Events | Post-Its | Upcoming

Winter Residents Happy Hour Will Be Chance to Mingle

Larry Selig

Tucson’s Jewish community has long been deemed “mid-sized” by Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella group for almost 150 Jewish Federations. That designation is borne out by the divergent perspectives of two winter residents.

For Larry Selig of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona (JPSA) is a step up in size.

“Grand Rapids has a fairly small Jewish population, so the amount of activity in terms of fundraising is smaller; what Federation supports is smaller,” he says, adding that the Grand Rapids Federation is housed in one of the city’s shuls.

Selig and his wife, Ellen Levey, have been part-time Tucsonans for nine years.

“I believe strongly in what Federation does,” says Selig, who has served on the board of the Grand Rapids Federation. He will give a brief presentation at JPSA’s Winter Residents Happy Hour on March 27, focusing on why he supports the Federation in both cities.

Marianne Taussig and her husband, Stuart Taussig, have been wintering in Tucson for 19 years. Since Taussig retired from the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, where she worked in the legacy and endowments department, they have upped their Tucson stays, which now run from early November to early May.

Like Selig and his wife, the Taussigs are donors to JPSA.

“Stuart and I feel very strongly that since we are here for approximately six months, that we have a responsibility to this Jewish community too,” she says. “Also, we’ve enjoyed being included in the Jewish community. People have been very kind and warm to us. It’s not only a duty and a responsibility, it’s a pleasure.”

Being from Chicago, the size of the Tucson community “was very wonderful, not gigantic, the lack of traffic – all those big city aggravations aren’t here,” she says, adding that winter sunshine was a key attraction.

Taussig also appreciates that JPSA includes her in its Lion of Judah events based on her giving in Chicago, a policy that may be unique in the Federation system.

Selig credits outreach from JPSA Chief Development Officer Emily Richman and Andy Kunsberg, who has held numerous JPSA volunteer roles, with keeping him engaged.

Both Selig and Taussig look forward to meeting other winter residents at the JPSA event.

Previous winter residents’ events were usually held on Sunday mornings in people’s homes – the Taussigs hosted one year – or at JPSA. This year, the event will be a happy hour at a restaurant, El Charro Ventana, from 4-6 p.m. on a Wednesday.

Although this year’s event is on the east side, the Northwest Tucson Jewish Community is joining JPSA as a sponsor. The next event, Richman says, will be held in the Northwest.

“A number of winter residents live in the Northwest. We enjoy them and we always love to meet new Northwest winter residents,” says Phyllis Gold, NWTJC co-secretary.

For Taussig, the co-sponsorship and the venue signify that “the new JPSA leadership is trying to be inclusive and creative.”

Registration for the happy hour is available here. For more information, email

To receive information about future winter resident events and provide input for planning purposes, click here.