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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: Real Estate & Home Guide

A cool head, professional support essential when buying real estate

Whether you buy or build, moving into the home of your dreams is an exciting prospect. But buyer beware; the process can turn into a nightmare quickly without preparation.

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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.

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Wednesday 11/15/2017
The ‘Jewish Jordan’ Israel summer camp playbook
Posted: November 15, 2017

For years, Jewish basketball aficionados have adored Tamir Goodman. The same can now be said for Jewish summer campers.

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Israel program for teachers addresses ‘remoteness’ in diaspora Jewish education
Posted: November 15, 2017

For Shani Tauber, it all came together when her group left the house of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the religious Zionism pioneer known as “Rav Kook.”

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Camp Newman community finds temporary home after fire
Posted: November 15, 2017

Although the wildfires in Northern California left most of URJ Camp Newman’s buildings in smoldering ruins, the speed with which past and current camp employees and campers, including many in the Valley, rallied to its aid has buoyed those grappling with the devastation.

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Wednesday 11/08/2017
Thanksgiving meets Chanukah — and they find they have a lot in common
Posted: November 08, 2017

There’s got to be some connection between Thanksgiving and Chanukah. Why? Because the Baal Shem Tov taught us that everything a person sees or hears is meant to be a lesson in life. Thanksgiving is the American holiday right before Chanukah. In fact, in 2013, American Thanksgiving fell on the first day of Chanukah. Tell me there isn’t meaning there.

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How to increase home equity and get more bang for your buck
Posted: November 08, 2017

Looking to sell your house this fall? It’s time to talk home equity. You’ve probably heard the phrase a hundred times, but it’s often unclear what it really means — or what you need to do to change it.

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A cool head, professional support essential when buying real estate
Posted: November 08, 2017

Whether you buy or build, moving into the home of your dreams is an exciting prospect. But buyer beware; the process can turn into a nightmare quickly without preparation.

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Turkey leftover treats: Ground turkey beats beef
Posted: November 08, 2017

‘Let’s give ground turkey a try,” I said to my husband. “It’s better for us than beef.”

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Jewish identity, Thanksgiving and Jewish unity
Posted: November 08, 2017

Secular discussion of the material world has many different spins that parallel the battle for the birthright between Jacob and Esau. Our forefather Jacob models for humankind the discipline of seeking beneath the surface. Esau, on the other hand, demonstrates the desire to focus on the surface itself.

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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 11/08/2017
A Thanksgiving movie marathon with Jewish flavor
Posted: November 08, 2017

Why just watch the Macy’s parade when you can celebrate the holiday with flicks like “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Ten Commandments?”

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Wednesday 11/01/2017
Why you should get Mom a furry companion
Posted: November 01, 2017

Is there anything better than a cat choosing to sit on your lap or seeing your dog’s face light up when you come home?

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Staying in your own home as you age
Posted: November 01, 2017

In less than 20 years, the U.S. population of those 65 and over is expected to double. A recent Harvard study claims that almost a third of American households will soon be headed by someone age 65 or older.

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Medicare open enrollment season is here
Posted: November 01, 2017

If you are a Medicare enrollee, you should know that open enrollment takes place from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Any changes you make to your coverage will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Since your health care priorities are likely to change over time, you might find it beneficial to review and make alterations to how you structure your Medicare solution. Reviewing your Medicare selections may help you either cut costs or improve coverage. For example, you may be able to:

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Consider the source when searching for health information on the internet
Posted: November 01, 2017

TBT (Turn Back Time) to Thursday-night television in the late 1980s. A time before on-demand, Netflix, Hulu and binge watching were part of the vernacular. When it was time for “LA Law,” your heart skipped a beat. If you missed the episode, you missed it. I guess you could catch the reruns during the summer. I am really not sure. I almost never missed.

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Make the most of your year-end charitable giving
Posted: November 01, 2017

With 5777 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the end of 2017. Now is the time to plan your year-end charitable contributions and tax credits, especially if you intend to reap the tax benefits of donating appreciated assets. Consider these ideas to make your giving more tax-effective, and to maximize the value of your year-end contributions.

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Estate planning and the mitzvah of organ donation
Posted: November 01, 2017

Many think about estate planning as a way to shore up their financial life, protect their family and preserve their legacy through philanthropic charitable giving. Estate planning should also include your wishes on anatomical giving, or organ donation.

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Investing in the future of Jewish children
Posted: November 01, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, many people are preparing for tax season. The JTO asks you to remember to Take the Credit for Jewish Education! The Jewish Tuition Organization (JTO), a student tuition organization (STO), provides need-based scholarships for children to attend six participating Phoenix-area Jewish day schools.

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Wednesday 10/25/2017
Master of the chefs: the kosher culinary world’s unsung hero
Posted: October 25, 2017

Do you recall what you were eating in kosher restaurants 10 years ago? Had you tried sous-vide dishes? Homemade sausage? Fresh, cured gravlax made with only salt, sugar, peppercorns and dill? Shaved black truffles on fresh pasta, tossed with roasted porcini mushrooms? Fried chicken so crisp and tender that you’d almost swear it was soaked in buttermilk?

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In the Kitchen
Posted: October 25, 2017

I’ve never been one to celebrate Oktoberfest, the annual beer festival held every fall in Munich and many other places around the world. But my husband and son went apple picking in early October and afterward visited a brew pub. In addition to enjoying a swell lunch, they brought home a bunch of interesting beers.

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Wednesday 10/18/2017
The transformative pixie dust of sleep-away camp
Posted: October 18, 2017

Even now, so many years later — I don’t want to say how many — I can still smell my summer camp if I close my eyes and concentrate. The rich, loamy scent of dirt and pine needles. The woodsy aroma of the bunkhouses after the rain. The sweet morning incense of French toast and pancakes. The fruity tang of the Apple Pectin shampoo. And, of course, the funk of the skunk.

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Overnight camp vs. day camp, pros and cons
Posted: October 18, 2017

Every summer, many Jewish parents grapple with the camp question: Do they send their children out into the woods for the overnight experience or keep them closer to home at a day camp?

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Valley winter camps offer man-made snow, Hawaiian luaus, ‘Top Chef’ contests
Posted: October 18, 2017

Even though fall just started, winter break is just around the corner from a planning perspective. That means it’s time to start thinking now about the winter camps offered by JCCs, synagogues and other organizations throughout the Valley’s Jewish community.

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Wednesday 10/11/2017
What vets and service members need to know when buying a home
Posted: October 11, 2017

If you’re a veteran, reservist or active duty service member, it’s important to know that there are special benefits you may be eligible for when buying a home.

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8 easy ways to organize garage storage space
Posted: October 11, 2017

Most people are pressed for garage space, regardless of the size of their house, from DIYers overwhelmed with tools to moms searching for places to store holiday decorations.

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Reclaiming your closet
Posted: October 11, 2017

Picture your closet. What images come to mind? Do you see rows of neatly hung clothing, shoes lined up in an orderly fashion and everything accessible when you go inside to pick an outfit? Or do you see a closet that’s more of a dumping ground, a mess, a nightmare, where things just stay where they fall?

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Vitamin D deficiency is common among young and old
Posted: October 11, 2017

As a cardiologist and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland, Dr. Erin Michos is busy — so she wakes up extra early to fit in her 5 a.m. jog.

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3 tips to help get a good night’s sleep
Posted: October 11, 2017

With overscheduled days full of early-morning conference calls and endless to-do lists, it’s impossible to avoid the stress that comes with working hard. One side effect of all that distracting pressure? A lack of quality sleep, leading to aches and pains, stiffness, sore muscles, general fatigue, an increased risk of getting sick — and more stress.

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Need new glasses? Don’t overlook these 4 ways to enhance your lenses
Posted: October 11, 2017

When it comes to buying new eyeglasses, many people focus on frames, spending hours trying on multiple shapes and colors. With so many styles to choose from, it’s easy to forget that glasses are used for a medical purpose and need to do more than just look good.

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Are Ashkenazi Jews more susceptible to breast cancer?
Posted: October 11, 2017

Dr. Lisa Jablon has seen many strides in breast cancer treatment since she first entered the field about 30 years ago.

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Wednesday 10/04/2017
Paging Humpty Dumpty: We don’t all need to fall down
Posted: October 04, 2017

As children, we find Humpty Dumpty’s fall off the wall humorous. But in real life, falls aren’t funny. They are major risk factors for many seniors and can negatively transform their lives.

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Friends are important to the health of your brain
Posted: October 04, 2017

In my best Seinfeld imitation I’d like to divulge my most recent epiphany: As a vital organ, and the body’s control center, the human brain has a PR problem. From this evolutionary masterpiece we have music, architecture, the Bill of Rights and love. So why is everybody so enamored with the heart? We love the little red symbolic representation, which, by the way, is not even the shape of the human heart. The brain doesn’t even have its own iPhone emoji. Yet as vital organs go, it’s the brain that is really super sexy.

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Intergenerational bonds bloom when Jewish seniors, students share a campus
Posted: October 04, 2017

When Shirley H. Gould House resident Marilyn Herbst sees the kids from Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton walk in the front door, her day significantly improves.

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Three things everyone living with arthritis should know
Posted: October 04, 2017

Arthritis includes more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints. If you are living with arthritis, here are a few things you should consider.

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Online dating changes the game for older adults
Posted: October 04, 2017

If you’re considering entering the dating world as a mature adult, you may hear confusing opinions, especially concerning online dating.

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Wednesday 09/20/2017
Jewish wedding gift do's and don’ts
Posted: September 20, 2017

Not another challah board! That’s the collective cry heard ’round the Jewish world when newlyweds receive a Judaica gift they already possess. Don’t be that friend — follow my simple do’s and don’ts for Jewish wedding gifts.

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12 essential planning steps for brides-to-be
Posted: September 20, 2017

The beautiful fall weather in Arizona is right around the corner, which means we’ll start seeing an uptick in weddings around the Valley.

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Second-time brides share what to wear for your special day
Posted: September 20, 2017

Every bride wants her wedding day to be special, whether it’s her first or second nuptials. There are many more considerations the second time around. Often, there are children involved. Usually, the couple is paying for the ceremony on their own, so finances can factor in more. There’s also the question of what was done the first time and how you want to make wedding No. 2 the same — or totally different.

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From cruise ships to resorts, Jewish destination weddings mix intrigue and tradition
Posted: September 20, 2017

The groom was 60 years old and the wedding was seven years ago, yet the magic and romance of the moment continues to inspire not only the couple themselves, but also the 800 witnesses to that momentous occasion — many of them complete strangers.

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Seven ways to make the broken glass moment last a lifetime
Posted: September 20, 2017

Im eshkachech Yerushalayim, tishkach yemini. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.”

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Wednesday 09/13/2017
East Valley JCC selects teens for new leadership program
Posted: September 13, 2017

With the High Holidays just around the corner, now is a natural time for reflecting on the mitzvot performed throughout the year and to pause and consider what more can be done in the coming year.

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Wednesday 09/06/2017
Five things to know when selling your home
Posted: September 06, 2017

Home sellers might have aging floors or outdated carpet. They might have overgrown plants in the front yard, making a good hiding place for a burglar. Or they might be at an age when removing 30 years of junk is too tall a task to do without assistance.

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Refresh your home with room-by-room renovations
Posted: September 06, 2017

If your favorite room is outdated and dingy, a renovation may be all you need to make the old feel new and to fall in love with your home all over again.

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A perk of desert living: fall planting season
Posted: September 06, 2017

Every year as the summer days start to shorten and temperatures slowly drop, the Arizona Nursery Association hosts its Southwest Horticulture Annual Day of Education, Conference. Aspiring arborists, nursery owners, landscape professionals, master gardeners and even motivated homeowners swarm to the event to network and learn from the finest plant educators Arizona has to offer. So what brings an entire industry together? The season.

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A taste of honey: Rosh Hashanah recipes
Posted: September 06, 2017

Jewish families around the world begin Rosh Hashanah meals by dipping apples in honey, symbolizing their hope for a sweet New Year. They also drizzle honey into holiday cuisine.

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Kids learn about holiday at The J’s first Rosh Hashanah New Year’s Eve party
Posted: September 06, 2017

Grandparents, parents, children and other family and friends are invited to party like it’s 5778 at the Valley of the Sun JCC’s (The J) first Rosh Hashanah New Year’s Eve party.

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Wednesday 08/30/2017
Personalize your Rosh Hashanah table
Posted: August 30, 2017

Each year, as the High Holidays approach, much thought is given to spiritually preparing for the holiday, reflecting on the past year and making plans for the New Year. A great deal of time also goes toward planning the holiday meal, from the food to the guests. But how can all these considerations be incorporated together? One local designer thinks it starts with the table.

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Chompie’s introduces two new challahs just in time for High Holidays
Posted: August 30, 2017

A dining staple for Jews across the Valley, Chompie’s is introducing some new treats just in time for the High Holidays.

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Find organic, locally sourced food for your Rosh Hashanah meal
Posted: August 30, 2017

Between food allergies, kosher laws, finicky children and other dietary constraints, putting together a healthy High Holiday meal that everyone enjoys can be tough. To help, here are some Rosh Hashanah foods from a number of traditions, along with suggestions for where to find organic and/or locally sourced options.

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Valley organizations work to brighten the High Holidays for seniors
Posted: August 30, 2017

Thanks to a number of area Jewish agencies, homebound seniors don’t have to miss out on High Holiday celebrations.

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Wednesday 08/16/2017
Area synagogues welcome new clergy, say goodbye to retiring rabbis
Posted: August 16, 2017

With summer almost over and the Jewish New Year less than a month away, many Valley Jews will be reconnecting with their synagogues, some of which are welcoming new clergy and saying goodbye to others.

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Jewish youth organizations offer teens fun ways to engage with community
Posted: August 16, 2017

Getting teens to become involved in community organizations isn’t always easy. But when they do venture out, many describe their experiences as “life-changing,” “the best times of my life,” “home away from home” and “I just feel connected there.”

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Four great ways to get connected and engaged with your community
Posted: August 16, 2017

Social interaction is part of being a happy, healthy human being. But all too often, we get caught up with family and work. We forget to go outside and get connected to our neighbors.

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Wednesday 08/09/2017
Simple home upgrades can save energy and money
Posted: August 09, 2017

Enhancing your home’s energy-efficient features is a savvy way to make the space more livable, while also making a smaller impact on the environment and your bank account.

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Monsoon season is back, and so is the damage it causes
Posted: August 09, 2017

Monsoon season always has a way of keeping Valley residents on their toes. Newcomers are always surprised by the storms’ ferocity, while longtime and native Valley residents tend to forget the damage they can cause.

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Smart homes evolving and changing our everyday lives
Posted: August 09, 2017

We’ve all seen the progression from corded landlines to mobile phones, and from mobile phones to smartphones. Now we’re witnessing smart homes emerge, changing the way we live

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Smart homes evolving and changing our everday lives
Posted: August 09, 2017

We’ve all seen the progression from corded landlines to mobile phones, and from mobile phones to smartphones. Now we’re witnessing smart homes emerge, changing the way we live

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Wednesday 08/02/2017
Seniors face extra dangers during Arizona summer
Posted: August 02, 2017

When it comes to weather, Minnesota is the opposite of Arizona. In the depths of winter, Minnesota residents hunker down in their homes and wait for the spring thaw to comfortably enjoy the great outdoors. Of course, here in Arizona, we hunker down in the summer months when temperatures can get as high as 120 degrees and wait for the coolness of fall and winter. One thing both places have in common, though, is that extreme temperatures can take a toll on older adults.

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Jewish seniors learn that ‘love can happen at any age’
Posted: August 02, 2017

After her husband Jerry died, Harriet Vogel started writing letters to him.

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A new home for a new phase in life
Posted: August 02, 2017

It’s tough to see Mom and Dad moving into the stage of life where they need additional care. But just because they’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to “put them in a home.”

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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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