Throughout the year, a wide variety of social, cultural, educational and religious programs, as well as special events are planned to appeal to the broad range of interests of Congregation Anshei Israel's membership and the community.

The following programs are slated for our 2015-16 calendar.

19 Community Summer Shabbat Service & Dinner
  28 thru July 19

Summer Film Series

July 5, 12 & 19 Summer Film Series continues
August 2

"Welcome Back from Summer" at the Gaslight Theatre
CAI members are invited to share each other’s company after the summer break while watching the Gaslight Theatre’s latest production, “Space Wars: May the Farce Be with You.” Cheer for the hero… boo the villains! Fun, frivolity, family, friends, laughter and popcorn. (Food/beverages extra.)

Doors open at 5:30pm; show 6:00pm. Adults $18; children (2 to 12) $10. Limited seating. RSVP to Barb by July 17.

    Click here for information about the HIGH HOLY DAYS at CAI
  19, 26 & Sept. 2, 7:00-9:00pm

Adult Education Kollel: The High Holy Days: "Are You Ready?"
Every year, from about the end of August until Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Eisen is asked: “Rabbi, are you ready?” Ready? For what? For the High Holy Days, of course. Though he approaches the time of year very differently than most, his usual response is: “Are you?!” By which he means: These days are not about him, they are about “us” – as individuals and as a community. Whether he is ready with notes, sermons, signs and songs is not as important as whether we are looking inward to find our own faith and fortitude to make this a NEW year.

To help us each answer the question: “Are you?” we have invited some congregants to share with us something of importance to them; something that helps them with their preparation for this season, so that it can become that much more for us as well.

August 19: Rabbi Dr. Bennett Blum presents “Forgiveness: The Law and The Lore”
August 26: Rabbi Dr. Howard Schwartz presents “T’SHUVAH (Repentance): Up Close & Personal: What Does/Can it Mean in Today’s World?”
September 2: Scott Lewis presents “Learning to Learn from Each Other: A Collaborative Exploration of our Jewish Ethics through PIRKE AVOT”

$18 for the 3-week series PLUS food or cash donation for the Community Food Bank. Contact Michelle to RSVP or click here.

  21 Family Shabbat Service & Dinner, service 5:45pm, dinner 7:00pm
This interactive and upbeat Shabbat celebration for families incorporates fun-spirited melodies and family-themed activities. We’ll share Shabbat dinner, followed by Open Lounge in the Youth Center with games and fun. Come celebrate Shabbat with ruach (spirit) and your congregational family! 
Dinner $25 per family (two adults & up to 4 children) and/or adults (13+) $10 per person. Please RSVP by Aug. 17 Kim or click here
September 3 AIPAC & CAI present
"The Global Implications of a Nuclear Iran"

For security purposes, an RSVP is required. More information. RSVP online.
    Click here for information about the HIGH HOLY DAYS at CAI

Selihot Program & Service
Please join us for the opening service to the High Holy Days
7:45pm Wine, Cheese and Dessert Reception
8:30pm Havdallah Program: “The Disputation – Nachmanides Debates Before King James of Aragon”
9:45pm Changing of the Torah Covers
10:00pm Selihot Service

There is no charge to attend; however, reservations are requested by Aug. 31. Contact Barb.

  6 Kever Avot Memorial Service10:30 am
at Evergreen Cemetery, Anshei Israel Section

Even if your loved ones are not buried in CAI’s Cemetery, you are encouraged to participate in the service and pay your respects to your dearly departed. The 30-minute service includes a special booklet of prayers.

1st Day Rosh Hashanah Services

All military personnel, college students and unaffiliated Jews 20- to 39-years-old are invited to attend High Holy Days services at no charge. Tickets are required. Contact Barb.


2nd Day Rosh Hashanah Services
CAI will open its doors to the Tucson Jewish community as an opportunity to showcase the warmth and tradition that has been its hallmark for 85 years. We want to make it easy for everyone to come pray, but for security reasons we ask that —in advance — you send us your name, address and email before the holidays. You will also need to provide ID at the door. Contact Barb.


Tashlich at the Park, 4:00pm

  22 Kol Nidre Services
  23 Yom Kippur Services
  27 Community Sukkot Dinner, 6:00pm


28 1st Day Sukkot Services
  29 2nd Day Sukkot Services
October 5

Shemini Atzeret Service, Yizkor & Yahrzeit Plaque Dedication, 9:00am

Simhat Torah Dinner & Celebration5:30pm

  6 Simhat Torah Celebration & Lunch, 9:00am
  11 Blessing of the Pets, 11:35am
Our pets are such a part of our lives: a presence in our homes and in our hearts; companions in times of joy and comfort in times of pain. Everyone is welcome to join us – with your pet(s) safely leashed or caged – for a brief service to recognize how important our pets are to us. No charge.
  16 Family Shabbat Service & Dinner, service 5:45pm, dinner 7:00pm
This interactive and upbeat Shabbat celebration for families incorporates fun-spirited melodies and family-themed activities. We’ll share Shabbat dinner, followed by Open Lounge in the Youth Center with games and fun. Come celebrate Shabbat with ruach (spirit) and your congregational family! 
Dinner $25 per family (two adults & up to 4 children) and/or adults (13+) $10 per person. Please RSVP by Oct. 12 Kim or click here.
  19 “Firefighters Beyond Borders” Delegation, 2:30pm
  23 Shabbat Under the Stars, 5:45pm


1 Mishpachah Program: Family Game Day & BBQ, 12:00pm

Scholar-in-Residence Gil Hoffman
Gil Hoffman is the chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. Well-connected to Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Hoffman has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum, has been interviewed by top media on six continents and is a regular analyst on CNN, Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Called "the most optimistic man in Israel" by Israel Television, Hoffman's writing and TV appearances provide a behind the scenes look at both the intrigue and humor in the Israeli political arena.

His visit will include a Shabbat dinner* and presentation, and delivering the Shabbat morning D’var Torah and an afternoon presentation on Saturday. Read more here.

*RSVP & fee required by Nov. 9 for Shabbat dinner only. RSVP here.

December 5

"Latkes & Vodkas" Hanukkah Party for Adults, 8:00pm
Enjoy a variety of gourmet latkes and toppings, five different martini samplers & decadent dessert bar. Non-alcoholic beverages and a beer & wine cash bar available. Must be 21+. $18 per person. RSVP here.


Adult Education Kollel: The “Real Story” of HANUKKAH, 9:30-10:30am
If most Jews knew the “real story” of Hanukkah, they probably wouldn’t celebrate it! HINT: It involves events that resonate to this day – gross inequality and religious coercion. Join us for a special class where we will explore the texts/history behind this holiday

There is no charge, but a contribution (non-perishable food item or monetary donation) to the Community Food Bank is appreciated. Please RSVP to Michelle.

  8 Community Hanukkah Party, 6:00pm
Join us on the 3rd Night of Hanukkah to celebrate the “Festival of Lights.” Enjoy dinner with latkes, pasta, salad & ice cream; candle lighting; crafts; a skit called “The 8 Candles” with CAI’s Junior USYers; a concert and sing-a-long with CAI’s Adult & Youth Choirs led by Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny; and more. $6.13 per person (all ages) with paid RSVP thru Dec. 4; $13 after 12/4 & at the door.
  25 Bowling Party, 11:00am-1:00pm, Tucson Bowl, 7020 E. 21st St.
Bring the whole family & invite your friends… we want to “pin” you down, so don’t “split” on us! We’ve got the whole place to ourselves! This will be right up your “alley” as we’re giving away silly prizes with each game. Bumpers & ramps available for the kids. Unlimited bowling; includes shoes. $7 per bowler, all ages; 5 & under free. (Kosher pizza & beverages for sale). RSVP required by Dec. 23.
9 Mishpachah Program: "Havdallah Under the Stars" and "Choose Your Own Jewish Adventure," 6:30pm
Families with children of all ages are invited to make friends, build community, learn about Judaism, and have fun! Families with children of all ages are invited to make friends, build community, learn about Judaism, and have fun! The evening will start with a make-your-own spice box project, followed by a special “Havdallah Under the Stars” on the synagogue’s patio courtyard as we bid farewell to Shabbat. Then we’ll break into teams to follow clues around the building and “choose our own Jewish path” while participating in fun activities (complete tasks, discuss values, etc.); followed by an ice cream/dessert bar. It’s all free, but you must RSVP by Jan. 6 to Nichole.
  15 Family Shabbat Service & Dinner, 5:45pm
  17 10th Annual Mah Jongg Tournament 9:00am-4:30pm
honoring the tradition of Linda Roy,
All proceeds benefit CAI's United Synagogue Youth

"Casino Night" Fundraiser, 7:30pm
A fun-filled adults-only evening to benefit the Esther B. Feldman Preschool/Kindergarten Sponsor Form

Enjoy casino gambling (for fun and entertainment), hors d’oeuvres and dessert, a cash bar, live music and dancing,  and fabulous raffle prizes (a Canyon Ranch Spa Retreat, a Rocky Point Vacation Getaway, an Autographed UofA Basketball and Tickets to a PAC-12 Game, and much more: NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN). BUY Raffle tickets.

$50 per person ($65 after Jan. 11 and at the door) includes two drink tickets and $25 in casino chips. Cocktail attire requested. RSVP here.

  24 Blood Donor Drive, 9am – 2pm
This is an opportunity to be a hero (no cape required!) All presenting donors will receive a red holiday spoon (while supplies last), as well as knowing your act makes you a life saver. We welcome donors ages 16+. Call 1-800-REDCROSS for eligibility questions. To reserve a time slot, contact Margo.
  24 Tu B'Shevat Seder, 4:30pm
February 10,17 & 24

The Wisdom of Jewish Tucson, 7:00-9:00pm
This adult education series provides an opportunity to share what we know and to learn about / from others regarding their faith, traditions and what they teach about peace, compassion and respect for fellow human beings. Each week offers a different keynote speaker, followed by refreshments and socializing.

“What We Need to Know About … Islam, Mormonism & Catholicism”
with keynote speakers:
Feb. 10 – Dr. Watheq Alobaidi, Muslim Community Center of Tucson presents “What is Islam?”
A well-known scholar of Islamic jurisprudence, Imam Alobaidi will discuss the pillars of Islam, its Abrahamic foundation, the teachings of the Quran, and the importance of being kind and compassionate to our family, friends and neighbors of all faiths.

Feb. 17 – President Cole Thies, Mormon Church, Tucson Stake presents “Mormons: A Bird’s Eye View”
With the Church since 1990 and having served in several positions, President Thies currently oversees several wards (congregations) in east Tucson. In his presentation, he will outline the basic doctrines, history and organization of
the Church, as well as explain daily life for its members and how being a Mormon influences one’s world view.

Feb. 24 – Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson presents “Brothers and Sisters in Faith”
Very involved in community life, youth programs and education, and social action, Bishop Kicanas is the seventh and current Bishop of Tucson. In his presentation, he will discuss our common roots and the ways that we share faith in God.

Cost for the 3-week series: $18 per person PLUS food donation for the Community Food Bank. RSVP here.

  19 Family Shabbat Service & Dinner, 5:45pm
This service will be led by our youth who will bring to it their own special ruach! After this interactive and upbeat Shabbat celebration, we’ll share Shabbat dinner, followed by Open Lounge in the Youth Center with games and fun.


9 & 16

Adult Education Kollel, 7:00-9:00pm
“Not Your Grandchildren’s Purim”‚Äč
Rabbis Robert Eisen and Ruven Barkan will delve into what Purim is really about and why it is so important to reclaim its form and function as adults. It’s not all hamentaschen and groggers!

7:00-8:00pm – “The Rest of Esther” with Rabbi Robert Eisen
Review of the Additions to the Book of Esther found in the Apocrypha, especially in terms of the questions and issues they address, and why they were not included as part of our scripture.

8:00-9:00pmMitzvah… or Not?!with Rabbi Ruven Barkan
Exploration of two “controversial mitzvot” connected with the Festival of Purim and look at what it is we “should” be doing.

Admission: $18 for 2-week series plus non-perishable food donation to Community Food Bank. RSVP by Mar. 7.


“Are You Prepared for Purim”?, 9:00am-12:00pm
A great program for parents & their children of all ages with Rabbis Robert Eisen & Ruven Barkan (as part of Religious School).
9:00-9:30am Minyan with Religious School in Epstein Chapel
9:30-10:30am “Mitzvah Making:” Go through stations baking hamentaschen, preparing Purim cards & packaging other goodies for Shalach Manot bags for the residents of Handmaker.
10:30-11:15am Age-appropriate lessons about Purim & its traditions.
11:15am-12:00pm Song fest, shpiels & food (including hamentaschen!)

Open to all Preschool/Kindergarten & THA families, too! No charge to attend; however RSVP needed by Mar. 10 to Rabbi Barkan.

    Family Shabbat Service & Dinner, 5:45pm

"Purim Palooza" Party
Free fun, free food, free drinks… and it all begins at 5:05pm! Everyone is invited to come dressed in costume for this festive occasion! Four bounce houses, carnival games, prizes, street artists, popcorn & cotton candy for the kids; Hurricanes/beer for those 21+. Pasta dinner with sides at 5:55pm; The “WHOLE” Megillah at 6:36pm; costume parade & hamentaschen. “After Party” 7:30-9:00pm with DJ & ice cream bar (alcoholic drinks continue; bounce houses remain up). Plus: “30/30/40 Raffle” with 30% going to tzedakah; 30% to CAI youth programs; and 40% to the winner as a cash prize! Raffle Tickets sold ONLY at the event: $5 each or 5/$20. RSVP required by Mar. 21.




Seder Heder: Adult Studies Kollel & Haroset Tasting, 7:00-8:30pm
Participate in three rotating “mini” classes, followed by haroset tasting. (Each 20-minute class taught only once.)

  • Rabbi Robert Eisen presents “Korech: The Hillel Sandwich… The Seder as a Remembrance of the Temple”
  • Cantorial Soloist NIchole Chorney presents “Transforming Your Seder into a Song”
  • Rabbi Ruven Barkan presents “The Moss Hagaddah: An Artistic Midrashic Exploration”

Admission: One box of matza per family for the “Matza & More” Passover Food Drive. Please RSVP by Apr. 1 to Michelle.

  15 Family Shabbat Service & Dinner
service 5:45pm on the Rabbi Oleisky Courtyard patio, dinner 7:00pm
This interactive and upbeat Shabbat celebration for families incorporates fun-spirited melodies and family-themed activities. We’ll share Shabbat dinner, followed by Open Lounge in the Youth Center with games and fun. Come celebrate Shabbat with ruach (spirit) and your congregational family!  Dinner $25 per family (two adults & up to 4 children) and/or adults (13+) $10 per person. RSVP needed by Apr. 11.
  17 Passover Family Workshop & Chocolate Seder, 9:00am-12:00pm
The community is invited to learn about the messages of Passover. We’ll create a GIANT seder plate with interactive stations at each symbol … Then we’ll learn about the seder experientally through a chocolate seder!  No charge to attend, but RSVP needed by Apr. 14 to Rabbi Ruven Barkan.
  21 Sweet Tomatoes FUN-raiser
Where are you taking your family for your last bit of hametz before Passover?


Second Night Passover Seder
Ma’ariv 6:30pm; seder begins promptly at 7:00pm
Participate in one of Judaism’s most beautiful and meaningful festivals. Share great dialogue, family participation; supervised children’s play; traditional dinner by Handmaker Catering. Members: adult $45; child $30; Non-members: adult $55; child $40; College & military $37. Seating is limited. RSVP required by Apr. 18.



CAI's 85th Annual Meeting "al-OY-ha," 6:00pm
CAI members are invited to come dressed in their Hawaiian shirts, muumuus, grass skirts or other tropical garb and receive a free gift! The evening includes dinner of pineapple chicken and rice, and "Chai-tais," beer and soft drinks, followed by meeting with reports from Board of Trustees, the year in review, election and installation of officers & Board of Trustees, plus special volunteer/tribute awards. No charge to attend, but RSVP needed by May 12.

  20 Family Shabbat Israel Night, service 5:45pm; dinner 7:00pm
Share an interactive and upbeat Shabbat celebration for families, followed by an Israeli-style dinner, Israeli dancing and an Israeli trivia bowl. Join us and make friends, build community, learn about Judaism, and have fun! RSVP required by May 16.
25 Lag B’Omer BBQ Party & Concert, 6:00pm
To celebrate Lag B’Omer, please join us for a BBQ dinner, board games, and concert featuring CAI’s Adult Choir directed by Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny. In honor of Israel’s 68th anniversary, attend for $6.80 per person. RSVP required by May 23.
June 5

Yom Yerushalayim Program, 7:00pm
Join us on Jerusalem Day to celebrate the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. We will show the film “Genesis Land,” and pause to pay tribute to all that Jerusalem means to us. The film follows three mammals in their respective geographic habitats as the seasons change. Each of the animals – the wolves of the Golan Heights, the swamp cats of the Sea Of Galilee and the ibexes of the desert – opens a window to the world of plants and animals of the region, a world filled with amazing beauty, a world in which there is no hatred, and which is guided only by one urge – the urge for survival.
Utilizing amazing nature photography by award-winning cinematographer Moshe Alpert, and the magnificent ethnic-inspired music of Uri Ophir and internationally-acclaimed singer Noa, "Genesis Land" is a breathtaking and uplifting experience of sound and color. (Hebrew w/English subtitles; 1 hour 27 min.) There is no charge to attend.


Tikkun Leil Shavuot: A Guide to the Evening of Shavuot
Annual program to observe the celebration of the anniversary of the day Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

Service 8:00pm; dairy dinner 8:15pm
Study Session 1 at 8:45pm: Rabbi Robert Eisen will present
"Megillat Ruth: The Character of the Characters”
Study Session 2 at 9:40pm: Rabbi Ruven Barkan will present “Is the Torah True? What Happened at Sinai?”
Dessert 10:30pm
Reading of the Book of Ruth 11:00pm

$8 per person to attend dinner; No charge for service, study sessions & dessert. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED by June 8 TO ATTEND ANY PORTION OF TIKKUN LEIL SHAVUOT.

New programs are always in development. If you are interested in attending any event at CAI,
or would like more information about an event, please contact Debra Lytle.