In Focus

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 »

In focus 11.17.17

Women and girls flock to Mega Challah Bake A record 330 women and girls turned out for Tucson’s fourth annual Mega Challah Bake on Thursday, Oct. 26, hosted by Chabad Tucson and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Feigie Shemtov, program director at Chabad Tucson, led the evening, which included… Read more »

In focus 11.3.17

(L-R): Jim Whitehill, JCF board chair; Tom Warne, JFSA immediate past chair; Deanna Evenchik; Jonathan Rothschild, mayor of Tucson; Stuart Mellan, JFSA president and CEO; and Shelly Silverman, JFSA chair (Martha Lochert)

JFSA and JCF hold grand opening celebration The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at their new home, the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, on Sunday, Oct. 15. More than 150 people attended the event.… Read more »

In focus 10.20.17

Guests arrive in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Grand Foyer of the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy for the Oct. 1 gala. Above them is a glass, aluminum, steel and acrylic art installation, “Infinite Possibilities” by Art Neptune and Zak Timan. On the balcony is a bronze sculpture by David Unger, “My Beloved,” donated by Kathy and David Unger. The wooden ceiling designed by CDG architect Frank Mascia, with its “welcoming tent” shape, was inspired by the documentary “Raise the Roof” about the reconstruction of the roof of a lost wooden synagogue in Poland. (Martha Lochert)

JFSA thanks building donors with gala Some 250 donors to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s capital campaign attended a gala on Sunday, Oct. 1 at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, the new home of the Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.… Read more »

In focus 10.6.17

Carol Sack at her retirement party on Sept. 25 (Courtesy Tracy Salkowitz)

Celebrating a philanthropic career On Monday, Sept. 25, more than 70 people gathered for a party celebrating the retirement of Carol Sack, who spent more than 30 years working in the Tucson nonprofit community with the last 15 years in the Jewish community, most recently as a senior philanthropic… Read more »

In focus 9.22.17

Rabbi Robert Eisen presents Lynne Falkow-Strauss with a courtyard paver inscribed with her name.

Congregation Anshei Israel dedicated its Lynne Falkow-Strauss Courtyard and Foyer on Sunday, Sept. 10 in conjunction with its annual end of summer welcome back party. The renovated courtyard and foyer honor Falkow-Strauss, who has been the director of CAI’s Esther B. Feldman Preschool/Kindergarten for the past 45 years and… Read more »

In Focus 8.25.17

Southern Arizona well represented at PJ Library conference in Aspen Several local PJ Library benefactors attended a PJ Library leadership gathering in Aspen, Colo., earlier this month. Front row (L-R): Marilyn Einstein, Jill Rosenzweig, Herschel Rosenzweig; back row: Steve Sim, Rosalie Eisen (PJ Library program officer), Harold Grinspoon (PJ… Read more »

In Focus 8.11.17

Israeli scouts entertain More than 200 people enjoyed a performance by the Israel Scouts, part of the annual Tzofim Friendship Caravan U.S. tour, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on Thursday, June 29. The scouts dance and sing songs in Hebrew and English. Founded in 1973, the first Caravan… Read more »

In focus 6.23.17

Rabbi Shemtov’s 60th birthday surprise On Monday, May 15, close to 60 men participated in Shacharit morning prayers at Congregation Young Israel as a surprise for Rabbi Yossie Shemtov in honor of his 60th birthday. Shemtov is executive director of Chabad Tucson and senior rabbi of Young Israel of… Read more »

In focus 6.9.17

  Congregation Anshei Israel confirmation Congregation Anshei Israel held its 2017 confirmation ceremony during Shabbat services on Saturday, May 6.                   Temple Emanu-El confirmation Temple Emanu-El held its 2017 confirmation ceremony during Shabbat services on Friday, May 19.     Congregation… Read more »

In Focus 5.26.17

Tucson Hebrew Academy graduates at Reid Park. Back row (L-R): Elana Goldberg, Jonah Parnaby, Shira Dubin, Ryan Spitzer, Eliana Tolby, Daniella Lee, Eliana Siegel, Darian German, Ellah Ben-Asher, Samuel White, Breanna Yalen, Liliana Isaac, Eli Graizbord Michelson, Ava Leipsic; front row: Niles King, Rio Lederer, Samuel Goldfinger, Samuel Siegel, Aiden Glesinger, Joshua Quigley, Ryan Berkej, Gabriel Ruskin, Noah Fleisher (Interstate Studio)

Tucson Hebrew Academy graduation Tucson Hebrew Academy held its eighth grade graduation on Wednesday, May 10. With 23 graduates, the ceremony was held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center to accommodate the large crowd of family and friends. Tucson Hebrew High graduation Tucson Hebrew High held at its 39th… Read more »

In Focus 5.12.17

Community commemorates Yom HaShoah Some 200 people attended the Jewish community’s 2017 Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sunday, April 23 at Temple Emanu-El. The event, organized by the Jewish History Museum, explored the theme of “Art and Totalitarianism: 80 Years After the ‘Degenerate Art’ Exhibition” and included a Holocaust survivor… Read more »

In focus 4.14.17

(Left) Kip Perkins from the Physics Factory (with their Physics Bus) lights propane-infused bubbles on the hand of a Tucson Hebrew Academy fifth grader.

THA converts STEM to STEAM Some 1,200 people visited Tucson Hebrew Academy’s third annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Festival on Sunday, March 26. Jennifer Lehrfeld, STEM coordinator and science department head at THA, included an art component this year, turning STEM to STEAM. The festival’s hands-on exhibits included… Read more »

In focus 3.31.17

Dining Out in the Northwest More than 30 people joined the Jewish Federation Northwest Division on Tuesday, March 21 at Guadalajra Grill at 7360 N. Oracle Road. “We crammed into a long table — split about evenly between young families and couples/seniors/individuals” for an evening of “good old fashioned… Read more »

In focus 3.17.17

Back row (L-R): Shira Barel; Weintraub Israel Center Director Oshrat Barel; Jim Liebeskind of Congregation Or Chadash, which had a separate tree planting project with THA; Tucson Fire Dept. Capt. Bruce Avram; Greater Tucson Fire Foundation volunteer Patty Vallance; Nogales Fire Dept. Capt. Pete Ashcraft; Mt. Lemmon Fire District Chief Randy Ogden (Ret.); Nogales Fire District firefighter Marcela Donavan Hammond; front row: Weintraub Israel Center Co-Chair Steve Weintraub; THA Director of Judaics Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz; THA Head of School Jon Ben-Asher

Trees for THA on Tu B’Shevat On Friday, Feb. 10, local firefighters who’d visited Israel joined Tucson Hebrew Academy for a Tu B’Shevat seder and tree planting. The firefighters gave a brief talk before joining the students and staff for Shabbat lunch.… Read more »