Mind, Body & Spirit

Free PulsePoint app poised to save lives in Tucson

A PulsePoint banner hangs at Tucson Fire Central. The Gootter Foundation and Tucson Fire Department held a press conference April 20 to introduce the app. (Facebook)

It was a mild evening in late January 2014 when Michael Chaison’s heart stopped beating. He was working as a referee at a high school soccer game between Sabino and Salpointe, he says, and “about 20 minutes in, I turned to run up the field and I basically just… Read more »

Through bravery and hardship: losing a leg, gaining a new home in Tucson

Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler is learning to walk with her new prosthesis. (Courtesy Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler)

My whole body trembled as I tried to fight back the tears that were streaming down my face. “Wait!” I screamed. “One more, just one more photo … please?” I said meekly as I tried my best to swallow through a dry and swollen throat. The pre-op nurses nodded… Read more »

Book about mental illness — created by a Jewish father and son — wins National Book Award

Brendan, left, and Neal Shusterman (Courtesy of Neal Shusterman)

NEW YORK (JTA) — When Neal Shusterman helped his son Brendan with a second-grade report on the Pacific Ocean’s Marianas Trench, he thought the name of its deepest location, Challenger Deep, would make a great title for a book. In fact, for a number of years, whenever Shusterman — the author… Read more »

New breast cancer stats: What’s an Ashkenazi woman to do?

The North Portico of the White House is illuminated pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Oct. 15, 2014. (Official White House photo/Chuck Kennedy)

  (JTA) — It’s been a busy couple of weeks for breast cancer. Of course, breast cancer is always busy, exerting its sneaky destruction through abnormal cell growth. But now it’s October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the scary fact is everywhere again: One in eight women will… Read more »

Five facts, five ways to help: the truth about domestic violence

Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but when we take a stand, support, advocate, educate and work together, we silence domestic violence. Throughout October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, join Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona in creating awareness to help end domestic violence. Domestic violence… Read more »

THA tidbits: ‘Annatude’ part of new tikkun middot character program

Anna Greenberg

Tucson Hebrew Academy has been selected to participate in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Tikkun Middot Project, an initiative to integrate mindfulness practice and character development in 28 Jewish communities across America. Loosely translated, tikkun middot means the cultivation or refinement of ethical traits or measures of character. The… Read more »

Talking about the end of life takes courage, commitment

The Days of Awe are a pivotal time of year, a time of introspection, of remembrance, and a time to dream anew. We stand on the ground of the entirety of our lives, looking back at the variegated landscape of our past experiences, and forward into the misty mystery… Read more »

Adults with autism learn life skills at AZ ranch

At the farm at Echoing Hope Ranch, Jonathan Townsend writes down his schedule for the week. (Courtesy Harlie Garcia)

At first glance, Echoing Hope Ranch looks like the other farms and ranches that mark the landscape in Hereford, Ariz.; however, the programs and residents make EHR truly unique. Created six years ago, EHR was built with the goal of providing residential and in-home care for adults with autism… Read more »

Energy healing expert to speak at CHAI Circle annual retreat

Anne Marie Chiasson

The CHAI Circle will host Ann Marie Chiasson, M.D., M.P.H., author of “Energy Healing: The Essentials of Self Care” at its 11th annual retreat next month. A program of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, CHAI Circle is a support group for women in the Jewish community with a history… Read more »

A bump in the road turned into a Ride to Conquer Cancer

(Heritage Florida Jewish News via JTA) – It all started with a little bump on his neck. Now Jason Mendelsohn is on a mission to conquer cancer and spread the word about human papilloma virus-related cancer, or HPV. In April 2014, Mendelsohn was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, which… Read more »

Milk and Honey center for breastfeeding and postpartum support opens

Crissi Blake (left) and Nina Isaac, co-owners of Milk and Honey (Jason Blake)

Opening Milk and Honey Breastfeeding and Postpartum Support Center is a dream that was a long time coming for co-owners Nina Isaac and Crissi Blake. The women met 15 years ago, after Isaac’s first child was born. “My baby was colicky and Crissi taught infant massage,” says Isaac. “It… Read more »

Jewish women’s eggs are hot commodity, but are they ‘kosher’?

Egg banks report that they cannot meet the demand for Jewish donations. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

ROCKVILLE, Md. (Washington Jewish Week via JTA) – Laura has donated her eggs four times to women who needed help having children. “It gave me a real sense of purpose,” she said. “It really is a great personal pleasure to know that I have something that changes someone’s life.”… Read more »

Why the Boston Marathon’s last-place runner earned his medal

Maickel Melamed (in ski mask and rain poncho) running in the Boston Marathon. (Maickel Melamed Facebook page)

BOSTON (JTA) —Twenty hours after the start of Monday’s Boston Marathon, Venezuelan long-distance runner Maickel Melamed crossed the finish line, prompting an impromptu City Hall ceremony in his honor later that morning. Melamed finished far behind the marathon’s winners, but he nonetheless received a medal. That’s because Melamed, who is Jewish,… Read more »

Rabbi touts holistic, kabalistic path to health

Rabbi Manis Friedman speaks at the Tucson Jewish Community Center May 26.

Good health and happiness can be achieved, says Rabbi Manis Friedman. During his talk, “A Healthy, Joyous and Fulfilling Life, A Holistic and Kabalistic Perspective,” attended by about 50 people on May 26 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, Friedman highlighted ways for people to look at life and… Read more »

CHAI Circle, local women’s cancer support group, entering bat mitzvah year

Evelyn Varady

On Sunday, March 8, 18 Jewish women gathered at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for brunch, inspiration and guided schmoozing. Most of the women were not strangers. Some have been meeting regularly for nearly 13 years; others have joined the group more recently; two were attending for the first… Read more »

Eating disorders on the rise, says Jewish psychologist

Eating disorders are associated with a higher rate of mortality than any other mental illness, a fact that may not be widely known among the general population. As many as 20 percent of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their disorder, according to a… Read more »

Autism self-advocate honored for inclusion work

Ari Ne'eman

When Ari Ne’eman was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 12, his life changed. Administrators at the Conservative Jewish day school that Ne’eman had attended for years said they were not comfortable serving an autistic student, so he ended up transferring to a “segregated special-ed school.” Later, instead of… Read more »