Mona Temple Picture

President 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 Counselling, 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 Service Account Manager 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 January 2012 and Mona became a bat mitzvah in May 2014. Mona has served as chairperson of the Youth Education Committee, Temple Personnel Committee and First Vice President. 

Arden photoVice 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 a number of Temple Purim Shpiels.

Scott is a Project Manager in the field of medical-device product development and was formerly Product Development Director at Xeridiem. 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.


Steve ShawlVice President 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 in its 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.


Seth RuskinSecretary Seth Ruskin was born in Durham, NC but raised in Ogden, UT. He came to the University Of Arizona in 1983 and earned a BS in Chemistry. After working as a chemist for the Department of Chemistry for a number of years, Seth joined the Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory and currently works as a forensic scientist. He has been a member of the American Chemical Society and served as Secretary of the local section for 2 years. Seth has volunteered for the City of Tucson/Pima County Household Hazardous Waste collection program for the last 20 years and has been on the program's Steering Committee. He is married to Amy and they have two children, Sydney and Abigail -- both graduates of the Strauss Early Childhood Education Center.

Bonnie GoldenImmediate Past President Bonnie J. Golden was born and raised in Chicago, and has lived in Tucson since 1977. After a long career in the education field, including writing and managing grants, and also teaching and counseling at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College, she is currently teaching and consulting. 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. Bonnie is a certified yoga teacher and practitioner. She teaches yoga at The Yoga Tree and Pima Community College, as well as a leadership course. Bonnie holds a BS in education from University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana, a M.Ed 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 has been a Temple board member, including terms as Vice-President and as Secretary, since 2006. She has chaired the Temple Spirituality Initiative and the membership committee, and has worked on the Temple dues committee, nominating committee, 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 36 years is Norm, a teacher at Mansfield Middle School. The Goldens have two wonderful sons. Sam, a composer and musician, and Jesse, a sophomore at ASU.

Director Jeff Bickart

Blatter Photo 1Director 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 Emanu-El 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 Gretchen Britain was boren and raised in  Houston, Texas. She moved to Tucson in 1978 with her late husband of 46 years, and their two sons, Tim and Kevin. She is the proud grandmother of two granddaughters, Mara and Hailee. Gretchen graduated from the University of Arizona majoring in anthropology with minors in history and sociology. She attended Graduate school at the UA in history for 2 years.

She has been involved with several organizations in the Tucson community including serving on a Task Force for the City of Tucson.  She was active with the Southern Arizona Small Business Administration during the 12 years she owned her business. She is a member of Women of Reform Judaism and a life member of Hadassah. Gretchen became a member of Temple Emanu-El in 2014 after attending services and taking several classes offered by the Adult Education Program.

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.

Elissa Erly

Director Elissa (Lisa) Schirmer Erly grew up on Long Island, New York and has lived in Tucson for over 20 years.  She is the mother of three wonderful adult sons.  Lisa earned a BSN from Columbia University in 1981 and an MSN from the University of Alabama Birmingham in 1985.  She has served on the board of a local little league as well as the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation.  Lisa works full time as a TUSD school nurse. She is a member of the Temple Emanu-el adult choir. 


Director Corinne Forti

 Director Eric Kendle

Marmis Cary_croppedDirector
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.




Jane SchlamowitzDirector Jane Schlamowitz, a native of Endwell, New York, graduated from Cazenovia College with a degree in Advertising Arts and Design. She moved to Tucson in 1988 and owned a small business for many years. Jane was introduced to Judaism by her husband Kevan, whom she met on a blind date. She underwent conversion and was married in 1994, and became a Bat Mitzvah in 1996. They have a teenage son who has gone through temple’s religious school program and will be confirmed this year. Jane was an active participant in the B’nai Mitzvah Kiddush Club, recently completed the temple's Leadership Development Class, and currently co-chairs the Membership Committee. 



Jill Rich

Director 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. 


Sallie Tofel smallDirector 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 Todd Zashin 

Norma Cohen cropped

WRJ Representative Norma Cohen






JCTEY (Jew Crew Temple Emanu-El Youth) President  Amalia Jones

Simon RosenblattUnion 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.




225 N. Country Club Road
Tucson, AZ 85716

Phone: 520-327-4501
Fax: 520-327-4504

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