Tree of Life in Green Valley
The gold leaves on the “Tree of Life” at Green Valley’s Beth Shalom Temple Center honor men and women whose efforts have been especially significant to the congregation. The temple added a leaf at its Feb. 3 Shabbat service in gratitude to Tamara Kahrimanis, who for 10 years provided piano and vocal music and led the temple choir during services and other events.
Kahrimanis has been heard at the Green Valley Chamber Music Society and currently serves as assistant director of the 80-voice Community Chorus and as music director for two choirs at our Lady of the Valley Roman Catholic Church. She earned her M.A. from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and performed with the New England Lyric Operetta before moving to Green Valley.
Israeli soldiers on tour
Two Israeli Defense Forces reservists spoke to about 25 students at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation on Feb. 22. On Feb. 23, they spoke at UA ROTC classes and at the “Night to Stand with Israel” event at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, sponsored by Friends of Israel and the Weintraub Israel Center. StandWithUs, an international Israel education organization, sponsored their tour of the Southwest.
Carlos, a paratrooper who was born in Colombia and studied film at Tel Aviv University, speaks about the 2009 operation against Hamas in Gaza. When he and his unit entered the “war zone” after warning civilians to evacuate, they found a woman and her six children in the first house they entered. She told them she stayed because her husband would kill her if she dared leave. Realizing that the husband, a Hamas terrorist, intentionally left his family in mortal danger, Carlos says, “Back then I was shocked and upset, but now we know the use of human shields is a very common Hamas tactic.”
Elie, from France, studies government, diplomacy and strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He recalls the trauma of riding the subway in France at age 13, when a man noticed his Star of David and screamed, “Death to Jews … Free Palestine.” Two years later, after a pro-Palestinian demonstration where people burned Israeli flags and called for the death of Jews, Elie decided to move to Israel. He served in the Special Forces of the Nahal Infantry Brigade. Speaking of the IDF code to prevent casualties whenever possible, he recalls the time he was able to stop 15- and 16-year-old would-be terrorists in the West Bank from dropping boulders on passing cars simply by screaming at them. “At that moment, I was so proud to be a part of this moral army,” he says.