Arizona: History, genealogy and more, January-February

The Jewish History Museum in Tucson, Arizona presents its third Jewish Story Telling Festival during January and February. The first program is tomorrow (Saturday evening, January 9).

The Jewish History Museum has set five interesting programs. Fee: members, $4; others, $5.

7pm, Saturday, January 9
The Third Golden Age of Judaism:
Pioneer Jews of the West and Why They Succeeded So Well with Jewish storyteller and historian David W. Epstein as keynote speaker.

Noted as a story-telling historian, presenting his material in such a way that listeners can easily pass these wonderful stories on to family and friends in the best of Jewish tradition. Epstein is co-publisher/managing editor of the excellent Western States Jewish History, a historical journal published for nearly 40 years, and chronicling the history of the Jews in the growth and development of the American West. He is also co-editor of “Pioneer Jews of Los Angeles in the Nineteenth Century.”

2pm, Sunday, January 10
The First Jewish Pioneer: The Journey of Nathan Appel with Jewish historian and genealogist Alfred Lipsey

Lipsey is the former president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Arizona and currently a board member of The Jewish History Museum. He will answer the question of who really was the first Jew to settle in the barren Arizona Territory and what brought this enterprising individual to the desert Southwest.

Noon, Sunday, January 24
Spinning Family Stories: A Workshop To Get You Started with historian and storyteller Sheila Wilensky

This workshop will teach you how to collect all your family stories, organize them and save them for the next generations.

2pm, Sunday, January 24
My Year of Living Religiously with storyteller and playwright Warren Bodow

Bodow tells his story of a fun-loving, baseball-card collecting child dealing with the way-to-early death of a parent, as he struggles to fulfill a daily religious and family obligation rarely met by Jewish adults. For nearly 20 years, Warren served as general manager of the New York Times radio stations. He has written a number of plays. Two were presented Off-Broadway, New York City, and three at the Beowulf Alley Theatre in Tucson.

7pm, Sunday, February 7
Charles Strauss: Tucson’s First Jewish Mayor with historian and storyteller Jim Turner

Turner holds a masters degree in history and served seven years as Arizona Historical Society historian. He makes history come alive. Jim will tell the story of Tucson’s first Jewish mayor who helped to establish the University of Arizona, caused the courthouse and library to be built, started a street improvement program and was part of the Arizona Legislature. Today his is one of the most widely recognized photos of the West. Yet not one building, plaza or street is named after this controversial pioneer.

Check out the Jewish History Museum website (link above) for much more. On February 14, the museum’s annual ketubah (Jewish marriage document) exhibit opens.

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