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AZ Insider: Dancing with the Stars in Arizona

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Kathy Shayna Shocket has the inside scoop on the social scene and Celebrities.solel rabbi

Paradise Valley's Temple Solel rabbis compete for a Mirror Ball Trophy. 

In the Jewish culture, from images of Miriam leading the women across the Sea of Reeds, to numerous references throughout the Bible, dancing has always been an expression of joy and worship.  

So, MAZEL TOV to those who were part of the Solelebration fundraiser that combined the energy of a dazzling dance competition with a dinner and auction.  

The gala hosted by Temple Solel of Paradise Valley and Solel Preschool, was inspired by the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars.” Two rabbis and five temple and preschool members each paired up with professional ball room dancers to compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy . Temple Solel Rabbi John Linder is pictured above with his professional ballroom dance partner. At the podium was Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall who emceed the event.

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(Rabbi Ilana Mills, Geoffrey Harris and Elijah Armstead show off the Mirror Ball Trophy.)

Mazel tov to Rabbi Ilana Mills. She went home with the Mirror Ball Trophy. Also in the spotlight competing on the dance floor were dancing stars Sandy and Harvey Belfer, Donna Berry, Mary Ann Bloom and Robert Danoff.   Judging the friendly competition were David Lamden, Pamela Ornstein and Andrew DeFusco. 

The creative fete "Geoffrey Harris’ Solelebrate with the Stars”- was co-chaired by Geoffrey Harris and Kimberly Combs.  Kimberly’s husband Tee Combs who co-chaired the logistics committee with Julie Knoller Schwartz, were part of a powerful 50 person planning committee. (Not to mention a table captain committee of 112 people!)

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( Emcee Derrick Hall and Kimberly and Tee Combs, and Hank Arens (right) take pride in the wide array of vibrantly displayed auction items.)

About 700 people turned out for the well organized production. That's an impressive number and its success reflects Solel's goals of raising money for school scholarships, parenting workshops, teacher training, classroom materials and general day to day Temple Solel operations.

The plethora of live auction items which also raised helped raise funds included tickets to the Grammy Awards and the Grammy after party in Los Angeles,  as well as a  David Ben Gurion handwritten letter collage!

 Again.. MAZEL TOV to those who made it a success. 


Kathy Shayna Shocket is a freelance Reporter, Photographer and TV -Field Producer based in Phoenix, AZ.She has written and reported for prestigious publications such as TIME magazine, PEOPLE magazine,  MONEY magazine, the Hollywood Reporter and the New York Times. You can reach her at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it