The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Coalition for Jewish Education held two graduation ceremonies last month.
The Hebrew High class of 2010 received their diplomas on Tuesday, May 11 at Temple Emanu-El. The theme of this year’s graduation, “Each of Us Has a Name,” was based on a poem by Zelda, a Ukrainian-born Israeli poet. Graduate Andy Berger, who welcomed attendees, said, “We are ready for the responsibility of continuing our positive Jewish identities and we are ready to help create a world we can all proudly live in.” Bonnie Segal spoke about her l’dor v’dor (generation to generation) connection to Hebrew High where her aunt Marjorie Cunningham teaches cooking, her mother, Justice Anne Segal, teaches a class in secular and Jewish law, and her uncle Paul Cunningham teaches Jewish civics. Her graduation speech concluded, “Now I can see that I am committed to passing on more than a religion. I am part of a culture. I am part of a tradition. I am part of the past. I am part of the future. I am Jewish.” Helping to celebrate the 32nd annual commencement ceremony of Tucson Hebrew High were Bob and Shiffy Cohen. Shiffy was the first principal of Tucson Hebrew High and she and Bob have not missed a Hebrew High graduation ceremony in 32 years, said CJE Director Sharon Glassberg.
The 14th graduating class of the Tucson Melton Adult Mini School was honored on Monday, May 10 at a ceremony in the Sculpture Garden of the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Rabbi Israel Becker was honored for his 14 years of teaching in the program, along with Rabbi Helen Cohn. Both rabbis taught this class throughout their two-year course of study. The graduates spoke about their diverse backgrounds — including Chuck Peck, a hidden child who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust — and their commitment to further adult Jewish education.