Articles by Leni Reiss


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Bernie Gross Remembers it Well

You’ve heard no doubt, of the Energizer Bunny. Now meet Energizer Bernie, the 97-year-old who is living on his own in the house in northwest Phoenix, purchased in 1949 on the GI Bill, where he and his late wife raised their children; he is driving (and thriving!) and working in sales (albeit not full time)…

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Women’s Philanthropy: Sharing the Passion

The fabled Phoenix bird symbolizes renewal and represents the capacity for vision and intense inspiration. Much the same can be said of the revitalization taking place here in the Valley of the Sun at Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. Robin Loeb, presently federation director of women’s philanthropy and donor relations, is…

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A Life in Art

During a visit to Beth Ames Swartz’ secluded Paradise Valley home/sanctuary/studio, her base of operations for the past 45 years, the nationally recognized and renowned artist enthusiastically described her latest project. She is the subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary about her life in art. Titled “Beth Ames Swartz/Reminders of Invisible Light,” the 26-minute, not-for-profit film…

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Francine Coles: Finding her true calling

“The message that I could really make a difference resonated with me. I felt empowered – I felt that I truly could act to help protect both the U.S. and Israel.” ~ Francine Coles, outgoing council chair of Phoenix AIPAC Toronto’s loss clearly was a gain for Phoenix when Canadian transplants Francine (Shostack) Coles and…

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Cooking Up Ideas as a Volunteer

On a 1996 trip to the former Soviet Union to teach women how to start a business, Janie Kuznitsky presented four women with espresso machines, coffee beans and accessories and trained the women to lead seminars enhanced by the experience of great coffee. Look in the dictionary for the word “volunteer.” It would make good…

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Solutions for Seniors when Aging is an Issue

For clients from as far away as London, from cities across the U.S. and throughout the Valley of the Sun, Nanean Fann has helped families find care and living environments for their elderly parents. In a classic example of identifying a need and filling it, Elderchoice, the business Nanean founded some 25 years ago, came…

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Treasures evaluated at inaugural Judaica Jackpot

The first ever Judaica Appraisal Fair, hosted by Scottsdale’s J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in conjunction with Arizona Jewish Life, was an unqualified success. Each time slot was filled, from 5 to 8 pm, as a trio of expert appraisers shared their expertise with guests who had signed up to learn the history/provenance of their…

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