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Buying or selling a green home in Tucson

Components of a rainwater harvesting system found at a foreclosed property in Tucson

Looking for a green home has become easier, thanks to an upgrade to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that lets realtors mark options in eco-friendly categories such as lot design, water and energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. In Tucson, looking for some green features or evaluating the potential… Read more »

Add music and color to your backyard with watergardens — yes, in Arizona

One of more than a dozen watergardens at Gail Barnhill’s home in Tucson

For years, I’d longed for a gurgling watergarden pond brimming with blooming waterlilies, frolicking goldfish and darting dragon and damselflies but had no idea how to go about it. Fourteen years ago I finally had it with the “wishing and hoping” and bought a 300-gallon Rubbermaid stock tank, dug… 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 »

Document evokes family’s life in 18th-century Germany

Tucsonan Ed Loebl with a document passed down from generation to generation showing that his forebears owned a home — including a “synagogue or prayer chamber”— in 18th-century Germany. [Sheila Wilensky)

It was very rare for Jews to own property in Germany in the 1700s, but retired physician Edward Loebl has documentation that his family did. Passed down from generation to generation, the signed and sealed notification of property ownership was written in German and unintelligible to Loebl until recently.… Read more »

Since 1946, annual family reunions have kept the Paley clan connected

In this 1920s family portrait, Tucsonan Al Paley is the boy in the second row, second from left, sitting on his father Max Paley’s lap. (Courtesy of Howard Paley)

It was a miracle that inspired the Paley clan to gather in 1946. Eight cousins had fought in World War II and all returned home safely. It was a reason to rejoice and ever since, the Paleys have been meeting annually to celebrate their family and tell the stories… Read more »

Special Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel sparks Tucson-Phoenix romance

Rachel Goodman and Zakhary Khazanovich (Sheila Wilensky)

Before she left on Mayanot Israel’s 2010 Friendship Trip, a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for young adults with special needs in late July, 20-year-old Tucsonan Rachel Goodman was satisfied with her professional life but not her personal life. “I was fretting about not having a future that I wanted,” she… Read more »

Plant vegetables, herbs now in beds or containers for Passover harvest

EarthBox® with seedlings (Deborah Mayaan)

Even as the lights of Chanukah dwindle, we continue to connect to our ancestors and rededicate our land. It’s not too late to plant a winter garden and enjoy eating greens into the spring, including bitter herbs for the Passover Seder. While seeds have a low germination rate when… Read more »

The Obama White House — and Washington — celebrate Chanukah

From left to right, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the director of American Friends of Lubavitch, hanging onot his hat, joins Jack Lew, the director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and Rabbi Abraham Shemtov on a crane as Lew gets ready to light the National Menorah on the ellipse in front of the White House, Dec. 1, 2010.

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Chanukah is a story of a people standing alone to keep its lights aflame. This year in Washington, the message was of a people standing with friends — and even the not-so-friendly — to douse terrible flames. President Obama hosted the annual White House Chanukah party… Read more »

At site of Nazi power, a chanukah menorah at Brandenberg Gate

A costumed Maccabee stands at a Chanukah menorah-lighting ceremony at Berlin's Brandenberg Gate, Dec. 1, 2010. (Toby Axelrod)

BERLIN (JTA) — Icicles formed on Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal’s beard as he helped set up the towering menorah in the center of Berlin. It wasn’t just any menorah among the thousands that the Chabad-Lubavitch movement erects every Chanukah in public locations around the world. Teichtal, the Chabad rabbi in the… Read more »

Cocktail party recipes, tzedakah box craft can help get Chanukah glowing

Maccabee Martini and Savory Sweet Potato Sufganiyot

There is something about small lights glowing in the vast darkness that renews our childlike wonder: sparklers, flashlights, birthday candles. And we all remember “Lite-Brite,” the little black box of our childhood with the multicolored plastic pegs that, once plugged in, illuminated our designs. For Jews, there are the… Read more »

Chanukah on Christmas Avenue: Raising a Jewish family in Winterhaven

Gila Silverman’s husband, David, created this 10-foot dreidel the third year that the family lived in Winterhaven.

I live in a neighborhood known for its Christmas displays. No one is more surprised about this than I am. And, to my even greater surprise, I have found living here to be a moving experience. The one thing I have known for certain my entire life is that… 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 »

With good works, delicious food, local restaurateurs nurture community

Spectacular views of the Catalina Mountains, live nightly music and globe-spanning cuisines all contribute to Tucson’s trendy dining out scene. Many local restaurants are also extending their role in the community beyond the creation of sumptuous dishes. Fire + Spice: An Arizona Grill at the Sheraton Tucson Hotel and… Read more »

Tucson exercise physiologist advocates ‘return to senses’

Stephen Stone (Sheila Wilensky/AJP)

Tucsonan Stephen Stone, 70, conducted what may have been one of the first studies of obesity in American children, a precursor to First Lady Michelle Obama’s current childhood health mission. “Childhood Obesity: Identification, Management and Prevention,” his research project that began in 1985 at the University of Maryland, identified… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Ivan Gur-Arie

Ivan Gur-Arie

“Jewcentricity:  Why the Jews are Praised, Blamed, and Used to Explain Just About Everything” by Adam M. Garfinkle, a very readable book, encompasses historical, psychological, cultural and sociological themes. It has always intrigued me why Jews throughout history always got the limelight, for good or bad. This book certainly… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Phyllis Braun

Phyllis Braun

For me, it isn’t any one book, it is books in general — though I have fond memories of reading all of Louisa May Alcott’s works when I was a girl, despite what I see now as her somewhat overbearing preachiness. I can still remember being a pre-reader, at… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Mark Rubin

Mark Rubin

I’ve been reading for almost 50 years and will read almost anything. For pure pleasure, though, my favorites are “The Day the Goose Got Loose” by Reeve Lindbergh (Steven Kellogg, Illustrator), “The Digging-Est Dog” by Al Perkins (Eric Gurney, Illustrator) and “The Lorax” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, read aloud… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sheila Wilensky

Sheila Wilensky

Once upon a time, I owned a children’s bookstore.  My two children grew up at Oz Books in Southwest Harbor, Maine, which I owned from 1982 to 1997. In a way, it seemed that we grew up together reading children’s books. In high school I read a lot of… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rabbi Jason Holtz

Rabbi Jason Holtz

“As a Driven Leaf,” by Rabbi Milton Steinberg, is a 20th century book that’s a retelling of an ancient rabbinic story.  The protagonist, Elisha ben Avuyah, is a respected rabbinic scholar living in the ancient land of Israel.  Despite his traditional Jewish learning and stature in the community, he… Read more »