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Handmaker Blog

  • 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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    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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