Green Valley Jews to celebrate center’s 20th

Cyrel Bandy
Cyrel Bandy

The Beth Shalom Temple Center, serving Green Valley and Sahuarita, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a full weekend of activities beginning on Nov. 20.

Located at 1751 N. Rio Mayo in Green Valley, the Temple Center is the successor to a grassroots organization that began in the early 1980s and was known as the Jewish Friendship Club. “The word ‘center’ indicates that the group is a focal point for social and cultural events, in addition to religious services and observances,” says Cyrel Bandy, president, who adds that the Temple Center has a vibrant men’s club and sisterhood. Educational activities include a weekly Torah study and Yiddish conversation classes.

The anniversary will include a Shabbat service on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., conducted by Michael Mussman, accompanied by Sara Mussman, an ordained cantor. Speakers will include Bandy and Roslyn Sirota, one of the Temple Center’s founders, who will discuss the organization’s history. Past presidents will honored. An Oneg Shabbat will follow.

The celebration will continue on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the Quail Creek Country Club in Sahuarita, with a dinner and entertainment by Klezmerkaba, a klezmer ensemble from Tucson. The cost is $30 per person. Reservations will be accepted until Nov. 10 at 300-6770.

The festivities will conclude with an open house on Sunday, Nov. 22 from 1-4 p.m., highlighting activities and special events, with a large-screen slide presentation, historical photos, memorabilia and a tour of the Temple Center’s sanctuary, library and garden. Light refreshments will be served.

“I refer to Beth Shalom Temple Center as our ‘miracle in the desert,’” says Bandy. “My hope for the future is that we will continue to thrive and remain an integral part of our community.”