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Healthy Aging at the J

For over 60 years, the Tucson Jewish Community Center has been a home away from home for Tucsonans of all ages, abilities, faiths, and identities. We serve more than 5,000 people from all walks of life who come to the J to grow, play, learn, and relax weekly. We’re committed to creating opportunities for people to live their best lives at every age and every stage! With one in five persons being over 65 years of age it is essential that health and wellness centers dedicate and focus on the needs of this population.

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Balance, Mobility, and Fall Prevention

Improve your quality of life with the tools you need to reach your goals and learn about balance, mobility, and fall prevention in this group class.

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Movement/Arts Immersion Group classes

Social engagement helps reduce stigma and isolation. These group classes are intended for older adults in the early/mild stage of dementia to continue pursuing their interests and making connections.

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Physical Training for older adults

These 1:1 sessions with a Certified Personal Trainer are intended for those older adults in the early/mild stage of dementia that are participants in the Movement/Arts Immersion Group Classes. The focus is to help you meet your specific health and wellness goals.

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BEST Protocol for Osteoporosis

BEST Protocol is the gold standard for improving bone health in women with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, as well as men experiencing bone loss. Learn to lift weights safely and build stronger, healthier bones and muscles.

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Parkinson's Exercise Wellness Program

This program is a monthly, flexible program designed to provide exercise and physical activity that reduces symptoms and improves quality of life for individuals living with Parkinson's Disease or Parkinsonism under the care of a physician.

Portrait of a mature patients gathered in circle at psychologist office discussing self problems and sharing points of view while listening others. Getting psychological support. Mature people.

People with Parkinson's support group

People with Parkinson’s (PwP) is a FREE support group. Open to the community for those living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. This group is led by Dr. Marilyn Hart and meets monthly.

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Aging + Social Connections: Let's Get Together and Talk!

These sessions are led by Linda Travis, Psy.D, Director of Healthy Aging. Linda is a licensed psychologist and brings over three decades of experience in aging and health through clinician, scholar and educator roles in higher education and community settings. She particularly enjoys helping families consider relationship changes in navigating the joys and challenges of aging.

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People with Parkinson's support group

People with Parkinson’s (PwP) is a FREE support group. Open to the community for those living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. This group is led by Dr. Marilyn Hart and meets monthly.

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BEST Protocol for Osteoporosis

BEST Protocol is the gold standard for improving bone health in women with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, as well as men experiencing bone loss. Learn to lift weights safely and build stronger, healthier bones and muscles.

                                           Generously sponsored by Judy Ruben of Bless Memory 

“You Belong Here: Creating a Dementia Friendly Environment at the Tucson J” is supported by The Sephardic Foundation on Aging

Mind + Body Elder Care Program

Our Mind + Body Elder Care Program is designed for adults experiencing memory loss, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and dementia. The two components of physical and cognitive activities and exercises are individually suggested to be carried out in a 1:1 setting with a volunteer partner.

Participants are paired with volunteer partners to assist and guide the person through the activities. Individual needs and interests based on the required assessment will guide the selection of the activities.

Scholarships are available. Contact Marcia Berger, PT at mberger@tucsonjcc.org for more information.

Parkinson’s Exercise. Wellness Program

The Tucson J’s Parkinson’s Wellness Program is a monthly, flexible program designed to provide exercise and physical activity that reduces symptoms and improves quality of life for individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinsonism under the care of a physician.

Upon enrollment, each participant will be contacted to schedule with a PD Trainer for an initial hour-long screening. Required forms will be provided in advance. After the screening, participants have access to unlimited weekly classes including: Cycling; Functional Mobility; and Dance. These classes align with the Parkinson’s Exercise Recommendations. 

Non-refundable $50 Screening Fee. Program fee of $70 will be billed monthly on the 1st of each month; 30-day written notice is required to withdraw. 

Contact wellness@tucsonjcc.org for more information.

Meet the trainers

Rhina has been at the J since 1993 as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor.  With over 35 years in fitness and wellness, including working alongside healthcare providers, Rhina customizes programs to help clients of all fitness levels, improve strength, balance, mobility, and overall well-being.

She is a highly trained Functional Movement expert who guides her clients with proven methods and caring commitment to lifelong wellness. During her 18 years working with physical therapists, she gained invaluable experience to better serve clients dealing with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s.

Rhina loves teaching indoor cycling, dance, TRX classes, to name a few.   Her positive and encouraging manner keeps clients inspired not to give up and keep moving forward.

She is an avid community volunteer, including Angel Charity for Children for the past 20 years.  Rhina is an accomplished athlete having completed 52 marathons (Boston six times) and 41 half-marathons.

In 2015, Rhina was voted Top Instructor by Tucsonans and the Arizona Daily Star and received the JCAA Award for Excellence in Elder Rehab in 2018.

Certifications/Education:

  • BS, and Master’s coursework Business/Public Health
  • Functional Movement Specialist
  • ACE, TRX, Schwinn & Matrix Cycling, CORE/Resist-a-Ball, Barre Above
  • 18 years at Proactive Physical Therapy
  • Co-owner of Summit Wellness Clinic
  • 14 years at Canyon Ranch
  • Director of Health and Safety Services, American Red cross

Veronika Zinsmaier obtained her teaching degree in Sports and Fitness from The Gym Sports & Dance Academy KNS at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Veronika has been working for the JCC since 2004 and is a certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a Silver Sneakers Fitness Instructor, a Senior Fitness Specialist, and a certified TRX Suspension Instructor.

Veronika has been teaching fitness for over 40 years and enjoys the excitement of an exercise session and the camaraderie of her attendees. Veronika has extensive experience in training older adults and believes workouts should be fun and improve fitness and health. She will steadily guide you to achieve your fitness goal by developing safe, effective, and fun workouts that are personalized to your needs and modified for each session. When she is not at the JCC, she enjoys playing the Cello, going to Concerts and Dance performances, swimming long laps, or cycling in the desert. 

Pamela Adler was a certified schoolteacher of 20 years serving a wonderful population of students in Tucson who are deaf/hearing impaired, on the Autism Spectrum, as well as students with physical and cognitive impairments. It was through the transformative power of Yoga and Meditation that Pamela realized she could reach her students in a different way. Meditation and Breathwork eased anxiety in her students with ADHD, regular yoga practices soothed social angst in her students with Asperger’s Syndrome. With the seed planted, Pamela received her 200-hr Hatha Yoga training in Tucson at the Yoga Connection in June of 2013 and completed her 300 hour Yoga Therapy; Healing Emphasis Yoga Teacher Training Program at Inner Vision Yoga (Phoenix, AZ) in December of 2015.

Pamela’s many trainings have qualified her to teach: Hatha Yoga classes to: adults, children, special needs populations, Chair Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga/Resorative Yoga, TRE/CSR™, Reiki I, and private/small group-healing emphasis yoga classes. Pamela often uses conscious sound and vibration in the forms of toning and crystal bowls to deepen the already transformative, healing power of Yoga. Pamela offers private sessions and will create a personalized, therapeutic, healing, and or traditional Hatha Yoga session based on your specific wellness goals. Pamela specializes in a healing emphasis-based program using guided meditation, pranayama (breathing techniques), and restorative yoga therapeutics for any healing project ranging from anxiety to Osteoporosis.

BEST Protocol for Osteoporosis

The BEST program, designed by Scientists at the University of Arizona, is the gold standard for improving bone health in women with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, as well as men experiencing bone loss. Learn to lift weights safely and build stronger, healthier bones and muscles.

Fall Proof: A Balance and Mobility Program

Tucson J’s Fall Proof: A Balance and Mobility Program is a six-week, twice per week small-group personal training program for older adults seeking to improve their balance and mobility in functional movement patterns and aiming to increase their proficiency and independence in activities of daily living.

Upon enrollment, each participant will be contacted to schedule a functional screening with Alyse Hergenrother, Certified Personal Trainer and Functional Aging Specialist, in order to determine their appropriate group level. Pending the results of the screening, individuals will either meet weekly on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 12:15-1:00pm or 1:15-2:00pm.