Foundations team up with iTunes to promote tolerance with new iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad app

Daniel Wultz with Computer, April 2006
Four years after a terrorist attack that claimed the life of 16-year-old Daniel Wultz, his passion for doing good deeds continues through a free app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, known as "Mitzvah Project."

Four years after a suicide bombing that claimed the life of a 16 year-old Florida youngster, PAIRS Foundation and the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation teamed up with iTunes to release a free iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad application to promote tolerance in the world.

Daniel Wultz, a student at the David Posnack Hebrew Day School, was visiting Israel with his parents, Sheryl and Tuly Wultz, during the Passover holiday on April 17, 2006 when a suicide bomber targeted the restaurant where Daniel and his father were having lunch. Both Tuly and Daniel were seriously injured in the terrorist attack. Daniel died 27 days later, on Mother’s Day, in a Tel Aviv hospital.

Throughout his young life, Daniel was particularly fond of performing good deeds, known in Judaism as “mitzvot.” As the fourth anniversary of the event approached, Sheryl and Tuly Wultz met with staff at the PAIRS Foundation to consider ways to continue promoting tolerance and good deeds in Daniel’s memory. Following Daniel’s death, the Wultz Family created the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation to develop educational and sports programs that promote tolerance and acceptance.

Mitzvah Pjoject app
Free app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad guides youngsters through identifying and completing projects that promote tolerance and good deeds.

The group came up with the idea of creating an iPhone app called “Mitzvah Project,” designed specifically to guide youngsters preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah — or others — to perform good deeds that help them learn about tolerance and launch projects to help strengthen families, peers and communities.

Steven Steinberg, a technical specialist at PAIRS Foundation, volunteered to oversee development of the project, including design, working with team members and programmers on implementation, and assuring Mitzvah Project was released on iTunes to coincide with the event that led to Daniel’s death. Other PAIRS team members, including Veronica Nijamkin and Seth Eisenberg, volunteered to work with the Wultz family to create more than a dozen projects that promote tolerance.

For more information, click here to learn about Mitzvah Project on iTunes or visit the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation online.

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RELATED STORY: Jerusalem Post, 4/19/2010

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What is PAIRS?

Intimacy is critical to the process of developing and sustaining close relationships, now a major concern in our culture. Modernization has shifted the primary function of marriage from providing security, stability, and raising children to developing a lifetime of love and intimacy. In previous generations successful marriages depended upon duty and role competence. Modern marriages require greater interpersonal competence as well as equality between partners. Relationships are sought that not only create stable families but also provide partners with a lifetime of love and companionship.

The PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills) programs, developed by Lori H. Gordon, Ph.D., provide a comprehensive system to enhance self-knowledge and to develop the ability to sustain pleasurable intimate relationships. Gordon's approach integrates a wide range of theories and methods from psychology, education and psychotherapy and presents them in an educational format. PAIRS acts to bridge therapy, marital enrichment, and marriage and family development.

Programs: Courses and Workshops

PAIRS offers programs to the public led by PAIRS Trained Professionals (licensed health care professionals), and PAIRS Instructors (certified clergy and educators), trained under the auspices and supervision of Gordon and the PAIRS Foundation, the organization that officially oversees PAIRS programs, products and licensing worldwide. There are PTPs and facilitators around the world. Check “Finding an Educator” to find one near you or near one you love who may need PAIRS.

PAIRS is effective in all populations for which it has been adapted. PAIRS has relationship skills training programs for children and youth, PAIRS for PEERS, that are taught in schools, churches and agencies. PAIRS has programs for the Military, for use by chaplains and family service workers. PAIRS has faith-based programs for the Jewish, Catholic, and Christian church communities. PAIRS is currently developing programs and program delivery systems for disadvantaged youth, unmarried families, single parents, domestic violence, prison parolees, and related groups who can benefit from relationship skills training. PAIRS provides a vital ingredient to build stable marriages and healthy families with more hopeful futures for children. These programs for special groups will be taught by local agency workers and by specially trained community teachers and mentors. Research on PAIRS has demonstrated that PAIRS works for all groups under all circumstances evaluated. PAIRS is a modern technology adapted to our rapidly changing society in behalf of creating a saner, safer more loving world.

What you will learn in PAIRS

Sustaining a pleasurable intimate relationship does not work by magic. It depends upon a set of skills and understanding that can be learned. We learned most of what we know about intimate relationships through our early experiences in our families. Our personal history has a great deal of influence on what happens in our current relationships - on our behavior, our feelings, our expectations. We can change these influences if we become aware of them and wish to. It is well worthwhile to sort through what we inherited, keeping what fits for today and changing what does not.

PAIRS Competencies are specific skills that you will learn from PAIRS. These competencies focus in three areas: 1) emotional literacy; 2) conjoint partner skills for building and maintaining intimacy; and 3) practical knowledge, strategies and attitudes for sustaining positive marriage and family life. You may click on the above links to see a listing of the skills taught in PAIRS.

The Goal of PAIRS is a relationship that both partners can live with joyfully. For this to happen, each partner must become able to identify his or her own feelings and needs, and learn to communicate them in such a way that they can get met. This means communicating one's needs and desires without making the other partner feel resentful, smothered, burdened, manipulated, or inadequate. Easily and fully meeting each others' needs is the foundation of intimacy, fulfillment, and happiness.

PAIRS teaches specific easily learnable tools for successful communication such as confiding, complaining, and clarifying and for effective problems solving such as managing anger, expressing anger safely, fighting fairly for change and eliminating dirty fighting. PAIRS also guides the vast deepening of self-knowledge and develops emotional literacy. PAIRS addresses pleasure and satisfaction by teaching skills to enhance bonding, sensuality and sexuality in marriage. PAIRS teaches a profound but simple model, the Relationship Roadmap, to understand relationship success and to understand relationship mishaps and know what to do about them. PAIRS teaches over 60 skills that, after PAIRS, become the participants' PAIRS Tool Box for ongoing relationship maintenance.

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