In Focus

In Focus 5.26.17

Tucson Hebrew Academy graduation

Tucson Hebrew Academy graduates at Reid Park. Back row (L-R): Elana Goldberg, Jonah Parnaby, Shira Dubin, Ryan Spitzer, Eliana Tolby, Daniella Lee, Eliana Siegel, Darian German, Ellah Ben-Asher, Samuel White, Breanna Yalen, Liliana Isaac, Eli Graizbord Michelson, Ava Leipsic; front row: Niles King, Rio Lederer, Samuel Goldfinger, Samuel Siegel, Aiden Glesinger, Joshua Quigley, Ryan Berkej, Gabriel Ruskin, Noah Fleisher (Interstate Studio)

Tucson Hebrew Academy held its eighth grade graduation on Wednesday, May 10. With 23 graduates, the ceremony was held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center to accommodate the large crowd of family and friends.

Tucson Hebrew High graduation

(L-R): Leah Tolby, Eshed Ozeri, Yochanan Gibly, Lora Temyanko, Phoebe Sandock and Sharon Glassberg, principal and senior class faculty. (Martha Lochert)

Tucson Hebrew High held at its 39th annual graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, at Hebrew High’s host, Congregation Anshei Israel. The theme of this year’s graduation was “One Voice.” Graduate Leah Tolby spoke of the Hebrew High class of 2017 as “a harmonious collection of many different melodies, each demonstrating our own unique passions and personalities, but all united by our common Jewish values. In every aspect of life, Judaism encourages us to use our voices. This concept – of speaking out against injustice and using our voices to encourage positive change – is a defining value of our Hebrew High senior class.” The ceremony included highlights of the 2017 March of the Living and the Tracing Roots & Building Trees intergenerational program with Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, two Hebrew High programs held outside of Tuesday night classes.

Tucson rabbi is guest chaplain at House of Representatives

Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash delivers the opening prayer as guest chaplain at the U.S. House of Representatives, May 17. (YouTube)

Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash gave the opening prayer at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 17, at the invitation of U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain for the House of Representatives. McSally thanked the rabbi from the House floor, recognizing his years of service since moving to Tucson with his wife, Marcia, in 1989. She noted that Louchheim had previously served as an executive for Handmaker Hospice and as rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, and that he has worked closely with the Muslim community in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks, including founding “the first Jewish-Christian-Muslim 

(L-R): U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, Rabbi Thomas Louchheim and Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives (Courtesy Office of U.S. Rep. Martha McSally

scriptural study group in our community.” She added that he is “the namesake for the only space object in the universe named after a rabbi — Asteroid 9584 Louchheim.” A video of Louchheim’s prayer and McSally’s remarks is on YouTube (look for “U.S. Rep. McSally Welcomes Guest Chaplain Tucson Rabbi Louchheim”).




Sister Jose mural nears completion

[Jon McLane)

Local artist Michael B. Schwartz works on a mural he designed at the Sister Jose Women’s Center. The center, which provides programs, nourishment and a place to rest for homeless women, is the focus of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s 70th anniversary mitzvah project. The JFSA will also provide raised garden beds and outdoor seating.

(Jon McLane)
















Temple Emanu-El honors educators

Back row (L-R): Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon; front row: Cipora Cohon, Sarah Jones, Emily Jones, Gabriel Cohon, Dori Zabari (Courtesy Temple Emanu-El)

Temple Emanu-El held a Siyyum on Sunday, May 7, marking the end of the Kurn Religious School year. The school awarded the 5777/2017 Marion B. & Gerald S. Gendell Excellence in Jewish Education Award to three teachers and two madrichot (teacher’s assistants).

Capacity crowd hears author on media, Israel

(L-R) Weintraub Israel Center Co-chair Steve Caine, guest speaker Matti Friedman, Heather Caine and Weintraub Israel Center Director Oshrat Barel (Courtesy Weintraub Israel Center)

More than 250 people filled Congregation Chofetz Chayim on Sunday, May 14 to hear Matti Friedman, former Associated Press reporter and author of “The Aleppo Codex” and “Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story,” speak on “Why Is the Media Confused About Israel?” The Weintraub Israel Center co-sponsored the free event, which included a light Israeli buffet, as part of a month of Tucson Celebrates Israel events.