In Focus

In Focus: Hanukkah 2018

Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz reads “Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah.”

A Hanukkah celebration, PJ Library-style Around 90 people, including children, parents, and grandparents, attended PJ Library and PJ Our Way’s “Let It Glow: A Hanukkah Celebration” at the east side Barnes & Noble on Sunday, Dec. 2. Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz read “Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah” by Michael J. Rosen,… Read more »

In Focus 11.23.18

50th-anniversary celebration Marshall and Susan Rubin celebrated their 50th anniversary, which was officially on Aug. 11, with a party Oct. 21 for family and friends. About 55 people attended the party, held at Culinary Dropout, including the Rubin’s adult sons and their families, who live in Tucson, and Susan’s… Read more »

THA’s annual Passport to Peace highlights local, global charities

At Passport to Peace on Sept. 17, Tucson Hebrew Academy’s student council helps fellow students prepare gift bags to be delivered to young patients at the Diamond Children’s Medical Center.

Tucson Hebrew Academy’s student government held its annual Passport to Peace event Monday, Sept. 17. Taking place around the Jewish High Holidays, it provides students an opportunity to reflect and to learn about ways they can do mitzvot and actively participate in tikkun olam (repair of the world). Representatives… Read more »

THA and PJ make a splash

More than 75 people attended Splish Splash in the Sukkah, a joint event co-hosted by Tucson Hebrew Academy, PJ Library and PJ Our Way on Sunday, Sept. 30. The event included a reading of “Leo and Blossom’s Sukkah” by Jane Breskin Zalben, making rain sticks in the THA sukkah,… Read more »

In focus 9.28.18

Tucson J revamps art gallery The Tucson Jewish Community Center revealed its renovated Fine Art Gallery on Sunday, Sept. 16 at the artists’ reception for “Simcha,” a group show featuring 13 members of the Tucson Jewish Artists. Approximately 100 people turned out for the exhibit. The gallery features a… Read more »

In focus 9.14.18

Young Women’s Cabinet members celebrate Shabbat at the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, Aug. 17. (L-R) Simone Krame, Jenny Rothschild, Laura Kravec, Karen Sadow, Rachel Jarrett, Melissa Landau (YWC alum), Lindsay Berkman, Katie Stellitano, Meg Knight, Jennifer Bell (YWC alum), Jennifer Selco, Bronwyn Sternberg, Nicole Zuckerman-Morris (YWC co-chair), and Kathy Gerst (YWC co-chair) (Not pictured: Rachel Haimowitz, Aimee Katz, Jamie Kippur, Ally Ross)

Alumnae, new members mingle at Young Women’s Cabinet retreat The members of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s 2018-2019 Young Women’s Cabinet held their annual retreat last month. They spent 24 hours celebrating Shabbat, getting to know each other, learning about the Tucson Jewish community and the mission of… Read more »

In Focus 8.31.18

Young leaders help Federation disburse $10,000 The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona recently awarded $10,000 to local agencies as part of its 2018 Young Leadership Campaign Special Teams initiative. Each team determined in May where to allocate their share of the JFSA funding. Team (Adam) Goldstein and Team (Isaac)… Read more »

In focus 8.17.18

Elder Camp volunteer Rina Ornela Ybarra and Ofelia Morales, a seven-semester veteran of Elder Rehab, show off arts and crafts creations.

  J’s one-day adult camp lets grown-ups in on summer fun Thirty-seven campers joined the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s one-day adult camp on July 29, enjoying traditional camp activities such as a talent show as well as a variety of class options, including cooking, yoga and J-Wave Glide-Fit floating… Read more »

In focus 6.15.18

Nathan Rix, right, “passes the torch” of leadership to Maya Levy.

Tucsonans continue NFTY regional leadership Maya Levy was elected president of the NFTY Southwest Region in April at the NFTY Spring Kallah in Mesa, Arizona, succeeding Nathan Rix, another Tucsonan.… Read more »

In focus 6.1.18

Temple Emanu-El confirmation Temple Emanu-El celebrated the confirmation of nine students at Shabbat services on Friday, May 18. The confirmands are, alphabetically, Rachel Borrego, Javier Dittmar, Carter Mann, Samuel Ramirez, Bela Rein, Samir Rein, Sydney Ruskin, Eve Spiegel, and Katherine Zinn.… Read more »

In focus 5.18.18

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, right, presents Temple Emanu-El’s commemorative plaque to Rabbi Richard Safran (Steve Shawl)

Rabbi Richard Safran honored with ‘Love and Laughter’ Temple Emanu-El held a brunch with the theme “Love and Laughter” on Sunday, April 29 to honor its adjunct rabbi and Tucson’s longtime community chaplain, Rabbi Richard Safran. The event, held at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, included entertainment from… Read more »

In Focus 5.4.18: [email protected]

The University of Arizona Marching Band takes the stage after leading the opening parade. (Yossi Lasko)

Some 4,500 people attended “[email protected]: A Living Bridge,” a festival celebrating Israel’s 70th Independence Day, on Sunday, April 22 on the Jewish community campus. The free festival organized by the Weintraub Israel Center included live entertainment, food, kids’ activities, a shuk (market) featuring local Jewish organizations and other vendors, and… Read more »

In Focus 5.4.18

Seated (L-R): Walter Feiger, Sidney Finkel, Barbara Agee. Standing: Yulia Genina, Naama Potok (Mrs. Frank), Ann Arvia (Mrs. Van Dann), Harold Dixon (Mr. Kraler), Annique Dveirin

Holocaust survivors meet “Anne Frank” cast Three actors from the Arizona Theater Company production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” spent the morning with Holocaust survivors at Jewish Family & Children’s Services on Tuesday, April 24. The actors and the survivors talked about their relationship to the production and… Read more »

In focus 4.20.18

Fran Katz

Katz completes eighth Boston Marathon Jewish Federation Senior Vice President Fran Katz completed her eighth Boston Marathon on Monday, with a finish time of 4:07:34, qualifying her for next year’s race. She showed up for work bright and early Tuesday morning, unscathed. “I’ve never run in conditions like that… Read more »

In focus 4.6.18

Former Miss Israel visits Tucson The first Ethiopian-born contestant to win the title of Miss Israel visited Tucson last week. Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, Miss Israel 2013, spoke at Tucson Hebrew Academy to a group of fifth-eighth graders about her life story. She told her tale from life in a… Read more »

In focus 3.23.18

A sample of goods donated by the Jewish community for children who had been removed from their adoptive parents’ home.

Community aids children in distress Members of the Tucson Jewish community provided clothing and funds to help four children from the Flowing Wells School District who were recently removed from their adoptive parents’ home. After reading about the children’s plight in local media, Mary Ellen Loebl, coordinator of “Making… Read more »

In focus 3.9.18

Karen Katz presents a Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot award certificate, created by local artist Julie Szerina Stein, to Jillian Cassius on Feb. 18. Winners also receive a gift of $613, relating to the tradition of 613 mitzvot. (Martha Lochert)

Two teens win Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award The advisory council of the Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona chose two teens, Jillian Cassius and Maya Levy, as the 2018 Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award recipients. The award, created in memory of a community leader who died in… Read more »

In focus 2.23.18

(L-R): Ron and Gail Isaacs, Rep. Austin Scott, Betty Anne Sarver and Leonard Schultz Photo courtesy Desert Caucus

Georgia congressman addresses Desert Caucus U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) spoke to the Desert Caucus on Sunday, Feb. 11 at Skyline Country Club. The Desert Caucus, Inc., is a bipartisan, single issue Jewish political action committee supporting federal congressional candidates outside of Arizona who support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.… Read more »

In focus 2.9.18

Super Sunday outreach Ronnie Sebold, chair of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s 2018 Community Campaign, makes a call at the Federation’s Super Sunday phone-a-thon on Jan. 28. At the annual event, 130 phone and clerical volunteers reached out to community members, garnering more than 350 pledges and donations… Read more »

In focus 12.15.17

Intergenerational Thanksgiving lunch On Tuesday, Nov.  21, Temple Emanu-El’s Olga and Bob Strauss Early Childhood Center celebrated with residents from Handmaker at the Temple’s second annual intergenerational Thanksgiving Lunch. The ECE’s children presented a short program of Thanksgiving blessings and songs on the themes of friendship, community and gratitude.… Read more »