultant. Ira Dressner graduated from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs with a MPA and Ph.D. He has been a psychotherapist and counselor for 26 years and specializes in trauma. Liana Dressner graduated with her bachelor’s in social work and Master’s in Social Work from New York University.

Israeli film: ‘Shelter’ @ East Valley JCC
Oct 21 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

In “Shelter,” a Mossad agent is sent on a mission to protect a Lebanese informer while she recovers from plastic surgery. What should be an easy assignment quickly turns into a labyrinth of espionage and intrigue inside a safe house.

The film is part of an Israeli movie series held at the East Valley JCC, 908 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. Admission is free, donations are appreciated.

Reservations: 480-897-0588 or

Click here for full Israeli movie schedule.

Fresh Perspective: Supporting Jews With Special Needs @ Congregation Or Tzion
Feb 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

“Special Needs” – “Disability” – “Inclusion” – so many ways to describe individuals in our community who have differences. Come hear what those words mean to a mother of a young adult, a disability agency, and an individual. Rabbi Nate Crane will moderate a panel through which these speakers can tell their stories sharing what support means to them in both the secular and Jewish communities. Learn how best to help in various situations and get involved in a way that makes sense to you.
Panelists Amy DL Hummell of Gesher Disability Resources, Sharon Landay, and Barton. Facilitated by Rabbi Crane of Congregation Or Tzion and Hagigah.




Gesher watches Hava Nagila @ Harkins Shea 14
Feb 24 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and Gesher Disability Resources present Hava Nagila the movie.



CANCELED Klezmer Fest @ East Valley JCC
Mar 15 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The East Valley JCC and the City of Chandler will host the annual Klezmer Fest from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15,  at the East Valley JCC, 908 N. Alma School Road, Chandler.

Lively and upbeat,  klezmer is the traditional Jewish folk music of Eastern European Jewish communities. Over time, the style of music has grown to include instrumental music, Yiddish vocal music and modern fusion music that combines klezmer with world music such as Afro-pop, rock or hip hop. 

This music festival will also include a Yiddish Experience that includes workshops and lectures focusing on topics such as genealogy and the Yiddish language. In addition, there will be children’s activities, such as inflatables, face-painting and a petting zoo, as well as kosher pizza and salads available for sale by Brad’s Mobile Pizza Oven. 

Local bands include Jerusafunk, a nine-piece ensemble from Phoenix that blends traditional klezmer music with American Funk and other world music genres, such as jazz, salsa and samba; the Rural Street Klezmer Band of Temple Emanuel of Tempe that plays traditional Jewish soul music inspired by Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Yiddish theater and American jazz; Zaftic, whose rich and succulent sound is a mixture of Turkish, Arabic, Baroque, Irish and jazz; and Klezmerkaba, an 11-piece band from Tucson whose repertoire consists of klezmer pieces steeped in Eastern European tradition, as well as familiar Jewish, Yiddish and Israeli pieces from different eras and ethnicities. The festival will conclude with a massive jam session featuring all the musicians.

Tickets are $15 adults, $5 children up to age 12.


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