Local | Mind, Body & Spirit

Tucson J virtual programs can help adults, kids stay active and sharp during pandemic

Loving Kindness Meditation with Pamela Adler is one of the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s virtual classes. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

The Tucson Jewish Community Center has been offering a variety of virtual classes and programs at www.tucsonjcc.org to help people stay physically fit, mentally sharp, and spiritually focused while the facility is closed as a preventative measure due to the coronavirus.

“You can stay active in your own home! Here are some great activities to keep you moving when you can’t be at the J,” says Amy Dowe, director of wellness, introducing the J’s free “Work Out at Home” video programs. These include a 10-minute loving kindness meditation with Pamela Adler; cardio and weights programs designed for seniors; “Yogalaties” combining gentle yoga and Pilates movements, and a full-body workout, both from the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati. There also are links to free trials of the Peloton app and Les Mills on Demand, which is used at gyms in more than 110 countries.

Group fitness classes for members are offered daily (except Saturdays) via Zoom  and run the gamut from “Family Yoga with Courtney” to  “Body Attack-High Intensity with Cesar.”

Virtual personal training for adults — one-on-one, with a friend, or in groups of three — is available, as are group personal training sessions for kids. Fees vary.

Registration is still available for Yom Limmud, a day of Jewish learning, on Sunday, May 17. Participants can sign up for one or up to six free sessions. Most sessions have a choice of classes available, with several options suitable for children.

Podcast recommendations from Khylie Gardner, director of marketing and communications, include “Israel Story,” “Why We Eat What We Eat,” and for kids, “Two Sisters” from PJ Library. Staff also provide book, TV, and movie recommendations, including past favorites from the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival. Some of the films are free and others are available on popular fee-based streaming services.

Additional resources for kids include arts, crafts, and STEM activities, such as “Easy Peasy Playdough” and “Rainbow Walking Water,” and games such as “Extreme Simon Says” and “Banana Tag.” There also are virtual learning resources curated by Joline Riddle, director of early childhood education.

Links to cooking resources, virtual art experiences, and virtual Jewish resources also are provided.

To help keep people spiritually connected, Jennifer Selco, the J’s director of Jewish life and learning, and other staff members offer Sheva Lenses videos, exploring Jewish concepts such as tikkun olam (repair of the world) and kedushah (holiness).

Sheva is Hebrew for ‘seven,’ and the Sheva Lenses Framework offers a perspective for how we experience the world,” Selco explains. “We live and breathe this framework throughout the Tucson J’s early childhood education program, but the lenses can also inform our thinking beyond the walls of the J. The sheva lenses continue to ground me, and I invite you to watch these brief videos that our team created to highlight the Sheva Lenses Framework. May these lenses bring deeper meaning to our time at home with our families, and may we be inspired by them to help us navigate our temporary reality.”