THA Tikkun Olam Award to honor Giffords

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (P.K.Weis/southwest photobank.com)

Tucson Hebrew Academy will honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with its 2011 Tikkun Olam Award on Sunday, Nov. 6.

The Jewish concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) is a call for all to do their part to make the world a better place, both through public service and by working to improve ourselves, explains Arthur Yavelberg, THA head of school.

“Congresswoman Giffords exemplifies this concept perfectly,” says Dick Belkin, president of THA’s board of trustees. “She is an inspiration for people of all faiths and backgrounds, and she certainly is a role model for the students of Tucson Hebrew Academy as they learn about the concept of tikkun olam.”

Giffords, who was seriously wounded at a Congress on Your Corner event in northwest Tucson on Jan. 8, is continuing her rehabilitation in Asheville, N.C., and is not expected to attend the event.

A third generation Tucsonan, Giffords served in the Arizona legislature from 2000 to 2005. She was elected to represent Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District in 2006 and elected to a second term in 2010.

Upon entering Congress, Giffords became an advocate for border security, energy independence and the needs of military families and veterans. Ranked as one of the most centrist legislators in Congress, she has been a strong supporter of fiscal responsibility, bipartisanship and government accountability.

The Tikkun Olam Celebration will be held Sunday, Nov. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada, a colleague and friend of Giffords, will be the guest speaker. The emcee for the evening will be Richard H. Carmona, the 17th surgeon general of the United States.

The evening will begin with entertainment by the Klezmerkaba band in the JCC sculpture garden, a silent auction and a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Tickets are $125 each or $200 per couple (THA parents, $100 or $175/couple). RSVP to Gina Baudoin at 529-3888, ext. 108 or gbaudoin@thaaz.org.