JCEFs $1 million grant to aid seniors at new Scott St. complex

A $1 million grant by the Jewish Community Endowment Fund will make it possible for low-income elderly Jews to live at an assisted-living facility in San Francisco.

The grant, to the planned Scott Street Senior Housing and Social Service Complex, is a permanent fund for housing subsidies for those who might not be able to afford to live there.

"This is a marvelous grant from the endowment fund," said Barbara Isackson, president of the Scott Street Senior Housing Complex, Inc. "For seniors who wouldn't otherwise be able to pay for it, this grant means that they'll enjoy a quality of life and a level of care that is truly needed and deserved."

The grant was one of 16 loans and grants totaling $5.8 million just awarded by the endowment fund committee to strengthen the Jewish community in the realms of family, health, education, youth, culture and public affairs. The Scott Street project received the largest grant in this latest round.

Groundbreaking on the 154-unit facility on Scott Street, near Mount Zion Medical Center, is set for later this summer. Once it opens — completion is expected within two years — residents will enjoy kosher meals, Jewish holiday and Shabbat celebrations, a synagogue, maid and laundry service, a health center, social center, gym, spa, and library. Art and Jewish education classes also will be offered.

The complex will fill a niche by offering assisted care for Jewish elderly at a level between the acute care offered at the Jewish Home for the Aged and the largely unassisted living conditions at Menorah Park.

"The Scott Street project is the missing link in the spectrum of care in this city for our Jewish elderly," said Laurence Myers, an endowment committee member and campaign co-chair for the project. "This endowment grant will make living there a reality for many."

Adele Corvin, an endowment committee member who has been recognized nationally for her work developing adult day health care for seniors, said the grant will help relieve a shortage of affordable housing for the elderly.

"Scott Street will allow our elderly to get the attention they need on a daily basis," she said. "They will stay well longer, and it will solve one of the greatest problems — loneliness."

The Scott Street project is a partnership between Jewish Family and Children's Services and Mount Zion Health Systems. The complex will include office space for the two agencies.

In addition to creating a permanent endowment fund for the Scott Street project, the Jewish Community Endowment Fund also made the following grants and loans:

*The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco received a $3.5 million loan to retire debts and create a working capital fund for fund-raising and development of a new facility.

*Camp Tawonga received a $25,000 grant to heat its 10,000-square-foot swimming pool and install a thermal cover on it.

*Hatikvah, Inc. was granted $85,000 to establish the first Jewish group residence in California for developmentally disabled adults and to provide social and recreational activities for residents and non-residents.

*Jewish Vocational Service received a $35,000 grant to provide scholarships for short-term vocational training programs.

*Jewish Family and Children's Services was granted $235,000 to provide child care, camp and school scholarships for newly arrived emigre children.

*Bureau of Jewish Education, representing a consortium of agencies, schools, synagogues, community centers and other organizations, got a $158,885 grant to increase Jewish awareness and participation among teens in the federation area.

*Bureau of Jewish Education was given a $101,000 grant to train and support family education fellows who will develop and lead programs for families to strengthen Jewish identity.

*California State University at Chico was granted $50,000 in seed funding to develop a distance-learning Jewish studies major for the entire California State University system.

*Jewish Community Federation received a $300,000 grant for community education and outreach programs to area Jews; $96,000 to develop a volunteer leadership program; $30,000 to develop and launch a site on the World Wide Web; and $130,000 to improve fund-raising programs.

*Marin's Jewish Community Center was given a $9,300 grant to develop an educational and social program for Marin County couples to strengthen Jewish identity and future leadership.

*A Traveling Jewish Theatre received a $20,000 grant for its educational touring project to bring productions to synagogues, schools, community organizations and youth groups.

*U.C. Berkeley got a grant of $10,000 to continue the Bancroft Library Oral History Project.