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Sharon Klein

A heap of love
Personal trainer Laurie Rein and gourmet chef Jon Wirtis met on Eharmony. com in October 2004. According to Jon's online profile, the most influential person in his life was his grandmother, Goldye Bodin. Laurie e-mailed Jon a short note, stating that anyone with a grandmother named Goldye must be Jewish. If so, please write back. He was and he did!
Laurie's mother, Min Rein, believes that her daughter's match was literally "made in heaven" by Jon's late Grandma Goldye and Laurie's late father, Milton Rein. Laurie, a Sahuaro High School and University of Arizona alum, and Jon, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., burned up the phone lines, then the computer connection. This was followed by flowers, flowers, and more flowers. Their first meeting was in January 2005. Laurie and her 8-year-old son, Matthew, picked Jon up at the airport from his Portland flight and whisked him off to Matthew's basketball game at the JCC, followed by bagels at Einstein's. After that, Jon visited twice a month and the two were engaged in July.
Many similarities abound between the pair. Laurie has a son; Jon, a 16-year-old daughter named Lauren. Both are physically fit and nutritionally aware. Their first dance together at Shirley Zuckerman's 100th birthday celebration was in sync, as if they had rehearsed many times. Their signatures on the ketubah looked alike.
Rabbi Samuel Cohon married them in a beautiful ceremony at Temple Emanu-El followed by a sumptuous reception at the Arizona Inn on Nov. 13. Laurie's client and friend, Deborah Sharpe, helped coordinate the nuptial weekend and sent guests away with measuring- spoon favors. Each was engraved with a love saying, such as "a pinch of joy," "a dash of tenderness," or "a spoonful of affection." As Min summed up their courtship, "I was happy to be invited along on this romantic adventure." We wish the newlyweds, who reside in Portland, a continued fairy tale ever after.

A 75th joyfest
Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery...
Today is a gift,
that's why they call it the present.                
-Eleanor Roosevelt
On Dec. 17, a sell-out crowd in Congregation Anshei Israel's Rabbi Marcus Breger Hall was "in the moment" as it celebrated the Conservative synagogue's 75th anniversary. The ruach (spirit) in the room was palpable at this gala, the culminating event in a yearlong celebration that included a cantor's concert, celebratory Shabbat, comedy revue, western open house, pop concert, and dedication of new Torah mantles for Selichot.
Gerry Tumarkin emceed the black-tie optional evening of dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions. Year of celebration co-chairs Holly and Steve Shenitzer thanked gala tri-chairs Pat Citron, Myrna Frisch and Lynn Snyder, and their committee. Journal chair Jane Kivel presented a check of $123,000 to Rabbi Robert Eisen and President Ron Gray toward youth education and the endowment fund. Barry Friedman, president of the Jewish Heritage Center, presented the synagogue with the original stained-glass window from its former location on 6th Street. From an archival display that included the framed 1930 certificate of incorporation, to a list of historical trivia questions on the tables, to old photos flashing on an overhead screen, attendees were treated to a look back at 75 years of synagogue life.
Among the merrymakers were the CAI clergy and their spouses: Rabbi Emeritus Arthur and Betejoy Oleisky, Rabbi Robert and Debby Eisen, Assistant Rabbi Kelley and Rob Gludt, and Cantor Ivor and Jan Lichterman. Also in the crowd were Temple Emanu-El's Rabbi Samuel and Rhody Cohon and the late Rabbi Marcus Breger's daughter, Liba Breger-Feuerstein and her husband, Seymour.

A triple birthday celebration
Chuck Bosnos and his wife, Mary Ann, hosted a party for the family's December birthday honorees: Sylvia's 85th, Loni's 63rd, and Michael's 59th. The Dec. 10 luncheon drew family from across the country. It was held in the African Room at the Arizona Inn, and Mary Ann carried through with the African animal theme for invitations and decor. According to Sylvia, our octogenarian and 60-year Tucson resident, dinners, an open house, and activities galore accompanied the weekend's grand festivities for in- and out-of-towners alike. Happy birthday to all!

Chanukah light shines bright
Chanukah celebrations took place in synagogues, the JCC, malls and homes in Tucson. Our desert neighbors to the south rejoiced in the holiday miracles as well.
On Monday, Dec. 26, the second night of Chanukah, Beth Shalom Temple Center of Green Valley celebrated the festival with bright lights, colorful decorations, song, dance, and, of course, food. Sig Friedman lit the chanukiah on the bimah with the backdrop of beautiful stained-glass windows designed by their own Faigee Niebow. Throughout the evening, a local guitarist provided musical entertainment. A buffet dinner was served, courtesy of chair Wanda Wolosky and her busy helpers - Sandra Bernard, Marlyn Forstot, Sig Friedman (who cooked 60 pounds of brisket!), Jim Libby, Judith Neipris, Iris Sapovits, Mildred Schienberg, and Sally Weitzel. Everyone lent a hand with frying the latkes, making for a delicious, delightful evening.
A bit of history: The congregation started about 15 years ago as the Jewish Friendship Club that gathered for a holiday in the home of Ros and David Sirota. Eventually, so many Jews came to participate in holiday worship that, through the generosity of many donors, a building and the congregation, BSTC, became a reality. On Dec. 8, BSTC celebrated its 10th anniversary and the completion of its new extension by hosting a member art show and cocktail party. Today, the congregation numbers around 200 and we wish them many more meaningful milestones.
Temple Kol Hamidbar in Sierra Vista held its Chanukah celebration on Friday, Jan. 30, according to Jennifer Sedlak, head of the synagogue's Women's Group. The group prepared latkes that afternoon. In the evening, they had a family-oriented menorah-lighting ceremony at the synagogue, followed by a potluck dinner and Shabbat services, with about 40 in attendance.

Time to share
Another newsworthy year ahead. Keep me posted in '06 - 319-1112. B'shalom.