Weintraubs fund new healthcare scholarships for staff at Handmaker

Maria Martinez, LPN, is one of the first Handmaker staff members enrolled in the Diane and Ronald Weintraub Scholarship Fund.

Staff at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging are being offered opportunities to improve their careers in healthcare through the generosity of community philanthropists Diane and Ron Weintraub. The couple recently collaborated with Handmaker President and CEO Arthur Martin to establish parameters for the grant. It offers individuals up to two $500 grants annually toward completion of certification programs or degrees in the healthcare field, such as certified medical assistant, a certified caregiver or a licensed practical nurse, Martin explains. Upon successful completion of the coursework, the applicant is awarded the grant.

Launched in March, the Diane and Ronald Weintraub Scholarship Fund was positively received with enthusiasm from the staff, Martin says. Within the first weeks, Maria Martinez, LPN, was one of two staff members already enrolled in the program. She is accessing the scholarship to complete her associate registered nursing degree with Cochise College.

“I am very thankful for the scholarship opportunity being offered from the Weintraub family,” says Martinez. “I have been employed at Handmaker for 10 years and I am grateful for the opportunity to grow within the company. I also appreciate Art Martin for being a mentor and role model as I further my career in nursing. Every little bit helps when raising a family, working full-time and going to school; this scholarship alleviates some of the stress when paying for school.”

“Diane wanted to memorialize her parents, Rose and Ted Rosenblatt,” says Ron Weintraub. “They moved to Tucson in 1947 and spent their final days as residents at Handmaker.” Also memorialized is Elsa Katz, the very first resident at Handmaker. Weintraub explains that she was a Holocaust survivor who came to the United States after the war and was the household manager for Diane’s uncle. “This seemed like a long-term, positive outcome for people working there and for the patients, to help staff get to the next step in their professional lives,” says Weintraub.

The Weintraubs, who are retired — Ron from a successful publishing business and Diane from a real estate career — also endow  an Israel Study Award scholarship at the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona. The UA is Diane’s alma mater, where she earned a bachelor of science and a master’s in education. They co-founded The Weintraub Israel Center, a joint project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, the Tucson Jewish Community Center, and the Jewish Agency for Israel. They also founded the Tucson chapter of Parents of North American Israelis, which connected American and Canadian families who have children and grandchildren living in Israel.