Each year, from Yom HaShoah through Victory in Europe Day, the Holocaust display cabinet in the lobby of the Tucson Jewish Community Center is decorated to honor the liberators of the concentration camps in Europe, complete with a mannequin dressed in a 1940s U.S. Army uniform. Bill Kugelman, 90, a Holocaust survivor from Poland who was among those liberated has been dressing the cabinet for more than 25 years. The liberation display, he says, “is the greatest expression of thanks to the American armed forces. I am here because of them. I am deeply indebted to them.” When it opened in 1989, the Tucson J commissioned the cabinet from Harris Sobin, a professor of architecture at the University of Arizona, who designed it in the shape of a Torah scroll, says Ken Light, former executive director of the J.
Butterfly installation at Hillel
More than 110 people, including almost a dozen Holocaust survivors, attended the installation of the Butterfly Project, Zikaron V’Tikvah — Remembrance and Hope, at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation on Sunday, April 19. The permanent installation in front of the building commemorates the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust with hundreds of ceramic butterflies, many of them painted by participants in Hillel’s Holocaust vigils over the past several years.
Celebrating Moroccan style
About 120 people attended the Mimuna Festival, a Moroccan Jewish celebration of the end of Passover, on Sunday, April 12. The festival, held at Temple Emanu-El, was cosponsored by the Weintraub Israel Center and organized by Israeli shlicha (emissary) Oshrat Barel. Participants enjoyed pastries imported from Israel, henna tattoos, dressing in Moroccan costumes and music.
Temple Emanu-El retreat
Sixty-one participants of all ages attended Temple Emanu-El’s congregational retreat April 17-19 in Rio Rico. This year’s theme was “Waiting for God: Finding Belief Today.” The annual event “is a time to ‘retreat’ from the ordinary” and celebrate Shabbat “in peace and joy, in a lovely surrounding, in laughter and song, with family and friends, in games, in prayer and study, on the hiking trail, on a rooftop patio, in the pool, on the baseball field and over ice cream sundaes,” says Mila Vasser, Temple Emanu-El program coordinator.
Tucson Family Triathlon
Almost 150 families and children, some as young as 3, participated in the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s first Tucson Family Triathlon on Sunday, April 19. Cosponsored by Tucson Medical Center, the non-competitive event raised more than $700 for Tu Nidito Children and Family Services. The multi-sport event featured swimming, biking and running. Adult mentors were able to join children for each section of the event as well as provide help during the transitions.