Arts and Culture | Local

UA Hillel switches gears with local focus for fundraiser

Tempest DuJour

The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation is going more local for this year’s fundraiser.  On Saturday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m., Hillel will hold “A Night at La Cage Hillel” at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater building on the university campus. The event is crucial to supporting Hillel’s work serving over 300 Jewish students at the university.

Instead of bringing in a famous comedian or singer as in previous years, this year Hillel will present a cabaret night, with a reception followed by an hour or so of various acts. This local talent includes Tempest DuJour as the host, selections from the musical “Stars of David” presented by the award-winning Arizona Onstage Productions, and the UA College of Medicine’s Docapella. Fusionz Café, located inside Hillel, will cater the hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Locally owned Public Brewery is brewing special Hillel Bear Down Ale to be served throughout the night. By hosting the event at the Stevie Eller building, Hillel has made the conscious choice to bring the event back to campus.

DuJour is a local talent few will want to miss. A professor by day at the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film, and Television, and a drag queen by night, DuJour is sure to bring some new flair to this long-running fundraiser. 

Besides highlighting great Tucson talents, this night is “the centerpiece of Hillel’s annual campaign,” says Hillel Executive Director Michelle Blumenberg. 

“It funds all of the student programs and helps to run over 200 meetings and programs annually,” adds Hillel Board Chair John Judin. “At the core of UA Hillel’s mission is developing young Jewish leaders today to ensure a strong Jewish community for the future.  The contributions made during this annual fundraiser play a very substantial role in allowing Hillel to fulfill this goal.”

The co-chairs for the evening are Dana Narter and Jason Lazarow.  “I am excited that we are showcasing a variety of local talent and holding the event at a campus venue to help support Hillel in building a Jewish community for UA students,” says Narter.

Another way this night is different from past Hillel benefits is that there are no general admission tickets.  To participate in the night of festivities and food, a donor must buy a ticket package ranging from $180 to $5,000.  Spend $1,800 or more and the package will include a VIP reception prior to the show.  The VIPs will have reserved parking, special food, and a harpist to serenade them as they schmooze. 

“Like the last 18 years, it will be a fun, entertaining evening, with wonderful local food and brews. But this year we’re making it more intimate, and we’re focusing on the students,” says Blumenberg, who adds that students have been involved in organizing the event.

Tickets can be purchased through Hillel’s website at The Stevie Eller Dance Theater is at 1737 E. University Blvd.

Sara Harelson is a University of Arizona School of Journalism intern and a UA Hillel volunteer.