Kivel purchases assisted-living facility

The Retreat at Desert Cove in Scottsdale is Kivel Campus of Care's newest assisted-living facility. Kivel's original campus is located in Phoenix.

Kivel Campus of Care has purchased an assisted-living home in Scottsdale.

The Retreat at Desert Cove, located at 10031 E. Desert Cove Ave., is a 10-bedroom home in a residential area. The previous owners were Melanie and Hilton Efune of Paradise Valley, who built the house last year as a private assisted-living home.

"It was perfect for what we wanted," said Ira Shulman, Kivel president and CEO. Kivel, the Valley's only Jewish senior-living community, was "looking to build an assisted-living home and (this was) one of the places we visited," he said. "We really liked it and were impressed with it."

In many ways, the purchase was "beshert" (destined), Shulman wrote in an email to Jewish News. "The home was exactly what we were looking for in an area that we wanted to expand into."

In June, six months after first seeing the property, Kivel received word that the house might be available. Kivel will start operating it on Sept. 19.

A significant portion of the funding for the home was provided by the Kivel Auxiliary, according to Shulman.

In 2008, the auxiliary sold "Kivel's Kloset," a thrift shop it owned and operated, and those funds have been used toward the purchase of the home. Remaining funds will come from a bank loan, he said. He declined to disclose the purchase price.

The new facility is an expansion of Kivel's longtime services to older adults. Its original campus opened at 3040 N. 36th St. in Phoenix in 1958 and currently provides 30 assisted-living and 220 independent-living apartments. Once a new memory care unit with 15 beds is added, there will be a total of 45 assisted-living beds and 205 independent apartments, Shulman said. The memory care unit is scheduled to open in November. Kivel's nursing home closed in 2008.

Meanwhile, the retreat will retain its current staff, Shulman said, and Rabbi Martin Scharf, Kivel's rabbi, will regularly visit residents there. Jewish holidays will be celebrated, and kosher food will be available upon request, Shulman said.

The house, with 8,400 square feet of space, has a gourmet kitchen, an activity room and library, a beauty salon, sitting areas, a grand reception/living room and a landscaped patio and backyard. The bedrooms have individual temperature controls and private bathrooms and showers.

Six of the bedrooms are currently occupied, Shulman said, and two of the residents are Jewish.

The retreat offers 24-hour staffing, medication management, entertainment and educational sessions, an emergency call system, activities designed to engage and accommodate each resident, and chef-prepared meals, according to a press release from Kivel.

"In the spirit of our Jewish heritage, the home will provide an atmosphere of operating in a manner consistent with our long traditions of caring for our seniors," read the release.

The fees for living at the retreat, which start at $5,500 per month, are comparable to other high-quality homes in the area, according to Shulman. Fees are all-inclusive and are based on the individual needs of the residents.

"We look forward to the continued support of the Jewish community in our new venture and hope this new home is the first, of many, that will serve our Jewish seniors," Shulman said in the release.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Ira Shulman, 602-443-8020. Visit