Geri-Lynn Bertagnolli has joined the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona as campaign administrative assistant. Bertagnolli, a Tucson native, has an M.B.A. in e-commerce as well as B.S. degrees in business administration and business management from the University of Phoenix, where she also earned a certificate in human resources management. Her 25 years of experience with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations includes three years as an executive administrative assistant at Casa de los Ninos. Before that, she served in a variety of roles with Brock Technologies, Inc.; Aker Solutions/Jacobs Engineering; Office Team; SOLON Corporation; and PB Americas Inc., and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, all in Tucson, as well as the Boy Scouts of America in Long Beach, California.
The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation has hired Eri Svenson, a Jewish educator from Northampton, Massachusetts, as director of Jewish student life. Svenson brings six years of experience in a variety of community organizing and experiential education roles in New York, Chicago, and Massachusetts, with an emphasis on social justice and Jewish learning. For the past year, Svenson was an educator at Congregation B’nai Israel and the Jewish Community of Amherst, creating programs to celebrate and value students’ intersecting identities. Svenson studied at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and participated in programs at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and Yeshivat Hadar in New York City.
Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona recently launched expanded therapy services to strengthen family life. The JFCS Family Preservation Program provides direct, short-term in-home therapy and parenting support to families in crisis, to help them improve coping and communication skills and family functioning, while keeping children safe. The program expects to serve about 450 children and families in Tucson each year.
The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block received a $75,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to support and expand its youth education programming for the next two years. TMA will use the funds to reach an additional 10,000 underserved youth and their families with field trips, in-school and after-school programs and interactive family programs. Expanding its opportunities for teens, TMA will launch a teen council to help students develop leadership skills by working on real-world projects, advising TMA on ways to make the museum friendlier for teen audiences, and serving as ambassadors in their community.
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Tucson Hebrew Academy has added several new staff members:
Sha’ron Eden, Tucson Hebrew Academy’s new development associate, is an Israeli who served in the Israel Defense Forces during the first Gulf War. She earned her bachelor’s in political science and international relations at Florida Atlantic University, where she co-founded and became vice president of the Israeli Student Organization of South Florida and was a National Political Science Honor Society member. Working and volunteering in the U.S. Jewish community, she is experienced in fundraising and advancement. She worked with the Greater East Bay Jewish Federation in California, was a member of the Advancement Department at Jess Schwartz Academy Jewish day school in Phoenix, and worked for the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada. She recently moved to Tucson from Las Vegas with her husband, Amir Eden, director of the Weintraub Israel Center.
Zeneth Constante teaches Upper School math at Tucson Hebrew Academy. She earned her bachelor’s degree from De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, majoring in education and mathematics, and her masters in educational management from the University of Southern Philippines.
Terra Porisch, who moved to Tucson from Billings, Montana, brings over 32 years of experience to the fourth grade classroom at Tucson Hebrew Academy. With more than 19 years in K-6th grade Gifted and Talented Education, she has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Montana State University and a Master of Science in education from Walden University.
Kristina Wust is the accounting assistant to Tucson Hebrew Academy Chief Operations Officer Emily Lunne. An Oklahoma native, she recently relocated to Tucson from the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in accounting from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. Most recently, she served as the student accounts specialist at Huntington University and Manchester University and as treasurer for non-profits in the Fort Wayne area.
Samantha Feldman is Tucson Hebrew Academy’s new music teacher. She is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in vocal studies and a minor in creative writing. She also serves as assistant director of the semi-professional community chorus The Helios Ensemble, and as staff singer for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus and St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, where she previously directed the children’s choirs and after school music program. A published author of the children’s series “Sam the Ant,” she also teaches private piano lessons.