A starry night: THA celebrates eighth grade graduation

On May 12th, 2021, Tucson Hebrew Academy’s (THA) eighth grade class celebrated their graduation after a year unlike any other. The ceremony took place from 7 to 9 pm at the Park Place Event Space adjacent to the Park Place Mall.

THA graduates 2021

Around 120 attendees gathered to celebrate the twelve graduates. The beautiful night under stars included blessings, speeches, a video montage, and a presentation of diplomas. All families and guests were provided with Kosher snack bags that had been pre-packed by THA office staff. Incoming head of school Johanna Shlomovich addressed the graduates through a pre-recorded video in which she reminded them that “THA will always be a place you call home.” This was particularly poignant for one family who was celebrating the graduation of a second generation THA student!

The 2020-21 school year was unusual in many ways. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated that classes take place online from August 2020 through January 2021. In February, after careful consideration from THA’s Medical Advisory Committee and the Pima County Health Department deemed it safe, those students who wished to return were welcomed back to campus. Critical protocols, such as mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and hand sanitation stations around campus enabled safety for students and staff alike. The Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund contributed to the ability of THA to resume operations during the pandemic.

The school also continued to provide the option to remain in supervised distance learning for those who thought that was best for their family situation. By March 15th, all THA teachers had received the COVID-19 vaccine and close to 80% of students had returned to school for in-person learning.

2021 THA graduates will be attending Catalina Foothills High School, The Gregory School, City High School, Sabino High School, Salpointe Catholic High School, and University High School.