Welcome to the Weintraub Israel Center of Tucson!

Weintraub Israel Center

The Weintraub Israel Center, a joint project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the JCC, is dedicated to bringing the cultural richness of Israel to Tucson. From Israel travel information to cultural programs, community dialogues, and innovative Tucson-Israel Partnerships, the Weintraub Israel Center is Tucson’s premier resource for all things Israeli. The Center focuses on fostering a strong Jewish identity with Israel at heart.

The Weintraub Israel Center’s mission is to engage the Jewish Community of Southern Arizona as well as the broader community in building a living bridge to Israel, its people and its history. This is accomplished by using educational experiences, advocacy and outreach. Since its establishment in 1997, the Center has had a profound impact on our community, bringing Israel into our lives in dynamic ways.

     Ron and Diane

Ron and Diane Weintraub

In 2011, the Israel Center was re-named the Weintraub Israel Center to honor Ron and Diane Weintraub for their vision, leadership and generous support (http://azjewishpost.com/2011/weintraubs-give-their-name-endowment-to-israel-center/).






We use multiple ways to educate the Jewish and greater Tucson Communities regarding Israel, in order to provide a deep, multi-faceted, realistic, and non-polemical picture of Israel that goes beyond head-lines and slogans regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict.




Tucson is successfully partnering with the Israeli communities of Kyriat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon. This endeavor provides the opportunity for our communities to connect and interpersonal relationships to flourish. We focus on two areas; first- the people-to-people aspect allows individuals to meet one another, share, connect and build relationships, second- inviting Tucson volunteers, to take part in the amazing Zionist project of making Israel a better Jewish democratic State. We have invited speakers, students, IDF soldiers, artists, authors and activists.  Each shares his or her unique perspective on Israel, and connecting to members of our community whether they meet at a lecture or are hosted in their homes. Partnership 2Gether (P2G) is a program of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).


School Twining

School twinning program is an educational program whose goal is to develop connections between pre-schools, elementary schools and high schools in Hof Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi with the THA Jewish School, the synagogue supplementary schools and the public schools in Tucson. The connection is based on the common learning experience of the values of Jewish identity, Jewish peoplehood, Culture and Israel as the Jewish state. The program additionally enables ties between teachers and students on both sides of the ocean, allowing them to learn more about themselves and their friends abroad, and to get to know them on a personal level, using a variety of technological tools that facilitate joint dialogue and study.


Meet Hila and Adi from our Partnership

Hila Yogev-Keren

Adi shacham

  The Shinshinim

Weintraub Israel center in collaboration with Tucson’s Congregations and agencies are proud to introduce “Shinshinim L’Tucson” program. "Shinshinim" is an acronym for Shnat Sherut , meaning "a year of service". “Shinshinim L’Tucson” Program brings recent high school graduates from Israel to nurture close relationships with their hosts in Tucson Jewish community. The Shinshinim will share their time between Anshei Israel, Bet shalom, Chaverim, Hebrew High, JCC, Temple Emanu-El and THA, educating about Israel and its culture, in order to provide Tucson’s Jewish community a more complete and complex understanding about Israel. During their stay in Tucson, They will be hosted by several local families, and at the end of their year abroad, they will return Israel to begin their military service, bringing a deeper understanding of our community with them.

We invite you to reach out especially if you have a teenager at home – whether it’s joining your family for a Shabbat dinner or grabbing a cup of coffee – they are excited to make a personal connection with you!


​Name: Leah Genei

Hometown: Kiryat Malachi

Major in High-school: Toshba (Oral Tora). I learned a lot of things from the Judaism! I also chose media-film and communication class because the media world is something that has always interested me and I learn a lot of things and get to do fun stuff like shoot movies and screenwriting.


My Hobbies: Art; I love to make pieces and paint, hiking with my friends, especially in places with rivers, watching plays, photography I love to take pictures of my family and make a beautiful and fun editing, I love to read books and sometimes I write.

What I love about Israel: The most common answer - the food! Nothing taste like Israeli food! Unity, I think that we are the only country that when there is a terror attack, the people running to the area of the attack to help and not the other way. I've always said that Israel is the world gathering together to smallest and more beautiful country. Although this is the Jewish State, any citizen who feels a connection to Israel is "one of us" regardless of his religion or race.





​Name: Bar Alkaher

Hometown: Shimshit

Major in School: my two majoring subjects are Physics and P.E. I decided to majors in these particular subjects because I enjoy studying them very much and I think their combination is a perfect match: one subject for the mind, for the brain (Physics), and one subject for the passion, for the soul (P.E.).



My Hobbies: I enjoy various types of sports, one of them being basketball, a sport which I've played professionally for the past five years with different age groups and in several competitive leagues. Playing the guitar is also one of my greatest passions, learning the chords of my favorite songs. I also love hiking with my family and friends wherever I can, whenever I can. Reading books, watching movies, listening to music and having fun with my friends are other hobbies which I enjoy doing.

What I love about Israel: Israel is a beautiful country, displaying different landscapes, various natural scenarios and many types of animals and plants. Israel is a small country, but that's a great thing because that way I'm familiar with almost every place in the country and don't have to journey very far to get wherever I want in Israel. The Israeli society is another upside, one that cannot really be expressed in words but can be felt in a unified feeling of joy and inclusion inside the Israeli society.


The Israel Action Network (IAN) is a strategic initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America, in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy.  Our work is grounded in building strong relationships with people of faith, human rights advocates, political and civic leaders, and friends and neighbors in our community.

Oshrat Barel, Tucson

Oshrat Avitan Barel arrived in Tucson as the sixth director of the Weintraub Israel Center. The five shlichim(emissaries from Israel) who preceded her were men, making

Barel the community’s first shlicha (female emissary).

Read more about the Shlicha

Shlicha View at the Arizona Jewish Post

Join Israel’s Center mailing list:

Sign up to receive emails about upcoming events & programs! All information is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to any third party. Please email the information below to israelcenter@jfsa.org.

  • Name
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  • Phone number
  • Do you speak Hebrew?
  • Would you like to volunteer for the annual Israel Festival?

Weintraub Israel Center in the News

  • Meet Leah and Bar, Tucson's First Shinshinim​, read it here
  • ​Israeli teen Emissaries to be Newest Link in Tucson-Israel Chain, read it here



OCTOBER 2016 - -  Tishrei  5777   

​Read the entire report right here