Shep Englander — Federation Journal
From the Desk of the CEO: Cedar Village – Tough Decision, Top Leadership
Cedar Village – Tough Decision. Top Leadership. On April 18, the Cedar Village Board of Trustees voted to sell its Mason campus and to invest these proceeds in new programs and services that will serve Cincinnati’s Jewish seniors for future generations. The vote was based on an exhaustive evaluation of how best to serve our older adults into the future.
Many of us will experience this change as a loss. However, changes in the needs and preferences of older adults, and in health care reimbursements, have accelerated to the point that the Mason campus is no longer financially sustainable as a standalone entity. Sale to a multi-site operator of retirement facilities became necessary to advance the mission of Cedar Village—to promote environments and services to enable Jewish seniors to age with dignity and remain connected to their Jewish community, values, and traditions.
This decision was similar in many ways to the decision to sell Jewish Hospital a decade ago. Both decisions took our local non-profits out of volatile and unpredictable markets. Both decisions ensured that the facilities would remain high-quality options for members of our Jewish community. And both sales made new funds available to continue their organization’s mission in new ways.
The Cedar Village board labored to secure an agreement that all residents will be able to stay at Cedar Village, regardless of their insurance or payment strategy. The agreement also ensures continuation of Jewish tradition and observance, including pastoral Rabbinic care, and Shabbat and Jewish holiday observances. High-quality, freshly-prepared kosher meals will be available.
I want to thank the leadership of Cedar Village (and its President Gary Blachman and CEO Dan Fagin in particular). This decision was difficult—requiring complex business analysis—and was not always popular. It would have been easier to kick this issue down the road. Gary, Dan, and their leadership got ahead of a crisis and sold Cedar Village while the organization still had great value and good options. You can read the full announcement here.
What’s next? Cincinnati’s Jewish community organizations and leaders are evaluating cutting-edge strategies for our older adults. The organizations collaborating on this strategy include the Cedar Village board, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Jewish Family Service, Rabbinical leadership, the Orthodox community, and major donors and supporters of Cedar Village.
We have convened the Aging 2.0 Task Force to understand needs, current gaps in meeting those needs, and national best practices.
- This collaboration enabled the recent launch of AgeWell Cincinnati, a central solution that links older adults, their family members, friends, and caregivers to community resources.
- Soon we will be launching a new community study that will help us better understand the needs and wants of our older adults and their families.
- This Task Force will help the Cedar Village leadership to assess all options to advance its mission.
- We will keep you up-to-date on the Task Force’s progress in the coming months.
We want to hear from you! Cedar Village has compiled a list of FAQs about the sale and has provided a way to give feedback on their website.
In addition, they will be holding a town hall discussion on Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the CRCC at Cedar Village. It will be open to residents, families, and community members. I’ll be there to answer questions on behalf of the Federation. Foundation President Bret Caller and Executive Director Brian Jaffee will also be present.
In other news… Recently, the alleged attacker in the antisemitic incident at a local restaurant was indicted on federal hate crime charges. Our Jewish Community Relations Council played a crucial role in the investigation. They worked closely with the victim to make sure the FBI had the information they needed to prosecute. In addition, the JCRC is part of the new Cincinnati Regional Coalition Against Hate, a nonpartisan alliance of diverse organizations committed to being vigilant of and opposing hate activity, whose official launch will take place during the Stand Against Racism event on Fountain Square on April 27.
If you have children under the age of five, or plan to have children soon, please consider taking our community’s early childhood survey. We want to hear what you think the Jewish community of Cincinnati needs in the area of early childhood education and infant care.
Mark your calendars for the Federation’s 122nd Annual Meeting on May 16. As part of the evening, we will hold a Community Conversation about how we can continue to build an engaged and empowered Jewish Cincinnati in 2020 and beyond. We will celebrate outgoing President Tedd Friedman and introduce you to incoming President Gary Greenberg. We will also recognize Gary Blachman, Larry Juran, and Ed Kuresman, recipients of the prestigious Nancy and Robert V. Goldstein Volunteer of the Year Award, as well as Ethan Litvin and Elaine Kaplan, recipients of the Junior and Senior Weston Avodah Awards. I invite you to join the conversation about our future as a community.
Thank you to the amazing volunteers and generous donors who answered the call on Super Sunday! Together we raised $166,964 for critical unmet needs in Cincinnati, in Israel, and around the world. Cincinnati is truly “raining mensches!” If you haven’t already, check out the hilarious video that proves it!
Thanks for caring about our community and what we do.
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