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Weintraub Israel Center

Israel Engagement

The JCC is home to the Weintraub Israel Center, a joint project with the Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona that is dedicated to bringing a little piece of Israel to Tucson. From cultural programs to community conversations, the Weintraub Israel Center is Tucson’s resource for all things Israeli. The mission of the Weintraub Israel Center is to engage the Jewish and broader communities of Southern Arizona in building a living bridge to Israel, its people, culture and history. The Weintraub Israel Center invites community members of all ages and stages to create and nurture a self-propelled, personal relationship with Israel and Israelis.

In our work we rely on the three core operating principles of Z3:

Unity, not uniformity

Engaging as equal partners

Diversity of voices

Our Generative Mission Statement for Israel Engagement:

What do we mean by engagement? What do we want to achieve?

Upcoming Events

Humans Of Israel Photo Exhibit

Currently up in the Tucson J Art Gallery | On display until May 30, 2023

Stop by the J to check out the Humans of Israel photo Exhibit. The Humans of Israel project captured the most fascinating people in Israel in order to tell the Israeli story.

Each photo and story provides a glimpse into the heads and minds of a variety of Israelis. In this exhibition, you will find ultra-religious Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Christians alongside asylum seekers and the one percent on Rothschild Blvd. You will see Ashkenazi and Mizrahi, American, Russian, French Jews, all the ingredients that make Israeli society one of the most diverse in the world.

Solar Cinema - Israel Swings for Gold Film Screening

Sunday, June 4, 6:30pm - 9:30pm in Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
Cost: FREE! Registration is required.

Join us in screening: Israel Swings for Gold. In 2021, Israel’s baseball team competed in the Olympics for the first time. With no media allowed in Tokyo’s Olympic Village, the players record their own experiences. Mostly newly minted Israelis, they log unexpected battles off the field.

Schedule + Details

Free Film Screening + Popcorn at Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden (weather permitting)

6:30-7:45pm – Family activities + Kosher Pizza Cart dinner available for purchase.

8pm – FREE Solar Cinema screening begins (mature language)

Child care provided during screening. 


Questions? Need help registering? Contact or 520-299-3000

This program is in partnership with Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona, Weintraub Israel Center, PJ Libary + PJ Our Way of Southern AZ, and The Loft Cinema.

Rosh Hashanah Fall Festival for Families

Sat, Sep 24 6:30-8:30pm in the J's Sculpture Garden
Cost: FREE! Registration is required.

Bring in the New Year with community. Join together for a bring your own (dairy) picnic dinner, a kosher, dairy apple dessert bar, Havdalah (ceremony to end Shabbat), games for kids of all ages, inflatables including everyone’s favorite bounce houses, face painting, a petting zoo, and crafts. This event is especially for families with children ages 4-10. Free and open to the public; registration is required.

6:30-7:15pm – Bring your own dairy picnic dinner and enjoy Shabbat-friendly activities including a petting zoo, field games, and build your own apple dessert bar
7:15-8:30pm – Havdalah, face painting, inflatables/bounce houses, arts + crafts and more


In partnership with local synagogues and agencies including: Congregation Anshei Israel, Congregation Beit Simcha, Congregation Bet Shalom, Congregation Chaverim, Kol Ami, PJ Library, PJ Our Way + Weintraub Israel Center

An Evening of Jazz with Itamar Borochov + Quartet

Sat, Oct 22 6:45-9pm in the J's Sculpture Garden
Cost: $25 per person
*Student tickets are available; contact Abbii at for more information

The concert is made possible with thanks to presenting sponsor, Deanna Evenchik-Brav and supporting sponsors Beth and Mike Kasser, and is proudly hosted in partnership between the Tucson Jazz Festival, Tucson J, Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona, and the Weintraub Israel Center.

Raised in the cosmopolitan port city of Jaffa, now a significant presence on the international jazz scene, Borochov is creating a new musical hybrid – bringing the sacred sounds of his upbringing to a jazz quartet setting. His deep knowledge of these various musical disciplines is incorporated organically into his original jazz writing, building a bridge between the near-East and the modal styles of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and others. Borochov won the prestigious 2020 LetterOne ‘Rising Stars’ Jazz Award European edition, which was presented to him by vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Workshop: Stories for The Sake of the Argument

Session dates: Tuesdays 6:30-8pm Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13
Cost: $65 (includes the cost of the book)

Stories for the Sake of Argument emerged from a realization that the field of Israel education has changed. The Co-authors found that the fear of getting into an argument was obstructing real conversations about Israel.

The authors, came to believe that no deep learning can happen without healthy arguments. This seven week workshop is designed to spark disagreements about key issues facing Israel and the Jewish world. From religious freedom to identity politics, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to COVID-19, gender equality to Israel-Diaspora relations, each story tackles a different issue, sets up a powerful clash of values, and leaves you with an unresolved dilemma to discuss. We will use the book, Stories For The Sake of Argument to help guide our conversations and introduce the weekly topics for argument.

Through this workshop and the book, you’ll:
-Develop the tools to talk to people with whom you disagree
-Express and grapple with other viewpoints and voices
-Deepen your understanding of yourself, others, and Israel

Day of Chesed Collection Drive:

Now - Monday, January 16

The WIC is a proud partner in the Day of Chesed, which will be taking place on Monday, January 16. Leading up to January 16, we need your help collecting everyday essentials so children and adults have the basic items to stay clean and feel better. All items will be distributed at the new Interfaith Community Services mobile food pantry. Drop off goods at the Tucson J


• Small bars of soap

• Toothpaste/toothbrush as a small set or individual items

• Small deodorants (any kind)

• Small container hand or face wipes

• Chapstick

• Small jars of Vaseline or lotion

The 2023 Tucson International Jewish Film Festival

January 12 – 31

The 2023 Tucson International Jewish Film Festival is multi-access, running with a limited number of in-person screenings and post-film programs from January 12 – 22, and all films available to stream online on the Eventive platform from January 12 – 31. Most in-person screenings will take place at the Tucson J, located at 3800 E River Road. Only one ticket is required to view all the shorts. All in-person post-film programs will also be available on Zoom for ticket holders. Click here to view the trailer.

The following films are supported by the WIC:

Love and Mazel Tov: Virtual screening; in-person screening, Fri, Jan 13 1 pm at The J

Berenshtein: Virtual screening; in-person screening, Sun Jan 15, 11 am at The J

Exodus 91: Virtual screening and post-film program, Monday, Jan 16th 7 pm via Zoom

*Marry Me However: Virtual screening and post-film program, Thu, Jan 19 via Zoom

*Brown/White (short documentary): Virtual screening

*From Jerusalem With Love (short hysterical comedy): Virtual screening

*Naomi (short drama): Virtual screening

*Reflection (short Dramedy): Virtual screening

*Ugly Swan(short drama): Virtual screening

*Something Blue (short drama): Virtual screening

The New Jew: Virtual screening

*only one ticket is required to view all shorts

Day of Chesed

Monday, January 16, 1-3 pm at the Tucson J

Mark your calendars. There will be several opportunities for people of all ages to give back in honor of MLK Day. Projects include: a Habitat for Humanity build, volunteering at Handmaker, a PJ Library book read and painting rocks of encouragement, an American Red Cross Blood Drive, and packing hygiene kits that will be donated to Interfaith Community Services. Registration for this event will be launched shortly.

Family Cooking Class

Sunday, February 26 4pm-5:30 pm on Zoom
Cost: $35

Parents and kids of all ages are invited to join the Weintraub Israel Center and the J Arts and Culture for a fun and interactive cooking class. In this cooking workshop we will learn to make some classic and delicious Israeli dishes, Shakshukah, pita from scratch, Fatush (a Lebanese salad), and chocolate balls. Dorit Chasnoff will leading our workshop, from Israel. Dorit Admony Chasnoff grew up in a Yemenite-Persian family in Israel and began cooking as a child. Professionally, Dorit has developed recipes and taught cooking for more than ten years. She is also the mother of three.

Persian Cooking Class

Sunday, November 13 at 3-5pm
Cost: $65 (includes ingredients and refreshments)

The Weintraub Israel Center would like to invite anyone between the ages of 25-45 to join us for a fun and interactive cooking workshop. Dorit Chasnoff will leading our workshop, from Israel. Dorit Admony Chasnoff grew up in a Yemenite-Persian family in Israel and began cooking as a child. Professionally, Dorit has developed recipes and taught cooking for more than ten years.

In this workshop, we’ll learn to make one of the most exotic Persian dishes around ? Gorma Zizi (a green Persian stew), rice two ways, baba ganoush and almond cookies for dessert. No prior cooking experience required! As we cook, you’ll learn about Persian cooking methods and hear stories from the Persian culinary tradition.

The best part, after we cook, we get to sit and enjoy the delicious food! The WIC will also provide Israeli wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages

The Weintraub Israel Center is a partnership between the Tucson J and the Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona.

Intro Women's Self-Defense Class

Sunday, November 20th from 4pm-6pm
Cost: Cost is $20 and includes a one and a half hour women's self-defense class, snacks, wine and soda.

The Weintraub Israel Center would like to invite all who identify as a women to join us  for a Sunday Funday at Tucson’s Rising Phoenix Fitness and Defense for an intro to women’s self-defense class.

No previous experience necessary! Designed for both beginners and intermediate-level practitioners, this class specializes in teaching and adapting traditional Krav Maga and self-defense techniques to women and girls of all body types, at any fitness level, and of differing abilities.

Stay after class to enjoy some snacks, wine, and soda.

Please note: This event will be held off campus at 4500 E Speedway Blvd #4, Tucson, AZ 85712


Explaining the 2022 Israeli Elections: Winners, Losers, and How the System Works

Tuesday, December 6 from 12-2pm on Zoom
Cost: Free and open to the public

The Northwest Tucson Jewish Community and the Weintraub Israel Center would like to invite you to join us on Tuesday, December 6, from 12 – 2 pm on Zoom for an opportunity to learn more about the Israeli Elections. Assistant Professor, Daniel Arnon, with the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona will walk us through the Israeli Elections and how the political system works, followed by a Q and A.

Please reach out to Abbii Cook at for the link to Zoom

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer with ESRA to help teachers in Israel learn English

Sign up for an orientation Thu, Sep 15

English Speakers Resident Association which is based in Israel, is looking for English speaking volunteers who are willing to devote 30 minutes a week (for 15 weeks) to a Zoom call with an Israeli teacher of English who is not a native English speaker. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact me at

Z3 2021: Futures Workshop | Reimagining Israel-Diaspora Relations
Sunday, December 5 9:30am-3:30pm

Prepare for the unexpected at this year’s Z3 Conference with a visionary futures workshop! Inspired by the tools of geopolitics and diplomacy, at the heart of this hybrid virtual conference is a structured simulation. This interactive simulation will ask our speakers and participants to take part in a plausible futuristic scenario that will impact the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry.

Through this experiment, we will explore potential ways for our communities to come together and ensure our continued sense of Peoplehood and mutuality.

Z3 is a signature experience of the Oshman Family JCC (OFJCC) in Palo Alto. The event takes place every year during Hanukkah — “Making Miracles Here and There” or “נס גדול היה פה ושם” is a wordplay on the two letters that differentiate Israel and the Diaspora’s dreidels. The miracle happened “here”/“פה” to represent Israel’s dreidel, the miracle happened “there”/“שם”, to represent the Diaspora’s dreidel. Rather than continue to have two different dreidels, we envision a future with one dreidel: where we acknowledge and elevate the idea that both the State of Israel and a vibrant Jewish world are essential for the destiny of the Jewish People.


Follow famed Israeli chefs Michael Solomonov or Yotam Ottolenghi on Instagram (and be sure to snag copies of their cookbooks!)

Israeli Efrat Lichtenstadt‘s baking blog has the most inspirational food photography 

Check out Jewlish for recipes and other Jewish food musings 

Or, try take a gander at Jamie Geller’s 73 Israeli food recipes you need to try

Experience Israel’s most popular restaurants, farmers markets, and food fests, all while learning how to prepare the Middle East’s most delicious dishes

Watch Paul Hollywood, host of the Great British Bakeoff, tour Jerusalem and taste some of the yummiest foods 

Taste of Memories is a unique initiative that works to commemorate fallen Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Israeli victims of terror, through cooking their favorite recipes and telling the stories of their lives 

The Nosher by My Jewish Learning has tons of Israeli recipes to try


Are you an adult age 18-26? Learn about Taglit Birthright trips!

Traveling to Israel? Check out Israeli chef Michael Solomonov’s restaurant recommendations 

Explore Israel like National Geographic explorer!

Check out the myriad resources found on the Tel Aviv Tourism website

Check out SAPIR for news and thought-provoking Jewish Conversations

Activist, actress, and author, Noa Tishby explores Jewish history and politics in Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth

Learn about Israel’s culture of innovation in Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle 

Ever wonder about Hebrew? In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language is a fascinating read

Read about the creation of the modern state of Israel in National Jewish Book Award Winner, Israel: A History 

Find more reading from the National Jewish Book Council

Check out this guided meditation from Rabbi Jill Zimmerman

 One Table offers resources for mindful Shabbat practices

Read about Jewish perspectives on health and wellness 

Dina Alfasi captures stunning portraits of the people of Israel 

Noam Chen’s land and cityscapes capture the beauty of Israel like no other

Roni Kiperman’s drone photos make the scenery of Israel come alive

Follow @globaljews for awareness about the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience

Neil Lazarus Helps understand some the complexities of the Israel-Palestinian-Pan Arab conflict

Danny Gordis is an American born Israeli who writes about current political and social issues with an emphasis on Israel- North America relations

Good News from Israel  provides updates of good news stories from Israel

Have your own travels featured on the official @visit_israel’s Instagram through #VisitIsrael or #HolyLandPics

The Z3 Project fosters renewed conversation on world Jewry and Israel relations through learning, engagement, and dialogue

Photo Gallery


As an extension of the Tucson J’s Engagement Strategy, the Weintraub Israel Center is establishing micro-communities to help build strong relationships here at home and in Israel. Powered by lay-leaders with support from staff, micro-communities are a new way to think about making connections and deepening relationships to ourselves, others, and people in Jewish communities across the world, including in Israel. We’re looking for at least six Tucsonans to start individual micro-communities centered around key interests or identities such as cycling, yoga, cooking, LGBTQIA+, or new parents. Looking to build community around one of those interests or identities, or something else? Fill out the form below and we’ll connect you with others who are too!

Want to connect? Interested in being part of a micro-community?