THA Prepares for Day of Chesed, Looks Back on Community Action

Over the past 50 years, Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) has been at the forefront of fostering community action among its students. Through initiatives like annual volunteerism fairs, service-oriented field trips, and the impactful Passport to Peace program, five generations of students have been encouraged to learn to embody mitzvot, actively engage in Tikkun Olam, and apply these values to create positive change in their community and the world.

Passport to Peace, initiated in 2008 by teacher Chris Graves and her student government, was a cornerstone for over a decade in connecting students with local and international
organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, the Trevor Project, and Replanting Trees in Israel. Thinking back on her experience as a sixth grader during the program’s inception, THA alumna and second-grade teacher Adina Karp expressed, “Passport to Peace opened my eyes to so many different organizations at an early age and really put the values of Tikkun Olam into action right on campus.”

Crucial to instilling lifelong volunteerism is THA’s continued commitment to community service field trips. In the 2022-23 school year, THA partnered with Felicia’s Farm to help make repairs and learn about composting. Ms. Karp reflected on how field trips both as a student and teacher inspire her to pass Jewish ideals onto her class, “We would go to Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and listen to stories and work as a team to accomplish projects. It was a great way to bond as a class, and it’s great to see it carried through in my students today.”

For the school’s 50th celebration project, the parent Community Action Team (CAT) will be
hosting a Day of Chesed for students and families on Monday, January 15th, at the THA
campus. The main project will focus on packing refugee family resettlement kits for Jewish
Family and Children’s Services of Southern Arizona.

The community is welcome to participate by filling a bag, available for pick-up at THA, or
donating to the event. (Donations for kits can be made through January 12th, 2024). If you’d like to contribute to the event, please email CAT or make a donation here.