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JAN/FEB 2020




Suzi Weiss-Fischmann First Lady of Nails

CON T E N T S Arizona Jewish Life January/February 2020 Tevet-Shevat-Adar 5780 Volume 8/Issue 3



FEATURES COVER STORY Suzi Weiss-Fischmann: First Lady of Nails


JEWS WITH ATTITUDE Take your backyard from blah to beautiful with Wall Sensations


BUSINESS Dr. Richard Brown: Creating a holistic approach to surgery Biz Ins & Outs

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FRONT & CENTER Jewish Film Festivals Experience EXPO2020 “Holocaust by Bullets” comes to the Valley

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HOME & LIFESTYLE Trends for 2020


FOOD Soup’s On!


ACTIVELY SENIOR 55 Years of Marriage they said would never last






EYE ON EDUCATION Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying Coming soon – for thousands of Arizona middle schoolers A gap year adventure in Israel The Phoenix Holocaust Association brings survivors and students together ASU’s Student Government passes resolution supporting Jewish community

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JLIVING 2020 Camp Scholarships Available It’s human to want to give Federation Notes: Creating a safer community Previews Faces & Places

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Suzi Weiss-Fischmann FIRST LADY OF NAILS


Suzi Weiss-Fischmann; PHOTO COURTESY OPI


JAN/FEB 2020 Arizona Jewish Life | Tevet-Shevat-Adar 5780 • Volume 8/Issue 3



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Thriving in an uncertain world Eight years ago, we published our very first Jewish Life magazine. The cover couple was Aithan Shapira, a young artist, and his wife, Debra Rosenthal, a technology director for a sustainable coffee importer. Besides the fact that both of them attended my alma mater, Brandeis University, they were both so impressive and inspiring individually, and as a couple. So I was excited to come across a YouTube video of a talk Aithan did for TEDx a few years ago.   In his talk Aithan, now an artist and lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, explores knowing what to do with your expertise when everything is changing, what to do when you aren’t certain what next steps to take in your business, in your organization … in life. He explains that with the acceleration of technology and information, it is often paralyzing to be able to know what to do with all of this new knowledge.  Aithan states, “Our need for certainty, is making us more uncertain.” He explores what our organizations and leaders need to do to take on the challenges in these uncertain times. I can’t help but relate this to the organized Jewish communities throughout the United States. Not only has our Jewish communal leadership been dealing with how to stay relevant to an everchanging demographic, including how to navigate and communicate through social media, but now they are challenged with the growing threat of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the likes of which we have not experienced in decades. Artists are proficient at “stepping into the challenges” ahead of them, even without knowing what to do. They thrive in uncertainty because they have the skills and tools to navigate through it. Think of studio musicians sitting in on a jam session

Subscriptions: magazine-subscription Newsletter:, click on “Subscribe Now!” Facebook: @AZJewishLife Twitter: @JewishLifeNow Instagram: @JEWISHLIFENOW Call: 602-538-AZJL (2955) 8 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

with new music that has just been placed in front of them, and playing with musicians that they have never played with. The decision making that they go through (just to keep up) happens at lightning speed. “They are practicing a shift in confidence. Artists are confident in something beyond their expertise. They’re confident in knowing what to do when things are changing. They consistently and reliably reevaluate a circumstance and make decisions,” says Aithan. So what is the take away we can learn from artists? We need to learn to reverse it, to step into what we don’t know.  There are programs designed to immerse leaders in the arts so that they develop new ways to lean into the complexities of change and take action, even when they aren’t entirely confident of what’s next. “We’re building muscles for uncertainty. If you want to make someone creative, make them more uncertain. ...  (artists) are making decisions with speed and conviction.,” Aithan continues. “If you’re certain, there’s no need to change. But the moment you’re faced with uncertainty, you’ve got an opportunity to make a creative decision. It is not just a positive result that artists seek, but the clarity of their decisions in the change.”  In 2020, our professional Jewish communities are faced with the need to change and adapt like never before. But to leverage uncertainty to benefit our organizations, we should take some instructive inspiration from the “artists’ process” for ourselves and our leadership. And we might even learn to enjoy the journey of uncertainty along the way. With appreciation,

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JEWS WITH ATTITUDE Take your backyard from blah to beautiful with

Wall Sensations By Mala Blomquist


any people living in Arizona today grew up with the “fenceless” neighborhoods in other parts of the country, where one could look out their kitchen window and see acres of green grass or wooded hillsides. In Phoenix and its surrounding cities, the norm is to have a fence surrounding your property. These fences are usually constructed of grey cinderblocks and are unattractive, to say the least. Luckily, there is a solution to your ugly walls. Enter Alan Gellman, owner of Wall Sensations. He worked for six years to develop a material that will transform your block walls from an eyesore to an oasis with images of deserts, mountains, golf courses, lush gardens, beaches, waterfalls, and more. “The material that we use is called super 10 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE


mesh, it is a very high density, flame retardant, fire-resistant material,” explains Alan. “We print the digital photograph directly onto the material –the colors are absolutely brilliant – and then it rolls out like a very thin piece of carpet, and we attach it to the wall.” When you move, you can even take it with you. They can attach the photographic mural by either drilling it into the block or wood, or in the instance of chain link, using grommets and twist ties. The screw heads are colored to match the design, so they become invisible. There are also not many visible seams because they purchase the material in 10-foot tall by 150foot long rolls. “It’s a very lightweight but porous material, so airflow goes through tiny holes,” says Alan. If the mural gets dirty, just rinse it off with a garden hose. If installed in full sun, the murals last a minimum of three years, if there’s partial shade they can last five to seven years. “We’re







using UV inks, which harden over time, so that’s why we’re the only company in the country that can warranty an outdoor mural.” Ready to transform your backyard? The hardest part of the process is deciding on an image. “We’ve partnered with most of the stock photography sites in the country, and we buy those images copyright free, so we can reproduce them and the client doesn’t have to pay (for the image),” says Alan. They also work with professional photographers, including Kathleen Croft, who worked for National Geographic. Wall Sensations has more than 300 photographs to choose from. You can also use your own, if the resolution is high enough, or they can Photoshop a child or pet into an existing photo. Once the client chooses a photograph, they will do a free mock-up and show them what it will look like on their wall. “They get a quick visual and then they say, ‘OK, come on out and measure,’ and then we can proportion the mock-up to the wall, so that looks much more natural,” says Alan. “We’ve done a little bit of everything – we’ve wrapped buildings in this; we’ve done huge wall murals in all kinds of locations.” One of their more unusual requests came from the Orthodox community at New York City College. They asked Alan to create a background for a sukkah. Now, on Sukkot, all they have to do is put up the mural instead of having to add all the trimmings. With offices in New York, Florida, California, Las Vegas and Phoenix, the images used on the murals vary widely. “Saguaro Lake is a big one here, desert landscape is a huge one in Las Vegas,” says Alan. “A lot of people want to keep with the theme; you don’t want a ski resort in your backyard if you live in AZ.” However, ski resorts are a favorite pick for New York clients. “A lot of the homes that we do have putting greens, behind the putting green we will do a golf course scene,” he says. “We can make it look just fabulous.” A popular scene behind pools are waterfalls and Asian gardens. At Alan’s home, he has an Asian garden and a koi pond scene. Another plus is that you get the benefit of having a beautiful garden without the work – or the water. They have also begun to wrap above ground hot tubs. “People will spend between $3,000-$4,000 on having actual brick put around it,” says Alan. “We can do that for a tenth of the cost and give it a very similar textured look.” You also don’t need to limit your mural creations to the outside. Wall Sensations can create murals for any room inside the home or commercial applications. Murals can be adhered with adhesive or a peel-and-stick backing so that you can also take it with you if you move. Alan loves the positive feedback he receives from his clients. “One woman called me and said, ‘I’ve always kept my kitchen blinds closed because I hated those walls so much.’ ” Since the installation, she’s always kept them open. “The limitation is your creativity,” says Alan. “That’s the most fun, I get up in the morning and every job is different – it’s awesome!” To view more amazing backyard transformations, or to find out more information, visit



• 5:45PM





BUSINESS Dr. Richard Brown: Creating a holistic approach to surgery By Mala Blomquist


Dr. Richard Brown and his insightful book, The Real Beauty Bible: Navigating Your Journey through Plastic Surgery. 12 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE


lastic surgeon Dr. Richard J Brown M.D., F.A.C.S. of Brown Plastic Surgery isn’t like most doctors. He was not born with an innate desire to become a physician; in fact, he didn’t realize he wanted to be a doctor until he was almost through with college. His parents owned a company selling computer systems to medical practices to help automate their billing and reports, before the dates of electronic medical records. “I thought I’m going to work for them, and something just didn’t feel right for me,” says Dr. Brown. “I was sitting in the library one night (at the University of Georgia), studying economics, and I was like, ‘this is so boring.’ I remember pushing back from the table and saying, ‘I can’t do this. This isn’t for me.’ ” He always felt interested in science, so he enrolled in a chemistry class along with his business courses. Dr. Brown received an A in that chemistry class. “I had like a 2.6 GPA at that point,” he jokes. That science course was the turning point. He took another science class and received another A. He decided that he would like to do something in the medical field, so he volunteered as a patient transporter at a nearby hospital. “I started to like that relationship I was developing with patients, so I said, ‘I think I’m going to be a P.A. or something,’ ” remembers Dr. Brown. “I sat down, and I mapped it all out, and through that process, I decided to just go to medical school.” And then he thought, “If I’m going to do it, I’m going to be a doctor.” This ambition was only further fueled when his pre-med advisor told him he’d never make it. It was during a gap year while working as an orderly in the operating room, between his pre-med classes and continuing to his medical degree at The Chicago Medical School, that he discovered he wanted to be a surgeon. Dr. Brown was doing his general surgery residency in Chicago at Mt Sinai hospital when he started networking with physicians from Northwestern University who came to perform trauma and reconstructive surgery. They invited him to do research with them at their wound healing and scarring research lab. He spent a year working at Dr. Thomas Mustoe’s lab at Northwestern. “That’s what solidified that plastic surgery was what I wanted to do – after talking about it with them, and being there,” says Dr. Brown. He transferred to Northwestern and became certified by the American Board of Surgery in general surgery. Dr. Brown

then went on to complete his residency training in the field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Brown is a double board-certified surgeon. As he explains, “I sat for my written and oral boards, so I am a board-certified general surgeon, then I did two years of plastic surgery and sat for those boards. I carry two boards, but I never practiced general surgery. I went straight from general into plastics.” Although all surgeons are board certified, they may not be board certified in plastic surgery. Wanting to educate people about this fact led Dr. Brown to write The Real Beauty Bible: Navigating Your Journey through Plastic Surgery. “I needed to shed some light on what it means to be board certified,” he says. “Not only that but if you want to have a procedure, you should be able to pick this book up, read all three parts … and put it down and have an overall global view of the process of having a procedure.” In the book, Dr. Brown covers the different types of procedures available, how to choose a surgeon that’s right for you, the financial options available for surgery and what to do before and after surgery. He says the shortest description of this book is, “You’re having a consultation with me to have a procedure. Everything that I would tell you in a consult, and more, is in this book.” Making sure that his patients have a positive experience and successful outcome is a priority for Dr. Brown. He also realized that many people need to change aspects of their lifestyle before having plastic surgery. Almost seven years ago, he took matters into his own hands regarding his health and lost a lot of weight and got into shape. Through this process, he learned about nutrition, and he found that he was approaching patient consultations from a different perspective. “I found myself consulting with patients who weren’t ready for surgery, and it turned into a whole talk about this is what you need to do to get ready for surgery, to get the best result, this is what you need to do,” says Dr. Brown. “You need to change your mindset; you need to change your lifestyle so that when you have that tummy tuck, you are now going to have a long-lasting result because you now have things in place before surgery to have a successful, long-lasting result.” This approach has spurred a new goal for Dr. Brown. During 2020 he would like to move into a larger space and create a “wellness center” for his patients. He wants to partner with a nutritionist who will develop a meal plan for each patient, and coordinate with a food-delivery service that will deliver the food, alleviating the stress of purchasing and preparing food. He also wants to have a gym in the office with a personal trainer so that everything is under one roof. “I want to bring this holistic idea to the practice,” says Dr. Brown. “Where we are not just thinking of you as a patient who needs surgery, we’re thinking of you as a person who needs to be globally treated to get ready and be successful with your results.” He wants to be the practice that doesn’t just operate. “What if I told you that I’m a plastic surgeon and maybe you don’t need surgery,” he says. “It just frees their chains to be able to be who they’re supposed to be.” For more information on Dr. Brown and Brown Plastic Surgery, visit ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 13



Andrew Pawlicki-Sinclair

Laura Nachtrab

Logan Elia

Jewish Federation adds management staff The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has appointed two new management team members. Andrew Pawlicki-Sinclair is the assistant director for leadership development and engagement. He has worked for Arizona Serve and the Arizona Conservation Corps managing AmeriCorps national service grants. Before that, Andrew served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Santa Rita High School as part of the anti-poverty-oriented Tucson Community Schools Initiative. He is a graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, where he concentrated on studying human rights. Born and raised in Tucson, he is an alumnus of Satori School and a graduate of Kino K-12 School, where he currently serves on the board. Laura Nachtrab is the administrative services manager. A graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, IL, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology/anthropology, Laura moved to Tucson from Chicago in 2007. Her administrative experience prior to joining the JFSA includes customer support for Total Artificial Heart manufacturer SynCardia Systems, LLC; grants manager at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra; and temple administrator at Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism in Highland Park, IL.

Logan Elia names partner at Rose Law Group Rose Law Group pc, has named Logan Elia a partner. Logan has been with Rose Law Group since 2014. He is a national leader in cyber law, including cyber defamation and online intellectual property infringements. “Logan pioneered Arizona’s most respected cyber defamation practice and has established himself as a national expert in the field. Logan is also a leading attorney when it comes to litigating internet infringements on 14 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Rabbi Mendy and Sarah Rimler

trademarks and copyrights, litigating on behalf of medical cannabis dispensaries, defending against criminal charges and supporting gun rights, gun ownership and the Second Amendment. Logan exemplifies Rose Law Group’s focus on creative and innovative representation for our clients,” says Rose Law Group Founder and President Jordon Rose. Logan is a former prosecutor who also previously worked at the Goldwater Institute and for the American Legislative Exchange Council. He received his law degree from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, studied at Cambridge University and has his undergraduate degree from Pomona College. Logan, an Arizona native, is an active scuba diver and firearms enthusiast. “I am honored to be named partner at one of the most progressive and trailblazing law firms in the country. My practice touches on a diverse set of legal areas and arenas. There is no better firm on the country for me to bring my skills to bear for our clients than Rose Law Group,” Logan says.

Chabad Center opens in South Phoenix South Phoenix, an area that previously had no synagogues or any Jewish presence, will now have its own Chabad Center. The center’s rabbi will be Rabbi Mendy and Sarah Rimler and their children, Chayala, Eli and Bluma. “The first in the area is always a big thing,” said Grant Galas, a local real estate agent who worked closely with the Rimlers on ideas for the center. Without a synagogue nearby, Grant had to drive around half an hour to get to services. He hopes the new center will provide his family with a stronger sense of community in their area. Prior to this appointment, the Rimlers were working as assistant rabbi and outreach director at Rohr Chabad at ASU with Rabbi Shmuel Teichtel. The plan to establish a center in South Phoenix has been in motion since August. The center “kicked off” with a Chanukah party on Dec. 22.

Steven P. Haines

Debbie Yunker Kail

The Rimlers encourage anyone in South Phoenix to reach out and get involved in the new Chabad Jewish Center, “Chabad is an organization for all Jews. If you’re Jewish, you’re a member,” he says. “Labels divide us; they don’t define us.” “It’s exciting to have something near where we live,” Grant says.

Tucson Symphony Orchestra hires Steven P. Haines Tucson Symphony Orchestra has appointed Steven P. Haines as president and CEO. Haines was vice president for POPS of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and president and CEO of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops for nearly eight years prior to that. He began his career as associate director of marketing and then marketing manager of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Most recently, he was CEO of The Young Americans, a San Francisco-based performing arts college and international touring organization. Prior to that, he served as vice president of strategic growth and marketing for the San Francisco Zoo, and previously was executive director of San Francisco’s Stern Grove Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

Debbie Yunker Kail appointed to Hillel’s Directors Cabinet Debbie Yunker Kail, executive director of Hillel at Arizona State University, was recently appointed to Hillel’s Directors Cabinet. The Directors Cabinet represents Hillel professionals throughout North America in shaping strategies and policies that impact the entire Hillel movement.   When Debbie Yunker Kail was named the new executive director of Hillel at ASU in 2013, the organization had not had a new leader since 1972.

Jacqueline Schmidt

Under her leadership, Hillel at ASU has created a new Jewish leadership development class; established an educational model for transitioning teens to college life, partnering with two synagogues and three teen organizations locally; added one Taglit-Birthright Israel trip/year to ASU Hillel offerings, doubling number of students traveling to Israel/year from 20 to 40 and launched a new brand and look for ASU Hillel, including logo and updated facility.

New outreach coordinator for The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies Jacqueline Schmidt is the new outreach coordinator for The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies. She has more than 10 years of experience working and volunteering in the Tucson community, including three years in the local hospitality industry, and eight years at the University of Arizona coordinating events and logistics. She grew up Tucson, graduating from the UA with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and recently earning a master’s in family studies and human development.



First Lady of Nails By Mala Blomquist ne of my fondest memories connected to

OPI nail polish was when my daughters, ages 6

and 10 at the time, were picking out the nail polish colors for their first mani-pedis. They had a blast

turning the bottles over and giggling at the names

like “Ladies and Magenta-men,” “Orange You Glad

it’s Summer” and “Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore.” I always knew the iconic brand for its fun names

and rainbow of unique colors, but I never knew that the “Suzi” mentioned in so many of the names was

actually a nod to the incredible woman behind OPI, co-founder Suzi Weiss-Fischmann. Along with

her brother-in-law, George Schaeffer, she created

OPI, which blossomed into a celebrated brand with products distributed in more than 100 countries on six continents.



SUZI WEISS-FISCHMANN FAMILY AND FAITH Suzi Weiss was born in Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution to parents Magda and Laszlo Weiss. Many Jews had crossed the border to Austria to escape the Russian invasion, but her family lived far from the border. With no way to get to Austria, they were forced to stay in Hungary. “My father’s dream was always to come to America,” says Suzi. “He hated communism, and finally, we found a way to emigrate to Israel.” They were able to obtain the proper paperwork due to Israel’s diplomatic relations with Hungary at the time, prior to the Six-Day War in 1967. “We got passports because of some

Magda was imprisoned at Auschwitz, and Laszlo was on the Russian front in a forced labor camp. They both returned to Hungary after the war, met and married. Her dad would share stories, but her mom only opened up after Suzi’s niece came back from a March of the Living trip (an educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust) with many questions. “That was the first time, in the beginning, she never spoke about it, but I tell everybody I was very lucky because my parents were very loving and very warm,” says Suzi. “Among the first generation of survivors, sometimes there are many issues of love and showing affection.”

The co-founders behind the beauty empire know as OPI, George Schaeffer and Suzi Weiss-Fischmann. connections – in the communist system you always have to find the little door next to the big door – and we got passports, emigrated to Israel and then we applied to the American embassy in Israel,” says Suzi. After applying to the embassy, it took almost three years for the family to receive their green cards (permanent resident cards). They moved to New York in 1969. Both her parents were survivors. Before meeting,


Suzi shares that her mom always had a smile on her face and was a woman of faith. She prayed twice a day, and as a promise to herself when she left Hungary, she always kept kosher and observed Shabbat, but her dad, not so much. “When they would go back to Hungary, my dad would say, ‘I’m going for a walk,’ and we all knew that he would go to the deli and eat a hot dog,” says Suzi with a chuckle. “I think my mom knew too, but she didn’t say anything.” Suzi’s husband, Dr. George Fischmann, dons tefillin every morning, and they try to do Shabbat dinner every Friday night with family, friends, or both. She believes

that growing up with these traditions gave her children Andrea, 26, and Andrew, 23, some discipline. “I always tell my kids these traditions were kept for thousands of years, and I feel it’s our duty to continue for the many more thousands of years to (come),” says Suzi. BEGINNING OF SOMETHING BIG While Suzi lived in New York, she attended Hunter College. Her sister had married George Schaeffer, and his parents owned a manufacturing company that made tops for juniors on Broadway and Bleecker St. After school, she would work at the company, sweeping floors, cutting

compound and using it to make acrylic nails, a popular trend of the early 80s. The problem with this use of MMA was that the compound formed an extremely strong bond so that if you hit your hand, there was a good chance that your natural nail would come off along with the acrylic on top. Suzi and George wanted to create a better, safer, more flexible product without sacrificing the strong bond. They met Eric Montgomery, a chemist who worked in the movie industry with special effects. He created a formula that consisted of a monomer liquid, a polymer powder and a primer. “I needed to hold the three products together, because they were a unit, so a

George Schaeffer and I concentrated on the nail business,” says Suzi. In 1989, they launched their first line of nail polish. “Nail polish was kind of boring. It wasn’t fun, sexy, or aspirational. It was just like a color and a number,” says Suzi “I always say to young people today, we would be called disrupters, we really rebranded the category of professional nail polish.” The first line of polish contained 30 shades from light to dark, and the first geographic collection was the Alpine Collection. “We gave these geographical collections the fun names which became part of the brand, its DNA,” says Suzi. “People asked for OPI by name. We printed color charts you could take

“I always tell my kids these ( Jewish) traditions were kept for thousands of years, and I feel it’s our duty to continue for the many more thousands of years to (come).” ~Suzi Weiss-Fischmann

threads, and tagging blouses with the Dennison gun. Miriam and George moved to Los Angeles in 1981, where he bought a dental supply company from his uncle. His parents kept the factory open for a little while longer, but eventually, the rest of the family also moved to California. Suzi followed in January of 1982. At this time, Suzi began working for her brother-in-law at Odontorium Products, Inc. They carried a product called methyl methacrylate (MMA), a chemical compound used in the production of dental bridges and crowns. Suzi and George began noticing that nail technicians were buying this

rubber band was the easiest thing,” says Suzi. “That was our big marketing genius to call it the ‘rubber band special.’ ” Suzi would drop those rubber band specials off to salons along Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. “People loved it!” Suzi remembers. “The product gave them enough time to shape the nail, the powder was very fine, so you didn’t need too much filing, and people said, ‘Where can we buy it?’ And that was the beginning of OPI.” Do you see what they did there with the name? Odontorium Products Inc. = OPI. “We sold the dental business two years after we started with OPI, and then

home. You could look at the colors, at the names and you could laugh. It’s amazing wherever I travel in the world I see OPI. People can recite 5, 10, 15 names of colors (to me); it’s just amazing.” WHAT’S IN A NAME? Every year OPI launches four seasonal collections: Spring, Summer, Fall and Holiday. Two of them are themed to a geographic location; in 2019, Scotland was the theme for the fall, and Tokyo was the spring theme. Suzi has had a hand in naming every color of polish that bears the OPI name. The creative process for naming the




Ignite! featuring guest speaker, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Co-Founder and Brand Ambassador, OPI Jan. 22 from 5:30-9:30 pm, location provided upon RSVP 5:30pm: Registration opens 6pm: Reception, includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and open bar. Dietary laws observed 7pm: Program 8pm: Dessert and book signing

The top-selling color for 20 years has been OPI’s “I’m Not Really a Waitress.”

Couvert: $100 per person; $50 for students with a valid ID $180 minimum commitment to the 2020 Annual Campaign, payable by December 31, 2020 Please RSVP by Jan. 10 at colors would start with a core group knowing what the “theme” would be for the upcoming collection a few days ahead of the meeting. “It would be myself, George Schaeffer, someone from the marketing, creative, purchasing and customer service (departments), and then there would always be a guest from within the company,” says Suzi. “We would sit around the table, I would present the shades and then everybody kind of gave their opinion, gave names.” They would also have food representing the country or city that the theme was centered around. It took between six and eight hours to come up with 12 names and a few alternatives (in case there was a problem when they got to the legal department). “Honestly it was really fun, we laughed a lot, we teased each other, but it was a very democratic process, so majority ruled,” says Suzi. In 2010, Coty, Inc, one of the world’s largest fragrance companies, acquired OPI. Suzi is still involved with the colors and the naming, which is what she loves most of all. Before the end of 2019, they were already working on the spring colors for 2021. She says they work with groups out of Milan and Paris who predict trends and colors. “Everybody, whether you’re in fashion, package design, the cosmetics or beauty industry, you take that and you translate it to your category, and that’s how the colors are created.” When asked what her favorite OPI colors are, Suzi says that she has two answers to that question. “My favorite color was always the one that equaled the most dollar signs,” she jokes. “I love reds. “Big Apple Red,” “I’m Not Really a Waitress,” of course. In the summer, pinks, yellow – who would have thought yellow was going to be such a hot color? And look so good. And greens and blues – I always say nothing is taboo anymore.” The light pink polish dubbed “Bubble Bath” is the number one seller in the “soft” shades. But for 20 years, the top-selling polish for OPI has been “I’m Not Really a Waitress.” “It’s that candy-apple red that looks good on all skin tones,” says Suzi. “The name has a double meaning to it because in Hollywood, everybody says, ‘I’m not really a waitress, I’m an actress.’ ” A COLORFUL TALE In March 2019, Suzi published her memoir that shares the same name as the best-selling polish, I’m Not Really a Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color at a Time. When Suzi spoke at high schools or colleges, people would approach her after and ask


Current and past geographic collection campaigns.

Fun polish names are what OPI is known for. Clockwise: “Music is My Muse” “Arigato from Tokyo” “Smok’n' in Havana” “Throw Me A Kiss” “Deer Valley Spice” “Closer Than You Might Belem”

Suzi at a book signing of her memoir, I’m Not Really a Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color at a Time. her if she could talk longer, or if she had a book. At last, she had the time to dedicate to this project. “I wanted to tell both my parents’ stories, I think it’s important for people to know what that generation went through and their survival and resilience to make a new life,” she shares. “My story as an immigrant. I lived the American dream and but the one thing I tell all the young people before I start to say anything – you need to work hard.” Suzi continues, “You have to work hard, but the opportunity is here, and to appreciate the freedom we have – sometimes I cannot even put it into words. Until you don’t have it, you don’t realize what it means.” She thinks that storytelling is essential and that women should share their stories to inspire each other, to lift each other up and to find commonality with each other. “Speaking to people, I get inspired, I’m a very honest person, I can only be who I am, I never try to be somebody else,” says Suzi. “People can relate to me. I’m a woman with a family, business, social life, and there are all those things that we all struggle with and try to make it all happen. Nobody’s a superwoman, and it’s OK not to do everything. I always say, give yourself some grace. You do the best you can.” When people ask her what her “aha moment” was, she says that there were so many: reaching the first million in sales, realizing you have a product that people love, launching every new collection. “I loved to go to work every day,” admits Suzi. “I loved the people that we had at OPI. I loved what we did. I loved the distributors. The whole (thing) – it was just an amazing time.” She also enjoyed visiting the testing salon at OPI. “When they wanted to test on me, I said, ‘As long as it includes a massage, I’m there.’” Jokes Suzi. “If you get that little foot or hand massage – oh my God! I always told

them whatever you want. And when I walk out of that (mani-pedi), that instant gratification, immediately you look so much better.” Nail art is something that amazes Suzi today. What used to be a “kitschy” element on nails for the holidays has now evolved into couture with the hottest designers, including nail art incorporated into high fashion. Additionally, there are thousands (maybe even millions) of YouTube videos and posts on all social media platforms showcasing nail art. “We didn’t have social media – it was a different time. Maybe more personal,” reflects Suzi. “I love today that I can reach women all over the world in seconds, which is still amazing to me. You have all these social platforms but all that communication, sometimes that personal touch is lacking. This is the world we live in – it’s both amazing and challenging.” With all of her success, when asked what she would like her legacy to be, Suzi immediately answers, “My two children. That, for me, is the most important. Those two are my legacy.” She continues, “They are amazing people, I’m very proud of both of them. The nice thing that I can say about them is that they are both mensches.” She remembers going to teacher conferences and the teacher would say, “Your kid’s a mensch,” and that would make her so happy. “I always say everybody figures out 2 + 2 is 4, some sooner, some later, but you can’t teach them when they’re in their 20s or 30s to be mensches and to be good people.” Her mother passed away in January of 2019, and she reflects on the fact then when both your parents are gone, you become your parents. “My sister and I are my parent’s legacy. And that’s what I want to pass down. My children are going to be mine.” ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 21


Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying Article courtesy Family Features


rom the classroom to the internet, bullying can lead to children developing a poor self-image or lead to bullying others. In fact, members of Generation Z believe bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation, according to new data. A survey of American youth ages 6-17, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, found bullying ranked as the top concern for young people in their own communities, across the country and on a global scale. At the same time, 84% of those surveyed said they want to be a part of the solution. Consider these ideas to help your kids learn how to overcome, avoid and break down the cycle of bullying: Promote more time unplugged and outdoors. It is important for parents to promote healthy, face-to-face social interactions. Outdoor activities allow children to work together, solve problems and bond in a way that typically can’t be achieved through a screen. They also give children a break from the cyber-world, where bullying is often prevalent. Encourage kindness. Ninety-seven percent of Gen Z members surveyed said being kind is important. Encourage kids to act on that feeling and remind them that it doesn’t take any extra energy to be kind. Serve as a role model by making kindness a foundation in your family, just as the Boy Scouts of America have done. The Scout Law lists being kind as one of 12 guiding characteristics. Educate and equip. Parents should educate their children about why bullying is never OK, equip them with the knowledge they’ll need to recognize it and encourage them to report and safely respond to all forms of bullying they observe. Use the buddy system. In Scouting, the buddy system pairs kids together to help ensure the well-being of one another. This approach is used for practical and safety reasons that can also be applied to everyday life. A pair or group of kids are less likely to get bullied, and buddies can be supportive by being an upstander. Explore differences. As a family, look for ways to get involved in activities that include families from different backgrounds and cultures. Introducing kids to ideas and lifestyles different from their own can be an enlightening experience, and that knowledge can help break down some of the barriers that contribute to bullying, such as fear and misunderstanding.


IMPROVING COMMUNITIES Creating a better community may be a collaborative goal, but as survey data from the Boy Scouts of America shows, the solutions lie much closer to home and can be inspired by the acts of individuals:

97% of those surveyed said being kind to others is important. 84% said they want to be a part of solving community issues in the future. 79% said improving their community is important. 50% said the reason they focus on some of these issues because their parents are passionate about them.

Bullying was a top concern among respondents, with 86% of

respondents saying that not being bullied is a daily priority and 30% saying that out of 20-plus societal issues, bullying is the problem they most want solved globally.

Other top concerns respondents want to help solve are hunger (28%)

and care for elders (27%) at the local level; animal rights (28%) and recycling (28%) at the national level; and poverty (28%) and human rights (26%) at the global level. Learn more about ways Generation Z and its supporters can help put an end to bullying at SOURCE: Boy Scouts of America ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 23



Coming soon – for thousands of Arizona middle schoolers By Leni Reiss


rofessional live theatre performances for student audiences of “The Diary of Anne Frank” are scheduled from Feb. 10 to 13 at the 900-seat Madison Theater for Performing Arts at 5601 N. 16th Street in Phoenix. The Detroit-based Jewish Ensemble Theatre ( JET) is the longest continuously operating professional Jewish theatre in North America. It has produced the show annually throughout Michigan for more than two decades. And now, thanks to the dedication of Sally Ginn, who has homes in both Detroit

and the Valley, along with her dedicated group of volunteers, JET is coming to the Valley, and some 4,500 local students will see the show. Student attendance fulfills core curriculum requirements for middle schoolers. To enhance the experience, JET will provide projected subtitles in Spanish. There is a minimal charge for student tickets. If they are unable to pay, donations will cover the fee. Sally explains that this exciting happening is being made possible through the cooperation and generosity of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater


Phoenix, with the support of private donors in the Phoenix area. The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center and the Phoenix Holocaust Association have signed on as partners. The plan is that in future years a local cast will continue what would become a tradition, as it is in Detroit. The Detroit executive director will audition local members of Actors’ Equity prior to the scheduled local performances. Having personally experienced anti-Semitism in her lifetime, Sally says, “Connecting to, and supporting this project

simply spoke to me as a way to introduce Anne Frank to a generation who likely has never heard of her – and to learn a valuable lesson about the horrors of the Holocaust.” Educators can call 833378-5300 for information on student matinees. There will be a public performance of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Feb. 13 at 7:30 pm at the Madison Theater for Performing Arts. Tickets are $16 adults and $10 for students. There will also be an option for adults to buy special VIP tickets to honor Lanny Lahr. See Previews page 44 for more information.

A gap year adventure in


By Aliya Markowitz


halom, everybody! My name is Aliya Markowitz and I’m from Tucson, AZ. For the past three and a half months, I’ve been lucky enough to call the lively neighborhood of Nachlaot, Jerusalem, my home. Next semester, I will be continuing my adventure in the artsy district of Florentine, Tel Aviv. Taking a gap year after high school was not something I had seriously considered doing. It felt as though my future had always been set to follow the paths most traveled; after



EYE ON EDUCATION high school comes college, followed by graduate school, and then into the workforce. It wasn’t until my senior year trip on the March of the Living, in which I went to Poland for a week and saw firsthand the atrocities committed against my people, I started to consider the idea of postponing my college experience. I realized that I owed it to myself and to my family that never left Treblinka to spend a year exploring the person I want to be in the homeland promised to my people. Picking Aardvark Israel out of the numerous Israel gap year programs wasn’t difficult (and not just because the double ‘a’ name made it appear first on my Google search)! Aardvark’s internship opportunities, coupled with living in an apartment was exactly what I wanted – the perfect opportunity to gain independence and mature as a young adult.  My internship this semester is at Muslala, an urban rooftop garden workspace on Yafo Street. Muslala focuses on combining sustainable practices with nature and art. Often, my day consists of watering the multitude of plants on their rooftop terrace. While at first, I found this task tedious, I’ve come to appreciate this time as an opportunity to reflect internally on my fast-paced Jerusalem life. Once a week, I tend to my children (the compost worms) by visiting the Shuk to retrieve rotten fruits and vegetables to feed them. My internship gives me a chance to take my passion for environmental conservation and apply it in a practical manner. Living in the heart of

Jerusalem is everything I could have dreamed of and then some. Whether I’m visiting the Kotel, doing yoga in Gan Sacher, or grocery shopping in Machne Yehuda, I feel a sense of belonging. There is something magical about hearing everyone – both the secular and ultraorthodox – say Shabbat Shalom each week. I feel safe, and I feel at home here in Jerusalem. However, Jerusalem would not feel as comfortable without the incredible staff in this city. My counselor Rafi, or as I like to call him “Papa Raf,” is genuinely one of the kindest hearted people I’ve ever met. Natali, or as she once called herself “Britney B,” is not only a queen at dancing but a queen at coordinating the many interesting Tiyulim we have each Tuesday. And then there’s Charlee. When she’s not off finding incredible internships and volunteering opportunities, she is talking with the students and truly taking the time to find out who we are as people.  Being away from home can feel lonely, but seeing their faces in the office every morning makes Israel feel a little more like home. When I’m not living life to the fullest in Jerusalem, I am traveling on Aardvark International trips. So far, I have been to Spain and China and I can honestly say that those have been some of the best weeks of my life. Whether it’s uncontrollably laughing during an interesting Chinese massage or appreciating the intricate details in Gaudi’s architecture of Casa Batillo, there is never a wasted moment on these trips. I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to see so


much of this incredible world during my year of self and worldly exploration. In these four months, I have learned so much about my Jewish identity and myself. I have always connected to my Judaism on a more spiritual level, with my fundamental belief being that whether God exists or not, there is an energy that connects all life. While I still hold true to this belief, my time in Israel has exposed me to so many other forms of Judaism and ways of thought. My favorite part about Jerusalem is going to a different host family for Shabbos each week. From breathtaking views of the Kotel to endless rounds of Shabbos songs like, “Ain’t Gonna Work on Saturday,” each host has taught me something new about what it means to be a Jew. My conclusion is that there is no single correct way to be Jewish. What matters is that you believe in Tikkun Olam and are doing your part to help make this world a better place.  My time on Aardvark has taught me to slow down and appreciate the infinite details in the world around me. Whether you are a student, a parent (Hi Mom and Dad!), or a potential future “Vark,” I want to impart this small piece of wisdom that I think we can all take to heart. We are all only given one life, so don’t rush along the preestablished paths the rest of the world follows. Slow down and take time to explore and to find your own unique path. I don’t know where life will take me but this gap year is giving me the confidence and skills I need to accept all there is to come with an open mind and spirit for adventure.

Aliya Markowitz is a Tucson Hebrew Academy alumna participating in the Aardvark Israel Immersion Program. Aardvark Israel’s mission is to bring together a diverse group of students from all over the world for meaningful, life-changing experiences in Israel that strengthen their Jewish identity, deepen their commitment to Israel, and foster their personal growth. Aardvark spotlights students each week on their website Below is Aliya’s story she shared when she was featured as “Student of the Week.”

Reprinted with permission from Aardvark Israel Immersion Programs.



The Phoenix Holocaust Association brings survivors and students together By Mala Blomquist Holocaust survivor Charlotte Adelman speaking to students at Peoria Accelerated High School. PHOTO BY TONY FUSCO


n 2018, The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany commissioned Schoen Consulting to conduct a comprehensive national study of Holocaust knowledge and awareness in the United States. The results from 1,350 interviews with American adults age18 and older were shocking: more than one-fifth of millennials in the United States – 22% – haven’t heard of, or aren’t sure if they’ve heard of, the Holocaust, and 41% believe two million Jews or fewer were killed, a staggering underestimation of the six million Jews killed in World War II by Nazi Germany and its accomplices. ` The volunteers at the Phoenix Holocaust Association work hard to change these gaps in Holocaust awareness. “As an organization, the Phoenix Holocaust Association feels that the time is now to get as much of this education and teaching before students as possible while there are still survivors alive,” says Janice Friebaum, vice president of the PHA. “There have been studies that show that some of the most powerful messages of learning for students is with live testimony.” The PHA Speakers Bureau consists of survivors, their children, and their grandchildren, who speak to schools, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, businesses, civic groups, and even prison groups. PHA holds annual training for speakers on everything from 28 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

the fundamentals of public speaking to the particulars of how to go out and tell your own story as the child or grandchild of a Holocaust survivor. “One of the things we covered in training is that the story of the children and grandchildren of survivors is not unimportant,” says Janice. “It actually has a strong educational value, and particularly with students, young people who either are immigrants themselves or their parents were immigrants, the story of the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors resonates with them quite a lot.” She continues, “It tends to have a very uplifting inspirational message about how coming out of these families that experience so much trauma and loss and adversity can be not only overcome but used as a source of inspiration to achieve more, and even have a happy life.” Although their greatest focus is on the Speakers Bureau and educational events, the PHA also does remembrance events and tikkun olam projects, including the upcoming “Holocaust by Bullets” (For more information on “Holocaust by Bullets” see the article on page 32). The PHA also actively advocates that the Holocaust and genocide education are made mandatory in Arizona public schools. “We know that the Holocaust is probably the most well studied of all of the modern-day genocides, and because of that it can become such a useful tool to teach people about genocide and intolerance and what happens when hate and bigotry go unchecked,” says Janice. She continues, “It’s a very powerful tool for teaching and if we don’t use those lessons with our students, what good was all of that documentation and all of that testimony if it doesn’t move forward to instruct and inspire and teach?” For more information on the Phoenix Holocaust Association, visit


ASU's Student Government passes resolution supporting Jewish community

Jewish students and organizers applaud after Undergraduate Student Government in Tempe passed Resolution 12 on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. PHOTO COURTESY BEN MOFFAT, THE STATE PRESS


he Undergraduate Student Government of Tempe passed Resolution 12 on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, at the Memorial Union Stage at Arizona State University in Tempe. The resolution aimed to support Jewish students at ASU; opposing student groups had criticized the resolution out of concern that it conflated anti-Semitism with criticism of the Israeli government. The following is a statement from Hillel at ASU regarding the Resolution to Stand With Jewish Students at ASU: Hillel at ASU would like to thank the Undergraduate Student Government of Tempe for their unanimous support of the “Resolution to Stand With Jewish Students at ASU,” which passed by acclamation Tuesday evening (Dec. 3, 2019). Jewish students are proud to be part of the diverse ASU community and appreciate the affirmation that USGT “does not support anti-Semitism and stands by the Jewish community.” Student leaders have worked tirelessly over the last several weeks to connect with senators and administrators about ongoing challenges faced by Jewish students on campus. Most importantly, this resolution reminds the campus community that USGT “does not support any type of intimidation, hate speech, or threats directed towards anyone.” This resolution is another step towards embracing the ASU Charter of being measured not by who we exclude but by who we include and how they succeed. Sophomore Gabriel Lewis addressed the USGT, sharing, “These past few weeks have been difficult for many Jewish students on campus. I would like to thank you for being here and listening to us. We have come to you with our concerns and we feel heard. We are grateful for this resolution, and thank you again for doing what you can so that the Jewish community feels safe here at ASU.” We want to thank our dedicated and wonderful staff for their tremendous commitment to our students and Jewish life at ASU Hillel. We also want to thank Hillel International, the Israel on Campus Coalition, StandWithUs, Chabad at ASU and AEPi for their support during this difficult time. Our staff and student leaders remain committed to being part of the solution as we express our connections to and support of Israel. ASU Hillel will continue to nurture an inclusive community that supports peace and honest dialogue and that works to make our campus, our community and our Jewish homeland safer and more peaceful. In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing further updates about all of the semester’s highlights and upcoming programming. For more information on the Hillel Jewish Student Center at ASU, visit ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 29


Jewish Film Festivals Some festival selections playing in Tucson and The Valley


The beginning of the year is always a special time in Arizona. Not only do we never have to shovel snow in January and February, we have two of the best Jewish film festivals in the country. The films shown at these festivals celebrate Jewish culture and cultural diversity. The Tucson International Jewish Film Festival kicks things off and runs from Jan. 5-19. More than 3,000 festival attendees will gain a glimpse of Jewish lives that are worlds away and yet remarkably familiar. The TIJFF is also one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the country and one of the longestrunning film festivals in Arizona. This year’s festival brings 15 full-length films, and four shorts from around the world to local screens. It also features several international award winners, Arizona premieres and special guests.


The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road, Tucson


$10 for adults; $9 for seniors, active military (ID required) and students (ID required); $125 Festival Pass. For more information, visit 30 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE


The 2020 Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival runs from February 9-23 at three Harkins Theatres located across the Valley: Scottsdale Shea 14; Tempe Marketplace 16; and Peoria Park West 14. This year’s Festival is the biggest one in their history with 32 feature films, 14 short films and 48 individual screenings. The new screening times this year are 11 am, 3 pm and 7 pm, and there is even one Saturday night film. To see previews of all the films and purchase your tickets and film passes, visit


Harkins Shea 14, 7354 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale

Harkins Tempe Marketplace 16, 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe Harkins Park West 14, 9804 W. Northern Ave., Peoria


$11 for adults ($13 at the door); $7 for active military (ID required) and students (ID required, 25 years & under); $150 Festival Pass. For more information, visit 

Experience EXPO2020 Whether you are an avid art collector or just starting your collection, the vast array of fine art genres and mediums exhibited at the 16th Annual Arizona Fine Art EXPO will exceed expectations. Featured inside the 44,000 square-foot tent at the southwest corner of Jomax and Scottsdale Roads are 124 art studios where you can watch and connect with artists from across the United States. Inside the studios, fine artists create, exhibit and sell their work in various mediums, including wood, metal, stone, glass, ceramic, oil paint, watercolors and more. Plan to spend the day, and if you get hungry, there is no need to run out for lunch. Visit the Café de EXPO for lunch, coffee, tea, soda, or snacks. Each day Christine Hauber and Caroline Kwas will offer a delicious selection of homemade and freshly prepared seasonal dishes from around the world, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. EXPO2020 runs for 10 weeks, from Jan. 10 through March 22 in North Scottsdale at 26540 N. Scottsdale Road. The show is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, seven days a week. Tickets are $10 for a Season Pass (seniors and military $8), which allows the pass holder to return daily throughout the season; children under 12 are free. The expo is wheelchair accessible and parking is free. For more information, visit

Experience Interior Design


Holistic Health and Well-being Art by Erik Kinkade, Beth Benowich and Jess Davila

BARBARA KAPLAN IFDA, Allied ASID Interior Designer Specializing In Holistic Health & Well-Being

480-998-5088 • ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 31


Father Patrick Desbois

“Holocaust by Bullets” comes to the Valley By Mala Blomquist


he Phoenix Holocaust Association, in coordination with other organizations is bringing “Holocaust by Bullets” to the Valley from Jan. 26 through April 27. “HBB” showcases the work of Yahad-In Unum (translation: together as one), a non-governmental organization based in Paris and its founder, Father Patrick Desbois. Father Desbois, a French Roman Catholic priest, founded YIU to research and uncover genocidal practices around the world. His first book, Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, is based on this work. His second book on this topic, In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets, was released in 2018. Working closely with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s staff and archives, Yahad-In Unum identified and documented the murders of more than 2 million Jews and 32 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Roma in the former Soviet Union at 2,700 execution sites in seven countries and facilitated 6,700 videotaped eyewitness testimonies. Of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, about 40% were killed in mass shootings by Hitler’s mobile killing squads, the Einsatzgruppen. Sheryl Bronkesh, president of Phoenix Holocaust Association, spearheaded the endeavor to bring “HBB” to the Valley. She has a personal connection to the work Father Desbois is doing. “My grandfather and great grandparents were murdered by one of the Einsatzgruppen killing units,” says Sheryl. “Father Desbois himself has been to my mother’s hometown, and they’ve made multiple trips there. It was a very large massacre – there were between 14,000 and 18,000 Jews killed in two days.” Sheryl continues. “My mom and her mother and sister survived because they left. In the town, they had made a ghetto and then they moved everybody to a big soccer filed near the hospital, which is still there today, so everybody had to have seen it.” She admits she didn’t always believe her parents’ story because it just wasn’t a story you’d hear about the Holocaust. When Father Desbois’s first book came out, she shared it with her mother. “My mother read this book and she kept saying to me, ‘See I told you everything I told you was true,’ ” remembers Sheryl. Her mother even wrote a note in the book, “Bronia Bronkesh, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2008. Born in 1921 in Sarny, Ukraine, now formerly Poland.” “My mom died almost four years ago,” says Sheryl. “Two years ago, I went and I met Father Desbois. I had this book with me, and I asked if he would autograph my mother’s book, even though my mother was dead, and he wrote, ‘In the name of Jews of Sarny.’ It was hard to hold it in.” That was Jan. 29, 2018, when Father Desbois spoke at Northern Arizona University for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Sheryl and a group of 25 other headed up north from Phoenix. “After we heard him speak, every one of us on the bus on the way home said we’ve got to get him,” she remembers.

John Liffiton, director of the Genocide Awareness Conference held annually at Scottsdale Community College, upon hearing Father Desbois’ moving words at NAU, agreed that the conferences needed Father Desbois. Now, he will be the opening night speaker to kick off the 2020 Genocide Awareness Week on April 20 at 5 pm at the Franciscan Renewal Center. Father Desbois’s talk will be near the end of the three-month run of “Holocaust by Bullets.” At the core of the program is a 2,000 square-foot exhibition that showcases YIU’s thorough and carefully curated research, enabling visitors to learn about this lesser-known facet of the Holocaust using eyewitness video testimonies, photographs and quotes. The exhibition opens Jan. 26, at Burton Barr Library, Noble Library on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University, and a smaller exhibition at the Arizona Capitol Museum. The exhibition opens with a reception and lecture sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum featuring Dr. Wendy Lower, Ph.D., Academic Committee Chair, Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM, John K. Roth Professor of History and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. Students and the general public have the opportunity to learn about “Holocaust by Bullets” by touring YIU’s exhibit. School field trips will be scheduled at Burton Barr Library, where students will be led through the exhibition by trained docents, hear local Holocaust survivors speak, and participate in an art project. Docent-led school tours will also be available at the Capitol Museum. “Burton Barr Library is the most wonderful place with the most wonderful people,” says Sheryl. “They’re giving us all the space we need. We’re going to have an art area so the kids who come through the exhibit will have the ability to make posters that they can take back to share with their school.” Lectures, films and book talks will also take place throughout the Valley. The lecture series, which will take place at the Burton Barr Library during February, will feature professors from Arizona State University, the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University, as well as a Holocaust expert and daughter of a survivor. Sheryl imagines her mother’s hand guiding this project. She remembers when she visited Ukraine with her daughter and mother in 2009. At the edge of the mass grave site, her mother produced a plastic bag and told Sheryl to dig. “I said, ‘What do you mean, dig? I’m in a foreign country,’ ” she says. “My mother said, ‘Fill this up.’ You didn’t argue with my mother. I filled it up and I said, ‘What are we doing with this?’ and she said, ‘I’ll tell you later.’ ” When they returned from their trip, Bronia had Sheryl send some dirt to her sister and her cousin. Then when she passed, Sheryl sprinkled some on her mother’s casket. “She wanted her father and her grandparents to have a burial in a place that has a tombstone,” says Sheryl. The care and research put into this exhibition by Father Desbois and Yahad-In Unum represent incredible efforts to bring peace to other families whose relatives remain in those unmarked graves. For a full schedule of the events for “Holocaust by Bullets,” visit ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 33

Home & Lifestyle

Trends for

2020 By Barbara Kaplan


he year 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade, and it’s hard to believe that we have transitioned through 20 years into the 21st century. It’s time to look back over the past two decades and consider the things we have purchased for our home, be aware of the things we have eliminated and focus on what we would love to live with today. Are we holding on to old stuff that no longer expresses our lifestyle? It’s a matter of looking at our lives in a holistic way to determine what nurtures us and gives us meaning now. There also may be a reaction to the societal chaos of 2019; the idea of home-as-sanctuary will be stronger than ever in 2020. That translates as a kind of calm, nurturing, warm minimalism described as “lived-in yet refined.” Before I give you my 2020 predictions, I do want to say that most importantly, you benefit from living with what you love, what brings you joy and pleasure. The rest is just stuff.

2020 PREDICTIONS 1. Vintage and traditional touches are added to bring interest to the current modern and industrial looks. This will give warmth and personality to a room. 2. Navy blue or classic blue adds contrast to the lighter tones we have used over the past few years. Blue can create calm, confidence and connection. The grey walls of recent years are an especially great canvas for blue, and when you add a pop of color like yellow, red or last year’s coral – it comes alive.

3. Texture is desired to increase luxury and coziness with soft feeling fabrics like velvet, mohair and the looped yarn of boucle, which also gives an aura of sophistication.

4. Large floral and botanical wallpaper is back! Especially, sprucing up an entry to greet people entering your home or in powder rooms for that element of surprise.


5. Black as an accent is in! On walls, upholstery and floors. Drama and high contrast designs are cutting-edge!

6. The ’60s and ’70s had the curved sofas and now we have them again with a modern twist and focus on line and curve. And watch for more Retro Revival Movement pieces, too.

7. Give the kitchen character! It need not just be for function. It’s a great space to add interesting pieces of art and express your style and individuality. After all, this is where everyone loves to congregate.

8. Antiques are having a comeback. The aged look indicates a personalized story to the pieces and adds conversation as you explain what each piece means to you.

9. To enhance and add allure to your master bathroom, install a luxurious soaking tub that is free-standing, either with a flat bottom or a clawfoot one for that traditional touch.

No matter the trends, and because your home is your holistic expression, always live with what you love. And as I say in my book, The Bajaro Method: Rooms Have No Feelings, YOU Do!

Barbara Kaplan, IFDA, Allied ASID is a Phoenix-based Holistic “Interior” Design Consultant and CEO of Design Dimensions and Barbara’s Picks. For more information, contact Barbara at 480-998-5088. ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 35


Soup's On! Soups are not only a great comfort food on a cold winter day, but they can also be a meal-in-a-bowl when you are trying to eat healthier in the new year. These recipes are from Chef Paula Shoyer, “a chef who takes the calories out of comfort foods.” To find more of Paula’s recipes, visit GINGERED RED PEPPER AND TOMATO SOUP INGREDIENTS


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and cook on medium-

3 onions, halved and sliced into half-inch slices

garlic and ginger and cook for another three minutes. Add peppers,

5 cloves garlic, chopped

cover and reduce heat to low to simmer soup for 45 minutes. Let cool

2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

low heat until they are translucent, for about eight minutes. Add tomatoes, canned tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Add basil, slightly. Remove as many of the basil leaves as you can fish out and discard.

7 large red peppers, halved, seeds removed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Using an immersion

2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped

processor, purée

35 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes

completely smooth,

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

minutes if using

bunch of fresh basil leaves (little more than half of a .75-ounce box)

blender. Add salt

salt and white pepper

and stir. Serve hot or

1 tablespoon honey Garnish 2 tablespoons chopped red onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces 2 tablespoons chopped orange pepper, cut into ¼-inch pieces 2 tablespoons chopped yellow cherry tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces

blender, or in batches in a food the soup until for at least three the immersion and white pepper to taste. Add honey chilled. To make the garnish, place the red onion, peppers, tomatoes and cucumber into a small bowl and toss. Top each bowl of soup with about two teaspoons garnish.

2 tablespoons chopped cucumber, unpeeled, cut into ¼-inch pieces 36 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE



only, sliced


10 chives, chopped

6 ears white corn, husked

2 stalks celery, chopped roughly

1/3 of a zucchini, cut into ¼-inch cubes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 red pepper, cut into ¼-inch cubes

cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon butter, if making dairy

half 1 jalapeno, seeded

half avocado, sliced

pinch of Aleppo pepper

1 large onion, chopped

6 cups vegetable stock or water

paprika mixed into olive oil and drizzled on top

2 leeks, white and light green parts

salt and white pepper to taste

handful cherry or grape tomatoes, different colors, cut into small pieces


In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and add the onions, leeks and celery and cook for eight minutes, stirring often. While the aromatics are cooking, cut the corn kernels off the husks over a 9 X 13-inch pan (this helps keep the kernels from flying

2 green onions, sliced 4 basil leaves, slivered

everywhere in your kitchen), but do not discard the husks. Break the cob in half. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of kernels and set aside to garnish the soup. When vegetables are soft, add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 3 minutes to soften. Add the corn kernels and cobs, water or stock, a little salt and a shake of white pepper. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then lift the husks out of the pot; I use large tongs for this. When the cobs are cool enough to touch, I eat whatever bits of corn are still on them before discarding. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender and purée for 3 full minutes, or until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt or white pepper as needed. Serve hot or cold with any or all of the garnishes.

Paula Shoyer is the author of Healthy Jewish Kitchen (Sterling Epicure 2017), The New Passover Menu (Sterling 2015),  The Holiday Kosher Baker (Sterling Press 2013), and The Kosher Baker: 160 dairy-free desserts from traditional to trendy (Brandeis 2010) . Paula’s recipes have been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and on radio and TV shows all over the United States, Canada, Israel and even Asia.



55 Years of Marriage They Said Would Never Last

New York couple circled the globe and landed in Scottsdale By Lee Cooley


Pat and Barry Yellen celebrated their 12th anniversary in 1976 under the chuppah at The Village Temple in Greenwich Village; Rabbi Dennis Math presided, and Barry’s brother Howard Yellen was best man. Pat and Barry Yellen pose in front of an original Dong Kingman watercolor for an animated musical concept called “The Rock Hobbit,” based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s fantasy works. 38 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

hen Pat De Lieto met Barry Yellen on Dec. 31, 1963, she was a single mom sharing a flat with her mother in the Bronx. They were set up by a neighbor who worked with Barry. Pat was a professional dancer at clubs like the Latin Quarter, and Barry was booking bus-and-truck tours for Broadway shows when the two first met at a New Year’s Eve party in Long Island. “When I first saw Barry, he was wearing a turtleneck sweater and had a pipe,” Pat beams. “He looked so handsome.” “It was love at first sight,” recalls Barry. The next day he told Pat’s neighbor, “I’m going to marry her” and proposed two days later. “She said she’d think about it,” Barry grins. After he returned from an outof-town trip, they had a late dinner and immediately started making wedding plans. Barry called Vincent Sardi and said, “I want to get married in your restaurant.” Theirs was the first-ever wedding at Sardi’s – the date was January 24, 1964 – less than a month after they met. Since that was a civil ceremony, the Yellens decided to celebrate their 12th anniversary under a chuppah at their reform temple in Greenwich Village. Pat was vice president of the sisterhood there,

but no one knew she wasn’t Jewish – so she secretly converted. “My mother was Protestant and my father was Catholic,” says Pat. “So, I was brought up Catholic. But after 11 years of marriage to Barry, I converted to Judaism. I took the (conversion) course and he took it with me – Barry had to learn his religion all over again!” Their second wedding invitation read: Mr. and Mrs. Barry B. Yellen request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Barry B. Yellen Reception immediately following the ceremony at the bride’s home Flashback to 1964. Pat’s daughter Michel was just 7 years old, and Barry wanted to adopt her. His attorney warned them that the presiding judge was very religious. So, they told him she would be brought up Protestant and then promptly moved to Italy. “The only (English-speaking) school we could get Michel into was a Catholic school,” says Barry. Mother and daughter were interviewed by the head nun at St. Francis International School. She asked, “Mother’s religion?” “Catholic,” says Pat. “Father’s religion?” “Jewish,” says Pat. When the nun asked, “What religion are you, child?” Michel replied, “What’s religion?” They both laugh. All roads led to Rome after Barry dubbed an Italian fairytale film into English, and it made it big at the box office stateside. Next, he wanted to produce a children’s movie from scratch. “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” was shot, edited and dubbed at Cinecittà Studios. The Yellens even made a cameo. *SPOILER ALERT* As the story goes, Santa must get a job to pay his rent by midnight on December 24, or there won’t be a Christmas! He lands a job as a department store Santa and Michel (Yellen) is the first child Santa sees who wasn’t nestled all snug in their bed. *SPOILER END* Years after distributing films through their Childhood Productions company, Pat and Barry made a real-life trip to the North Pole while staging one in a series of international events for the World Presidents’ Organization, an extension of the Young Presidents’ Organization. From New York to Rome to New Hampshire to Tucson and ports in between, the Yellens finally settled in Scottsdale about 10 years ago, but their adventures are far from over. Today they are blessed with grandchildren, a legacy in cancer research endowments (including the Weizmann Institute of Science) and planning a 56th wedding anniversary. “Everybody said it wouldn’t last,” chuckles Barry. He and Pat laugh out loud again. Maybe they’re onto something with this laughter business. Lee Cooley started as a freelance film critic in 1978. After more than 20 years in TV and radio, he started the non-profit phase of his career (Make-A-Wish America, Valley Youth Theatre) and is now director of marcom for the largest trade association in the NE Valley. Lee also acts and directs for the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre in Scottsdale. ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | JANUARY 2020 39


Jewish CommunityFoundation of Greater Phoenix Announces

2020 Camp Scholarships Available


he Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix has announced that limited, need-based scholarships are available for Jewish children residing in Maricopa County to attend Jewish summer camp in the United States. Scholarships are available, thanks to the generosity of the Molly Blank Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, endowment funds established at the Jewish Community Foundation by Jack Bromfield and by the families of Labe Eric Targovnik and Kenneth Maltenfort, and by generous donors to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix.  Funding priority is given to overnight, immersive experiences. Programs in Israel do not qualify, even if sponsored by a U.S. camp. Day camp assistance will be awarded after overnight camp grants are made. According to studies, children with pivotal Jewish camp experiences are more likely to become adults who value their Jewish heritage, support Jewish causes, and take on leadership roles in their communities.

FINANCIAL AID REQUIREMENTS: • Requests should be viewed as “last resort” funds for families who would otherwise not be able to attend. All other applications and awards must be disclosed to the JCF. • Children must be entering grades K-12 at the time of camp to be eligible. Pre-K camp is not eligible. • Campers must be enrolled in a program. Funding will not be granted unless the camp confirms their enrollment. Funding will be sent directly to the camp. • The camp must be a qualified nonprofit organization. • All campers who receive assistance of any amount are required to write a general thank you note that can be shared anonymously with our generous donors. The application is available at or using the following link: https://tinyurl. com/2020JCFcamp Applications must be received by March 2, 2020, and all applicants will be notified by email no later than April 20, 2020. Families seeking assistance with Jewish summer camp programs, should also consider the following: • Request assistance from the camp directly. • Your synagogue, rabbi, or Temple Auxiliary Organization may have discretionary funds available. • Your child’s religious or day school may provide camp scholarships. Additionally, Jewish Free Loan offers interest-free loans to help families send their children to camp. For more information, visit or call 602-230-7983. For more information, please contact Andrea Cohen, Jewish Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Director at or 480-699-1717.



rizona. California. Israel. Peru. Boston. No matter what state, country, time zone, or zip code, I make it my business to call my mother every day. Yes, you read it right. Every day! Calling home was a decision I made over two decades ago to intentionally stay connected to my parents who lived 3,000 miles away. I would call while fixing dinner, folding clothes, or making lunches, just to chat and hear about their day. Sometimes I got advice, other times, a recipe or tidbit about a family member. I called because I missed them. But I also called because I wanted my children to see that in order to stay close to family, you have to work at it. Now, at 94, my mother lives alone, surrounded by loving caretakers. Her world has become restricted by age, physical limitations, and the loss of much of what and whom she cherished all her life. Most of her friends are gone and my father, her husband of 68 years, died a year ago. And while Mom is wheelchair-bound, her mind is impressively agile. I marvel at her deep interest in politics, the two book clubs to which she belongs, her weekly bridge game and, most of all, her constant contact with her family. And while she may be limited in movement, she is boundless in her capacity to offer guidance, inspiration and wisdom. One such moment came this past Thanksgiving when a dozen family members came together to be with her. Amidst the turkey and cranberry sauce, Mom opened up the conversation, sitting regally like a queen at the head of the table. She had something special in mind: she wanted to elevate the conversation beyond the incessant talk of national politics and casserole recipes.

“What’s important to you now?” she turned and asked her 16-year-old great-grandson. After some serious blushing and stammering, he thoughtfully talked about the crisis of immigrants and refugees. He had been taught about it in school, but he shared that he spoke a lot about the situation with his friends, many of whom were concerned about what is happening in their “not-so-privileged” world. Then his younger brother piped in, with thoughts about volunteering for underprivileged kids near the Philadelphia neighborhood where they live. And their uncle told of his work as a Big Brother in California while my mother continued to ask pointed questions getting each one of us to share more of our thoughts and feelings. I watched in amazement as she held counsel, guiding the conversation skillfully until it reached a natural conclusion – dessert. Then mom said: “I want to give more, too. It’s very human to want to give. And it’s important to figure out what means the most to you and why.” Bingo! Mom had just made the elevator speech for philanthropic giving: it’s all about your priorities and the values you hold most dear. In my previous work as a Legacy Consultant for the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, I saw firsthand the impact of thoughtful philanthropic giving. I saw our Tucson community – both Jewish and non-Jewish – grow exponentially from the endowments and gifts of people who cared about issues from social justice and climate change to cancer, pet care and the arts.

It’s human to want to give By Amy Hirshberg Lederman


But giving requires some soul searching and questions often asked include: How much should I give? How do I prioritize my gifts? Should I support Jewish organizations over secular ones? Should I give now or wait until I die? The Jewish tradition doesn’t speak in terms of charity. Instead, we take our marching orders from the mitzvah of tzedakah, or righteousness in Hebrew. Tzedakah is the hand-maiden to tikkun olam, the Jewish obligation to repair the world. Together, they form a call to action, to consciously distribute a part of what we have to care for others. We don’t give because it feels good (although it does feel good.) We give because we’re Jews. And we don’t give from the head; we give from the heart. Jewish law prioritizes the poor of our own community over the poor living elsewhere, except priority is given to the poor in Israel. We give in concentric circles: starting with our own family and community and then expanding out into the larger world, which includes Jews and non-Jews alike. The Talmud specifically recognizes that any needy person who lives peacefully with us is worthy of charity. Jewish law is fairly specific about how much we should give. Maimonides established actual parameters: 10% is average, 20% is ideal. Regardless, the goal is to give a meaningful gift but never so much that it would cause our own impoverishment. During our lives, we will have times when our ability to give may be limited or expanded because of age, income, unexpected expenses, or changed circumstances. My mother’s conversation confirmed for me a beautiful fact about philanthropic giving: that regardless of age, we can be an agent and inspiration for positive change for the generations that we have created as well as for those that will come after us when we are gone.


Amy Hirshberg Lederman has written more than 300 columns and essays that have been published nationwide, 42 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

F E D E R AT I O N N O T E S :

Creating a safer community By Marty Haberer


n the fall of 2018, the quarterly meeting of the Jewish community’s organizations and congregations, convened by the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, abruptly set aside its intended agenda. A few days earlier on Shabbat, a horrific act of murder had taken place in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In a conference room filled with shocked and saddened Jewish community leadership, the Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) was formed. Guidance came from Jimmy Wasson, Director of Marty Haberer Security for the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, along with Jay Jacobs, Campus Director (and CEO of the Martin Pear JCC on the Campus). The leadership of the Federation at that time – board chairs David Weiner and Mark Feldman, along with myself – repurposed the next several months of community meetings in order to address the critical issue of community security. Lay and professional leaders from across the Valley and rabbis from the spectrum of Jewish life in our community stepped up to chair or joined the EPC’s subcommittees. Today the EPC is continuing to build and strengthen its structure to be prepared for a crisis in our community, with “crisis” defined as “a situation which challenges human life.” Subcommittees include activation/communication/social media, crisis/spiritual counseling, finance, program/community agencies, volunteers/VIPs and security. Protocols and procedures already are or will be put into place for coordinating volunteers, opening emergency shelter and food locations, providing mental health and crisis/ grief counseling, working with security officials, media relations and organizing community gatherings. Security Director Jimmy Wasson has assisted numerous community organizations with assessments of their security needs and facilitating access to training opportunities. A communications and emergency notification system is in place, and organizations are strongly advised to sign up two representatives who are available to receive notifications on an ongoing basis. The Emergency Preparedness Committee is open to all organizations in the Greater Phoenix Jewish community. A Memorandum of Understanding has been sent to all organizations, outlining the responsibilities for organizations that join the EPC; those organizations will be required to submit a signed MOU to become a member. The EPC’s goal is to create a strong, coordinated and cohesive resource, the key piece of which is having every local Jewish organization participate, as well as signed up on the emergency notification system, so that our community is prepared for that which we pray never happens. For further information about the EPC and to join the emergency notification system, please contact Marty Haberer is the president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.



“The Diary of Anne Frank” for adults

Mishpatim Masquerade The Jewish Free Loan invites the public to join them as they celebrate 70 years of service to Arizona’s Jewish community through interest-free lending. The Mishpatim Masquerade will be held on Feb. 23 starting at 5:45 pm at Chateau Luxe at 1175 E. Lone Cactus Dr. in Phoenix. The evening will include cocktail hour, gourmet dinner and festivities celebrating and supporting Jewish Free Loan. The featured speaker at the event will be Josh Altman. Josh is best known for his expertise in Los Angeles real estate and his presence on BRAVO TV’s “Million Dollar Listing.” He is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is dedicated to living the Jewish values instilled in him by his grandfather. For tickets or sponsorship information, visit or call 602-230-7983.

JNF’s Breakfast for Israel turns 20 Join the Jewish National Fund for their annual Arizona Breakfast for Israel on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 7:30 to 9:30 am at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort at 5350 E. Marriott Dr. in Phoenix. This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the JNF Breakfast for Israel, Arizona’s largest gathering of Israel supporters. This year’s featured guest speaker is Matti Friedman, award-winning author, journalist and New York Times op-ed contributor. Matti Friedman is an Israeli-Canadian journalist and former AP correspondent who is one of the most prominent critics of the media’s portrayal of Israel. He is an award-winning author whose 2016 book Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and one of Amazon’s 10 best books of the year. Spies of No Country, Friedman’s latest book about Israel’s first intelligence agents in 1948 received the 2018 Natan Book Award. Friedman is a contributor to The New York Times Op-Ed section and has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other publications. There is no cost to attend the breakfast, but RSVPs are necessary by Feb. 20. For more information, or to RSVP, visit 44 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

The 7:30 pm performance of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Feb. 13 at the Madison Center for the Arts at 5601 N. 16th St. in Phoenix will have a special, roped-off section for adults only honoring Detroit native, longtime Valley resident and philanthropist Lanny Lahr. Contributors will enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 pm, prior to the show. Sally Ginn, who has homes in both Detroit and the Valley, explains that she was encouraged by Lanny’s Detroit relatives to contact him. “He jumped on the bandwagon when he realized the longterm impact that this event will have on young audiences.” (See article on page 24). “I love this idea,” Lanny says. “Sally gets credit for wanting to share the show with an adult Arizona audience in addition to the middle-schoolers, and I’m happy to help. Many of my friends already plan to attend, and I am hoping that everyone will follow their lead. We have a big theater to fill – and I’m doing my best to fill it.” To make tax-deductible reservations, at $100 per person, mail a check to Sally Ginn, JET/Phoenix, 3164 E. Rose Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85016. If you plan to use a credit card, go to JetTheatre. org and click on outreach programs. For more information, contact Sally at 248-210-5141.

Teens can take Tikkun Olam Tour Valley teens looking to make our world a better place in grades 7-12 are invited to participate in the Jewish Community Foundation’s Tikkun Olam Tour on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 10:30 am-3:30pm. The Tikkun Olam Tour gives teens the opportunity to visit local nonprofits, engage in community service, and learn about ways they can contribute to the success of these wonderful organizations. This year the teens will be focusing on organizations meeting the needs of children and addressing food insecurity. Teens will work with organizations helping children with special needs, children in the foster care system, and children from low-income, at-risk situations. Additionally, the bus will be making a stop at a supermarket so all participants can take the Food Stamp Challenge. Teens will have a limited amount of time and a limited amount of money to purchase groceries for teens who are participants in the JFCS Youth In Transition Program.

The final stop on the tour will be the Friendship Circle’s Jonathan’s Walk for Friendship at Chaparral Park. Tour participants will be volunteering at the walk. Pre-registration is required and applications are available by emailing The cost is $20 and this program is open to all Valley teens in grades 7-12. Please note that registration priority will be given to current B’nai Tzedek Teens. For more information, contact Andrea Cohen at 480-699-1717.

Limmud AZ – Choose your own Jewish adventure The annual “Jewish day of learning” known as Limmud AZ will be held on Feb. 9 from 9 am-4 pm at the ASU Memorial Union at 301 E. Orange St. on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe. The day is broken up into five learning periods. Each period

offers around 12 different classes to choose from. The day also includes a kosher lunch and snacks. There will be all new classes offered this year, so even if you have attended Limmud in the past, no classes have been repeated from prior years. When you register,

you are registering for the event, not for the individual Limmud AZ sessions. Classes are available on a firstcome, first-served basis, although they have increased the room sizes this year to accommodate larger audiences. Tickets are $54 adults age 40+, $40

adult ages 18-39, $18 college student with I.D., $15 ages under 18 years old. There is also Limmud Kidz available which offers childcare while parents attend their Limmud AZ sessions. Limmud Kidz is available for children between pre-K to 5th grade.

There will be a dairy, nut-free lunch and snacks included. Children over the age of 10 may attend Limmud AZ presentations with their parents at the discretion of the parent. For more information, or to register, visit





Congregation Beth Tefillah celebrated Jewish Communities Around the World- Syrian Halabi on Nov. 15. From left, Joyce Mills, Renée Hanan, Esther Allouche, Inka Hauser, Leah Gordon, Chana Allouche and Sara Allouche.


In honor of Paul Staman’s 100th birthday, his wife Pauline holds a signed document from Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema wishing Paul “a grand and glorious birthday.” Friends and family attended several events at Sagewood honoring Paul. PHOTO BY LENI REISS

BIZARRE TALES – On Nov. 25 Dr. Eddy Portnoy spoke at Congregation Or Tzion. The title of his talk was, “Bad Rabbi/The Bizarre Tales of Yiddishland.” 46 JANUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

GOD BLESS THE USA – Gerda Klein, beloved Holocaust survivor, Academy Award-winner and naturalized citizen, joins 20 new citizens from 14 countries on Dec. 4 at a naturalization ceremony at Sagewood senior living community in Phoenix. The event was coordinated by Alysa Cooper, Klein’s granddaughter, who serves as executive director of Citizenship Counts, an organization founded by her grandmother. PHOTO BY LENI REISS

DESTINATION RETREAT – On the weekend of Nov. 22, 35 eighth graders from the East Valley and Scottsdale areas attended the first annual Destination: Journey retreat at Camp Stein in Prescott.


Teenagers from Congregation Beth Tefillah represented eight inspiring Jewish women from history at an event on Dec. 15. From left, Celine Bloomenthal as Doña Gracia Nasi, Maya Lane as Emma Lazarus, Zohar Gorny as Hannah Senesh and Ayelet Jaffe as Hedy Lamarr.


Profile for JewishLifeMagazine

Arizona Jewish Life Jan./Feb. 2020 Vol. 8/Issue 3  

The premier lifestyle magazine for the Jewish communities in Arizona.

Arizona Jewish Life Jan./Feb. 2020 Vol. 8/Issue 3  

The premier lifestyle magazine for the Jewish communities in Arizona.