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Handmaker Blog

  • L’dor V'dor – From Generation to Generation

    By Handmaker | May 08, 2017
    Jewish values and traditions have been passed along from generation to generation for thousands of years, and fortunately continues on today. Pictured in the above photo is Phil Bregman (on the right), his wife Dani, daughter Emily, and cousin, Sondra Koven. Phil’s Great Uncle Murf Handmaker started Handmaker in 1963, and Phil is currently the Chair of the Handmaker Board. Their daughter, Emily, was paired up with Brian Litwak (Handmaker resident also pictured above left) as part of a volunteer program at Handmaker. This is a beautiful example of L’dor V’dor.
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  • Passover Memories

    By Handmaker | Apr 13, 2017
    The approach of Passover evokes many happy memories for our Handmaker residents. Here are just a few that involve memorable foods, the “Maxwell House Hagaddah”, special traditions and seeing favorite family members.
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  • Making Israeli Connections at Handmaker

    By Handmaker | Mar 24, 2017
    When Hazel moved into Handmaker, I invited her to try out our Yiddish class. She told me that she was not interested in learning Yiddish, but would love to practice her Hebrew. I thought that maybe she wanted to brush up on her prayer book Hebrew at the age of 94. But no, it turned out that she is fluent in Hebrew, and wanted the opportunity to speak with someone else who was too. Luckily, with the help of Oshrat Barel, our Tucson Shlicha, Hazel met Rina.
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  • Handmaker Residents Have an Opportunity to SOAR

    By Handmaker | Feb 24, 2017
    For the eighth year in a row, Handmaker residents have had the opportunity to participate in Project SOAR (Students and Older Adult Relationship). This is a program coordinated by Dr. Jenene Spencer, an instructor in the University of Arizona School of Pharmacy’s Practices and Science department, and is facilitated at Handmaker by Andrea Ramirez, our Administrative and Volunteer Coordinator.
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  • No Age Limits for Tikkun Olam

    By Handmaker | Feb 01, 2017
    Tikkun Olam is a Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world. Sometimes a charitable or beneficial act toward another person is called a mitzvah. And doing a mitzvah is one step toward making the world a better place. Whatever it is called, any act of kindness can make a difference and can make you feel good.
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  • Eight Nights of Celebrating

    By Handmaker | Jan 04, 2017
    We just finished celebrating the Festival of Hanukkah…for eight nights. Granted, there is a lot to celebrate. The Maccabees, a small army of untrained but determined Jews, defeated the larger, better trained and more powerful Syrian Army.
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  • Handmaker Resident Shares her Musical Gift

    By Handmaker | Dec 07, 2016
    “My mom had not played piano since my Dad passed away 15 years ago, but since she has been at Handmaker, she plays regularly. It is part of her therapy.” So says Monica Weiss, whose mother, Thelma Weiss has been playing piano by ear since the age of 6, and is one of our residents at Handmaker.
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  • One full cycle

    By Handmaker | Oct 31, 2016
    With the celebration of Simchat Torah earlier this week, we (the Jewish People) just concluded the annual cycle of Torah readings. And now we begin the cycle anew from the beginning with B’reisheet, “in the beginning”.
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  • A month filled with Jewish Holidays Engages Handmaker Community

    By Handmaker | Oct 18, 2016
    The Jewish month of Tishrei, which began on the 2nd of October this year, is completely filled with Jewish holidays. It begins with Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the Jewish New Year, followed about one week later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement or repentance. A few days after that we begin the celebration of Sukkot...
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  • Keeping Memories Alive with Brain Games

    By Handmaker | Sep 12, 2016
    Every Friday morning at 9am about a dozen Handmaker residents gather in the Rubin Café at Handmaker for their weekly dose of Brain Games. Led by Handmaker’s Assisted Living Manager, Anne Lopez, this class brings smiles to the faces of residents, while also helping them to work on their memories.
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  • Celebrating 68 Years of Marriage at Handmaker

    By Handmaker | Aug 29, 2016
    Handmaker Residents, Beppie and Alex Lutgendorf celebrate 68 years of marriage on September 2nd, “the day the new Star Trek postage stamps come out,” says Alex. He has been a stamp collector since he was eight years old. They have been living at Handmaker since December 2013 with their rescued dog, Chey-Chey. Their advice to couples: Try to see each other’s way. You don’t have to be right.
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  • Keeping Fit into your 90’s

    By Handmaker | Aug 05, 2016
    Most people know that regular physical activity is good for you. What some may not realize is that older adults benefit from regular exercise as well. Unfortunately, inactivity increases with age. This inactivity may be due to the loss of strength and stamina in older adults, but this loss of strength or stamina attributed to aging may be due in part to their reduced physical activity. It’s sort of a “chicken and egg” thing, which came first?
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  • Handmaker Residents Remember Elie Wiesel

    By Handmaker | Jul 15, 2016
    "Even in darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion.” – Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) The world lost a great man earlier this month. Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal winner, human rights advocate, writer, and Holocaust survivor, passed away at the age of 87. Some Handmaker residents shared their memories of Wiesel on his passing…
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  • Music as Medicine

    By Handmaker | Jul 01, 2016
    Much has been said about the power of music. Confucius says “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks puts it beautifully, “There is an inner connection between music and the spirit…words are the language of the mind. Music is the language of the soul.” And recently there seems to be growing scientific evidence that there are measurable positive neurochemical changes as a result of listening to music in the areas of pleasure, stress, pain management, and immunity. With all of that in mind, Handmaker regularly fills its halls and neighborhoods with the sounds of music, and much of it is live.
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  • Yishar Koach to the Nonagenarians at Handmaker

    By Handmaker | Jun 03, 2016
    “Yishar Koach” exclaims Hannah as she reaches out to warmly shake Betty’s hand with a huge smile, and a look of pride on her face for her friend who has just read the Torah Blessing. And so it goes every Saturday morning at Handmaker as the residents of this tight knit community support one another as they participate in the Shabbat morning service.
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  • Hebrew High Outreach Program Connects Teens and Handmaker Residents

    By Handmaker | May 18, 2016
    Anna has no legs. Her birthday is September 25th, a day and 79 years before mine. I visit her every month. My participation in Tracing Roots: Youth Partnership with the Elderly was forged by a few well-placed guilt trips and marketed as a worthwhile college-resume filler. My Hebrew High School Principal, Sharon received a grant to create a partnership program, that would culminate in a documentary and art installation. So I reluctantly dragged myself into the "Old People's Home", expecting slimy spinach and boring board games.
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  • Traditions and Flavors Bring Back Memories

    By Handmaker | Apr 29, 2016
    What do you think of when you think about Passover? The story of the Jews’ exodus out of Egypt? The four questions? Singing “Chag Gadya” with your family? For many, Passover also conjures up fond memories of matzah ball soup and brisket, potato kugel and tzimmes. It seems that whenever you ask anyone about memories of their favorite holiday, food usually plays a huge role. The foods that we eat during holidays are often a big part of the tradition of the holiday.
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  • THIS I BELIEVE – HANDMAKER HOSTS A THREE RABBI PANEL

    By Handmaker | Apr 27, 2016
    An Orthodox, a Reform, and a Conservative Rabbi walk into a room…Sounds like the beginning of a good joke, but it really happened at Handmaker on April 10. On a rainy, windy Sunday afternoon, nearly 100 people arrived at Handmaker to hear what these Rabbis believed, and they were not disappointed.
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  • Keeping Keen Minds Agile with Torah Study at Handmaker

    By Handmaker | Feb 19, 2016
    “This is not the stuff that I learned in Hebrew School’, commented Handmaker resident, Nathan Shapiro (age 98), with a smile after this week’s Torah Study class at Handmaker. He might have been referring to the discussion that residents had about the advanced age of so many biblical figures. (Methuselah lived to 969 years old!) Which lead to residents wondering, was the bible history or simply “his story”?
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  • Tracing Roots with Helen Mast

    By Handmaker | Jan 27, 2016
    What does a 93 year old Handmaker resident have in common with a 16 year old boy? Plenty, it turns out. And they are not alone. Nearly a dozen Handmaker residents have had the opportunity to build some beautiful friendships with Jewish teens in Tucson, thanks to a recent “Better Together” grant from the Legacy Heritage Fund.
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