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Handmaker programs enrich residents, community

Residents work on an art project as part of Handmaker’s “Around the World” program. (Angela Salmon)

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging offers a variety of enrichment opportunities for residents, many of them open to the public. Monthly Handmaker Lectures

Each month from October-April features lectures by a rabbi, Judaic studies professor or other local Jewish educators on a topic of their choosing, related to Judaism. On Friday, March 8, at 9:45 a.m., Rabbi Israel Becker will speak about what Columbus’ discovery of America had to do with Purim. On Sunday, April 7 at 3:30 p.m., there will be a panel lecture with Rabbis Yossie Shemtov, Thomas Louchheim, and Robert Eisen on “Why good things happen to bad people,” a discussion of how free will and a divine plan can coexist. These lectures are free and open to all. RSVP requested to Nanci Levy, Handmaker’s community outreach coordinator.

Brandeis Art Talks — second Mondays at 2 p.m.

Each month from October-April, Handmaker has a Tucson Museum of Art Docent talk about a different artist or art topic of their choosing, accompanied by a power point presentation. On Feb. 12, Ellie Eigen will speak about John Singer Sargent, and on March 12, Harry Hakanson will talk about the Hudson River School. These lectures are free and open to all.

Torah Study

Once a week, Rabbi Howard Schwartz teaches a Torah Study class for Handmaker residents. Residents get into some very interesting philosophical debates, Levy says. Lately, participants have been reading Pirkei Avot, which has given discussions a new twist. For Handmaker residents, but a limited number of visitors are welcome. Call if you are interested in attending.

Monthly Yiddish Class

On the third Wednesday, Sheldon Clare teaches Yiddish. He tells stories and some jokes, and there are lots of laughs at these all-levels class. If you are interested in attending. Call if you are interested in attending.

Tracing Roots 2.0 Intergenerational Program

Eleven Handmaker residents were paired with 11 high school students from the local community to get to know one another and create a book that will be published with stories, photos and sechel (wisdom) from the seniors. A community event on Sunday, April 14 at 3:15 p.m. will be open to all. Teens interested in participating in the program next year should email Levy.

Jewish Holiday Programs

Friday evening Shabbat services at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday morning Shabbat services at 9:30 a.m. are open to all. There are celebrations and observances of all major Jewish holidays, including Passover seders on two nights. If you are interested in attending a seder, contact Levy.

Around the World

This program is for those who like to see and learn about the world from their living room. Twice a month Angela Salmon teaches residents about a different place around the world, sharing pictures. Often residents who have visited these places share their experiences. Residents are invited to make a craft project related to the country, and there is often a tasty treat from the faraway place for residents to try. Handmaker residents only.

Adventure Bus

Handmaker’s Adventure Bus is an outreach program for people with early to middle stages of diminished memory capacity. The program includes semi-weekly indoor cultural activities as well as day trips to events and destinations in Tucson and the surrounding areas. Contact Angela Salmon at asalmon@
handmaker.org for more information.

Other programs for residents include art and music classes, daily exercise classes, Tai Chi,  a book club and current events classes.

“And then there is of course bingo, pokeno, a variety of entertainers, one or two dogs that visit daily with their owners, and many volunteers who regularly give their time visiting our residents,” says Levy.

Reach Levy at 322-3632 or nlevy@handmaker.org.

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