In Focus 2010

(L-R) Cori Moriarty Smith with her daughter, Taryn, and Stephanie Levy with her son, Cole, enjoy Shalom Baby Stay and Play.

Shalom Baby Stay and Play, a program of the Tucson Jewish Community Center and the outreach department of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Shalom Tucson, helps parents or grandparents and babies and toddlers welcome Shabbat together. Held every other Friday morning in the JCC gallery, the program includes a sing-a-long led by the JCC’s Scott Zorn.

The clown may be a sourpuss, but Gan Israel campers Leah Shemtov (left) and Sheina Lewkowicz are all smiles.

Chabad of Tucson’s Camp Gan Israel, a day camp for ages 2-12, had front row seats to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus last month.

Rebecca Crow (left) and Marlyne Freedman (right) with mascot Tuffy the Toro.

Thirty-five people, including staff, board members and family, attended the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s end-of-season party on June 1, 2010, which included a barbecue dinner and Tucson Toros baseball game at Hi Corbett Field.

(L-R) Rebecca Stahl, Sara Lindenbaum and Angela Amos enjoy the game.

Some two dozen Jewish Tucsonans joined the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ inaugural Jewish Heritage Day at Chase Field in Phoenix on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. Fans enjoyed the day, which included kosher food and special displays, despite the Diamondbacks’ 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Front row, L-R: Michael Wexler, David Plotkin. Back row, L-R: Rabbi Thomas Louchheim,Todd Sadow, Damion Alexander, Jonathan Bank, Adam ­Goldstein, Ted Goodman, Andrew Isaac, Brandon Apsell

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Young Men’s Group, co-chaired by Michael Wexler and Andrew Isaac, met for its first retreat on Mt. Lemmon Aug. 28-29. Activities included a hike led by Rabbi Thomas Louchheim and a breakfast discussion with Jeff Katz, JFSA chair, and Stu Mellan, JFSA president and CEO.

Esther Becker speaks to the capacity crowd.

One hundred women joined Esther Becker at Congregation Chofetz Chayim on Wednesday, Sept. 15 for dinner and a presentation, “Life Is a Test,” based on the book by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.

Back row, L-R: Tracy Goode, Ilana Addis, Claudine Messing, Angie Goorman, Dani Bregman, Tatyana Nemenman, Sasha Borsand Glassman, Julie Gal-Or, Sara Lindenbaum. Front row: Rebecca Kunsberg, Jessica Monash, Ximena Pardo, Ilona Wolfman, Melissa Oberman-Hall, Dana Goldstein, Naomi Davis, Amy Hirshberg Lederman

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Young Women’s Cabinet, co-chaired by Angie Goorman and Dani Bregman, held its annual retreat Aug. 20-21 at Westward Look Resort. Amy Hirshberg Lederman led Shabbat and guided the group through spiritual reflection. Women’s Philanthropy Chair Deanna Evenchik and Federation board member Cheryl Wortzel talked with members about philanthropy and community engagement.

The Tzuza dancers performed five times during Kiryat Malachi’s 60th anniversary gala.

Kiryat Malachi, Israel, part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s TIPS (Tucson, Israel, Phoenix, Seattle) partnership region, kicked off a year of 60th anniversary celebrations with a gala program June 16. The evening, attended by thousands, was a testament to how well TIPS is integrated into the life of the city, says Ira Kerem, the TIPS community representative in Israel.

The Kiryat Malachi crowd shows its spirit.

The program featured many people and groups with connections to TIPS, including the Tzuza dancers, who performed in Tucson this spring, and seven out of eight participants in a Kiryat Malachi-based version of the TV program “The Amazing Race,” among them Mazal Caravani and Sara Kadori, who visited Tucson last year as part of the team of women who cooked for the Israel Ethnic Epicurean Gala. In his speech, Mayor Moti Malka thanked the TIPS communities for their support of key programs for youth and young adults.

Steve Lightman (left) and Phil Bregman

Phil Bregman, Handmaker Foundation chair (right), presents local business and philanthropic leader Steven Lightman with an award recognizing his support of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging. The presentation took place at Handmaker’s annual dinner on Oct. 10, which drew 300 people. Melvin Cohen, immediate past chair of Handmaker, was also recognized for his dedication to the agency, where he continues to conduct Shabbat and holiday services. The UA School of Theatre, Film and Television performed at the event.

Tucsonan Fern Feder and a third grade student from ReNEW Charter School’s SciTech Academy at Laurel in New Orleans.

Delegates to the Jewish Federations of North America International Lion of Judah Conference participated in a day of service, “The Gift of Reading: A New Orleans Service Project” on Nov. 9. The women delivered backpacks filled with books to two public schools and read with elementary school children.

Edie Mae Cotton makes a Thanksgiving card at Congregation Or Chadash during Youth Mitzvah Day.

More than 100 religious school students from Congregations Anshei Israel, Chaverim and Or Chadash took part in a Youth Mitzvah Day with the theme, “Living Jewish in a Secular World,” on Sunday, Oct. 31. Students collected more than 150 new and gently used books that were contributed to Reading Seed and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Projects included playground improvements at the Tucson Jewish Community Center and making cards expressing Thanksgiving gratitude.

(L-R) Ben-Gurion Society Co-Chairs Barry Baker, Rachael Baker, Dr. Hugh Bassewitz, Kris Silverman (with Sophie) and Ben Silverman at the Nov. 2 dinner

Thirty people attended the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Ben-Gurion Society dinner Nov. 2 at the home of Kris and Ben Silverman. BGS is a donor level group for Young Leadership. Guest speaker Hugh Bassewitz, M.D., of Las Vegas, a former National Young Leadership co-chair and new member of the Jewish Federations of North America board, described his first trip to Israel and how it built his commitment to his Jewish community and National Young Leadership.

(L-R) Sarah Hitchings, Dana Goldstein and Sara Lindenbaum eat frozen yogurt from BTO

Thirty-four women attended the Young Women’s Cabinet fall event, Yoga and Yogurt, on Nov. 9. Shari Gootter led yoga and Jeff and Fran Katz’s BTO Self Serve Yogurt provided the frozen yogurt. The women raised more than $300 for the Federation’s Local Emergency Assistance Fund.

Sunshine Falkoff spins a dreidel at the Jewish Family & Children’s Services table.

Hundred of people stopped by the “Hanukkah Mall Madness” event at the Foothills Mall on Sunday, Nov. 21. At the pre-holiday celebration, 14 community organizations, agencies and synagogues set up tables featuring crafts and games, and the Tucson Hebrew Academy choir performed.

(L-R) Yael Laytin, Leah Shemtov and Sheina Lewkowicz

More than 40 women and girls learned the secrets of baking challah for Shabbat at Chabad of Tucson’s “Loaves of Love” event on Nov. 18, held in memory of Rivky Holtzberg of Mumbai, India. “We asked the participants to pass on the challah to a friend, neighbor or someone they love,” said Feigie Ceitlin, who ran the workshop with Chanie Shemtov.

(L-R) Cathy Olswing, Michelle Minkus and Samantha Minkus
(L-R) Cathy Olswing, Michelle Minkus and Samantha Minkus
Rabbi Harold Kushner (left) with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of the international best seller “When Good Things Happen to Bad People,” addressed a crowd of about 400 at Temple Emanu-El on Dec. 15, speaking on the topic of his new book, “Conquering Fear: Living Boldly in an Uncertain World,” which suggests ways to live more fully.

Harriet Shemer loaned this ceramic menorah, which shows newspapers from all over the world published on May 14, 1948, the day that Israel declared its independence, for the SaddleBrooke Hanukkah House display. Shemer purchased the menorah in 1970 at a crafts show in Baltimore.

A “Hanukkah House” at the home of Esta Goldstein was one of five homes featured in a holiday home tour sponsored by SaddleBrooke Community Outreach on Dec. 5.  Goldstein collected approximately 50 menorahs or chanukiot from SaddleBrooke residents to display, along with other Judaica. Latkes made by SaddleBrooke residents were served to more than 200 guests. About 20 Jewish residents served as docents to explain the holiday to visitors.

Twelve members of the Jewish Federation of Arizona’s Young Men’s Group took part in a community service project on Sunday, Dec. 5, at Habitat for Humanity’s 2010 Building Freedom Day site. They worked on weatherproofing and attaching j-strip on two homes.

David Plotkin
Nolan Shifren