As part of the Jewish Community Association’s Senior Services Study, consultant Janice Friebaum identified current senior services offered by Jewish organizations. Here is a roundup, based on the study.
Bureau of Jewish Education: BJE offers adult learning classes and other educational programs at various locations throughout the Valley, including the Sun Cities area. bjephoenix.org.
East Valley JCC: The EVJCC in Chandler offers Terrific Tuesdays senior gatherings with a mini-bus to transport people to the program as well as to cultural events at the Chandler Center for the Arts. It also sponsors book discussions in Sun Lakes. evjcc.org.
Jewish Family & Children’s Service: JFCS offers case management and counseling, the Helping Hands emergency assistance fund, holiday programs, information and referral services, Holocaust survivor services, hospital chaplaincy and the Center for Senior Enrichment at Chris Ridge. jfcsaz.org.
Jewish Free Loan: JFL offers interest-free loans for a variety of needs. New this year is the Senior In-Home and Care Needs Loan Fund, which provides interest-free loans for expenses related to home health aides, safety equipment, home modifications, therapeutic programs and other services that help seniors continue to live at home. jewishfreeloan.org.
Jewish War Veterans: JWV posts are civilian organizations for Jewish veterans and non-veterans interested in supporting veterans and Jewish causes. There are currently three active posts in JWV’s Department of the Southwest – in Chandler, Phoenix and Scottsdale. jwv.org.
Kivel Campus of Care: Kivel is Phoenix’s only Jewish senior residential facility in Greater Phoenix and has 210 independent living apartments, 45 assisted-living apartments and a memory-care unit. It has HUD-subsidized housing and offers kosher meals and a part-time rabbi. Kivel also operates The Retreat, a 10-bed assisted living facility in Scottsdale. kivelcare.org.
Smile on Seniors: SOS is a volunteer-fueled organization that offers a variety of services and programs in seniors’ homes, at their senior living residential facilities and at Chabad of Phoenix. sosaz.org.
Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association: PHSA is for Holocaust survivors, their descendants and others interested in preserving memory of the Holocaust, bringing Holocaust awareness to the community and meeting the needs of survivors. phsa.org.
Valley of the Sun JCC: The VOSJCC offers educational, cultural, social, fitness and recreation programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. vosjcc.org.
There are also Jewish social clubs that offer programs in specific areas, such as the Sun City Grand Shalom Club, the Jewish Social Connection, the Jewish Singles Group of the Sun Cities and PebbleCreek Shalom Club.
Also listed are services offered by governmental agencies, as well as nonprofit and for-profit providers and synagogues that offer services and programs to seniors. The study also identified notable programs and services provided in other Jewish communities around the country.
The report also provided a list of priority unmet needs of local Jewish seniors. These are:
• Affordable and user-friendly transportation options
• Sufficient and accessible socialization programs to address isolation
• Sufficient and user-friendly information on available senior resources and services
• Services and programs targeted for Jewish older adults who do not reside in Scottsdale or Phoenix
• Affordable in-home services, including respite care, guided by sufficient case management
• Advocacy for vulnerable older adults, especially those without local family and/or who reside in skilled nursing facilities
A list of additional unmet needs included more stimulating adult education classes, more robust older adult services and programs at the JCCs, volunteer opportunities for Baby Boomers and older adults, affordable continuing care retirement community and adult health programs for those with early onset and/or early stage dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and programs for those with physical impairments.