Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has hired Aviva Zeltzer-Zubida, Ph.D., as vice president for planning and community engagement, succeeding Oshrat Barel, who will continue at JFSA into the fall to assure a successful transition. Zeltzer-Zubida was born in Moldova, grew up in Israel and completed her graduate work at the City University of New York, earning a master’s and a doctorate in sociology. She taught in the sociology department of Brooklyn College and published scholarly articles on topics related to immigration, identity, and social inequality. After 10 years in the United States, she and her family returned to Israel where she joined the Institute for Immigration and Social Integration and the School of Management at the Ruppin Academic Center, as a lecturer and researcher. Between 2008 and 2015, Zeltzer-Zubida assumed several senior roles at the Jewish Agency for Israel, including director of information, planning and evaluation, and chief strategy officer. Since 2016, she has been an independent researcher, evaluator, and strategic consultant.
Melissa McGee has joined the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona as campaign manager. Most recently, she was the director of development services for the University of Arizona Health Sciences, where she oversaw all aspects of a comprehensive philanthropy operation, including prospect research, pipeline management, reporting and analysis, fund management, stewardship, and events. Before joining the UA, she began her career as an account manager with a small Tucson public relations firm, where she learned copywriting, website design, and conference planning. McGee received her B.S. in English and religious studies from Northern Arizona University and is currently completing her M.B.A. at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.
Sarah Bollt, the clergy assistant at Congregation Or Chadash, has been accepted to the cantorial ordination program at the Academy for Jewish Religion — California. Bollt will attend classes via distance learning, with occasional trips to Los Angeles. Graduates are ordained as “Hazzan and Teacher in Israel” and receive a master’s degree in Jewish sacred music. Recent Tucson graduates from AJRCA include Rabbi Cantor Avraham Alpert of Congregation Bet Shalom and Cantor Bryce Megdal, who grew up at Temple Emanu-El. Or Chadash honored Bollt with flowers at Shabbat services on July 19.
Kimberly Driskell has joined the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona as a chief financial officer. After graduating from high school in Sierra Vista, Driskell joined the United States Coast Guard and met her husband of 37 years, Donald. She started a career in accounting, working in various industries and returning to school at night to earn a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. She is currently completing an M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University. Passionate about working in the non-profit sector, she spent 11 years as vice president/controller for the YMCA in Brockton, Massachusetts, and four years as controller for Morgan Memorial Goodwill in Boston. Her position before returning to Arizona was CFO for the League School of Greater Boston, which serves children on the autism spectrum.
Gugulethu Moyo joined the staff of the Jewish History Museum mid-July as director of operations. She has over a decade of managerial and board experience in non-profits and corporations. She started her career as a lawyer in the pensions industry and was the founding executive director of the Media Legal Defence Initiative, a London-based organization that defends press freedom by delivering legal aid to persecuted journalists around the world. Moyo came to the fore as an advocate of human rights at a time of political and rule of law crisis in Zimbabwe, where she grew up. She received law degrees from the University of Oxford and University of Zimbabwe and is currently studying interior and urban design. She has been active in Jewish communities in Washington D.C., India, and Jamaica, where she lived for some years.
Sara Golan-Mussman will serve as a cantorial soloist at Congregation Chaverim Shabbat services monthly, as well as at b’nai mitzvah and holiday ceremonies. Golan-Mussman and her husband, Michael Mussman, will continue to lead monthly services through December and the 2019 High Holiday services at Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley. Golan-Mussman, whose family moved from Romania to Israel when she was a year old, sang with an Israeli Defense Forces ensemble and performed on Broadway before moving to Tucson in 1982, where she has sung regularly at Jewish community events such as Yom HaShoah and Yom Hazikaron, and teaches Hebrew at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Diana Povolotskaya, former cantorial soloist at Chaverim, who has moved to Virginia, will return to Chaverim or the 2019 High Holiday services..
Tucson International Jewish Film Festival will receive a $3,000 festival grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. At the commission’s quarterly meeting in June, more than $2.63 million was awarded in 260 grants to nonprofit arts organizations, festivals, and education programs statewide.
Jewish History Museum Executive Director Bryan Davis participated in a two-day conference of culturally specific museum professionals, hosted by the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C., in June. Davis was the only Jewish museum professional invited to participate.
Old Pueblo Playwrights was awarded a $2,000 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to support OPP’s 29th New Play Festival in spring 2020. OPP’s membership reflects a wide variety of backgrounds and experience levels. Recent plays read at OPP include “Bubbie’s Legacy” by Sheldon Metz and “Siri Waxes Talmudic” by Carol Somer.
Tucson Symphony Orchestra has appointed two new vice presidents. Bruce Robinson takes the newly created position of vice president of patron loyalty. Robinson earned a Kellogg/Northwestern M.B.A. and a doctorate in music from the University of Arizona. He worked in the fields of energy, food, travel, and education before his eight-year tenure as chief marketer for the Houston Symphony. For the past eight years, Robinson was the marketing director for the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Philanthropy specialist Glenn Paris has been promoted to vice president of development. A veteran producer, artistic administrator, and fundraiser, Paris has led major development efforts for such organizations as ion theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, New York City Mission Society, and HB Playwrights Foundation. Paris holds a Master of Fine Arts in directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Interfaith Community Services will be the recipient of a food drive by all nine Walmart Neighborhood Markets in the Tucson area Aug. 16-30. Shoppers can purchase a bag of the most needed items by ICS food banks for under $5.
Chef Wendy Gauthier, the owner of Chef Chic, is the first female chef to win Iron Chef Tucson. Gauthier defeated Maynard’s chef and defending 2018 Iron Chef Champion Brian Smith.