Project Shalom to Bring Joy and Community to Local Older Adults

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS) is partnering with Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona on a new endeavor—Project Shalom. Project Shalom is a volunteer-based holiday program for Jewish older adults and adults with disabilities. “We came up with the idea for Project Shalom as a result… Read more »

A Busy Month as Handmaker Connects to the Jewish Community

P. Elayne Poston, Handmaker VP of Operations, attended her first ever Israel Festival at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on April 30. It was a wonderful introduction to the Tucson Jewish Community. She met so many people and had her very first taste of falafel too! Elayne was joined… Read more »

Handmaker Thrilled to Welcome Guests Once Again to Passover Seders

For many years, Handmaker Passover Seders were large events with children and grandchildren joining parents, grandparents and great-grandparents for this wonderful holiday celebration. The Handmaker Seders for the last several years have been more intimate events, due to COVID restrictions, but not so much this year. For the first… Read more »

From Purim to Passover at Handmaker

Handmaker residents and staff enjoyed eating many hamantaschen during Purim this year! Staff were greeted at the main entrance to Handmaker with a basket full of hamantaschen on Purim, alongside a sign with information about the holiday. These delicious cookies were made by Executive Chef Claire and Pastry Chef… Read more »

Gratitude at Handmaker for the Community’s Chesed

Handmaker residents are grateful for the chesed (loving kindness) that they receive from the Tucson community. And lately, they have received a lot! For the last year, the Congregation Bet Shalom Chesed Group of volunteers, led by David Wien, have been joining Handmaker residents monthly for a “virtual tea… Read more »

Brandeis Lectures at Handmaker Continue and Expand

The idea for Handmaker to host Brandeis Lectures in their Great Room originated about five years ago when Brandeis Lecture Coordinator Ellie Eigen was visiting a friend of hers at Handmaker, Carol Zuckert. Eigen had been coordinating the Brandeis Tucson Museum of Art Docent Talks and was looking for… Read more »

Handmaker Residents Get to Know Local Teens from THA/BBYO

Thanks to Better Together, Handmaker is the beneficiary of two Intergenerational Programs that began this fall. Rabbi Cantor Emily Ellentuck from Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) applied for and received a Grant from Better Together to plan four, year-long Intergenerational programs with THA’s 7th and 8th Grade classes and Handmaker… Read more »

A Very Busy Autumn at Handmaker

This last month has been a whirlwind of activity at Handmaker. Beginning with the special festive meals and holiday services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, followed by the joyous celebrations of Sukkot and Simchat Torah during which residents experienced near perfect Sukkah dining weather. The holidays began a… Read more »

Preparing for the New Year at Handmaker

With the Jewish New Year of 5783 just around the corner, Handmaker staff, volunteers and residents have been busy preparing for the holidays logistically, as well as spiritually. Handmaker’s wonderful Executive Chef, Claire Ferguson, has planned some delicious festive meals for residents for the holidays, beginning on Erev Rosh… Read more »

Rich Neighborhood Renovations at Handmaker

Residents in the Rich Long Term Care Neighborhood at Handmaker have been enjoying watching the transformation of their home over the last few months as the unit goes through a major renovation. Handmaker’s Administrator, Steve Hunt, has been doing his best to ensure that the work gets done, while… Read more »

My Single, Senior, Challenging, Meaningful Life

My birthday this year came and went with no bouquet of roses gifted to me by a special man and nary a sweet nothing whispered in my ear. It’s just not fair, I silently reproached the universe.  Why are there so many more women than men over 60 looking… Read more »

Senior gets airport to take steps to fly right

Barbara Russek

With great trepidation I headed to the Tucson International Airport on June 8. Several friends had told me they would not even set foot on a plane during the COVID-19 crisis and here I was going forward on a trip that would take me through three different airports within… Read more »

Southern Arizona athlete racks up medals in Senior Olympics competition

David Tannenbaum isn’t weighted down by his bevy of Senior Olympics medals. He’ll be competing again at the national games in 2021. (Courtesy David Tannenbaum)

Senior athlete David Tannenbaum of Hereford, Arizona, recently completed a “decathlon” of his own making. “I set a goal to win 10 medals in three different sports,” he says. Achieving that goal at the 2020 Arizona Senior Olympics in February wasn’t easy but it qualified him for participation in… Read more »

Music is local Hebrew choir leader’s lifeblood

Rina Paz, right, leads members of Tucson’s Shirat HaShirim Hebrew choir in a rehearsal. From left, Norma Torres, Norma Edgerton, Lorena Caspar, Armando Garcia, Ruby Rodarte and Crystal Rodarte

Rina Paz leads Tucson’s Shirat HaShirim Hebrew choir and does other volunteer work within the Jewish community. She grew up in Haifa, Israel, in a large family that was always singing and dancing. Ever since she was a little girl, she says, she has been living life as the… Read more »

At Green Valley shul, 85-year-old brings dedication to second bar mitzvah

Bar mitzvah celebrant Stuart Tobin, center, with Michael Mussman and Sara Golan-Mussman at Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley, Nov. 16. (Courtesy Marylou Tobin)

Stuart Tobin, 85, was called to the Torah to celebrate his second bar mitzvah last month at Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley, surrounded by family and friends. The custom of a second bar mitzvah ceremony, which has grown in popularity, is based on Psalm 90:10, which says… Read more »

Gymnast Agnes Keleti survived the Holocaust to win 10 Olympic medals. At 98, she’s as feisty as ever.

Agnes Keleti, in her mid-90s, performs a split in front of young Hungarian gymnasts in Budapest, Jan. 16, 2016. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)

BUDAPEST (JTA) — When journalists ask Agnes Keleti about her health, she gently smiles and slowly extends her right hand in apparent gratitude for the question. Keleti yanks anyone who is foolish enough to grasp her hand with enough force to throw them off their balance. Then she replies:… Read more »

THA’s Kutler finds his personal grit in Ultraman Israel endurance challenge

Laurence Kutler competes in the 171-mile bicycling leg of the March 6-8 Ultraman Israel endurance challenge. (Courtesy Laurence Kutler)

As if completing a 320-mile race in three days isn’t enough, doing it in 36 hours is an enormous challenge. Included in that are a 6.2-mile swim through chilly mountain waters and cycling 171 miles across a desert at the lowest point on earth, not to mention running a… Read more »