Letters to the Editor

Israel-Tucson bonds strong

Regarding “New Israeli shinshinim bring youthful energy to Tucson” (AJP 8/11/17),å how lucky we are that Tucson is one of the cities participating in the shinshinim (Israeli teen volunteers) program, the goal of which is to make connections between Israel and worldwide communities. Our first shinshinim, Leah Avuno and Bar Alkaher, filled their roles with much enthusiasm and it appears that our new arrivals, Chen Dinatzi and Tamir Shecory, share that enthusiasm. Chen and Tamir had lunch with Rabbi Samuel Cohon in Israel and Yael Hess, wife of Yizhar Hess, passed by, recognized the rabbi and they spoke.

Yizhar was a wonderful shaliach (emissary from Israel) and I loved volunteering with him. He came to Tucson as a quintessential secular Israeli, but his attendance at a bat mitzvah at Congregation Anshei Israel had a profound effect upon him. Not only did he become a member of the Conservative movement, but since 2007, has been the executive director and CEO of Masorti in Israel and was one of the negotiators who attempted to work out an agreement for pluralistic worship at the Western Wall, a most challenging experience.

— Billie Kozolchyk