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Our Town

B'nai Mitzvah

ALEC SCOTT BERENS, son of Nanci and Robert Berens, will celebrate becoming a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Temple Emanu-El.
He is the grandson of Audrey and Mickey Berens, and Frances and Joe Flores, all of Tucson.

Alec attends Esperero Canyon Middle School where he is an honor student and plays on the school basketball team. For his mitzvah project, he is a tutor at New Beginnings (a homeless shelter for women and children) and he collected books and toys for their playroom.

 

BRIANNA PAIGE FINKELSTEIN, daughter of Michael and Nancy Finkelstein, will celebrate becoming a Bat Mitzvah on Feb. 12 at Congregation Anshei Israel.

She is the granddaughter of Barbara Reynolds and the late Ralph Reynolds, and the late Adeline and David Finkelstein, all of Tucson.

Brianna attends Tucson Hebrew Academy where she is an honor student and a member of the girls volleyball team. She loves animals, reading, music and roller coasters. Brianna plays clarinet and piano and sings with the Tucson Jewish Youth Choir Ensemble. For her mitzvah project, she is participating in Congregation Anshei Israel's Gilo twinning fund and collecting funds for Heifer International, an organization that helps individuals gain independence through the gift of farm animals and instruction.

 

COLLIN DAVID FINKELSTEIN, son of Michael and Nancy Finkelstein, will celebrate becoming a Bar Mitzvah on Feb. 12 at Congregation Anshei Israel.

He is the grandson of Barbara Reynolds and the late Ralph Reynolds, and the late Adeline and David Finkelstein, all of Tucson.

Collin attends the special needs program at Rincon High School. He loves games, cooking shows, roller coasters and hanging out at the Tucson Jewish Community Center Youth Lounge. For his mitzvah project, he is participating in Congregation Anshei Israel's Gilo twinning fund and collecting toys and games to be donated to children around the world and in the U.S. through World Care International.


BONNIE ELIZABETH ABELSON, daughter of Marcia and Todd Abelson, will celebrate becoming a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Congregation Anshei Israel.

She is the granddaughter of Susan and Joseph Knauer of Sedona, Ariz., Sybil and Lester Abelson of Monroe Township, N.J., and the late Rita Knauer of Tucson.

Bonnie attends Tucson Hebrew Academy where she is an honor student and a member of the volleyball and basketball teams. She also plays softball with the Desert Thunder ASA team. For her mitzvah project, she collected clothing and blankets for Operation Deep Freeze, and participated in the B'nai Mitzvah Twinning Fund program for Congregation Shevet Achim in Gilo, Israel.

 

CLASINA PAIGE HERNDON, daughter of Desiree and Jeffrey Herndon, will celebrate becoming a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Temple Emanu-El.

She is the granddaughter of Esther Williams of Tucson, Robert Williams of San Antonio, Tex., and Eleanor and Charles Herndon of Clearlake, Calif. She is the great-granddaughter of Clasina and Ernest Cotton of Tucson.

Bonnie attends Orange Grove Middle School where she is an honor student, plays flute in the school band, and is a member of the softball and volleyball teams. She also plays the piano and club soccer. For her mitzvah project, she volunteers at the Grace Home, a children's shelter, and the Giving Tree which provides meals for the homeless.

 

SAM LAWRENCE RUBIN, son of Stephen Rubin and Gail Roberts, will celebrate becoming a Bar Mitzvah on Sat., Feb. 19 with Congregation Or Chadash at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.

He is the grandson of Nettie and the late Simon Roberts of West Bloomfield, Mich., and the late Eleanore Rubin of Oakland Park, Mich., and the late Nathan Rubin of Tucson.

Sam attends Utterback Magnet Middle School where he is an honor student and plays guitar in the jazz band. He enjoys computers and technology. For his mitzvah project, he volunteered at Handmaker and created a short documentary film featuring interviews with several residents.

 


People In the News


RHONDA KARSON, an eighth grade student at Tucson Hebrew Academy, submitted a winning entry to a multi-state art contest sponsored by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Her watercolor of a fairy emerging from a book was selected as one of two entries to represent Arizona, and will be displayed at the association's regional office in Tempe.


Business Briefs


The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation has hired SHIRA WEINSTEIN as assistant director. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Weinstein has studied in London, Scotland and Israel, and is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University's College of Education. She has worked at Hillels for the past five years at Wayne State University, Michigan State University and UNC Chapel Hill. At the UA, her focus will be on financial development, in addition to leadership and program development.

WESTWARD LOOK RESORT is now managed by Gemstone Resorts International, which specializes in positioning and managing unique independent hotels and resorts. Sandra G. Morill Esparza, regional director of Gemstone, will be based at Westward Look Resort.

ROBIN SUE KAISERMAN of Long Realty Brokerage achieved approximately $50 million in residential real estate sales for 2004, as did her colleague, Russell Long. These are record-breaking sales for residential real estate in the greater Tucson area, according to data published by the Tucson Association of Realtor's Multiple Listing Service

Shari Gootter, chair of the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation board of directors, received the International Hillel Lay Leader Exemplar of Excellence Award at the Hillel Western Institute in Los Angeles on Jan. 16.

(L-R) Bea Mandel, member of the national board of directors, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life; Shari Gootter; Avraham Infeld, president of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life