THA Awards Teacher Excellence Award to Hayley Lionheart

As the entire student body enthusiastically cheered, Tucson Hebrew Academy’s (THA’s) Teacher Excellence award was presented by Head of School, Johanna Shlomovich, to Hayley Lionheart, Middle School Humanities Teacher on Friday, May 19. Ms. Lionheart is concluding her second year at THA.   This award was established at the Jewish… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Betty Orman

Born Nov. 24, 1928, to Robert and Lillian Fleiss in Detroit, Betty graduated from Central High School there. She met the love of her life, Bernie Orman at the Jewish Community Center in Detroit. They were married October 22, 1950. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Melanie Pozez

Melanie Pozez, beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, philanthropist, activist and friend died May 27, 2023 at her home in Los Angeles. Melanie was born August 4, 1950, in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Shaol and Evie Pozez. A veritable Jewish Francis of Assisi, Melanie rescued thousands of… Read more »

JPSA Announces New Board Leadership for 2023-24

Liz Kanter Groskind, JPSA Board Chair 2023-24

Following its annual Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month, Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona (JPSA) announced a new Executive Committee for 2023-24 and introduced six new Board members. Liz Kanter Groskind was elected as the new Board Chair, replacing outgoing Chair Bruce Ash, who will remain on the… Read more »

Israel at 75 Fuels Momentum Around Israel Engagement

As I have referred to in a variety of different circles, the Weintraub Israel Center, a partnership between the Tucson J and Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona (JPSA), has developed a generative mission statement that invites each of us to go on a self-propelled journey to individually connect in… Read more »

New State Budget to Greatly Aid Non-Profits, TJMHC

Since 2004, nonprofit organizations around the country, including many in our local Jewish community, have benefited from the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This initiative, spearheaded by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), provides support for physical security enhancements and activities, including planning and training, to nonprofit organizations that… Read more »

Project Shalom to Bring Joy and Community to Local Older Adults

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS) is partnering with Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona on a new endeavor—Project Shalom. Project Shalom is a volunteer-based holiday program for Jewish older adults and adults with disabilities. “We came up with the idea for Project Shalom as a result… Read more »

Hebrew High in Tucson Celebrates 45 Years

The Hebrew High program at Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) is designed to provide continued education in Hebrew language studies and to promote an immersion in Israeli culture. The curriculum offers high school students in 9th through 12th grades a path in which they can further explore and expand upon… Read more »

A Busy Month as Handmaker Connects to the Jewish Community

P. Elayne Poston, Handmaker VP of Operations, attended her first ever Israel Festival at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on April 30. It was a wonderful introduction to the Tucson Jewish Community. She met so many people and had her very first taste of falafel too! Elayne was joined… Read more »

Make For Yourself a Teacher, Acquire for Yourself a Friend

I was nervous about coming to Tucson because I knew I would be a co-rabbi with Rabbi Thomas Louchheim. He seemed nice at my interview weekend, but how would this work in practice?! Would it be awkward? Would it be unclear who had rabbinic authority? What would be the… Read more »

It’s Human to Want to Give

Arizona. California. Israel. Peru. Boston. No matter what state, country, time zone or zip code, I call my mother every day. And at 97, she still answers the phone with energy and excitement. Calling home was a decision I made over two decades ago to intentionally stay connected to… Read more »

Of Blessed Memory: Burton E. Becker

Burton (Burt) E. Becker (born January 11, 1941) passed away Tuesday, April 25, preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He is survived by his daughters Beth Becker of Silver Spring, Md. and Amy Platizky (Adam Platizky) of Phoenix. He is also survived… Read more »

THA Students Commemorate Yom HaShoah with Poignant Assembly

To commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the Tucson Hebrew Academy’s (THA’s) Hebrew and Humanities departments collaborated to design an assembly presented by the sixth-grade students to acknowledge the 1.2 million children that were murdered by the Nazis. The assembly began with the students reminding the audience that a butterfly… Read more »

Tucson J Convenes 180 JCC Professionals for JCCA Western Regional Conference

As Jewish people, we are connected with a global Jewish peoplehood past and present; as a Jewish Community Center, one way we maintain and deepen that connection is by strengthening our bond with other JCC’s in the JCC Movement. On Sunday, March 26, the Tucson J had the honor… Read more »

Handmaker Thrilled to Welcome Guests Once Again to Passover Seders

For many years, Handmaker Passover Seders were large events with children and grandchildren joining parents, grandparents and great-grandparents for this wonderful holiday celebration. The Handmaker Seders for the last several years have been more intimate events, due to COVID restrictions, but not so much this year. For the first… Read more »

UArizona Hillel Leads an Inspiring Trip to Israel

“Absolutely life changing.” “The most extraordinary experience of my life.” “Will inform how I consider literally every conflict going forward.” These are just a few pieces of student feedback from UArizona Hillel’s first Perspectives trip to Israel and Palestine, funded by the national Maccabee Task Force. The trip is… Read more »