Through a comprehensive network of residential lifestyles, health services, and home care, the Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) has helped Pittsburgh-area seniors enjoy their best possible lifestyle while they age. JAA’s commitment has been to honor and enhance the lives of older adults through quality care consistent with Jewish values and tradition. JAA provides comprehensive services designed to keep seniors safe, independent, and connected to the community.
A 100-Year Commitment
JAA’s proud history began as a response to the needs of aging seniors and their families in a thriving, industrial Pittsburgh. Over 100 years later, we have evolved into one of the premier healthcare networks in a region that now boasts advances in medicine, higher education, advanced manufacturing, and technology.
The JAA tradition began in 1906 with the opening of the Jewish Home for the Aged in the residence of Rabbi Aaron Mordechai Ashinsky on Breckenridge Street in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.
In 1933, the original 28 residents moved to Brown’s Farm on Brown’s Hill Road, where the Jewish Home and Hospital opened. In 1964, the remodeled Home expanded to further meet the needs of Pittsburgh’s growing senior population. By 1980, the Home was renamed Riverview Center for Jewish Seniors and served 400 residents.
As the needs of Pittsburgh senior community continued to increase, care options expanded.
The Home’s major growth spurt came in the late 90s with the building of Weinberg Village that included the Charles M. Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and its connection to The Residence at Weinberg Village, a personal care community that opened in 1989. The Village also housed administrative offices for the agency’s many services. The campus was completed and opened in 1998 under the newly named Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) with the demolition of the original structure.
During this time of construction at Weinberg Village, Weinberg Terrace opened in 1997, offering a vibrant personal care lifestyle in the heart of Squirrel Hill’s business district. The Terrace joined Anathan and Spolan Adult Day centers which had been located in the business district since 1990. Eventually Anathan Club moved to The Residence at Weinberg Village where in remains today.
JAA joined AgeWell Pittsburgh in 2008 to provide information and referrals to seniors wishing to stay independent within the community for as long as possible.
Expansion of community services included Sivitz Hospice and Palliative Care (1995); Mollie's Meals (2000), JAA Outpatient Therapy (2008); JAA Home Health Services (2010); PT@JCC (2016); and Service Coordination for low-income housing (2017).
In 2017, JAA reinforced its commitment to people living with dementia by opening a brand new assisted living residence: AHAVA Memory Care Residence and Center of Excellence. This complemented JAA's other memory care operations including Anathan Club Adult Day (which added Nighttime Memory Care Services in 2017); The Arbor at Weinberg Village, completely renovated in 2019; and the Allderdice Memory Care Community with skilled nursing support at Charles Morris. All memory care is provided under the auspices of Hearthstone Institute and its "I'm Still Here" therapy training, proving that the years following a diagnosis can be filled with opportunities to create positive, fulfilling experiences that enable people with memory loss to live engaged and purposeful lives.
The addition of independent living options on JAA's campus in May of 2019 was made possible through a special affiliation with The New Riverview Apartments. Here residents find a supportive, enriching, loving community providing gracious living for seniors at all income levels. In November of 2020, a complete top-to-bottom renovation of both apartment buildings was complete, thanks to low-income housing tax credit funding secured through local legislators and partners including PHFA, URA, and Enterprise Community Partners.
Beginning in the spring of 2020, the COVID pandemic impacted senior living centers worldwide, and JAA was no exception. Restricted visitation in all JAA buildings, additional virus mitigation precautions were put in place across JAA including personal protective equipment; COVID testing and vaccinations; hero pay, daily screening, clean scrubs and meals provided to all staff; window visits between residents and loved ones; room ventilation upgrades; and much more.
In November, 2020, due in part to the financial strain of the pandemic and the changing needs of the community, JAA's board of directors announced the difficult decision to close the nursing home segment of its continuum of senior care, the Charles M. Morris Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Eleven lines of business continued, however, all committed to meeting new challenges head on and preserving JAA's mission in caring for seniors within southwestern PA.
Financial support for today’s JAA was initially rooted in being a grateful recipient agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and the United Way of Southwestern PA. Donations through JAA’s capital campaign, Life & Legacy planned giving program, personal Yahrzeit memorials, annual giving and more keep JAA growing and thriving in today’s ever-changing culture of senior care.
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