A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
President Bonnie Golden was born and raised in Chicago, and has lived in Tucson since 1977. After a 30 year career in the education field, first at the University of Arizona and then at Pima Community College, she is currently consulting and teaching. She’s the author of two books, and she has been the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Pima Community College Foundation and the Campus Gem Award from the Downtown campus. She’s a certified yoga teacher and practitioner. Bonnie teaches yoga at Yogaflow, Pima Community College, and Handmaker. Bonnie holds a BS in education from University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana, a MEd from the University of Arizona, and she has completed substantial post-master’s course work in higher education. In 2005, Bonnie became an adult bat mitzvah. Bonnie is Secretary of the Temple Board, chairs the Temple Spirituality Initiative, chaired the membership committee, and has worked on the Temple dues committee, nominating committee, and the Madrich program, has chanted for Project Ezra, participated in the leadership development class, taken the Zohar class, and been an active participant in the B'nai Mitzvah Kiddush group. Her husband of 33 years is Norm, a teacher at Mansfield Middle School. The Goldens have two wonderful sons. Sam, a composer and musician, and Jesse, a freshman at ASU.
Vice President Jill Rich is originally from Rock Island, Illinois. She moved to Tucson in 1965 to attend the University of Arizona, where she received her BA in psychology and sociology in 1970. Jill is a Realtor at Long Realty Company and a former small business owner, but her real passion is social action. She and her husband Jim are the adoptive parents of two now-grown former Vietnamese orphans adopted in their adolescent years. Jill and Jim are also the de facto parents of 54 “lost boys” of Sudan. Jill is the founder of a foundation created to support the lost boys, the Sudanese Promise Fund. Jill first became involved in refugee resettlement at Jewish Family and Children’s Services when she was actively involved in the resettlement of Soviet Jewish refugees in Tucson as a founding member of the JFCS refugee resettlement program. Jill has received awards and recognition in many forms. Among the more notable, she was selected as one of President George Bush’s “Points of Light” in 1991, she was named Volunteer of the Year by the American Red Cross in 1992 and 1995, she was named the Tucson Citizen’s Citizen of the Year in 1999, and the National Association of Social Workers named her Public Citizen of the Year in 2001. At Temple Emanu-El, Jill is the chair of the Social Action committee and Fundraising committee, and she has been the coordinator of the Temple’s participation in Operation Deep Freeze for nearly a decade.
Vice President/Treasurer Scott Arden is Vice President and Treasurer of Temple Emanu-El. He moved to Tucson in 2007 with his wife, Sue, and children, Joshua and Miriam. Scott joined the Temple Board in 2010 and was elected Vice President in 2011. His roles at Temple include chairing the Finance Committee and assisting with strategic planning. He was active in the early days of the Men's Club, and has appeared in five Temple Purim Shpiels.
Scott is the Product Development Director at Xeridiem Medical Devices in Tucson. He founded iSolvex in 2012 and was active in the entrepreneurial community. He served from 2007 to 2011 as an Engineering Manager at Rain Bird Corporation. Scott is a New Product Development expert, Six Sigma Black Belt, and Lean project leader. He led teams to develop innovative medical-device concepts at Becton Dickinson. As a team leader at Merck, he helped to increase capacity and to reduce cost in Manufacturing. Scott earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University and an MBA at Columbia Business School.
Immediate Past President Deborah Fernandez-Turner, DO, was born in Staten Island, New York. She did her undergraduate work at New York University. She attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale. Deb did her residency in general psychiatry at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, which is where she married her husband, Carey. She did her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Arizona. Deborah has a private practice in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry located near Sabino Canyon. She and Carey have two beautiful daughters, Eva Rose and Nicole Victoria. Deborah is a graduate of the Hadassah Leadership Academy and in 2005 she became an adult Bat Mitzvah.
Secretary Amy Beyer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and has lived in Tucson for most of her life. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Archaeology from Cornell University, and her Master's in Education from University of Phoenix. Amy taught middle and high school math in Tucson for 6 years. In 2010 she left the world of education to pursue a career in engineering. She is now a Product Validation Engineer at Sunquest Information Systems. Amy has been a member of Temple Emanu-El for most of her life. She was consecrated, became Bat Mitzvah, and was confirmed here at Temple. In recent years, Amy has been a member of the High Holy Day Choir and co-chair of Temple Young Adults. Amy has been involved with the Jewish Federation for over 10 years. She served on the Young Leadership Cabinet twice; once as chair of YJT (Young Jewish Tucson), and once as co-chair of Young Leadership Campaign. Amy has been on Young Women's Cabinet and Campaign Cabinet. Currently, she is serving on the Federation Compelling Needs Committee and the Connections Steering Committee. She has traveled to Israel four times including participating in the March of the Living and two Jewish Federation missions.
Director Richard Baim
Director Harold Blatter was born in Brooklyn NY and received his BS and MS degrees from City College of New York and Rutgers University. He worked at the RCA David Sarnoff Research Laboratory in Princeton NJ for 22 years and another 20 years in Indianapolis as a Principal Member of the Technical Staff in the RCA/Thomson research system. During his 42 years with RCA/Thomson in the scientific field he served on many professional committees, received many technical awards, and is the holder of 27 issued US Patents. He married Carol Wechsler in 1969 and they have one daughter, who is an international human rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. Carol is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Family counselor in private practice here in Tucson. Religiously and politically, he has been involved with Judaism all his adult life. He served as president of mens clubs and as a member of the board of directors in shuls and temples in Princeton, Indianapolis and Tucson. Before joining Temple Emanuel he served as president of Bet Shalom. He has also served as president of his homeowners association for two terms and is now on the board as vice president. Both Harold and Carol believe strongly in Jewish education, especially adult education. Harold is on the Ritual Committee and the Adult Education Committee and both Harold and Carol have been co-chairing the Drash Committee for the past 2 years.
Director Jerry Cohen was born in Chicago, Illinois. He has resided in Tucson since his family moved here in 1949. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1966. After graduating from college he had a rather diversified early business career, first spending 7 years in public accounting, then 5 years in the self-service gasoline business with a concern that was also manufacturing pin ball machines in Brazil. After a short time in banking, his last 35 years have been with Canyon Ranch, focusing on its real estate development and resort operations where he currently holds the position of Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Destination Spa Group as well as the National Board of Advisors for the University of Arizona Eller School of Management. Jerry and his wife Shauna have four children and three grandchildren. First through his parents' affiliation beginning in 1949, Jerry has been a continuous member of Temple, having previously served on the Temple Board for several years beginning in 1998.
Director Mona Gibson was born and raised in the New York City area, moving to Tucson in 1978 with her family to attend the University of Arizona where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in General Biology/Psychology, Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and finally an MBA with concentration in Human Resources and Marketing. Mona worked as a Vocational Evaluator until spending 20 years in the Human Resources departments of Pima County and Tucson Unified School District, working most of that time in employment rights and benefits administration. Currently, she works for UnitedHealthcare as a customer service analyst dedicated to the Arizona State Retirement System assisting state retirees in enrolling and understanding their health insurance benefits. In 1996 Mona married Scott Gibson and gave birth to their wonderful son, Michael, in 1999. Though Mona grew up in a spiritually Jewish family, she did not belong to any temple for an extended period until Michael decided he wanted to learn Hebrew in 2010. At Temple, Michael became a bar mitzvah in 2012 and Mona participates in the B'nai Mitzvah Kiddush Group, serves as the Youth Education Committee chairperson and has an eye toward becoming an adult bat mitzvah in 2015.
Director Jason Feld, Ph.D., is originally from New York. He received his BA in psychology and sociology from the City University of New York in 1977, his MA in psychology from New York University in 1979, and his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Arizona in 1986. He has a long history of involvement in the field of psychology and educational assessment, public policy and research, especially in the areas of early childhood education and K-12. He has been a frequent speaker at professional conferences and has received a wide variety of national awards and recognition in education and psychology. He is currently vice president of Assessment Technology and director of corporate projects. Jason and his wife, Gale Silverman-Feld, are the parents of two children, Michael and Sara. Jason's family has been a member of Temple Emanu-El since the 1950s.
Director Jim Jacobs was born and raised in Tucson. His family moved here in 1932. He graduated from the University of Arizona. After college, Jim worked as a salesman on 7th Avenue in New York City in the women's apparel industry. He eventually opened his own sales firm in Atlanta, GA. While living in Atlanta, Jim was involved in starting two congregations, Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs and Temple Beth Tikvah of Roswell, GA where he served on the board as an officer for many years. Jim sold his business after 25 years in the industry. He returned to Tucson in 1996 to start his career in Real Estate. Jim has been with Long Realty's Foothills office for over 16 years where he is a Senior Associate Broker and Certified Residential Specialist. Jim's passions include hiking, swimming, travelling and the arts. Jim and his wife Debra have 4 kids and a beautiful new granddaughter.
Director Cary Marmis was born in Iowa, received his BS from the University of Illinois, and his MS from the University of Michigan. He served in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot. He's lived in Tucson since 1972. Cary has been involved in Jewish organizations since that time including President of Temple a dozen years ago. He retired in 1992 and continues to do civic and charity activities as well as an occasional business deal.
Director Vicki Otto was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs. She earned her Bachelor's degree in French from Dartmouth College in 1999, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona in 2002. Vicki was admitted to the Maryland bar in 2003, and the Arizona bar in 2004, both while she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Virginia Kelly, then of the Pima County Superior Court. Vicki joined the Pima County Attorney's Office in 2005, and has since prosecuted a wide variety of cases. A Temple member since 2004, Vicki completed the Temple Leadership course in 2005, and has participated in a number of fundraising and development efforts. She is currently trying to teach herself conversational Hebrew, with decidedly mixed results.
Director Stephen Shawl, PhD, a native San Franciscan, majored in astronomy at Berkeley and earned his doctorate in astronomy from the University of Texas in Austin. Steve’s dissertation research was conducted at observatories in the Tucson area where he and Jeannette moved in 1970 to complete his degree while working at Kitt Peak. A busy 1972 saw him complete his PhD; be hired at the University of Kansas (KU); and serve on active duty as a captain in the Army. Many summers were spent in Tucson during the early 70’s as well as a sabbatical year during 1978-79. Steve is the principal author of a college-level introductory astronomy textbook (now working on the 6th edition). He served for many years as the chair of the Working Group for Astronomy Education of the American Astronomical Society. Steve was on the board of the Lawrence KS Jewish Community Center, and served as its vice president. He served on the board of the KU Hillel Foundation, and as the board president. During his spring 2001 sabbatical in Tucson, Jeannette and Steve decided that Tucson would be their place of retirement—beginning January 2005. They are members of the Santa Catalina Volunteer Patrol at Sabino Canyon. Steve and Jeannette have co-chaired Temple’s Bilgray Committee and the Linda Nadell Centennial Torah Education Committee. He has also served for five years on the committee for the Adult Education Academy. Their daughter, Jessica, lives in California and their son, Jeremy, in New York City.
Director Sallie Tofel was raised in Columbus, Ohio and Denver, Colorado. She attended Colorado University and the University of Arizona, graduating with a BS in Marketing/Advertising and a fiancé – Steve. After a wedding and a training program tour with Westinghouse, they ended up in Los Angeles where Sallie worked as a Project Director for a theater-based advertising research company and as a Methods and Systems Analyst for a national insurance company. During Steve's later transfers to the Bay Area and Denver their daughter, Lynn, and son, Brad, were born. Leaving the corporate life behind, they happily moved to Steve's hometown, Tucson. After the kids were in school, Sallie got a Real Estate license and she has been selling homes and land since 1978, currently with Realty Executives Tucson Elite. National volunteer positions include 5 years on the University of Arizona Alumni Association Board of Directors with 3 years on the Executive Committee, and service on the National Council of her college sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, as National Treasurer and as Vice President-Alumnae. She also served on the National Panhellenic Conference as part of the AEPhi delegation for 9 years. Locally, Sallie has been a member of the Advisory Board for the University of Arizona School of Dance for over 15 years with 2 terms as Board Chair. She has been a delegate on the Tucson Alumnae Panhellenic Board for 20 years and has spent the last 17 years as the volunteer property manager for the AEPhi facility on the University of Arizona campus. Temple activities include committee work on several fund-raisers and co-chairing the Marketing and Publicity committee for the Centennial Torah Project. The Tofels have been Temple members since the late 1970's. Sallie is the adoring grandmother of 4 wonderful, brilliant grandsons and a beautiful, talented granddaughter.
Men's Club President Michael Ablin
Union for Reform Judaism Trustee Simon Rosenblatt was born in Brooklyn, New York, and he grew up in Florida (after a short stay in Havana, Cuba). He graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh with a degree in electrical engineering. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army for six years, including a tour in Vietnam. Simon remained in the Army Reserve for an additional sixteen years and is now retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel. He worked for the Army (first on active duty and later as a civilian employee) as an engineer for thirty years at Fort Huachuca until his retirement in 2003. Simon is a founding member of Temple Kol Hamidbar in Sierra Vista, where he served as the congregation's secretary and lay leader for more than fifteen years. He is a trustee of the Union for Reform Judaism, the parent organization of Reform congregations in North America, and he still serves on several URJ committees. He is also a vice chair of the URJ West District. He is a member of the Tucson Jewish Community Relations Council executive committee, serving as a member of the steering committee for the LGBT Jewish Inclusion Project Steering Committee, one of only two such Jewish Federation-funded groups in the nation. He is also an emeritus member of the board of Arizona Public Media, operator of Tucson's public broadcasting stations. Simon is married to Louise Greenfield, who is a Librarian Emerita at the University of Arizona. Simon's other interests include aviation – he is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor – and amateur radio. Simon enjoys retirement and manages to stay as busy as he ever was during his working years.
JCTEY President Karen Judin