Readers Choice 2013: Seniors



Many seniors are reluctant about moving to retirement communities, especially if it means

giving up independence and familiar routines. These modern retirement residences offer a plethora of activities and amenities along with Jewish tradition that put minds and hearts at ease.

Anita and Milt Gersick, who live at Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco, say moving to the nonprofit facility “satisfied all of our objectives: freedom from responsibilities of our household, and knowing we are being cared for by a knowledgeable staff.” And they aren’t alone. The elegant assisted-living community “has spacious rental apartments, gourmet kosher meals, 24-hour support staff, housekeeping and transportation,” says Susan Koster, executive director. Along with observing Jewish holidays and holding Shabbat services, Koster says, “we foster community, provide a sense of belonging and offer a wide range of activities that engage residents.”

The Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville opened more than 60 years ago as the Home for Jewish Parents in Oakland. Administrator Suzanne Sloane describes Reutlinger as a “multilevel of care senior

living environment providing independent and assisted living, enhanced care, memory care and skilled nursing services.” She says everyone, from the front-line staff to the board of directors, works to provide the best service to ensure that “each resident receives the care and attention he or she needs to reach their full potential.”

The Moldaw Residences in Palo Alto are located on the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life, right next to the Oshman Family JCC. Residents are able to exercise and go to classes and lectures at the center, attend performances at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall and more, without really leaving home. Living options in this retirement community range from independent living (in one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments with modern amenities) to assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing. Living in this “maintenance-free senior living community” is what retirement ought to be.

San Francisco

Rhoda Goldman Plaza

(415) 345-5060


East Bay

Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living


(925) 648-2800


South Bay/Peninsula

Moldaw Residences

Palo Alto

(650) 433-3600




People are living longer and, luckily, able to enjoy the golden years, thanks to these retirement residences that provide high-quality care as well as a high quality of life.

On looks and location alone, San Francisco Towers, one of the Episcopal Senior Communities, is an appealing place, even if you’re not ready to retire. The tiers of residential options — independent, assisted living and skilled nursing — are reassuring for many families, knowing that a loved one will not have to move out if his or her health declines. Attractive accommodations, fine food, a caring staff, an exercise room and pool, and a broad range of classes, activities and outings are all part of the allure of this community situated on Pine Street near Van Ness Avenue.

St. Paul’s Towers in Oakland is another of the Episcopal Senior Communities, with the same continuum-of-care structure and commitment to an elegant, urban lifestyle. Residents enjoy activities and amenities aimed at keeping them active, happy, healthy and involved. “We believe St. Paul’s Towers is a place where each individual brings a unique perspective, a different story and new and exciting ideas,” says director of sales and marketing Adrienne Kohler. “And all are enthusiastically welcomed, regardless of what their spiritual affiliations may be.”

Vi Living in Palo Alto is one of 10 Vi residential communities for older adults in the country. Vi is committed to residents’ “whole-person wellness” and provides extensive physical, social and intellectual programming in an environment that provides rich opportunities for residents and contributes to successful aging. “Our priority is the well-being of our residents,” says sales director Michael Wilson, “and our resident satisfaction is a key measure of our success.”

The Redwoods in Mill Valley, which sits on 10 acres and includes a large, resident-run garden, is home to an active and lively group of older adults who are facing aging head-on. Established in 1972 by the Community Church of Mill Valley, the nonsectarian not-for-profit community for seniors offers independent living, residential living, assisted living and a skilled nursing facility. In addition to the wide range of activities offered, residents run a number of programs and put on fundraisers throughout the year.

San Francisco

San Francisco Towers

(415) 776-0500


East Bay

St. Paul’s Towers


(510) 835-4700


South Bay/Peninsula

Vi Living

Palo Alto

(877) 776-3972

North Bay

The Redwoods Retirement Community

Mill Valley

(415) 383-2741


In-Home Care

“There’s no place like home” is as true for many older adults as it was for Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” These caregiving programs provide needed assistance for those who prefer to continue living in their own homes.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Seniors at Home program in San Francisco provides far more than a one-size-fits-all approach for the elderly or infirm who want to age in place. A detailed assessment determines the type of help needed and for how long, from two to 24 hours per day. Caregivers assist with activities of daily living, transportation, companionship and respite care for family caregivers. And Seniors at Home is the caregivers’ employer, so clients don’t deal with details such as  payroll taxes, workers’ comp and SDI.

Home Care for Seniors, serving Alameda and Contra Costa counties, was launched in May by Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay in collaboration with 24Hr HomeCare. The positive response was immediate. Holly White of JFCS/East Bay says, “Our program specifically meets the needs of the East Bay Jewish community by including training for caregivers around Jewish cultural issues.” And, she says, the organization is “thrilled to be in the position to support members of our community who wish to age in their own homes.”

San Francisco

JFCS Seniors at Home

(415) 449-3777


East Bay

JFCS East Bay Home Care for Seniors

Alameda County / Contra Costa County

(510) 684-6009

(925) 949-6151


Alzheimer’s Care

Cognitive impairment can cause great pain not only for the patient, but also for his or her family. Great strides in Alzheimer’s and memory loss care have led to these outstanding programs chosen by our readers.

Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco offers several levels of care, including the Terrace, a memory unit. The highly qualified and experienced staff works to promote the health, well-being and spirit of residents.

A personalized care plan and cheerful

surroundings enable Alzheimer’s patients

to enjoy as enriching and safe a quality of

 life as possible, which is especially reassuring to their loved ones.

Residents in Traditions, the memory care unit at Danville’s Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living, take part in therapeutic

activities along with social, spiritual and

cultural programs, all designed to keep them engaged. Round-the-clock care assures

residents’ safety, which is especially important for Alzheimer’s patients. Kosher meals, religious observances and holiday celebrations help keep residents connected to their world. Family support is an essential part of the program.

San Francisco

Rhoda Goldman Plaza

(415) 345-5060