Graham Hoffman to lead both Federation and Foundation in Tucson
Stuart Mellan, who has been president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona since December 1995, will retire at the end of May. Graham Hoffman, who joined the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona in September 2018 as president and CEO, will take on the role of leading both agencies after Stuart’s retirement. The plan was recently approved by the boards of both of the organizations.
The Federation and Foundation merged their grant processes six years ago, and this year, the agencies are co-facilitating a 12- to 18-month community planning and visioning process.
In a large percentage of Jewish communities across the United States today the Federation and Foundation have one leader, or a similar collaborative structure. The local Foundation has been an affiliated corporation of the Federation, but the move to a single CEO will lead to much closer alignment.
Rabbi Micah Caplan celebrates a decade with Congregation Or Tzion
On Feb. 1, Congregation Or Tzion honored Rabbi Micah Caplan at the 2020 Congregation Or Tzion Gala for 10 years “as our rabbi, our teacher, our friend.” Caplan joined Congregation Or Chadash in 2010, which merged with Har Zion Congregation to form Congregation Or Tzion in 2014.
Rabbi Caplan has long-standing ties to Phoenix, having grown up here. Previously, he served congregations in Florida and California where he introduced exciting adult learning and youth programming. Under Rabbi Caplan’s leadership, the Or Tzion community has grown both in membership and in programming. His vision is to always create a place of learning, sharing and celebrating Jewish living together as a Kehillah Kedosha – a holy community. He is also an avid sports fan and his favorite teams are The Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jewish Free Loan moves to larger space
Jewish Free Loan recently moved to a larger office space at 3443 N. Central Ave., Suite 707 near Central Ave. and Osborn Road in Phoenix.
JFL was established in Phoenix in the late 1940s and formally organized as a corporate entity in 1950. At that time, it was housed in the JCC building at 18th Avenue and Maryland. They are a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization funded entirely by private donations.
Today it is the primary agency in the Jewish community in Greater Phoenix where anyone in the Jewish community can turn when loans are not available elsewhere.
The JFL has made thousands of interest-free loans allowing people a fresh start or giving them the opportunity to bridge a difficult time in their lives in a process respectful of their dignity and character.
The Zaidy Lipskier Library opens in Fountain Hills
On Feb. 9, The Zaidy Lipskier Library, the first Judaic lending library in Fountain Hills, opened its doors in honor of the 25th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Lipskier.
The library, led by Rabbi Mendy and Tzipi Lipskier, is dedicated in memory of Rabbi Fitzy Lipskier, z”l, father of Fountain Hills Chabad Rabbi Mendy Lipskier, who passed away at the young age of 45 in a motor vehicle accident.
There will be books on history, Jewish law, Talmud, Kaballah, philosophy, cooking, Hebrew, fiction, prayer and many more topics. A special section with books geared toward children and teens will be housed in a cozy corner.
Along with books, programs are being planned, such as story time for children, a summer reading program, lectures for adults and Jewish movie nights.
The library is located at the Chabad Edelman Jewish Center on 16830 E. Avenue of the Fountains. Library hours are Sundays from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Tuesdays from 1 to 3 pm, and Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 pm, or by appointment.
UArizona student becomes Miss Tucson Del Sol
Tamara “T” Statman, a University of Arizona student/softball alumnus, was crowned Miss Tucson Del Sol 2020 at the Miss Tucson Scholarship Program on Jan. 18. She will educate people across the state about her platform, “Skin Cancer Prevention: Educate, Facilitate and Legislate.”
Tamara will move on to the Miss Arizona competition in June. She was a three-sport athlete growing up and at UArizona was Arizona’s first Academic All-American and a two-time first-team Pac-12 all-academic honoree.
She currently works at Cumulus Radio as a board operator and at Tucson Unified School District as a substitute teacher. She also is publicity director of the Tucson Swing Dance Club, an airport ambassador for the Tucson Airport Authority, and an advisory commissioner on the Tucson Human Relations Commission.
ASU Hillel gets senior Jewish educator
ASU Hillel thrilled to announce that their Assistant Director Rabbi Suzy Stone will become ASU Hillel’s first-ever senior Jewish educator.
Rabbi Suzy is an authentic Jewish teacher who provides leadership for the Hillel community through grassroots community organizing, spiritual connection, and community engagement. As a talented teacher, she has already inspired so many students to make Judaism integral to their life choices and articulated values.
In this new role, Rabbi Suzy will build relationships, cultivate a love for Judaism and support pastoral needs for students from diverse backgrounds, serve as an educator and mentor to student interns and leaders, and oversee our Shabbat & holidays program. As Hillel always aims to do, she will facilitate Jewish learning that contextualizes life and leadership in a Jewish setting.
ASU Hillel shares this news with gratitude to Hillel International for making a Strategic Talent Award grant to us, allowing them to continue to grow their staff and make this the Hillel that ASU students need and deserve.