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High Holiday Planner

The High Holiday Planner features articles to help you get ready for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: A Sephardic seder for Rosh Hashanah; Easiest Rosh Hashanah dinner ever; Celebrity cooks share their Rosh Hashanah recipes; Tiny acts bring great rewards; We need to stop overcooking.

Get Connected

Programs match different ages, stages

Whether you are new to town or entering a new phase in your life, the Valley’s Jewish community offers many ways to get involved.

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Simchas

Jewlyweds: a community for couples

When Marina Awerbuch moved from Toronto to attend graduate school at Arizona State University, she immediately made a connection with Jewish Arizonans on Campus (JAC) and jLive, run by Rabbi Jordan Brumer.

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Summer Cool

VOSJCC opens new pool

With summer on the way, the new lap pool at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center in Scottsdale opened May 16. It is the first element of the JCC’s aquatics center infrastructure to open. 

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Passover

Market holds pet Passover seder

In an effort to raise awareness of its kosher-for-Passover canned pet food, Evanger’s Kosher Pet Foods hosted a pet-friendly and family-friendly seder for pets April 18 at Choice Pet Market’s Scottsdale location on Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard.

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Good Health

Our Good Health special section features articles about spiritual coaching, helping families adjust when a child is diagnosed with autism, and how children can cope with ADHD. 

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Jewish News Best of brunch 2016

Inclusion

Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month

February is Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month and Jewish News has collected articles about efforts to promote inclusion of the disabled in the worldwide Jewish community.

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Families & Camps

Family trip to Israel is life-changing

Our trip to Israel over this past winter break was with my mom, my dad, my younger sister, my grandpa, my dad’s cousins and two friends. Overall, there were 10 of us, plus our guide. We decided to travel with a guide, which, in hindsight, was the right decision because we had no idea where to go or what to do.

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Hanukkah Planner

Delicious treats for the Hanukkah dessert table

It is a truth universally acknowledged that we can never get tired of Hanukkah latkes and sufganiyot (the holiday’s deep-fried jelly doughnuts). But there’s no harm in adding some culinary variety to this year’s Festival of Lights. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer offers a doughnut recipe with a twist as well as two alternative recipes that are great for Hanukkah and will satisfy any sweet tooth.

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Thanksgiving Planner

Sides add interest to main course

While the turkey is the center of the Thanksgiving feast, there’s a lot to be said for the appeal of the side dishes – warm soups, savory potatoes, hearty vegetable recipes and festive beverages. Here are some new ideas to liven up your holiday table.

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Giving

Program gives Jewish nonprofits training to ‘secure the future’

Few conversations are tougher to have than the one about planning what will happen when you die. So it’s not surprising that it’s been tough for nonprofits to seek commitments for bequests, gifts made from the estate of a person who has died.

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Get Connected

Connect with your community

With 5776 on the horizon, it’s time to reflect on the past year and think ahead to next year. As with any new year, Jewish or secular, looking to the future usually means making resolutions, many of which include how we spend our hours and days. If you’re looking for new ways to invest your time while connecting with your community, Jewish News has rounded up a few organizations you might consider joining or volunteering with to make 5776 more fulfilling.

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High Holidays

How to get back on proper path

We live with a practical tradition. We begin the Jewish New Year with 10 days devoted to introspection. Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are asked to review our past failures and victories, to evaluate our relationships and how we can make things better for ourselves and those we care for. We take stock of our lives and try to put ourselves back on the right path.

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High Holiday Planner 5776

High Holiday Planner

As 5776 approaches, Jewish News has collected articles to help prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on new High Holiday-themed books for children, easy and elegant menu recipes, Jewish New Year cocktails, a reflection on whether one can atone through social media, as well as a call to be welcoming to singles and the childless.

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Simchas

Food trucks are hot party trend

Food trucks, a staple of the culinary scene in cities like Los Angeles and New York, are gaining popularity in the Valley. While the mobile eateries can be found around town at office complexes, festivals, farmers’ markets and other locations, many are also hirable for birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings and other private events.

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Back to School

Starbucks Club: a habit of giving

Traditionally, Chabad centers on college campuses are funded entirely by donors – alumni, parents and community members.

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Mature Living 2015

Exercise is key to maintaining seniors’ brain and body health

Living an active lifestyle is important at any age, but for seniors it’s critical. Exercise can contribute to better health and well-being, provide an energy boost and help delay the aging process. Regular exercise can also help seniors manage and improve existing conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. But before starting any exercise or fitness program, seniors should check with their doctors to make sure they are ready to proceed. Exercise benefits seniors both mentally and physically – not just in the gym, but outside as well.

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Summer Cool 2015

Staycation deals end summer on a high note

Craving a vacation but don’t have the time or money (or both) for a full-fledged getaway? Don’t despair; Arizona’s world-class resorts are just a short drive away, and many are offering summer specials to make a staycation an affordable and attractive prospect.

More From Summer Cool 2015

Weddings

Creative bachelor parties

The bachelor party probably won’t be the groom-to-be’s last night out with the guys, but it should be one of the most memorable. If you’re inclined to forgo the wilder type of bachelor blowout, here are some ideas for great parties:

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Good Health 2015

Focus on Nutrition

Our latest Good Health special section, sponsored by Cypress HomeCare Solutions, focuses on nutrition.

More From Good Health 2015

Wednesday 08/17/2016
Jewish hopefuls few and far between in local races
Posted: August 17, 2016

Is he or she an “MOT”? You may have wondered whether some local political candidates are Jewish. We’ve got some answers for you.

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Wednesday 07/27/2016
Primary primer: What to look for in this election
Posted: July 27, 2016

The presidential primaries are long behind us, but the primary election for other federal offices – the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives – as well as for the Arizona Corporation Commission and Arizona Legislature are still to come.

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McCain faces primary election challengers in U.S. Senate race
Posted: July 27, 2016

The U.S. Senate race in Arizona has captured the attention of political observers outside of the state. The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based political newspaper, noted in March that incumbent Sen. John McCain is facing the toughest re-election challenge of his career. He’s being opposed in the primary by Republican State Sen. Kelli Ward, who’s also an osteopathic physician in Lake Havasu City, and by Republican Alex Meluskey, a printing company owner in Scottsdale. Other Republican candidates include Clair Van Steenwyk, who is also running for Congressional District 8 but whose name will be taken off the ballot in one or the other of those races before Election Day, and write-in candidate Sean Webster.

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Exercise your right to vote.
Posted: July 27, 2016

Monday, Aug. 1 - Registration deadline for primary

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Corporation Commission field crowded
Posted: July 27, 2016

Three seats are up for grabs on the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission this year. The seats held by Andy Tobin (appointed to fill the term of Susan Bitter Smith, who resigned over conflict of interest concerns), Bob Burns and Bob Stump will be represented on the ballot. Burns and Tobin are running for re-election; Stump has termed out.

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Contested legislative races showcase variety of views
Posted: July 27, 2016

In Arizona, there are 30 legislative districts across the state. In every district, one senator and two representatives are elected, for a total of 90 members of the State Legislature. In only some districts are there competitive contests in the primary election, for which early voting begins Aug. 3. Primary Election Day is Aug. 30.

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Wednesday 07/13/2016
Help strong-willed parents adjust to aging
Posted: July 13, 2016

Does Mom want to keep driving even though her vision has become limited? Has Dad fallen before, but refuses to take preventive measures, insisting it won’t happen again? Has Mom’s memory started to fade but she tries to fake her way through it?

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Avoiding caregiver burnout
Posted: July 13, 2016

When elderly loved ones can no longer fully care for themselves, the responsibility is commonly taken on by family members. What often begins as part-time help – such as paying bills or driving Mom or Dad to appointments – may quickly become full-time work.

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Wellness: Men's Health

Hall not shy on prostate cancer

If you want a frank depiction of what it’s like to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, read Derrick Hall’s story at pro-state.org. The Arizona Diamondbacks president, diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 42 in September 2011, depicts his dazed post-diagnosis state, including his inability to dial his wife’s number to let her know the news. 

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Wednesday 07/13/2016
Grant allows Duet to increase caregiving support
Posted: July 13, 2016

Family members who care for aging loved ones in Maricopa County will have expanded tools, resources and support from Duet: Partners In Health & Aging, thanks to a three-year, $460,000 grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

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Jewish Free Loan offers interest-free loans for senior care
Posted: July 13, 2016

Jewish Free Loan has an interest-free loan program for Senior In-Home Services and Care Needs.

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Duet offers support groups for family caregivers
Posted: July 13, 2016

Duet offers support groups for family caregivers. Alzheimer’s Caregivers Phoenix will meet noon-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Aug. 2 and 16 at Church of the Beatitudes, 555 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix. Caregivers East Valley will meet 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays Aug. 9 and 23, at Scottsdale Senior Center, 10440 Via Linda. Caregivers West Valley will meet 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Skyway Church of the West Valley, 14900 E. Van Buren St., Goodyear.

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Fitness key to active lifestyle
Posted: July 13, 2016

Staying physically active at any age is beneficial to overall health. But when it comes to mature adults, physical fitness can mark the difference between a sedentary and an active lifestyle. To help you navigate some of the fitness and wellness options available for older adults, Jewish News has rounded up several programs to check out.

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Wednesday 06/15/2016
A chuppah of equality
Posted: June 15, 2016

Since the landmark Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage was handed down on June 26, 2015, many gay and lesbian couples across the nation have been married. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the momentous court decision, Jewish News caught up with one Valley couple who joyfully celebrated under the chuppah as a result.

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Jewlyweds: a community for couples
Posted: June 15, 2016

When Marina Awerbuch moved from Toronto to attend graduate school at Arizona State University, she immediately made a connection with Jewish Arizonans on Campus (JAC) and jLive, run by Rabbi Jordan Brumer.

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Emanuel students bring back wimpel
Posted: June 15, 2016

Temple Emanuel of Tempe recently revived the ancient custom of the wimpel, a piece of cloth meant to be used at multiple lifecycle events throughout an individual’s life.

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Dance Fusion offers lessons for special events
Posted: June 15, 2016

Dance Fusion has a full staff of ballroom dance teachers who currently give private lessons for events that have first dances and other special dances, such as mother/son and father/daughter dances for weddings.

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Bowlmor Lanes may​ be right up your alley
Posted: June 15, 2016

If you’re looking for an unusual venue for your simcha, why not consider an upscale bowling party at Bowlmor Lanes?

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Wednesday 04/06/2016
Chef Paula Shoyer’s menu enlivens seder
Posted: April 06, 2016

Chef and best-selling author Paula Shoyer offers recommendations that she guarantees will match the Passover culinary tradition while simultaneously enlivening your seder.

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Linzer Tart (gluten-free)
Posted: April 06, 2016

The crust requires 3 cups of three different kinds of groundnuts; if you do not have enough of one type, you can substitute another.

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A light lunch that’s tasty, too
Posted: April 06, 2016

Even during Jewish holidays, when food is so abundant, it is possible to eat well.

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How to be a good seder guest
Posted: April 06, 2016

People who’ve never been to a Passover seder might be feeling a bit intimidated at the prospect. This guide should help first-time seder-goers relax. Share it with friends and family who have never been to a seder before, so they too may enjoy the celebration, discussion and lots of tasty food.

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Paths to kosher certification
Posted: April 06, 2016

In the 1930s, Rabbi Tobias Geffen of Atlanta began to investigate the hidden ingredients inside mass-produced foods and to evaluate whether those ingredients conflict with kosher laws. He then set a precedent by getting The Coca-Cola Co. to make a kosher-for-Passover version of its soft drink, persuading the company to substitute the grain alcohol used in the processing of its drink to alcohol derived from molasses.

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How to make a customized Passover Haggadah
Posted: April 06, 2016

The Hebrew word “Haggadah” means “narration” or “telling.” As the Passover seder’s instruction manual, the Haggadah is perhaps the most important tool for fulfilling the Passover mitzvah of telling the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt (a mitzvah that is mentioned six times in the Torah).

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Do we go overboard with Pesach preparation?
Posted: April 06, 2016

There are two funny images I like to circulate this time every year as we approach the Passover holiday. The first is a cartoon of a truck with large text on the side reading Morty’s Passover Cleaning. On the driver’s side door is the word chametz inside a circle with a line struck through it. Underneath the large Morty’s Passover Cleaning text on the side of the truck it reads: Orthodox $89.95, Conservative $49.95, Reform $19.95.

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CJSN to host special-needs seder
Posted: April 06, 2016

The Council for Jews with Special Needs will host its first model seder this year, offering a traditional seder ceremony in a setting that accommodates those with short attention spans or those who have difficulty sitting still.

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Wednesday 03/16/2016
Spiritual coach aids healing
Posted: March 16, 2016

Ellen Friedman of Phoenix was happily providing physical therapy services for more than 25 years and anticipated that she would continue to do so for 25 more. However, she began to notice that her clients’ requests were shifting more toward her coaching than the physical therapy and movement training. 

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Journalists laud work of SARRC in new book
Posted: March 16, 2016

In the epilogue of their book, “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” John Donvan and Caren Zucker, two award-winning journalists, credit the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and Greater Phoenix for creating a supportive community. 

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After a diagnosis of autism
Posted: March 16, 2016

A diagnosis of autism affects the entire family, and in many cases that includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, as well as close friends, according to Dr. Raun Melmed, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician who is medical director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale.

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Helping kids challenge ADHD ‘monster’
Posted: March 16, 2016

No parent is ever thrilled about their child going on medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to Dr. Raun Melmed, medical director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale. 

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Wednesday 02/17/2016
Honoring Jewish Women 2016
Posted: February 17, 2016

From the Publisher

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Gail Baer
Posted: February 17, 2016

Since childhood, Gail Baer has known the value and importance of being involved in the community.

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Shelley Cohn
Posted: February 17, 2016

In her 21 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Shelley Cohn advocated tirelessly for artists, arts organizations and the people whose lives they enrich, so much so that they named an award for her.

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Shternie Deitsch
Posted: February 17, 2016

It’s hard to believe that 18 years ago, Rabbi Mendy and Shternie Deitsch came to the Valley with a baby, no place to live and a plan to hold High Holiday services at a local hotel.

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Rabbi Elana Kanter
Posted: February 17, 2016

As the founder of the Women’s Jewish Learning Center, and the co-founder – with her husband, Rabbi Michael Wasserman – of The New Shul, Rabbi Elana Kanter is quite familiar with the strengths women bring to Jewish communal leadership.

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Cindy Landesman
Posted: February 17, 2016

Jumping in with both feet is something that Cindy Landesman has a lot of experience with; 15 years ago, she and her husband, Rabbi Raphael Landesman, moved to the Valley to be among the founders of the Phoenix Community Kollel.

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Brooke Levy
Posted: February 17, 2016

Brooke Levy’s life is a testament to the principle of l’dor v’dor, transmitting values from generation to generation.

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Kaylie Marsh
Posted: February 17, 2016

When Kaylie Marsh volunteered with Camp Swift, a local nonprofit that provides educational and leadership opportunities for underprivileged youth, as a teenager, she probably didn’t think she would end up running the organization someday.

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Talyah Sands
Posted: February 17, 2016

In a community where many of the people come from somewhere else, Talyah Sands is a rarity.

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Judy Schaffert
Posted: February 17, 2016

Don’t make Judy Schaffert out to be a selfless individual – quite the opposite, she’d say.

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Beth Jo Zeitzer
Posted: February 17, 2016

In 2013, AZ Business Magazine named Beth Jo Zeitzer, president and owner of real-estate brokerage ROI Properties, as one of the most influential women in Arizona business.

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Inclusion in Jewish education is about choice
Posted: February 17, 2016

Each February, we mark Jewish Disability Awareness Month. This year, the decision was made to add “inclusion” to the equation, and it is now called Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. This addition may seem insignificant, but actually marks a movement toward action. 

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I’m not your mitzvah project
Posted: February 17, 2016

I have Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and noises called “tics.” My Tourette’s is relatively mild at this point, but I went through a turbulent adolescence when Tourette’s was the most defining thing about me. Between the constant movements and the loud, uncontrollable noises, it was incredibly disruptive.

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Service dogs offer independence, come with uniquely Jewish challenges
Posted: February 17, 2016

Dogs have long been known as man’s best friend. They’re snuggly, warm and generally have a good sense of what their owners want. And some dogs give more than puppy love. Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities such as visual or hearing impairments, seizure disorders, mobility issues and diabetes.

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Wednesday 01/20/2016
Families & Camps 2016
Posted: January 20, 2016

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Family trip to Israel is life-changing
Posted: January 20, 2016

Our trip to Israel over this past winter break was with my mom, my dad, my younger sister, my grandpa, my dad’s cousins and two friends. Overall, there were 10 of us, plus our guide. We decided to travel with a guide, which, in hindsight, was the right decision because we had no idea where to go or what to do.

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From camper to counselor
Posted: January 20, 2016

If you’ve ever spent a summer at a Jewish overnight summer camp, you understand the phrase “the magic of camp.”

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Advice for special campers
Posted: January 20, 2016

Summer camp is often a child’s initial solo experience. That can be a pretty formidable venture, even for the child blessed with all kinds of advantages. However, for a child with emotional or behavioral challenges, the notion of attending a sleepaway camp for a couple of weeks can be rather overwhelming. Despite the understandable anxiety, children who struggle with issues of self-control and judgment that other children navigate easily, attend sleepaway camps every summer all across the country. These challenges need not deny the child the benefits of a wonderful sleepaway camp experience.

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Camps offer special needs resources
Posted: January 20, 2016

Throughout the school year, the Council for Jews With Special Needs works with teachers, parents and children to help them succeed in school.

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Finding financial assistance for camp
Posted: January 20, 2016

As summer gets closer, many parents are closer to having to make a decision about what to do with their children once school ends – and how to afford it.

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Camps host open houses
Posted: January 20, 2016

Below is a listing of some upcoming camp open houses.

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Natural solution to teething issue
Posted: January 20, 2016

When Ilana Scheinker’s infant son, Adin, started teething at only 4 months old, she knew she needed to find something to help her baby through this difficult stage.

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Wednesday 12/16/2015
Mature Living
Posted: December 16, 2015

A special section of Jewish News

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Aging in place: Know the options
Posted: December 16, 2015

The long-accepted practice of sending older adults off to an institution once their abilities begin to decline is gradually being replaced by a kinder, more holistic approach to growing old known as “aging in place.” Aging in place allows seniors to remain close to families and communities as opposed to digging up roots and facing the unknown alone. With the help of friends, family and in-home-care agencies, older adults who “age in place” are rewarded with a wide array of benefits.

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Senior services efforts in progress
Posted: December 16, 2015

Janet Arnold sounds very enthusiastic about her work as the senior concierge, sharing anecdotes about specific ways she has helped Jewish seniors and their families connect to resources.

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JFCS, Mazon team up to fight senior hunger
Posted: December 16, 2015

Janet Arnold wears two hats at Jewish Family & Children’s Service; besides being the senior concierge, she provides help to seniors in need who seek to enroll in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program.

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Longtime Realtor specializes in helping seniors age in place
Posted: December 16, 2015

It was nearly a year ago that Joani Frankel moved out of her Scottsdale home of 37 years to relocate in the adult community of Sun City.

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Senior resource guide: social, support and education
Posted: December 16, 2015

Here are many resources for senior support and social programming in the local Jewish community. Several synagogues also have programs for seniors. Additional senior resources are in the 2016 Community Directory, available at jewishaz.com.

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Being a Jewish grandparent during Christmas time
Posted: December 16, 2015

Being a Jewish grandparent of an interfaith grandchild is a tricky business. Some members of our community see intermarriage as diminishing Judaism – even though intermarriage has been part of our people since biblical times – and some simply desire to keep our families together and pass our values and traditions on to our grandchildren. Those synagogues that have truly welcomed the intermarried find that they add enormously to our community life.

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A Closer Look: Special Needs

CJSN emphasizes inclusion

The Council for Jews With Special Needs (CJSN) offers many resources and programs for Valley Jews with disabilities and their families to help them fulfill spiritual, cultural and religious needs in a variety of settings. 

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Simchas

Preparing for special days

If the words “kosher catering” conjure up visions of bland and unhealthy food, and memories of bar and bat mitzvahs past still haunt you, remember that planning your upcoming simcha doesn’t have to be a monotonous process full of seen-it-befores or tried-that-onces. With the help of creative kosher catering professionals – or by simply looking within yourself – your special day can be one of a kind. 

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