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Giving

Families leaving a legacy

For members of the Jewish community who want to create a permanent charitable endowment that will benefit the community long after they’re gone, one of the most notable ways to accomplish this is through the Jewish Community Foundation’s Endowment Book of Life.

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Special Section: Food & Dining

Coca-Cola prompted the advent of Passover-friendly food companies

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

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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Special Section: Giving

Annual holiday event raises funds for interfaith group Duet

Duet: Partners In Health & Aging continues an almost 30-year-old tradition of raising funds for the interfaith organization during the holidays.

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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.

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Wednesday 04/18/2018
The code to success: computer science for kids
Posted: April 18, 2018

What does it take to move your child from consumer to producer of technology?

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What do I do if my child gets a bad grade?
Posted: April 18, 2018

There’s an undercurrent that runs through most conversations we have with our kids about school. With some families, it’s more explicit: “We expect you to do well, and come home with As and Bs on your report card.” With other families, it’s less so, but still implied: “We expect you to go to school each day and give it your best effort, no matter what.”

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Wednesday 04/11/2018
Seven features your security door should have
Posted: April 11, 2018

This is the time of year when temperatures are still cool enough in the evening you can leave doors and windows open in your house. But if you simply open a door, you could be dealing with flies, moths, mosquitoes — and possibly even unwanted human visitors.

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Good home design is comfortable design
Posted: April 11, 2018

The single most important characteristic people tell me they want in their home is comfort, and I believe you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for the look you want. Good design is comforting, but everyone has a different definition of what comfort means to them. What is warm and comfortable for you may look very different from your neighbor’s space.

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Wednesday 04/04/2018
Can you afford to make room for Mom and Dad?
Posted: April 04, 2018

Have you been thinking about adding a “mother-in-law” unit to your house for Mom and Dad? You’re not alone. This is an issue that many people, especially baby boomers, are thinking about.

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Changing priorities as you age
Posted: April 04, 2018

Aging requires resiliency, creativity and adaptability, and it can lead to great self-discovery. Why are we sometimes surprised when someone in their 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s becomes more creative, starts a new, meaningful relationship, offers sound advice, or begins a new endeavor or interest? Since growing older is an inevitable part of life, why not look at these questions, focus on challenging negative stereotypes and reinforce positive contributions that occur as we age?

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Opioid epidemic as Shakespearean tragedy
Posted: April 04, 2018

The opioid epidemic, affecting both young people and seniors, has been described as the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history. The magnitude of the series of misunderstandings and missteps that led to this crisis is beyond comprehension or imagination. With hindsight being perfect vision, the Shakespearean elements and pathos of the opioid tragedy can be seen.

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Wednesday 03/28/2018
Passover and Easter provide No Bagel Today opportunities for interfaith couples
Posted: March 28, 2018

The holiday of Passover is upon us — and with that comes family traditions passed through generations. But some families may make new traditions this year, as Passover overlaps with Easter.

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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 03/28/2018
Haggadahs blend traditional, modern topics
Posted: March 28, 2018

Haggadah means “telling,” and different versions of the Passover Seder script, translated and retold in countless languages countless times, can certainly be telling about the state of the world.

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Even pets can keep kosher during Passover
Posted: March 28, 2018

At Choice Pet Market in Scottsdale, Passover is going to the dogs — or, more accurately, the dogs are going to Passover.

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Matzah mysteries: origins, afikomen
Posted: March 28, 2018

Manischewitz. Osem. Yehuda.

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Wednesday 03/21/2018
A garnish takes center stage
Posted: March 21, 2018

So, everyone who’s ever purchased a bundle or three of parsley for Pesach and then still seemed to have a bundle or three of parsley left when the Seders were over, please raise your hand.

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Coca-Cola prompted the advent of Passover-friendly food companies
Posted: March 21, 2018

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

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Passing over bread at breakfast
Posted: March 21, 2018

While I love Passover, I find breakfast the most challenging meal during the holiday of unleavened bread. Removing foods made with flour and grains from breakfast menus means digging deep into the creative side of my brain.

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Setting a stylish yet traditional Passover table
Posted: March 21, 2018

Even though “stylish” and “traditional” may seem like opposites and mean something different to each of us, the two qualities can actually be combined beautifully and comfortably, especially at Passover.

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Wednesday 03/14/2018
Nurse practitioner: tips for a healthy camp experience
Posted: March 14, 2018

If you’ve already decided where your children will be attending camp this summer, it’s time to think about how best to prepare them for a fun, healthy and safe experience away from home.

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Top 5 things to know about Jewish day camp
Posted: March 14, 2018

You’re starting to think about summer and what you’re going to do with the kids for two-plus months — er, we mean, how you're going to provide your darlings with a meaningful and fun summer experience.

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The surprising benefits of the Passover diet
Posted: March 14, 2018

For a millennia-old religious celebration that has little to do with physical well-being, the Passover holiday offers unexpected health-related opportunities.

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More than fun and sun: Jewish summer programs encourage tikkun olam
Posted: March 14, 2018

Anath Hartmann | Contributing Writer

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How to prepare your Seder plate quickly and easily
Posted: March 14, 2018

Preparing the Seder plate can seem overwhelming, but it needn’t be.

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Thursday 03/08/2018
Real estate experts weigh in on new tax bill
Posted: March 08, 2018

The new federal tax bill raises questions on, well, everything. We checked with three real estate experts to find out how the new law might affect homebuyers.

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Kosher-for-Passover wines launched by former Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire
Posted: March 08, 2018

At a news conference at the Jewish National Fund House on Feb. 20, former NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire, who played for the Suns for eight years, effused over his new line of kosher-for-Passover wines produced in Israel.

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Cleaning for Passover and the search for spirituality
Posted: March 08, 2018

As Passover approaches, many Jews go into spring-cleaning mode. Getting rid of chametz concretizes into actions such as putting away all of our everyday pots and dishes or making them kosher for Passover. Many of us also clean out the gunk that accumulated in the bottom corners of our refrigerator and conduct a detailed cleaning of the inside of our cars.

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Five reasons to get new windows
Posted: March 08, 2018

Window replacement is probably one of the more permanent changes you can make in your home. So you’ll want to think it through carefully before doing it. Below are several important benefits you’ll get from buying new windows.

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Wednesday 02/28/2018
Top medical issues facing seniors run gamut
Posted: February 28, 2018

The advent of humans living longer — sometimes into triple digits — has brought on a plethora of health problems that seniors must cope with. While some issues are remnants of past health choices, there are measures that seniors, and soon-to-be seniors, can take to mitigate future health concerns.

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Handicapped-accessible remodel can also be stylish
Posted: February 28, 2018

It’s no surprise that 90 percent of people 65 and older would prefer to live in their own homes as they age, as opposed to a nursing home or assisted living facility, according to a recent AARP study.

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Comfort food after a funeral
Posted: February 28, 2018

Sadly I’ve gone to several funerals lately. Fortunately, I didn’t lose a close relative or friend, but this gave me the chance to see the food, much of it homemade, people bring to shiva calls.

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90-year-old is JDate.com’s new face
Posted: February 28, 2018

The next time you visit New York, look up and you may see Bea Slater plastered on a billboard overhead.

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A colonoscopy is a crystal ball for your health
Posted: February 28, 2018

Have you ever just wished for a crystal ball, an opportunity to peer into the future for a concrete fact to help make a decision? Does this 60-minute window give me enough time to make a connecting flight? Should I travel ahead of schedule based on the weather forecast of treacherous driving conditions?

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Wednesday 02/21/2018
How Jews juggle challenges of second marriages
Posted: February 21, 2018

Mazel tov! You’re getting married … again.

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Sure, the food tastes good. But how does it photograph?
Posted: February 21, 2018

Infusion cocktail bars and chilled soup stations are among the most popular features of wedding receptions these days. But taste isn’t the only consideration. Couples are asking themselves, how will the meal look on Pinterest?

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Jewish marriage contract as art
Posted: February 21, 2018

Judging from its ritual text, the ketubah (marriage contract) that is read aloud during a Jewish wedding ceremony isn’t the most exciting, romantic or joyous document. Yet increasingly, today’s ketubah designs are anything but dry and transactional. Ketubah artists and consumers alike are developing more elaborate and personalized tastes.

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Wednesday 02/14/2018
Documents every parent will want their 18-year-old child to sign
Posted: February 14, 2018

As parents know, it’s never too early to start planning for your child’s college education. And the race to research colleges and send in applications hits a fever pitch in your child’s junior year of high school.

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Understanding your middle schooler
Posted: February 14, 2018

They’re called the “tween” years — those tumultuous, treacherous and confusing middle school years when kids dangle precariously between childhood and adolescence.

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A guide to common concerns regarding preschool behavior
Posted: February 14, 2018

Preschoolers often exhibit behaviors that parents may worry are odd, unusual or symptomatic of a disability. Most are nothing to worry about, but there are some you should keep your eyes on, just in case.

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Trampolines to travel: Valley JCCs offer a wealth of camp options for school breaks and the summer
Posted: February 14, 2018

Jewish summer camps offer an immersive experience that boosts participants’ level of engagement with the Jewish community for years to come, as was shown by a 2011 study by the Foundation for Jewish Camps. For parents seeking to cement their children’s connection to Judaism while staying closer to home, the East Valley JCC (EVJCC) and the Valley of the Sun JCC (The J) both offer a wide variety of options.

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Wednesday 02/07/2018
Ways to make your desert yard more sustainable
Posted: February 07, 2018

When designing the perfect Arizona backyard, most people want something that looks great and doesn’t require too much maintenance. But they also want to include plants and hardscaping that will last for a long time and won’t waste water. Those are great goals that make sense for the environment, as well as for making our own lives easier.

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Wednesday 01/31/2018
Stitching a legacy for 43 great-grandchildren
Posted: January 31, 2018

It’s not an unusual sight to see a bubbe sewing, knitting or crocheting a special something for her grandchild. But for Nita Quint, who has 43 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, sewing personalized fabrics for them is an extraordinary feat of patience.

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Interfaith marriage poses challenge to Jewish seniors
Posted: January 31, 2018

One of the most significant trends within the American Jewish community over the past few decades has been the rise of intermarriage.

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When immigrating to Israel is a senior moment
Posted: January 31, 2018

For some retirees, this can be the time for them to fulfill a lifelong dream to live in the Jewish state. Empty nesters are now the second-largest group immigrating to Israel today.

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Holocaust survivor still runs family business
Posted: January 31, 2018

At the age of 90, Suzy Ressler still comes into work every day.She owns Mrs. Ressler’s Food Products, which she founded in 1954 with her husband, Emerich, soon after they arrived to the United States. They started with only one employee by selling chopped liver and, in the decades since, expanded to selling more than 50 kinds of meat and employing more than 100 workers.

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Johns Hopkins dementia study aims to improve quality of life
Posted: January 31, 2018

Today, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. About 80 percent live at home and are cared for by about 15 million unpaid, informal caregivers — often spouses or adult children. And while impacts on patients include medical and psychological problems, reduced quality of life and high costs for care, impacts on caregivers can be severe.

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Granddaughter opens assisted living facility to get it right for Nana
Posted: January 31, 2018

Jesse and Shira Charyn decided to open their own assisted living home, Shalom Home, after watching Shira’s grandmother, Clara Esther Shinder, move from one facility to the next, never receiving the care or attention she needed.

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Heart health and gender bias
Posted: January 31, 2018

If my 20-year-old self could see me now — living in the Valley of the Sun, where it is bathing suit season 10 months of the year, and surrounded by women ... Wait, let me explain.

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Wednesday 01/17/2018
Embrace your niche: the rise of specialty camps
Posted: January 17, 2018

Going to camp is an integral part of the summer for many kids. Not just many, millions. More than 7 million, in fact, and growing, according to the American Camp Association.

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Preschools need ‘radical hospitality’ to thrive
Posted: January 17, 2018

Big changes are afoot for Jewish preschools, and your synagogue may need to adapt in order to thrive.

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Wednesday 01/10/2018
Exciting home decorating trends for the new year
Posted: January 10, 2018

Interior design trends for 2018 are all over the map. It’s no surprise when you look around the world at what is going on politically, economically and socially. Design is always a reflection of people’s attitudes, and today it has become a global experience.

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Wednesday 01/03/2018
Longtime songwriting couple still at it, stay topical with Al Franken song
Posted: January 03, 2018

Henry and Bobbie Shaffner consider themselves big fans of resigning Minnesota Sen. Al Franken — and excitedly attended one of his book signings last year — but they aren’t above needling him a bit for his alleged sexual transgressions.

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Call your mother: exploring changing communications
Posted: January 03, 2018

During the holiday season, and often on Sundays, it has been a tradition for adult children to pick up the phone and call their parents, especially their mothers.

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Survivor's story told in haunting narrative
Posted: January 03, 2018

Suzanne “Suzy” Choder truly met her mother for the first time when she was 3.

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Wednesday 12/20/2017
Let’s sleep on it
Posted: December 20, 2017

My Aunt Viv, of blessed memory, had a unique way passing on the news from Baltimore. She would give a quick rundown of the facts and then, at first unexpectedly, proclaim, “There, I have now given you dinner conversation. Goodbye.”

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88-year-old backpacker travels to Southeast Asia
Posted: December 20, 2017

Robert Mellin is a man with a thousand stories.

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Break free from the blues this holiday season
Posted: December 20, 2017

Festive parties, family gatherings, gift shopping and time-honored recipes are what most people associate with the holiday season. However, for some, the winter is far from being the most wonderful time of the year. Coined the “holiday blues,” this condition should not be taken lightly.

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Ins and outs of aging in place
Posted: December 20, 2017

Aging isn’t what it used to be. And innovations in senior living and care are coming in time for the elder boom.

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Medicare takes aim at medical identity theft
Posted: December 20, 2017

Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.

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Interfaith group receives grant for grandparents program
Posted: December 20, 2017

Across the country, 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren, according to the U.S. census, and about one-fifth of those have incomes that fall below the poverty line.

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Cyclist, 67, rides across country to raise funds for childhood cancer
Posted: December 20, 2017

When Glenn Hirsch was a teenager, he dreamed about someday riding his bike across the United States. When he turned 50, he figured he’d better get started.

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Wednesday 12/13/2017
Chanukah Events
Posted: December 13, 2017

Dec. 3-12

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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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