In Focus

JLTC celebrates quinceañera

Humberto Lopez, left, and Paul Baker, Jewish Latino Teen Coalition quinceañera co-chairs, display wind chimes presented to them and longtime JLTC Leader Shari Gootter (not pictured). Local artist Julie Szerina Stein created the unique pieces, which capture both cultures to make a “milagro-mizrach,” she says, using the Spanish word for a votive folk charm and the Hebrew word for an ornament hung on an eastern wall to indicate the direction for prayer.
Former Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Jewish Latino Teen Coalition alumna Bella Wexler, and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero at the JLTC quinceañera at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy Jan. 5.

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona welcomed more than 150 people Jan. 5 to honor Jewish Latino Teen Coalition founders Humberto Lopez and Paul Baker at a quinceañera/15th year celebration. Young adult alumni shared their stories, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and former Mayor Jonathan Rothschild delivered greetings, and Shari Gootter was honored for her 14 years of volunteer commitment to the program. Baker and Lopez pledged a $20,000 match for 2020 donations to the program. The program costs $1,800 annually for each of a dozen student participants. To contribute, go to and put JLTC in the comment section of your donation.