Local | Senior Lifestyle | Sports

Tucson J offerings include fitness, culture

Kathy Hamel lifts weights at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (Courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

Whether you want to stay fit, learn a new artistic skill or enjoy concerts and lectures, the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s jam-packed schedule has you covered. Some classes are designed specifically for seniors; others are “open to everyone ages 18-100.”

Here are some options for those with a yen to dance:

Senior Swans Ballet Class

This class is led by faculty from Ballet Tucson. Gain flexibility, agility, coordination, stamina, and grace as you explore the beauty of ballet. The structure of a ballet class with movement to music helps to increase mental stimulation and is a great way to stay physically active at any age. Wear comfortable clothes. No refunds for missed classes.

Thursdays from 10-11 a.m., March 7-April 25.

Pot-Luck Dance Social with Bob Kay

Music by Bob Kay, the singing/drumming DJ, featuring oldies but goodies. Couples and singles welcome. Bring a dairy dish to share. (The kosher kitchen will not be available for use.) Check the Tucson J calendar for monthly socials with Bob Kay.

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 5-7 p.m.

Fitness at the J runs the gamut from training for endurance sports, to tennis and pickleball, to yoga and meditation. Here’s a sampling:

Weight room 101 for Women

Helping women feel comfortable in the fitness center by introducing them to the proper way of using free weights and cables. For all activity levels.

Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., through Feb. 26.

Yoga for Hikers, Bikers, and Runners (and walkers too)

Biking, hiking, and running all move the body forward, which results in tightening of the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, and calves. This three-class series will help students learn yoga poses that can help prevent injuries and allow you to be more efficient and pain-free during and after endurance exercises. No prior yoga experience required, non-yogis and beginners are welcome. Advance registration is required by March 1.

Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45 a.m., March 6-March 20.


Each month, explore a different meditation, such as loving-kindness, forgiveness, and mindfulness. Experience the profound benefits of regular meditation practice to increase happiness, slow aging, improve cardiovascular and immune systems, manage stress and anxiety, improve grey matter in the brain to improve concentration, clarity, and acuity, and find an overall sense of peace and ease.

Mondays, 4:30-5:15 p.m., through April 29.

Here are some of the J’s upcoming and ongoing cultural arts classes and clubs:

Let’s speak Yiddish

Experience the joys of Yiddish. Join the Yiddishe winkel. Mir vellin reddin a bisl Yiddish. Fun, friendship, stories, and songs. Free; drop-in, no need to register. No prior knowledge of the Yiddish language necessary. Facilitator: Sheldon Clare.

Second Wednesdays of the month,
10 a.m.

Elder Circle

Elder Circles are free discussion groups that meet once per month on a drop-in basis to discuss important topics and share stories. Each Elder Circle focuses on one of the four components: life review, life repair, what is my contribution, and mentoring techniques.

First Sundays of the month, 1-2 p.m. For more information contact Katherine Scoggin-Sobonya at 977-4304.

Anyone Can Draw & Paint

An open studio for beginners and advanced students with individual instructions and demonstrations. Through an atmosphere of class support and critiques of the work at each session, discussions lead to greater learning and skill development. In the spring, each artist displays his/her work as a class in the Gallery at the J. Each session is four classes, which can be taken anytime in the spring. Instructor: Murray Keshner.

Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-noon, through June 28.

The Challenges of the New Cold War

Presented by Roza Simkhovich, a longtime Tucson resident who immigrated from Latvia, this class will examine the historical, ideological, geopolitical, and economic causes of the rift between Russia and the West.

Wednesdays through Feb. 27, 7-
8:30 p.m.

Bridge — Advanced Beginner

Advanced Beginner Bridge is the natural, next step after Beginner Bridge classes at the J. Designed for players who understand the basics of bridge bidding and play. Five, 2-hour classes will cover Opener’s bidding strategy, Stayman, strong 2 club openings, slam bidding, pre-empts, and more.

Wednesdays, Feb. 20-March 20, 9-11 a.m.

Advanced Mah Jongg

For those familiar with the basics of American mah jongg. Learn how to improve both your offensive and defensive skills in this challenging game. This four-week course will follow seamlessly from the J’s Introduction to Mah Jongg course but can be taken independently for those who have some experience playing the game. Instruction will include advanced handouts, to ensure that you are equipped with all the necessary skills to improve your game. Current American Mah Jongg League card required.

Wednesdays, Feb. 27-March 20, 9-11 a.m.

Meet the Author Reading and Signing

Interweaving mystery, romance, and historical research, Jane S. Gabin’s “The Paris Photo” is a story of how the traumas of wartime ripple into the present. The novel uncovers the story of American soldier Ben Gordon and his relationship with a young mother, Simone, and her son just after just after the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Nearly 70 years later, the story is stitched together by Ben’s daughter, Judith, who discovers an old photo of her father in a Parisian home with two women and a young boy. Intrigued, she decides to see if she can find the boy.

Sunday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m.-noon.