Senior Lifestyle

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 »

Board helps Strauss Manor offer locals more than low cost

At her apartment at Strauss Manor on Pantano, Margaret Hensley shows off her genealogy dating back to the 700s. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

The Gerd & Inge Strauss Manor on Pantano is one of two B’nai Brith affordable housing communities for seniors in Arizona. Both are in Tucson, the other being the better-known Covenant House. Managed by Biltmore Properties, the communities come under B’nai B’rith’s advocacy umbrella as the largest national Jewish… Read more »

Volunteers can change local seniors’ lives

Jewish Family & Children’s Service is a program site for Pima Council on Aging’s Senior Companion Program. Senior companion volunteers age 55 and older help homebound and isolated older adults continue living independently in their homes by providing companionship, transportation, and caregiver respite. “The need for volunteers is outrageously… Read more »

105th birthday plans in works for local woman

Carolee Asia, left, visits with longtime friend Gertrude Shankman, a Handmaker resident. Photo: Nanci Levy/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging

If you are a Tucson Hebrew Academy student, you have probably met, or at least heard of, Gertrude Shankman, a resident at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging. THA students have been celebrating Shankman’s birthday every year since she turned 100. On Oct. 26, Shankman will turn 105. “It… Read more »

At COC Sisterhood Girls’ Night Out, fitness coach to discuss healthy aging

Laurie Rein, right, works on balance practice with friend and client Jenny Fisk. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

Health and fitness coach and author Laurie Rein will present a Healthy Aging for Women program for a Congregation Or Chadash Sisterhood Girl’s Night Out on Nov. 13.  Rein brings 30 years of experience in health training and a career in professional dance to her talk. Growing up in… Read more »

Longtime Tucsonan gives heart and soul to the Jewish community

Linda Tumarkin poses with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s mission statement inside the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, June 27, 2019. (Román Urias/AJP)

Linda Tumarkin, 79, has been an active volunteer in the Tucson Jewish community since shortly after moving to town in 1971, including three terms as chair of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and four terms as chair of the Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council. She was on the… Read more »

Local volunteer’s love for teaching is a good fit for P2G

Shelley Lipowich, right, employs science, nature, and technology to build bridges between students in Tucson and Israeli classrooms while volunteering for Weintraub Israel Center’s Partnership2gether school twinning program. (Courtesy Lipowich)

Shelley Ann Lipowich, Ph.D., says she’s taught “for 150 years … everything from pre-kindergarten to post-doctoral, and I’ve had a ball.” She got her first taste of the Old Pueblo when it truly was a little village. She attended Sam Hughes Elementary as a child, “when Plumer Avenue was… Read more »

Elder Rehab powers retired Tucsonan toward the century milestone

Lee Chutkow accepts an award certificate from Elder Rehab coordinator Sharon Arkin, recognizing his nine semesters of continuous participation. (Courtesy Arkin)

Lee Chutkow, M.D., 92, has a goal: To reach his 100th birthday. In pursuit of that goal, Chutkow, a retired psychiatrist, classical music maven, and Shakespeare and poetry buff, keeps his mind and body active through the Elder Rehab program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Five years ago,… Read more »

JFCS workshops give Holocaust survivors from Russia end-of-life guidance

L-R: Iosif Beskin, Gregory Tselnik, and Raisa Moroz examine advance directive documents at a workshop. (Courtesy Raisa Moroz)

This summer, Jewish Family & Children’s Services conducted a series of workshops on advance directives and ethical wills for the 40 Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors in the Tucson community. Nearly half attended. “It is not in Russian culture to talk about final days or what would happen with a person… Read more »

Is there enough creativity in your life?

New research suggests Americans may be picking up paint brushes over remote controls. Two-thirds of adults in a recent survey say they seek to use their creativity more in life, and 77 percent would rather give up their Netflix subscription for a year than their favorite creative hobby. The… 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 »

Federation transportation service takes seniors from isolation into action

Driver Mark Contreras has worked for HandiCar, Inc. for 11 years. Jeanne Fischer is one of his regular passengers. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s free transportation service is available for seniors and disabled passengers traveling to Jewish cultural, religious and community activities around Tucson. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)Driver Mark Contreras has worked for HandiCar, Inc. for 11 years. Jeanne Fischer is one of his regular passengers. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s free transportation service is available for seniors and disabled passengers traveling to Jewish cultural, religious and community activities around Tucson. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)

For some local Jewish seniors and the disabled, transportation can’t be taken for granted. Without a vehicle, a driver’s license, friends or family to take them places, or the ability to afford a ride service, life can be confining. Isolation can lead to depression and affect general well-being. When… Read more »

Agency partners with solo elders to provide surrogate service, support

Elise Bajohr, program manager for older adults and adults with disability services at Jewish Family & Children’s Services, talks with a client. (Courtesy Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona)

As people grow older, family relationships and resources change. “Solo seniors” is a term for older adults who feel that they do not have a significant other to act on their behalf if or when needed. Reasons vary and may include lack of family and friends in close proximity,… Read more »

In Focus: Handmaker celebrates Tu B’Shevat

Handmaker residents Sarah Segal (left) and Marcie Sutland with Congregation Or Chadash fifth-grade student Alex Strizver on Jan. 27. Courtesy Nanci Levy/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging recently celebrated Tu B’Shevat, known as the New Year for the Trees, with representatives of three local synagogues. Rabbi Batsheva Appel of Temple Emanu-El led a talk about the holiday on Friday, Jan. 18; Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim led a Tu… Read more »

Handmaker programs enrich residents, community

Residents work on an art project as part of Handmaker’s “Around the World” program. (Angela Salmon)

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging offers a variety of enrichment opportunities for residents, many of them open to the public. Monthly Handmaker Lectures Each month from October-April features lectures by a rabbi, Judaic studies professor or other local Jewish educators on a topic of their choosing, related to… Read more »