In Focus

In Focus 12.18.15

  THA Chanukah concert Tucson Hebrew Academy celebrated Chanukah on Monday evening, Dec. 7, with a show featuring holiday-themed parodies of Disney tunes performed by lower school students, the upper school choir, orchestra and eighth-grade class. Lower school students also visited local preschools last week to perform their songs… Read more »

In Focus 12.4.15

THA gets AED The Steven M. Gootter Foundation presented Tucson Hebrew Academy with an automated external defibrillator on Friday, Nov. 13. The Gootter foundation’s mission is to save lives by defeating sudden cardiac death. Allen Yalen, a THA parent and Rincon Valley Fire District battalion chief, trained and certified… Read more »

In Focus 11.20.15

PJ Library & THA celebrate Chanukah PJ library held a pre-Chanukah celebration at Tucson Hebrew Academy on Sunday, Nov. 8. Children listened to “Gracie’s Night: A Hanukkah Story” by Lynn Taylor Gordon, illustrated by Laura Brown; built sparkly menorahs; ate latkes and desserts created by THA’s chef; and filled… Read more »

In focus 11.6.15

McSally dinner with UA student leaders U.S. Rep. Martha McSally spoke to some 80 University of Arizona student leaders on Tuesday, Oct. 13 about the U.S.-Israel relationship, saying it needed to be strengthened. The dinner, held at the UA Hillel Foundation, was hosted by CatPAC Wildcats for Israel and… Read more »

In focus 9.25.15

Chaverim cemetery dedication Congregation Chaverim dedicated a new sign and consecrated an expanded section of Evergreen Cemetery on Sunday, Sept. 6. Pictured (left to right): Naomi Present, Jill Shover, Jack Aaron, Ann Revelle, Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, Bob Schwartz, Judith Brown, Dina Rosengarten and Dave More.   Rosh Hashanah at… Read more »

In Focus 8.14.15

(L-R) Rachel, Maya, Nanci and Douglas Levy with Irving Silverman

A visit with a former Tucsonan Irving Silverman, 95, hosted the Levy family of Tucson for dinner on Saturday, July 25 at Newbridge on the Charles — Hebrew Senior Life campus in Dedham, Mass., where Silverman has primarily resided since leaving Tucson in 2011 to be closer to his… Read more »

In Focus 7.10.15: THA eighth grade Israel Experience

At Hezekiah’s Tunnel in the City of David, from left: Yuval Barel, Ronnie Berkej, Maia Winsberg, Hayden Estrella, Marlee Dell, Hayley Yalen, Danielle Schwartz, Mallory Hulsey, Emberly Davis, Sheina Lewkowicz, Eva Lanoue, Rebecca Dubin, Corey Karp, Maya Levy, Aliya Markowitz

The Tucson Hebrew Academy 2015 trip to Israel marked the 13th such trip for the school, bringing the total of THA students who have visited Israel with their eighth grade classmates to 300. This year, 15 students along with Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz, the school’s director of Judaics/Hebrew studies, and… Read more »

In focus 6.26.15

(L-R) Rabbi Jack Silver, Susan Rubin, Cathy Becskehazy, Peter Becskehazy

Secular Humanist Jewish Circle Affirmation Shabbat On May 30, the Secular Humanist Jewish Circle celebrated the long term identification of Cathy Becskehazy as a secular humanist Jew. Becskehazy chose her Jewish name and spoke about her journey as a Jew by choice. Rabbi Jack Silver of Tempe, member of… Read more »

In Focus 6.12.15

Back row: Michael Gibson, Sarah Jones, Joshua Arden, Kacie Bauer, Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg. Front row: Gabriel Cohon, Isabella Brody, Dalya Parker, Meghan Ramirez, Athena Focazio-Moran, Rebecca Bauer (Joe Steiner)

Temple Emanu-El confirmation Temple Emanu-El’s 5775 confirmation class led the Shabbat evening service on Friday, May 22.         Music of the Night On May 9, Congregation Or Chadash honored Cantor Janece Cohen on the 25th anniversary of her ordination as a cantor and the receipt of… Read more »

In Focus 5.29.15

(L-R): Cantorial soloist Marjorie Hochberg; Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon; b’not mitzvah Fran Haggerty, Margaret Lambert and Sharon Geiger; teacher Margaret Kendle

Adult b’not mitzvah celebrate at Temple Emanu-El­ Temple Emanu-El’s yearlong adult b’nai mitzvah course culminated in a group b’not mitzvah ceremony on Saturday, May 2, with the class leading Shabbat morning services.           Tucson Hebrew Academy ­ festival celebrates STEM fields More than 600 people… Read more »

In Focus 5.15.15

Left to right: Allie Kaufman, Leah Cresswell, Alma Hernandez, Rachel Mayer, Alana Newman, Jamie Nora Oko and Mariel Wilk

UA Hillel honors graduates The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation recognized graduating seniors at its final Shabbat of the semester on Friday, May 1.           Anshei Israel celebrates 85 years More than 300 people celebrated Congregation Anshei Israel’s 85th anniversary on Sunday, May 3. The… Read more »

In focus 5.1.15

Honoring the liberators Each year, from Yom HaShoah through Victory in Europe Day, the Holocaust display cabinet in the lobby of the Tucson Jewish Community Center is decorated to honor the liberators of the concentration camps in Europe, complete with a mannequin dressed in a 1940s U.S. Army uniform.… Read more »

In focus 4.17.15

Hillel honors Holocaust From Wednesday, March 25 at noon through Thursday, March 26 at noon, the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation sponsored its 24th annual Holocaust vigil. The 24-hour student-led program provides an opportunity to educate all students and community participants on the UA campus. One highlight of this… Read more »

In focus 4.3.15

See Jane sing The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation held its annual fundraising event on Sunday, March 8 at Centennial Hall. Emmy and Golden Globe award winner Jane Lynch, known for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester on television’s “Glee,” combined acerbic wisecracks with engaging song styling in a cabaret-style… Read more »

In Focus: Purim 2015

On March 4, the Weintraub Israel Center held a Bechayed BePurim (Together on Purim) party with Chabad on River and the Israel American Council. The event included dinner, a Megillah reading and Israeli music. Enjoying the festivities are Shira Barel (center) with, from left, Tamar, Amit, Ofri and Lee Benjamin.

Purim celebrations from around our community                … Read more »

In focus 3.20.15

(L-R): Edden Dembsky, Daniel Pressman, Naama Cohen (UA Israel Fellow), Jack Goldberg (AIPAC National Field Organizer), Alma Hernandez, Michael Sheridan, Pablo Granados, Ryan-Ann Armendariz, Shaina Marco, Consuelo Hernandez

UA CATPAC honored Members of CATPAC Wildcats for Israel, the University of Arizona’s bipartisan pro-Israel political club, attended the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C., March 1-3. The group won the Duke Rudman Leadership Award, AIPAC’s top honor for student leadership.      … Read more »

In focus 3.6.15

(L-R) Ryan Armendariz, Naama Cohen (University of Arizona Hillel Israel Fellow), Edden Dembsky, Sivan Shahmoon and Alma Hernandez fundraise for Save A Child’s Heart on the UA Mall.

Hillel supports Save a Child’s Heart The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation’s Wildcats for Israel club held a fundraiser for Save a Child’s Heart on the UA Mall on Feb. 10. Almost $250 was raised over four hours for SACH, an Israel-based nonprofit that provides urgently needed pediatric heart… Read more »

In focus 2.20.15

Rabbi Gedaliah Druin talks to University of Arizona students and other members of the community at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation about the restoration of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies’ Torah scroll on Feb. 10. (John Winchester/Arizona Center for Judaic Studies)

  Rabbi Gedaliah Druin, a master scribe, spent Feb. 10 and 11 working on the restoration of a Torah scroll owned by the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona (left). The scroll, which is thought to be nearly 200 years old and originally used by… Read more »

In focus 2.6.15

Children took part in a PJ Library story walk in the sculpture garden of the JCC. At each set of pages from “Matzo Frogs” by Sally Rosenthal, illustrated by David Sheldon, they performed an activity relating to the story, such as hopping like frogs and pretending to catch flies with their tongues. PJ Library kids also decorated picture frames and created soup kits for seniors in the community. (John Wu)

Super Extraordinary Sunday The Jewish Federation’s Super Extraordinary Sunday phonathon and mitzvah day was held Jan. 25 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. More than 150 volunteers made calls to community members, who pledged more than $229,000 to the 2015 Community Campaign, which supports humanitarian, educational and social programs… Read more »

In Focus 1.9.15

Back row (L-R): Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Bonnie Golden (Temple president), Ken Silverman, Moira Silverman, Amanda Caldwell, Jason Feld, Lauren Katz, Jonathan Katz and Marcia Katz. Front row: JCTEY-NFTY members Emiliano Miller, Levi Rubin, Rachel Levy, Lucy Heller (Photo: Steve Shawl)

The Rebecca Katz Family Library and Youth Center at Temple Emanu-El was dedicated on Dec.16 in memory of Rebecca Lynne Katz. The new facility includes a collection of Jewish children’s books, games, space for video and digital technology and comfortable furnishings. The library will also serve as a lounge… Read more »