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Handmaker Blog

  • A Handmaker Hanukkah

    By Handmaker | Dec 13, 2017
    Even though Hanukkah is considered a minor Jewish holiday, it is one that most Jewish people get great pleasure in celebrating. Perhaps its celebration has been magnified due to its close proximity to Christmas on the calendar, but it is also likely that it is because there are some great traditions associated with it that make it so enjoyable to celebrate. These traditions live on in the memories of our residents, and we continue them here at Handmaker as well.
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  • Age is Only a Number, Especially at 103

    By Handmaker | Oct 27, 2017
    If you have visited Handmaker recently, you may have seen a silver haired woman in a purple sweater buzzing around in her scooter. That is Gertrude Shankman. She recently had to slow down the speed on her scooter a bit due to a few speeding tickets, but nothing else about her seems to be slowing down. This remarkable woman was born in NY on October 26, 1914, and is celebrating her 103rd birthday this week. You would never guess that after spending any time with her. She is still unbelievably sharp, and fully engaged in life.
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  • Awesome Days of Awe

    By Handmaker | Oct 02, 2017
    Handmaker residents joyously celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year of 5778, with beautiful festive meals and holiday services. This celebration was followed by the Days of Awe, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is a time for introspection. It is period of time to think about what you have done over the previous year, and to seek reconciliation with anyone that you may have wronged throughout the year.
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  • A Change of Faith

    By Handmaker | Aug 11, 2017
    When one of our Handmaker residents expressed an interest in converting to Judaism earlier this year, I was speechless. For nearly 18 months, Elaine had been attending Shabbat evening and morning services every week, came to all of the Jewish holiday services and programs, and was an active participant in our weekly Torah study sessions, so it really should not have come as so much of a surprise. But yet, it was. It is one thing to participate in Jewish services to expand your knowledge of the world around you, but it is another thing to want to change your faith, especially this late in life. I was surprised, but I was also delighted for her and for our community.
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  • The Wisdom of Our Elders

    By Handmaker | Jul 11, 2017
    Irving Silverman is an expert in the art of aging. While most people at the age of 97 would be slowing down, Irving has just published his second book, Aging Wisely…Wisdom of Our Elders. It is a book about aging and longevity from the perspective of the elderly, as well as from many experts in the field of aging.
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  • Tucson Rabbis Find G-d (in the) Every Day

    By Handmaker | Jun 07, 2017
    It is such an honor when one of our Tucson Community Rabbis comes to visit or speak at Handmaker. Imagine how blessed we felt to have three of our Community's Rabbis in the Great Room of Handmaker last month.
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  • 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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