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Kosher communities that honour tradition
Retirement homes below list Jewish as a religious or cultural affiliation. These communities may have a Jewish population of 80% or higher. Communities will serve strictly kosher food (overseen by the Kashruth Council of Canada), will honour Jewish holidays, and offer more features appealing to a Jewish population.
List of Jewish retirement communities
What to expect in Jewish retirement homes
Jewish elders and seniors can expect these communities to honour the Jewish faith, especially the following:
Kosher meals served. A Jewish retirement community will certainly have kosher meals available. They will also offer offering traditional Jewish European and Middle Eastern cuisine. Kosher food may be a feature available at other communities that do not explicitly advertise themselves as Jewish.
Proximity or transportation to synagogue. Many communities will offer a shuttle service that takes members of the Jewish faith to synagogue on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. An observant community that caters to a more Jewish orthodox clientele, will be in close proximity or walking distance to a synagogue and/or offer synagogue services within the building. Conservative and Reform communities may offer services within the building and/or offer a shuttle bus service for their clients who are not able to walk the distance due to mobility and / or health related issues.
This feature is not necessarily restricted to communities listed above, as many seniors’ communities, especially those in larger cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal, will cater to the needs of a diverse population, including seniors who are Jewish.
Observation of all Jewish holidays and traditions. Other communities cater to a more conservative and reform group and offer kosher style traditional prepared meals.
Sabbath elevator. Communities may include a Sabbath elevator so that observant Jews can honour the Sabbath.
Shabbat and holiday meals. This is an observance sure to be held in a Jewish retirement community. In a non-Jewish community this might be difficult to find.
Respect for Jewish heritage. Respect for all aspects of the Jewish heritage will be part and parcel of life in many of the Jewish seniors’ communities listed above.
Jewish communities are welcoming of residents of all faiths.
What to look for in retirement communities
Focus on care you will be receiving. This should be the foremost consideration of both family and seniors searching for assisted living or other care. As people age, we may want to remain part of a community where we feel comfortable. For some that means having access to religious services, while for others it may be eating the same traditional cuisine they grew up eating as a child and adult. It’s important, though, to make the quality of care your first consideration when searching for a home.
Costs you will be paying. Non-profit faith-based retirement homes may be more affordable than other options. However, you might also find other even more reasonably priced alternatives. If it’s true that a faith-based community is more expensive than a secular community that is just as good, is the price worth it to you? On another hand, strictly kosher communities may be more expensive than a secular community, because the cost of kosher meat and food products.
Faith-based vs other considerations. Understand your priorities and your goals. Some people know that they want to be close to children and grandchildren to facilitate family visits. Other people may want an independent living community with a healthy slate of social activities. What is your top priority?
Learn more about the Kashruth Council of Canada.