Judy E. Laufer is a publisher and author who writes under the pen name of J.E. Laufer. She is the creative spirit behind the Little Egg Publishing Company or Little Egg Kids Books on Facebook.
She was born in Budapest, Hungary and grew up in Montreal Canada, as the child of Holocaust survivors. Judy has been actively involved in several nonprofits and has served on multiple boards and held leadership positions in many organizations, both in Canada and the U.S. Last month, she received the Gerda Weissmann Klein and Kurt Klein Award for community leadership from the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.
Her background is in early childhood education, and she worked as a kindergarten teacher for more than two decades. She wanted a change from teaching but still wanted to stay in the field of education and continue to use her training and experience. Judy was also looking for a career that she could do while she traveled, being an author seemed like a good fit.
Judy’s first book was about a child dealing with grief, Where Did Papa Go?, written after her father passed away. She self-published the book, and it won the Golden Poet Award its first year in print.
Little Egg Publishing Company provides quality, “feel good” children’s books. The company began 25 years ago, so it has seen publishing go from working face-to-face with the illustrator and checking large physical proof sheets to the whole process being online.
With the help of corporate partners and individual sponsors, Little Egg has donated 3,000 books to children’s charities to promote childhood literacy.
Judy’s newest book is a young adult and adult non-fiction historical novel about her family’s escape from Hungary during the Russian occupation in 1956. It is set to release on May 15 and is called Choices, The True Story of One Family’s Daring Escape to Freedom. The trailer and full description of the book can be found on the Little Egg website.
Dr. Nathan Laufer
Founder, Medical Director
Heart & Vascular Center
1331 N. 7th St. #375, Phoenix
Dr. Nathan Laufer has been the founder and medical director of the Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona since its inception 16 years ago. He has been practicing and teaching cardiology in Phoenix for more than 30 years. He is the past program director and founder of the 4th year Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, founder of the Cardiovascular Society of Arizona and past chief of the department of cardiovascular disease at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix.
Dr. Laufer is also the immediate past president of the Arizona Medical Association. Over the years he has held numerous board positions including president of the Maricopa County Medical Society, president of the Phoenix Board of the American Heart Association, counselor of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and board member of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Phoenix.
He and his wife, Judy, have been co-chairs of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Tribute dinner, several King David Annual Galas and the 2015 Phoenix AIPAC dinner. They are actively involved in the Jewish National Fund, Friends of the IDF, ASU Chabad, Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and several Valley synagogues. Recently the Laufer’s established the Laufer Family Scholarship Fund to benefit students traveling to Eastern Europe to learn about their Jewish heritage.
Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona provides the full range of consultative cardiology and vascular services as well as interventional cardiology of the heart, carotid arteries, peripheral vascular disease, abdominal aneurysms, arrhythmia management, vein management and female cardiology services.
Not being employed by a hospital system allows Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona’s physicians to be in charge of medical decisions, not hospital administrators. The doctors believe that medical practice success comes from excellent medical care, rather than good business practices.
Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona has partnered with 25 cardiologists in central Phoenix to build two free-standing cardiac catheterization laboratories that can offer most aspects of interventional cardiology, peripheral angiography/intervention and pacemaker and defibrillator implantations. They can do this at a significant discount to what hospitals charge for the same procedures. The Cardiac Cath Lab of Phoenix has received Medicare accreditation and greater than 98% patient satisfaction. We view this as the future of providing excellent, efficient medical care at a lower cost.
6250 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix
The Palazzo is a full continuing care community offering independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. At The Palazzo, we are able to cater to your needs whether you are looking for an environment with social activities, wonderful meals, housekeeping and care as needed. Assisted living for those requiring 24/7 care and a personalized care plan; skilled nursing for those being discharged from a hospital stay and still in need of rehab or more long-term care and memory care for your loved ones who will thrive more in an environment specializing in care and activities for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Come by The Palazzo to see our beautifully renovated apartments, Café, extensive activities and programs designed with you in mind and don’t miss out on Main Street which offers a fun and convenient place for residents to meet. The Palazzo residents enjoy features and amenities including apartments with individual heat and air-conditioning controls, complimentary laundry rooms, storage facilities, library, cinema, fitness center, billiards room, arts & crafts room, on-site post office, beauty salon, barber, private dining room, heated outdoor pool, therapeutic spa, transportation and more.
We include many services to promote life, health and peace of mind. Those services include meals, housekeeping, laundry services, Life Alert pendant, call light system, utilities, cable, Wi-Fi, security, 24-hour concierge, planned activities, events and outings.
Our residents find a caring, compassionate and devoted staff to accommodate virtually every request. We pride ourselves on providing stellar service and invite you to let us exceed your expectations. In skilled nursing, we recently obtained CMS 5-Star Rating and HSAG Platinum Level.
12701 N. Scottsdale Road #203, Scottsdale
480-483-7121 ext. 1109
Shahar Edry grew up in the world-renowned youth village of Ben Shemen in Israel. After his army service as a combat medic, he returned to Ben Shemen to lead youth groups as an educator.
Subsequently, Shahar availed himself an overseas business management opportunity in Ecuador where he met his future American wife. She brought him to the U.S. where he was introduced to the broader Jewish community.
Shahar ran the Israel Center for more than four years before becoming the regional director of the Israeli American Council Arizona in Nov. 2016. He brought many successful programs to the Valley through the Israel Center that have now carried over and expanded at the IAC Arizona.
The mission of the IAC Arizona is to strengthen and enhance the Israeli community. By engaging families, building partnerships and initiating innovative programs, IAC Arizona hopes to bring the flavor of Israeli life to the Valley of the Sun. Some of the current programs the IAC offers are:
Keshet Sferim – Hebrew books for children age 2-8
Eitanim – teaches high school students skills needed for success in college, career and life
Mishelanu – strengthens college student’s identity thru culture, language and connection to Israel
Gvanim – leadership program for those 40+
Shishi Shabbat – develop community bonds by sharing Shabbat
Celebrate Israel – festival of Israeli culture, food & music
Annual events – Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Remembrance Day), Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) and many other meaningful and fun events throughout the year
The IAC Arizona’s goal and Shahar’s leadership vision for the future are to bring the programs they offer to people all over the Valley. Currently, many of their events have been held at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center because that is where they are headquartered. Shahar would like to bring the popular Shishi Shabbat to the East Valley Jewish Community Center as well as synagogues across the Valley in the coming year.
The main focus of all of the IAC Arizona’s programs is to build a strong community in the Valley around Israel. “Together we do extraordinary things,” says Shahar.
Two Plates Full
10337 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Terri Weisz has been involved with art in one form or another since a very early age. Growing up in Chicago she received a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago’s High School Program. She continued her education at the University of Arizona and American Academy of Fine Art. Her art media is varied: stained and fused glass, painting, ceramics, jewelry, weaving, pencil drawing, fabric art and sewing.
In 1989, Terri opened Two Plates Full. She was a single mother to her two children who were 1 and 3 years old. She wanted a job where she had the freedom to attend every school event, dance recital and sporting event.
Two Plates Full started as a kitchen store. When the “big box” retailers started opening, she shifted her focus to carry local and American handicrafts, taking chances on more unusual and hard-to-find items. Today the turquoise-colored store stocks pieces that are brightly colored and whimsical, from handcrafted furniture to adult greeting cards. Every inch of their walls and floor is covered in something different and fun.
Terri has also worked with many charitable organizations including the American Cancer Society, Arizona Animal Welfare League, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and more.
Last year, Two Plates Full moved into its own building after being closed for six months during renovations. It turned into a blessing in disguise, as Terri was able to help her daughter with wedding plans and spend time with her ailing mother.
Terri loves what she does and the interaction with customers; from hearing them laugh while reading greeting cards or finding funny gifts to reactions to her unusual newsletters that she writes with flowing ideas and little punctuation.
After a long day what keeps her going is her customers, employees, family, dogs and the constant hunt for new and fun items for the store.
Shape Up US, Inc.
Jyl Steinback is passionate about changing the face of education as we know it today and healing children from the inside-out (mind, body and emotions). She created and launched Shape Up US, a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2009, The Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for ChildrenTM and Clap4HealthSM. All of these programs encompass the “whole child” with a vision of “Building a healthier future for children.”
Jyl has been spreading the word of living a healthy lifestyle for more than 25 years and she is the author of more than 15 healthy lifestyle cookbooks. She is also a homeopathic practitioner, guiding people to heal themselves from the inside out.
Shape Up US has a three-pronged approach: Awareness, Education and Action
Awareness: Shape Up US Health and Wellness Expos. Free expos that get thousands of participants on-board the wellness “bandwagon” to promote health further and prevent chronic disease.
Education: The Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for ChildrenTM. A K-6 grade comprehensive wellness program that has been created to “Build a culture of health” through our educational system.
Action: Clap4Health!SM Fundraiser. A national fitness campaign that uses clapping as its method of delivery to raise awareness and prevent obesity among youth and adults.
In the last year Shape Up US launched two new programs. The first, Plant Power! is a plant-based nutrition curriculum along with a kid’s yoga curriculum that is part of the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for ChildrenTM.
The second is Clap4Health!SM Fundraiser. An innovative solution for keeping fit, active, healthy and happy. It’s an activity in which anyone can participate. Also, in conjunction with other types of movement like dance and sports, it can improve motor and spatial skills and enhance emotional, sociological, physiological and cognitive benefits.
Jyl’s passion is watching children and adults heal themselves from the inside out and when they begin to heal they love themselves. “We all have a story and if we can heal that story we have healed ourselves,” says Jyl. It is a gift and a blessing that she loves sharing with the world.