The Jewish Friendship Group (JFG) celebrated Chanukah with a traditional dinner and annual meeting on Monday, December 19, 2022. Chanukah celebrates victory over suppression and light filled world. In order to spread this light, the JFG annually collects new toys to give to the Diamond Children’s Center which is part of the Tucson Medical Center. This year our holiday toy drive was not only a huge success but became a Mitzvah (Honorable Good Deed) beyond words. Sandy Rosen (our new Co-President) organized the toy drive and delivered the multitude of toys to the Diamond Center. The day after her deliveries, she received a call from the Pediatric Advocate who related a most heartwarming story. The Advocate had received a call from the hospital social worker regarding a terminally ill Mother who was not expected to survive much past Christmas. This very sick woman tearfully told the social worker how sad she was that she had no gifts for her children. The social worker arranged for this woman to chose gifts for her children from those toys that JFG had donated. This immediate impact on our community is what we hope to achieve in our philanthropic activities.

The JFG welcomes the New Year with gusto. By the time you read this article, we will have had a lively discussion on the non-fiction book, “The Last Kings of Shanghai” by Jonathan Kaufman. Melanie Einbund will have hosted the Book Group, scheduled for Thursday, January 12, and the discussion will have been led by Sam Horowitz. Many European Jews escaped the Holocaust through Shanghai so the discussion should be thought provoking.

On Thursday, January 19, Sandy Rosen will have hosted the Ladies’ Coffee. Ladies’ Coffees are always a relaxed way for members to get together and chat about whatever is happening at the time. We encourage the hostesses to serve a minimal amount of sweets and coffee and tea. The reason for the coffee is to get together and solidify friendships.

On Tuesday, January 24, JFG will host a dinner in the Vermillion Room of HOA-1 featuring Trivia Night. Last year, no Einsteins emerged as geniuses but everyone had good fun and laughs. Those in attendance last year might remember that during the dinner, Abby and Randy Green found out that they had just become grandparents for the first time. Thanks to modern technology the new baby boy was presented to all by a photograph taken halfway around the world. We can only anticipate new wonders this year.

The JFG Potluck is scheduled for Monday evening, February 13 at the HOA-1 Activity Center. Potluck parties always bring out the hidden chefs in this group and these feasts always enough food to satisfy every taste and dietary need. Further information will be available soon.

For those planning way ahead, please mark your calendars for Monday, March 6, for the annual Purimspiel Party. The Purim Story will be read and you will be advised to cheer for Mordechai (the good guy) and boo for Hamen (the very bad guy). As always delicious food will be served. Hopefully this year more people will dress in costume so that prizes can be awarded.

The Jewish Friendship Group welcomes anyone interested in identifying with the Jewish Community here in SaddleBrooke. If you are interested in joining our group, please email Sandy Rosen ( or Eileen Zelmanow (

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