A Century of Serving the Seniors and Families of Los Angeles
1912: First Passover Seder Celebrated at the Jewish Home
Montage of the Home and Its Residents
1948: Mary Pickford and husband Buddy Rogers break ground for the Mary Pickford Building on the grounds of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging
1948: Shirley Temple and Michel Levit, Purim Luncheon
The Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center
The Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Medical Center
The Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging was started in 1912 when a small group of caring Angelenos gave shelter to five homeless Jewish men at Passover.
Simon Lewis, a local grocer and one of the Home's founders, was haunted by the plight of the destitute elderly in the community — "forlorn old people without family, friends or shelter standing within our gates, pleading for our assistance."
From that humble mission to provide shelter for indigents from the County Hospital and "County Farm," and a place for them to observe Passover, the Home has grown to become one of the country's leading residential care facilities for the elderly.
The first residents of the Hebrew Sheltering Home found a new home full of warmth and Jewish tradition. By 1916, Lewis had raised enough funds from the community to purchase the Home's first permanent structure in the Boyle Heights section of downtown Los Angeles.
Over the two generations that followed, the number of Jewish Home residents grew to an impressive 350 seniors. By the mid- 1960s, most of the early Jewish population of Boyle Heights had migrated to other parts of the city, and plans were made to create a Home in the San Fernando Valley to serve the growing population there.
Already operating in Reseda, on the current site of the Home's Grancell Village, was a well-established institution called the Industrial Center for the Aged. This kibbutz-style farm and settlement for the unemployed during the Great Depression was converted to help Jewish seniors who could no longer care for themselves, and after the war became known as the California Home for the Aged.
Significant gifts throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s from the Grancell and Rosenkrantz families led to construction of multiple residences and facilities, including a synagogue, at the California Home. Expansion accommodated a Jewish population in L.A. that had more than doubled since the start of the war. Improvements in care led to a rise in the average age of residents from 70 to 80.
In 1972, the California Home for the Aged was renamed Menorah Village, for the first time offering distinctive levels of care, from independent living to skilled nursing. In 1976, the Boyle Heights Jewish Home for the Aged moved to its new residential facilities on the current site of Eisenberg Village. Then, in the late 70s, the two San Fernando Valley Homes merged, becoming the Jewish Home for the Aging of Greater Los Angeles.
The 1980s and 1990s saw construction of new clinics, residences, and skilled nursing facilities, and the rise of the Jewish Home population to nearly 900 residents. In 1990, Eisenberg Village became the name of the Victory Boulevard campus, recognizing decades of support by Ben B. and Joyce E. Eisenberg.
The Home's Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center, a 96-bed home for Alzheimer's patients opened in 2002. Made possible by a gift from Paul Goldenberg and Richard S. Ziman, the Center received an award for its innovative, patient-sensitive design and environments.
In 2004, the Home's Skirball Hospice began providing high-quality compassionate end-of-life care to patients in or outside the Home, regardless of faith, culture, or ethnicity.
From 2004-2007, the Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Medical Center, the Home's 249-bed skilled nursing facility on the Grancell Village Campus was completed and opened. The complex of three interconnected buildings — the Brandman Research Institute, the LaKretz/Black Tower and the Pavilion — feature state-of-the-art skilled nursing, a geriatric research center, and an acute behavioral treatment center.
Fountainview at Eisenberg Village, the newest residential addition to the Home, is a complex of 108 spacious one- and two-bedroom residences that redefines senior living.
The Jewish Home is currently in negotiation to acquire a property that will be the site of the much-anticipated new campus located on the Westside of Los Angeles.
Also underway is the creation of the Jewish Home's first Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) facility. To be named The Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC), in recognition of a founding gift by Joyce and Saul Brandman, of blessed memory, the program will strive to improve the wellness of our senior community with in-home services and at local care centers throughout the city.
While the Los Angeles Jewish Home has been known by several names over nearly a century of evolving care, one thing hasn't changed — the ongoing devotion of our community to maintain a special place where our seniors are cared for and truly feel "at home."