As I write this, I am packing up my home and thinking about the eight years I called Tucson home. When I moved here, I thought Tucson would always be my home, but life has thrown me a curve ball that I did not expect. I have family reasons for having to consider being the rabbi of an East Coast congregation at this time, and I believe I have found a great congregation there.
So I am packing and moving East, and I will indeed miss Tucson and the amazing people I have met here, some of whom have become lifelong friends, even though we will now live on opposite sides of the country.
Tucson is still an amazing community. I have, of course, loved being the rabbi, first for Congregation Ner Tamid and now Congregation Kol Simchah. I wish them the best of everything as they move forward into searching for their next rabbi. I have also enjoyed many privileges: being the immediate past president of the Tucson Board of Rabbis; serving on the boards of the Jewish History Museum, JFCS, JFSA and the JCC; being a planner for PeaceWalk Tucson; a teacher for Melton, Hebrew High, Brandeis and leading Torah studies at Handmaker and NW Connections; a frequent panelist at community conversations; Rabbis’ Corner column writer in the Post and so many other things. I have enjoyed working with Federation and many other agencies in Tucson and the many interfaith activities here. Yes, I will miss Tucson and its amazing people. I will miss the mountains, the Santa Rita cactus and the saguaros (10 in my yard!). I will come back for lifecycle events from time to time and I hope many of us will stay connected (my e-mail will not change and my cell phone number will remain the same for now) and I hope you will visit me on the Treasure Coast of Florida.
Thank you all, for making Tucson a great place to call home for these past years!
—Rabbi Shafir Lobb