Volunteer Salute

Helping others, helping ourselves: Volunteering is a win-win proposition

Whether they’re serving up meals at a soup kitchen, helping a child learn to read or lacing up their sneakers for a charity walk-a-thon, most people volunteer for a simple reason: they want to help others.  And there’s probably not a single community group, from local synagogues to the… Read more »

Catalina-based nonprofit becomes retiree’s passion

Arthur Posner, as Elvis, volunteers at the IMPACT food bank on Halloween.

“This is the last thing I thought I’d be doing after retiring,” says Arthur Posner of his almost full-time volunteer work. He’s wrapping up four years as board president for IMPACT of Southern Arizona. But he’s still a “roll up the shirtsleeves” kind of president, continuing his weekly volunteer… Read more »

At Drawing Studio, JCF, giving much, learning more

Brenna Lacey, center, with Jewish Community Foundation Executive Director Tracy Salkowitz (left) and Andy Rush, founder of The Drawing Studio

Eighteen years ago Brenna Lacey walked into The Drawing Studio as a student and since then, her relationship with the organization has only become more colorful.  Now she is the president of the nonprofit organization bringing relaxation, community and an artistic outlet to everyone who enters its doors. “The… Read more »

Educator’s creativity breeds generosity

Frustration was the catalyst for Miriam Furst’s creative approach to giving back to others. After the hurricanes this fall, she felt compelled to help. “I was upset to see the suffering,” she says. But at age 77, she was unable to be there physically. When the people in Texas… Read more »

Blending two loves: hoops and helping others

Michael J. Rosenkrantz (center) coaches Tucson Lobos players Karl Yares (left) and Arthur Parson at the National Wheelchair Basketball tournament in Louisville, Ky., on March 31, 2017. (Courtesy Rosenkrantz)

Why shouldn’t we care about other people, Michael J. Rosenkrantz asks rhetorically, adding that he refuses to live a selfish lifestyle.  “I feel like it’s really important to think about the larger community, and it’s not just the Jewish community — it’s bigger,” says Rosenkrantz. “But in the Jewish… Read more »

Hebrew chats provide intergenerational bond

Rina Paz, left, with Hazel Rappeport at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging (Nanci Levy)

Rina Paz has been visiting Hazel Rappeport, a resident at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, for three months. Once in a while Paz says something in English and Rappeport is quick to remind her that they are supposed to be speaking only Hebrew. Nanci Levy, community outreach coordinator… Read more »

Local woman uses personal, family challenges for good

Members of Tucson’s Jewish-Latino Teen Coalition with Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) in her office on April 13, 2016. (L-R): Samantha Ybarra, Sayanna Molino (chaperone), Emma Galligan, Slaughter, Zoe Holtzman, Michael Artzi, Sophie Gootter, Joshua Cohen, Aaron Gomez, Shari Gootter (program coordinator), Alexander Senti, Daniel Vogel, David Bracamonte (Courtesy Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona)

Tucsonan Shari Gootter spends her time changing the lives of others in a wide variety of ways. Self-employed as a therapist and yoga instructor, she works daily to help people as they improve themselves emotionally and physically; however, her work as a volunteer for several organizations in Tucson is… Read more »

Matza & More brings seder supplies to families in need

L-R) Gail Ben-Jamin, Ben Siegel and Ester Siegel pack Passover bags at Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona in 2014.

The Matza & More program sponsored by Jewish Family & Children’s Services brings Passover bags to Tucson-area residents who otherwise could not afford food and other items for a seder. From children to seniors, volunteers find significant connections in this longstanding program. Gary Cohen’s two sons, Grant, 11, and… Read more »

Handmaker Shabbats chance to honor elders

Mel Cohen

Volunteering to lead Shabbat and holiday services for the residents of Handmaker began as a way for Mel Cohen to give back to the assisted living facility where his father was a resident, but 22 years later, Cohen continues to lead services as a way to connect to Jewish… Read more »

As board members, tutors and chefs, Kronmans aid many Tucson charities

Len Kronman prepares soup at the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. (Courtesy Len Kronman)

Since moving to Tucson 10 years ago, Len and Harriet Kronman have supported a wide range of charitable organizations, offering ideas and aid to help them expand. They have served as board members, tutors, program developers and chefs. “Now that we’re retired, we have time to volunteer more,” says… Read more »

Volunteer to professional and back: Jewish causes engage Tucsonan

Elaine Lisberg

Elaine Lisberg doesn’t like to live in the past or dwell over what she’s accomplished. “To me, life’s all about moving forward.” A lifelong devotee of Jewish causes and educational nonprofits, Lisberg has transitioned from active volunteer to trained professional, then to professional volunteer and now officially considers herself… Read more »

Helping others, local man fosters own sense of belonging

Allan Mendelsberg at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides walk in Tucson on March 29

Allan Mendelsberg serves on the community advisory board for the Special Olympics. He began volunteering for the organization when he was a high school student in Denver. “I really enjoyed working with the kids and when I moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona, I just stayed… Read more »

At TIHAN’S Poz Café, locals serve up simple pleasures

(L-R): Patrice White, Naomi Present, Max Harris and Barbara Holtzman of Congregation Chaverim are recognized for their service to Poz Cafe at Tucson Interfatih HIV/AIDS Network in March.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS was essentially a death sentence. Pharmaceutical representative Pa­trice White was fresh out of grad school at that time and employed as a social worker for the local hospitals. “It was just awful,” says White of the… Read more »

Collecting people’s stories fosters compassion, empathy

Penelope Starr

Odyssey Storytelling, a monthly array of six Tucsonans each telling a true life story, began 10 years ago. “It’s all about the stories, the unique ways people figure out how to do life,” says founder and artist Penelope Starr. “It’s fascinating and so complicated.” Complexity has never stopped Starr… Read more »

Book lover keeps pages turning for BNC

Sheila Rothenberg

As “author wrangler” for the annual Book and Author event benefitting the Brandeis National Committee Tucson Chapter, Sheila Rothenberg translates her three decades of publishing experience into a meaningful volunteer activity. “I’m very pleased to be able to do it,” Rothenberg says. “For me, participating in Tucson’s Brandeis chap­ter… Read more »

Enlisting seniors to teach kids healthy habits

Sabrina Plattner

Sabrina Plattner has been promoting better health in children for the past nine years. Her last professional position, with Healthy Children Arizona at the University of Arizona, introduced positive health, nutrition and sun safety concepts to children, putting her in contact with 25,000 local kids. In June, Plattner began… Read more »

Jewish Tucson keeps ex-engineer humming

Simon Rosenblatt

Simon Rosenblatt is emphatic as he speaks about volunteering with the Tucson Jewish community: “Make no mistake, Jewish Tucson is our family.” Rosenblatt spreads his energy and time across a trifecta of local and national Jewish efforts: Temple Emanu-El, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Union for Reform… Read more »

Trains big and small transport volunteer with local railway museums

Ken Sandock on the F-series diesel Copper Spike. The Arizona & Eastern Railway ran excursions from Globe, Ariz., to a local casino from 2008-2011.

Ken Sandock’s fascination with trains started when he was a boy — and it’s only gotten stronger over the years. His family lived in South Bend, Ind., and he would take the Chicago South Shore and Southbend Railroad to visit relatives in Chicago. “When I lived in Chicago there… Read more »

Hebrew High cooking class is labor of love

(L-R) Susan Wortman, Lupe Zembrano, Marjorie Cunningham and Paula Riback at Hebrew High

Teaching cooking at Tucson’s Hebrew High gives Marjorie Cunningham hope for the future. “I have confidence in our young people,” says Cunningham, who has found, over the past 15 or so years that she’s volunteered to teach the class, that her students are “pleasant, polite, appreciative and enthusiastic.” She… Read more »