Special Sections

From hunger to bullying, local teens tackle social issues with hands-on mitzvah projects

Noah Pensak (left) and Jacob Meyer donate books to the Ocotillo Learning Center library. (Courtesy Ocotillo Learning Center)

It started as a novel way to teach Jewish children about philanthropy, social justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world). Today, the mitzvah project has become a cherished part of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah scene. Yet for each child who chooses to take part in this burgeoning tradition,… Read more »

B’nai Tzedek teen philanthropy program takes artistic turn

Gertrude Shankman, a Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging resident, and Adam DeLuca in front of the B’nai Tzedek triptych, currently on display at Handmaker. The painting includes a poem by DeLuca. (Bryan Davis)

  Eighteen-year-old Adam DeLuca has participated in the B’nai Tzedek Tucson teen philanthropy program since 2007. Now starting his freshman year at the University of Arizona, DeLuca has also embarked on a lifetime of giving. “Before I joined B’nai Tzedek I understood that charity was a good thing,” DeLuca… Read more »

Israeli researchers see fountain of youth in muscles

(Tel Aviv) — Working out can help you shed pounds — but that’s just the beginning. New research from Tel Aviv University has found that “endurance exercises,” like a Central Park jog or a spinning class, can make us look younger. Exercise unlocks the stem cells of our muscles.… Read more »

Are your parents thriving? How to address difficult decisions

Fran Donnellan

If you’re a baby boomer lucky enough to have aging parents, chances are you’ve been noticing changes in your parents’ activity level, health, diet or mental state. You want to help, but you’re not always sure how. You need information, but don’t always know where to turn. In this… Read more »

Local’s Maccabi experience: tennis and history in Vienna

Tucsonan Bobby Present, right, defeated Barry Danser of London, left. (Courtesy Bobby Present)

Tucsonan Bobby Present competed in the Maccabi Games in Vienna, Austria, this summer, playing in the masters tennis men’s 55+ category — and doing well until an injury forced him to default for the first time in his tennis career. “It was unfortunate timing,” he told the AJP, because… Read more »

Jewish Mothers, Tiger Mothers merit praise, rebuke

Marilyn Heins, M.D.

Which mother is the better (or worse) parent? Good parenting is not a contest but let’s examine the stereotypes of Tiger Mother vs. Jewish Mother. Amy Chua’s book “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” is on my shelf but my parenting files were curiously empty of any references… Read more »

Fixing broken hearts in Israel

Laura Kafif, the house mother at Sava A Child’s Heart, visits with one of her charges, Zeresenay Gebru, as he recovers from heart surgery at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, May 31, 2011. (Sheila Shalhevet/JTA Photo Service)

Just two days earlier, 8-year-old Salha Farjalla Khamis said goodbye to her parents and four siblings in her village on the African island of Zanzibar. Now, in a hospital in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon, tears roll silently down her cheeks as she watches an Israeli nurse attach… Read more »

To lower air conditioning costs, start with maintenance

(StatePoint) — To make sure your home stays cool while your energy bills stay low this summer, check that your air conditioning system is operating properly. If you have a central air conditioning system, be sure to get it checked by a professional. Consumers may be unaware that the… Read more »

Options for green building materials growing in Tucson

Natasha Winnik stocks water-based wood stains at Originate. (Deborah Mayaan)

I used some green blue paint on my walls last week, and ordered some green green paint and green purple paint. These are not artsy descriptions of green tints, but rather a palette of environmentally friendly paints I got from Originate Natural Building Materials Showroom here in Tucson. Originate… Read more »

Peace Corps at 50 draws volunteers over 50

Lillian Mizrahi, left, one of many Peace Corps volunteers over age 50, poses with her Macedonian host "mother" -- who is younger than Mizrahi. (Peace Corps)

Lillian Mizrahi is not your typical Peace Corps volunteer. A Jewish woman from the Bronx who is now 69 years old, Mizrahi first considered joining 40 years ago, when she moved to Los Angeles from New York, but her life got busy with children and a career. “Two years… Read more »

Tucsonan’s weight loss is journey of self-discovery

Alene Schwartz has lost more than 125 pounds in three years. (Bryan Schwartz)

Alene Schwartz weighed 265 pounds in 2008 when she embarked on an exercise and diet — or as she says, “live it” — program. “I just decided that as I got older, I wanted to have the strength to pick up a grandchild, bend down to get something, and… Read more »

Low Arizona cancer rates not the whole story

A report by the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control shows that Arizona’s cancer incidence rates are the lowest in the nation. According to the United States Cancer Statistics Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report, which compares the rates of cancer across 49 states, six metropolitan areas… Read more »

Brain mapping society to honor Giffords

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is one of two recipients this year of the Beacon Award for Courage and Dedication, which will be presented by the International Brain Mapping and Intraoperative Surgical Planning Society at its 8th annual congress next month. The society will honor Giffords and… Read more »

Tucson JCC is on wellness mission for children and teens

Children enjoy the pool at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Larry Haas)

Hearing about the rising incidence of obesity in children makes Mary Burns cringe. Burns, the group fitness coordinator at the Tucson Jewish Community Center is working with other JCC staffers, including children, youth and camping services director Scott Zorn; sports and wellness coordinator/ aquatics supervisor Mindy Grodzki; and sports… Read more »

Local, fresh ingredients blossom for spring dining out

Whether it’s Northern Italian, spicy Southwestern dishes, or gluten-free pizza, Tucson restaurants are concocting adventurous, affordable cuisine this spring. “We’re introducing Northern Italian dishes that are light and fresh, like pappardelle pasta with green beans and basil-dominated pesto,” says Larissa Capizzano, Tavolino Ristorante Italiano event coordinator. “Our pasta is… Read more »

Tucsonans created Schorr Family Award to illumine stigma of mental illness

Ellie and Si Schorr [Julie Glaser Ray)

The idea that mental illness is a shanda (shame) or horrific secret has changed significantly — but not enough, say Si and Ellie Schorr. In the 1970s, when they were raising a child who showed signs of mental illness, people didn’t talk about such things. “The stigma was not… Read more »

The four ‘sons’ as characters from ‘Glee’

NEW YORK (Forward) — On a Tuesday night in April, millions of people will gather together for the tale of four Jewish children, each of whom embodies contemporary Jewish consciousness in a different way. The evening is filled with song, multiple narratives and insights into Jewish identity. I’m talking,… Read more »

Through remembering righteous women, we deepen the Seder experience

What woman has changed your life? My toddler intuited his answer when he said to me, “Thank you ima for making me.” That’s right folks, mothers, hands down, have probably had the single biggest impact on our lives. Giving birth to children is probably one of the most courageous… Read more »