I very much enjoyed the special supplement about past, present and future perspectives from members of our Southern Arizona Jewish community in the Sept. 12 edition. All were interesting, but more importantly, reassuring about our community’s future. However, my favorite was Roberta Bracker’s story. Much has to do with the fact that I have known Roberta and her late husband, Bobby, of blessed memory, for many years; the rest has to do with my theory that there is less than one degree of separation in the Jewish world. For example, many years ago, Roberta and Bobby were on a mission to Israel and a woman on the plane heard they were from Nogales and asked them if they knew Boris and me. That woman was Boris’ sister Marta, who was from Dallas.
The Jewish geography game continues: Israeli superstar David Broza will be here for a concert on Oct. 30. Along with his singing and guitar playing, David puts music to poems that he enjoys. Among the poems he’s done this with is “Chileno Boys,” written by Alberto Rios, Arizona’s first poet laureate and native of Nogales. David and Alberto have performed “Chileno Boys” together. I called Alberto to ask if he’d be willing to appear with David on the 30th; he is delighted to do so. I also explained the Jewish geography game and asked if he knew the Brackers, Capins, et al. I could tell — even without FaceTime — that he broke into a big smile because he knew everybody very well.
And I break into a big smile remembering Bobby. As Roberta said, in addition to being a committed Jew, he was very involved in the general Nogales community as an activist and philanthropist. He also spoke English with its unique border flavor. What a guy!