Mind, Body & Spirit

Rabbi fights colleagues on Jewish definition of death

After the January shootings in Arizona and the calls for greater civility and moderation in the national discourse; after an acrimonious back-and-forth over the Jewish legal approach to death and organ donation; and after still more calls for a gentler, more civil public discourse, Rabbi Moshe Tendler stood up… Read more »

Tucson eye doctor reflects on Giffords surgery

It was probably not what Dr. Lynn Polonski had in mind for his 15 minutes of fame. It must have been a bittersweet moment when he found himself at the bedside of America’s most famous Congresswoman, ready to operate and relieve some of the damage caused by the Jan.… Read more »

Local woman boosts guide dog awareness

Shari Gootter with her retired guide dog, Harper

Tucsonan Shari Gootter recently sent an e-mail to friends and colleagues promoting Harper Appreciation Day — a celebration of her retired guide dog on his 14th birthday on March 8. Gootter, whose sight is limited due to uveitis and secondary glaucoma, works as a clinician at Emerge! Center Against… Read more »

Eye disease topic for Hadassah event

Leonard Joffe, M.D.

Dr. Leonard Joffe, ophthalmologist and retina specialist, will present “Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Recent Advances in the Management of this Condition” at a Hadassah education meeting and brunch later this month. Macular degeneration is one of the hottest research topics in ophthalmology and many advances in its treatment have… Read more »

Hoorah: Beat Cancer Boot Camp inspires book

Anita “Sarge” Kellman isn’t in the military, although her recent book is entitled “It’s a Beautiful Day for Boot Camp”; it’s the subtitle, “Empowering Cancer Survivors with Physical and Mental Toughness” that reveals Kellman’s true calling. A Tucson wife and mother, Kellman has worked in the medical field for… Read more »

Handmaker debuts Adventure Bus program

Handmaker, which operates a memory care assisted living unit and adult day programs, has launched the Adventure Bus, an outreach program for people with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive memory impairment. Made possible through a compelling needs grant from the Jewish Federation of Southern… Read more »

For Tucsonans, Jewish genetic diseases screening means quick trip up I-10

Tucsonans Evan and Michelle Glazer were screened through Scottsdale’s Jewish Genetic Diseases Center.

When Ted Glenn heard that his chances of being a carrier of a life-threatening genetic disease were one in six, he knew what he had to do: get tested. Like all Ashkenazi Jews (with origins in Eastern Europe), Glenn has a high probability of carrying one of 11 genetic… Read more »

JFCS sees economic woes trigger rise in domestic abuse

JFCS LEAH program coordinator Ilana Markowitz (Sheila Wilensky)

Domestic abuse is still “a big secret” in the Jewish community, says Carol Sack, Jewish Family & Children’s Services vice president of financial resource development. Too many people still believe that “it’s such a shanda, or shame, for Jewish women to walk through our door,” she says, “and the… Read more »

Jewish health professionals: destigmatizing mental illness promotes healing

These slides provide a graphic representation of variation. Due to the history of marriage within the faith, individuals of Jewish descent have less variety in their genetic makeup, making it easier for researchers to locate disease-causing genes. More variety makes it more difficult to pick out the red candy. (Photos courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine Epidemiology-Genetics Program in Psychiatry)

Mental illness occurs in all cultures, including the Jewish community. “There isn’t any group that has a free pass or an additional risk,” says Eric Schindler, a clinical psychologist who is president and CEO of Tucson’s Child & Family Resources. Psychological disorders stem from environmental causes, genetic makeup and… Read more »

Israeli triathletes undeterred by terror scars

Just six months before the end of his Israeli army service, Elad Belachsan suffered a life-changing injury in a Palestinian attack. On a mission in the West Bank city of Nablus with his paratrooper unit, Belachsan, now 27, was near the front of the group when a bomb exploded,… Read more »

Heart attack survivor, nurse to present talks

The Foundation for Cardiovascular Health, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, will offer two free presentations next month on reversing coronary artery disease. The first was on Sunday, Aug. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m., at the Northwest YMCA Pima County Community Center, 7770 N. Shannon Road, and the second will be on… Read more »

Ritual Cleansing of the dead is the ultimate kindness

To describe the dead body that lay before me at my first tahara, the simple word “real” seems most appropriate. A tahara is the traditional Jewish cleansing performed on a body before burial. At my recent first tahara, none of the cliches occurred. I did not feel scared or… Read more »

Volunteer helps kids forget troubles, get happy at Tu Nudito summer camp

Volunteer Heidi Felix, right, with a camper at Tu Nudito's Summer Camp (Jesus Guzman)

Smiles and happiness are the first things volunteer Heidi Felix, 24, mentions about the children at Tu Nidito’s Treehouse Summer Camp. Smiling faces may be the norm at most summer camps, but for Tu Nidito, a local nonprofit agency that serves children who are grieving, seriously ill, or have… Read more »

‘Saving Henry’ recounts son’s brief, zestful life

WASHINGTON-Fourteen years ago, Washington, D.C., resident Laurie Strongin remembers, it seemed almost like “science fiction” the notion that you could “pick the baby you could get pregnant with.” Moreover, cells from that newborn might save the life of her young son, Henry, who was suffering from a rare genetic… Read more »

Jerusalem: The city that drives people mad

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A middle-aged Russian tourist dressed in white and claiming to be Jesus checked in last week at the Petra Hostel in Jerusalem’s Old City.       He did not stay long, the hostel’s clerk said. Just a few days and he was gone.       The man likely… Read more »