By COLlive reporter
Photos by Ann Bradford Photography
Despite some weather drama, this past Sunday morning was a relaxing and rejuvenating one for over 70 women in Tucson, beginning their week with pampering the body and soul.
The weather was actually sunny and in the 80s as participants gathered at the historic Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort located in the foothills of the Catalina Mountain range.
But it was the snowstorm in the Northeast that held back the guest speaker of the Spa for the Soul women’s event, organized by Shluchos Chanie Shemtov and Feigie Ceitlin of Chabad of Tucson.
The flight of noted lecturer Bronya Shaffer out of New York was one of the 10,000 flights affected by the relentless climate. The Associated Press said that this winter’s weather has led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years.
So when Tucson Shluchos searched for an appropriate alternative, they turned closer to home — literally.
Shlucha Chanie Perelmuter, a veteran educator and first cousin of Rabbi Yossie Shemtov, Head Shliach of Tucson, agreed to fly from California on such short notice.
The morning began at the Casa Feliz meeting rooms of the hotel, where the women were offered mini spa treatments by the staff of Bliss – The Salon, beauty consultations by a Mary Key representative and viewed hand-made jewlery and tichel head scarves sold by local vendors.
They then found their seats in a room infused with a Southern hospitality atmosphere to it. Each table featured another Jewish heroine, from the 4 matriarchs to Yehudis and Queen Esther, the leading women of the Chanukah and Purim stories, respectively.
The luncheon was prepared by Kristine Jensen, owner of the thriving catering company Gallery of Foods that emphasizes creative and wholesome dishes, custom designed to tickle her clients’ taste buds.
“We all sure can appreciate the need to take a step back from our busy lives to enjoy some peace, serenity and relaxation,” noted the event’s chairperson, Karen Faitelson, a licensed therapist.
“What we set out to do in the second half of our program is provide you the opportunity to explore how our lives are wired and refocus our attention and energy to what is truly important to us; our goals and dreams, and finding a way to make them happen.”
And Perelmuter, the award winning Director of the Hebrew Academy Preschool and a personal mentor to many couples in the Long Beach and Orange County communities, did just that.
In a level-headed and humorous talk that held the crowd captive, she described the many challenges a modern-day woman is faced with on a daily basis and the ever important need for quality family time for oneself and family, such as the holy day of Shabbos.
Following dessert and drinks, participants headed home to begin their week anew, inspired and with a sense of purpose.