Annual Report Tucson J 2018 - Page 10

ARTS & CULTURE JENNIFER SELCO | DIRECTOR OF JEWISH LIFE & LEARNING In 2018, the Jewish Life & Learning department expanded to three full-time professionals. Our two Arts and Culture Program Managers, Katie Spector and Jeremy Thompson, will allow The Tucson J to continue to be a center for arts & culture in Tucson and extend our reach into the Jewish and broader Tucson community. As the town square of the community, The J is a place for all people of all ages to gather, celebrate, mourn, and engage in dialogue together. In 2018, The Tucson J brought together people with different connections to Judaism several times throughout the year. Through our membership to the Jewish Book Council, we were able to host Rabbi Naomi Levy, who discussed her book, Einstein and the Rabbi. This summer we hosted a fun-filled one day adult summer camp – after all, why should kids be the only ones who get to enjoy the Jewish summer camp experience?! Over 300 women and teens came together to make and braid challah at the Mega Challah Bake, in partnership with Chabad Tucson. The J was proud to host a Shabbat celebration with three Tucson congregations on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Singing the shehecheyanu, blessing recited on first time occasions, brought tears to many people’s eyes. The Chanukah Cantata, orchestrated by Bob Hanshaw, was a festive, and musical program featuring all of Tucson’s cantors and soloists that brought together 500+ attendees on the 7th night of Chanukah. The Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden continue to be places that provoke thought and discussion, and serve as venues for all ages at The Tucson J. ECE children bring in Shabbat, and start the new week together with Havdalah in the Fine Art Gallery. In commemoration of Kristallnacht, the Tucson J, hosted New Works from Broken Glass, featuring submitted works by professional artists and mirror frame, challah plate, and mezuzah projects completed by community members. Funding for projects was made possible through the Lifelong Engagement in the Arts Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The show was a collaboration between Sonoran Glass School, and the gallery opening was supported by the Community Arts Foundation in Tucson and Southern Arizona, the Rose Petal Foundation, and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Other gallery shows have featured the Tucson Jewish Artist Group, Elliot Heiman, and Lauri Kaye. During the week, ECE children walk through the sculpture garden and talk about the different things they see. Camp J hosted a scavenger hunt over the summer, and encouraged children to find the jack rabbit, and identify whose thumbprint rests in our garden. The entire community gathered together for a Moroccan Night, hosted by Tamir and Chen, the community’s 2017-2018 shinshinim (emissaries), and families and young adults celebrated Shabbat & Sukkot together in the fall. We have empaneled a four-person jury with leadership from TMA, MOCA, Yun Gee Park’s Gallery, and the Drawing Studio for our 2019-2020 Sculpture Garden Exhibit.