San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living has a 147-year history and tradition of service to the community at large. To the frail, elderly, and underserved; to vulnerable populations; to intergenerational groups, interns, and students. This history of benefiting the community is fundamental to SFCJL’s initiatives and philosophy, and informs its membership in “Building a Healthier San Francisco” – a collaboration of San Francisco hospitals, Department of Public Health, United Way, human services’ providers, philanthropic foundations, and numerous community-based organizations.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 23, 2010, requires hospitals with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to meet requirements to comply with the intent of a charitable hospital. IRS Section 501(r)(3)(A) requires a hospital organization to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment every three years and to adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through the Community Health Needs Assessment. These assessments and strategies create an important opportunity to improve the health of communities. They ensure that hospitals have the information they need to provide community benefits that meet the needs of their communities. They also provide an opportunity to improve coordination of hospital services with other efforts to improve community health. A hospital facility must make its Community Health Needs Assessment report widely available to the public. This must be done by making the Community Health Needs Assessment report widely available on a Web site and by making a paper copy of the CHNA report available for public inspection upon request.

The Acute Geriatric Psychiatry Hospital, located at San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, is the nonprofit facility for which this Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) was conducted, in accordance with IRS Section 501(r)3. The hospital is a licensed 13-bed gero-psychiatric inpatient unit devoted to providing behavioral health services exclusively designed for older adults suffering from acute psychiatric disorders. These patients in acute psychiatric crisis require a safe environment, a structured and supportive social milieu, and an effective treatment program.

Please find the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment for San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living’s Acute Geriatric Psychiatry Hospital below:
Download 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment

The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP) is a relatively recent initiative to improve the health and wellness of all San Franciscans. Now known as the SFHIP Implementation Plan, this cross-sector collaboration is designed to ensure better coordination, accountability and community engagement, with the goal of meeting the diverse health needs and priorities of communities served. SFCJL is proud to be a part of this collaboration and, as such, lends its knowledge and expertise to the Community Health Needs Assessment, an ongoing community health improvement process.

The following gives an overview of these community services from July 2017 to June 2018. For a complete account, download our comprehensive Community Benefit Report that covers this time period.


A commitment to excellence in service to others and providing exceptional care to frail vulnerable seniors, including charitable support, is San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living’s founding focus and remains key to our mission – to enhance and enrich the quality of life for older adults. In general, SFCJL serves the most medically/cognitively frail, as well as financially compromised elders (95 percent of SFCJL’s Jewish Home & Rehab Center residents are Medi-Cal recipients or without the ability to pay the full cost of care), with an average age of 87.

To accommodate seniors’ diverse and changing needs, interests and wishes, SFCJL is making significant progress with the redevelopment of its campus so that it will serve a significantly broader range and a much larger number of the Bay Area’s growing older adult population (as well as their families and caregivers) than it does currently – either on its campus or in individuals’ own homes and the community. The transformed campus will offer assisted living and memory care in the new Lynne & Roy M. Frank Residences, and Byer Square – a unique hub of wellness and activity open to the community as well as for the utilization of the residents and patients of SFCJL. This undertaking will be financially sustainable, relevant, and viable for generations to come. It will also revitalize the surrounding neighborhood and populace, thus benefiting San Francisco as a whole.


Innovations on Jewish Home & Rehab Center’s Alzheimer’s Garden Unit, located on the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, include an enclosed garden accessible to this living environment and the creation of a more homelike setting in order to better serve these individuals. The careful, selective use of the WanderGuard (a signaling device that alerts when a person wearing one is about to exit the facility) enables SFCJL to care for many more residents with Alzheimer’s, as they may then safely reside on other living environments located on the campus. This also affords these individuals greater freedom to enjoy a variety of secure areas and outdoor spaces.

A comprehensive training program, which provides a holistic understanding of care and services for people with dementia, ensures that SFCJL’s direct-care staff are equipped with specialized training in Alzheimer’s and dementia.


San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living aims to promote and protect the community’s health by advancing and sharing knowledge and understanding of the factors that affect well-being. The following are some of the endeavors undertaken during fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

As part of the Seniors Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI), San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living continues to partner with leading United States and Canadian organizations working toward a goal of reaching higher performance levels in quality and safety as they relate to seniors’ quality of life in long-term care facilities. Planning to provide SFCJL’s transformed campus as living and learning laboratories for entrepreneurs who are at various stages of creating new products denotes SFCJL’s involvement with the Center for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI). CABHI is helping to accelerate the development, validation, commercialization, dissemination, and adoption of innovative products and services that are designed to support brain health and aging. By affiliating with these collaborative consortiums, and sharing staff expertise, organizational knowledge and best practices, SFCJL will be well-positioned to provide a better quality of life for Bay Area older adults as they age.

SFCJL’s president and CEO co-chairs the Post-Acute Care Collaborative (PACC) – a role that heightens the part SFCJL plays in serving the needs of the senior population and that stresses the importance of leveraging partnerships in order to better serve this age cohort. PACC is a citywide advisory board for health care, representing the post-acute/long-term care sector of healthcare delivery. Convened by the San Francisco Section of the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California (HCNCC), this body has been meeting monthly since March 2017 to develop comprehensive and actionable solutions to the city’s urgent post-acute care challenges to high-risk, vulnerable patients. Consensus PACC solutions and recommendations – namely, standardized level of care assessment tool, roving placement team, and access to supportive living alternatives – were presented at a San Francisco Section meeting and to the Health Commission, with the PACC report subsequently adopted by the San Francisco Section in February 2018.

In order to increase communication and build relationships between the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the Jewish community, a Jewish Community Advisory Board for the SFPD has been established. SFCJL’s chief advancement officer serves on this board, which acts as a community forum to bring forth concerns and questions to the SFPD, as well as an advisory body to the SFPD on issues of interest specific to the Jewish sector.

A number of community engagements by SFCJL’s staff with entities such as the San Francisco Tech Council, SF Jewish Community Center, and the Excelsior Action Group focused on issues significant to older adults, as well as provided information about SFCJL’s redeveloped campus that will offer innovative new health services and lifestyle options to the Bay Area’s older adults, their families, and caregivers.

Community efforts to improve the care of older adults continues to be an area of engagement for the Fishbon professor – as evidenced by her co-chairing of the San Francisco Department of Public Health Palliative Workgroup. Co-convened by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, the workgroup seeks to improve the care of seriously ill San Franciscans. Relevant areas include identifying San Francisco’s current resources that support people with serious illness and their caregivers, informing an analysis of existing gaps in resources and support services, and creating a community outreach plan.

In recognition of her role in improving the quality of advance care planning and palliative care in California, the Fishbon professor was awarded the Coalition for Compassionate Care 2018 Compassionate Care Innovator Award in April 2018.


San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living recognizes that providing and collaborating in educational opportunities for adults foster personal and professional development, enhance a sense of community, and promote cross-cultural understanding, cooperation, and support. Below are examples of the learning programs and information-sharing made available over the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

Over the past 44 years, San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living has partnered with San Francisco City College in offering several adult education classes to the general community. City College continues to offer Tai-chi Chia® Mind/Body/Spirit/Health as a community course that meets weekly on the campus. With an enrollment of 40 to 60 students, two separate classes were held this past fiscal year for residents with Russian as their primary language. SFCJL does not receive compensation for the space made available for these community classes.

SFCJL’s rabbi and director of Jewish Life regularly teaches in the Jewish community and participates in both educational and leadership development programs with other agencies. Organizations include the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center (this involves joint training and supervision of spiritual care partners for the collaborative end-of-life/hospice volunteer program, Kol Haneshama) and Bay Area congregations. He is often invited to make presentations to chaplains, Jewish professionals, and lay people on the use of poetry and sacred texts in pastoral care, and on spiritual issues related to aging, illness, dementia and death. The rabbi’s articles entitled God Is in the Text: Using Sacred Text and Teaching in Jewish Pastoral Care and Psalms, Songs & Stories: Midrash and Music at the Jewish Home of San Francisco are widely used in seminary classes on pastoral care and by students in the field of clinical pastoral education. 


The influx of elderly Russian émigrés to the Bay Area had a significant impact upon San Francisco’s Jewish community. San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living continues to address this population’s need for residential care, programs, and services. With the assistance of full-time Russian-speaking staff in a range of disciplines and departments, approximately 146 Russian-speaking residents benefit from a robust Russian services program.


SFCJL’s admissions department, associated team members, and colleagues – specifically in the departments of nursing, utilization management, and social services – continue to inform, provide community outreach, and establish strategic partnerships and relationships with Bay Area hospitals, professionals and entities with respect to its on-site short-stay programs, namely short-term and rehabilitation services and acute geriatric psychiatry hospital. The following reflect the range of this past year’s undertakings:

SFCJL’s partnership with teams from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) results in referrals from various areas. For example, UCSF’s congestive heart failure team works with short-term and rehabilitation services to diminish the need for post-operative re-admission by following patients during their short-term stay and thereafter at home.

SFCJL continues a data-sharing, dashboard agreement with UCSF, so as to better inform their management team of the outcome of patients admitted to the campus.

Ongoing collaborations with Dignity Health (St. Mary’s Medical Center and St. Francis Memorial Hospital), focusing on bundled payment patients and the efficient management of their post-acute needs.

The formal, synergistic relationship SFCJL enjoys with Kaiser focuses on reducing readmissions and improving the patient-transfer process.

SFCJL staff’s attendance at and participation in various events and forums – such as the San Francisco Jewish Community Center’s Art of Aging Gracefully and Embracing the Journey resource fairs – ensure that agencies and people serving the Bay Area’s elderly population are informed of the programs and services it provides.


San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living partners with local high schools that aim to involve youth in their community by encouraging them to fulfill needs in their respective milieus. Mutual goals include the promotion of civic responsibility and the development of leadership skills. By volunteering at SFCJL, students gain valuable life experiences and acquire volunteer time required for college admissions. During this past fiscal year, students from Archbishop Riordan High School, Balboa High School, Galileo High School, George Washington High School, Immaculate Conception Academy, Jefferson High School, Jewish Community High School of the Bay, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Lowell High School, Mercy High School, Phillip & Sala Burton High School, Raoul Wallenberg High School, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, and Summit Public School completed their community service requirements at the campus.  

SFCJL also partners with local colleges to host service-learning programs, which combine experiential learning with community service. The purpose of service-learning is to enhance classroom instruction by providing students with practical field experience while, at the same time, meeting the needs of the community partner. This past year, students from California College of the Arts, City College of San Francisco, Las Positas College, Ottawa College, San Francisco State University, University of California at San Diego, and the University of San Francisco were placed at SFCJL.

Achieve, a year-round, four-year high school scholarship and enrichment program for underserved, low-income minority students, opens a world of possibilities by providing students with access to quality education – including cultural, career, and community service experiences. A total of 21 Achieve students from Archbishop Riordan High School and Mercy High School participated in an academic-year program at SFCJL, where they assisted residents with a variety of activities, ranging from Oneg Shabbat (post-Sabbath) services to acting as companions. Partnerships and interactions such as these result in a deeper understanding and appreciation of both generations’ perspectives, life experiences, and challenges.

SFCJL frequently participates in joint educational programs with religious and non-religious youth groups, ranging from kindergarteners to those attending middle school. Teachers from synagogues often request visits to SFCJL when they wish to introduce their students to the wider Jewish community, educate them about the cycle of life, and respect for elders. Their visits are also intended to promote the concept of community service and the sharing of intergenerational perspectives and experiences. Engagements during this period included joint efforts with Congregation Emanu-El, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Saint Ignatius School, and Trinity Baptist Middle School.


San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living’s short-term and rehabilitation services program is designed for those who require temporary skilled oversight – including medical rehabilitation and management by on-site physicians, nursing care, physical, occupational and speech therapies, and psychosocial services – usually following discharge from an acute hospital or an acute illness, with the goal of returning to the community. In response to the greater need for short-term and rehabilitation services, SFCJL has significantly expanded the number of beds initially allotted to this type of care.

San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living is one of the only enterprises in 14 Bay Area counties that ensures the emotional and mental health of seniors through its on-site acute geriatric psychiatry hospital. In fact, it is an imperative service to the greater Bay Area community, as many other similar services are no longer in operation. Licensed by the Department of Public Health, acute short-term stays are available to both voluntary and involuntary patients, thus serving a greater number of elders in their time of psychiatric crisis.

The fact that the hospital regularly has a near-full census solidifies that there is a need for this unique program that addresses older adults’ combined emotional, physical, medical, and medicinal requirements. The older age population is especially underserved in the realm of mental health services. SFCJL’s psychiatry program provides a valuable community service by addressing the requirements of this particular cohort; treating illness; relieving suffering and excess disability; and reducing the need for institutionalization.


This nonprofit agency seeks both paid and voluntary employment for adults with developmental disabilities and provides on-the-job support through job coaching. The long-term goal of the program is to have individuals become fully integrated, participatory, and contributing members of the community in which they work and live. The short-term goal is to maximize each individual’s self-reliance, independence, and productivity. San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living serves as a work site for four adult participants in this program who perform duties in the Environmental Services department one and a half hours per day, four days a week, accompanied by a job coach.

SFCJL’s security personnel conduct patrols of the facility’s perimeter and abutting neighborhood area as a regular part of their 24-hours, seven-days-a-week security measures and safety protocols. By working in concert with the local police department, being vigilant about tracking unusual occurrences, and maintaining open lines of communication with the SFPD, the organization’ security team plays a significant role in deterring some neighborhood crime, while continuing to secure the safety of its residents, patients, staff, visitors, and nearby dwellers.

Neighborhood and Local Vicinity Involvement
San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living successfully partners with local organizations, fostering dialogue, collaborations, and ongoing communications with its neighbors.

A sizeable number of SFCJL staff and volunteers joined members of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and Congregation Emanu-El for the 21st Annual Multicultural Freedom Seder (the ritual meal that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover) in March 2018. Along with fellow San Franciscans, the SFCJL contingent took this multifaith and multicultural opportunity to build relationships with public officials, participate in cross-cultural exchange, and honor one of the most important Jewish holidays of the year.

Every Saturday morning, a parking lot on the campus is transformed into a colorful marketplace. Fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and other miscellaneous groceries, courtesy of the S.F.-Marin Food Bank, fill tables, and low-income neighbors are invited to receive free foodstuffs. This is the Excelsior Community Food Pantry – a partnership of SFCJL and Mission Bay Community Church. In 2014, when the pantry’s former space in the area was no longer available, SFCJL stepped up and became the pantry’s new site. As a result, several hundred Excelsior neighborhood adults and children are continuing to enjoy healthy meals. This alliance reflects the common goal of giving time, resources and beneficence, and is in accordance with one of the tenets of the Jewish faith: we are all responsible to help each other.


Enriching the quality of life of older adults is San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living’s mission – and also an accelerated scientific imperative. The need for research to develop new therapies for disorders of aging, diseases of the elderly, and prevention of age-associated diseases is even more essential and relevant today. Statistics show that people are living longer and geriatric care has changed; it now focuses on quality of life – helping individuals retain their physical and mental capacities for as long as possible.

Establishing SFCJL as a center of excellence for scientific inquiry and learning can directly inform and improve how care is delivered to residents and clients, resulting in improved outcomes. This applies directly to older adults in the SFCJL community, as well as to millions of older adults locally, nationally, and globally. It also speaks directly to fulfilling the essential value of tikkun olam – the Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world.

Education, research, and the exchange of knowledge related to improving care and life for older adults are essential to the welfare of our society. It is also part of the mission of SFCJL and of our colleagues in gerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. This shared mission is evidenced by the SFCJL-based Fishbon professor partnering with SFCJL visiting research scientist and Professor of Medicine in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics in co-leading a workgroup comprised of SFCJL senior leaders and UCSF researchers who are at the forefront of research into aging. Their significant endeavor is designed to develop a strategic plan for SFCJL-based research, and the means for better integrating the research scholarship of those at SFCJL with investigators at UCSF, and vice versa. The emerging strategic plan will dovetail with efforts to bring UCSF-based physician fellowship trainees in geriatric medicine to do part of their training at SFCJL – thus further enriching the research and educational affiliation enjoyed by these two institutions.

Acute Psychiatry Hospital Training
San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living’s ongoing educational programs for staff assigned to its acute geriatric psychiatry hospital aim to increase the knowledge and skill levels of the interdisciplinary team providing care to voluntary and involuntary clients with acute psychiatric disorders. All levels of staff who may work in this area receive specialized training on how to manage various types of patient behavior in order to best serve this population.

Since 2012, the psychiatry hospital has served as a training site for future geriatric psychiatrists.  Exemplifying this valuable opportunity, SFCJL’s geriatric psychiatry department and the University of California, San Francisco’s department of psychiatry continue their program of training and medical education for doctors in their fifth year after medical school graduation fulfil part of their specialty training in geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry.

Clinical Training and Internships
First- and second-year medical students from UCSF gain and build upon knowledge of geriatrics and patient care through regular attendance at SFCJL, as do students from multiple Bay Area facilities who are studying to be physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners.

Implemented in 2000, the successful partnership between Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles) and SFCJL with the placement of a rabbinic student intern endures. Under mentorship of SFCJL’s rabbi, the recent intern focused on spiritual and pastoral care, synagogue worship, and the leading of groups of residents. It is worth noting that this individual was the first rabbinic intern to participate in a Kol Haneshama: Jewish End-of-Life/Hospice Volunteer Program training, which accomplished several key objectives: It led to an end-of-life care focus for her 10-week internship; it made end-of-life care a significant part of her rabbinical school training; it inspired her ongoing involvement with SFCJL and the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center after her ordination in the spring of 2018 and her placement as assistant rabbi in a Bay Area synagogue.

The departments of Volunteer Services, Life Enrichment, and Jewish Life opened their doors to a Kohn summer intern, enabling this college undergraduate to discover the workings of a nonprofit organization, build professional skills, benefit from mentoring, and, through his weekly meetings with SFCJL’s rabbi, explore his internship experience in depth and reflect on that in the context of his own life goals.

Healing Touch
As a complement to traditional medical care, Healing Touch – a therapeutic approach that uses gentle, non-invasive hands-on touch and energy techniques – has proven to be a particularly good tool for decreasing agitation in residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This award-winning program has been enthusiastically embraced by the Home’s culture, by the medical community, and beyond.

End-of-Life and Hospice Care
At the initiative of the Jewish Home’s rabbi and director of Jewish Life, the Home implemented Kol Haneshama: Jewish End-of-Life/Hospice Volunteer Program – a program of volunteer and staff training that the Jewish Home co-sponsors with the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center. The Home and the Healing Center enjoyed an early collaboration with the Zen Hospice Project, a nationally recognized innovator in the training of volunteers for spiritual/end-of-life care. Spiritual care partners (volunteers), which include Jewish Home employees and community members, receive more than 40 hours of initial training in end-of-life care. Instruction runs the gamut from an inward focus on the volunteers’ personal experiences of loss and grief to acquiring concrete tools for spiritual care, such as active listening, Jewish teachings, prayer, music, poetry, and non-verbal communication.

SFCJL’s established No One Dies Alone program (which provides one-to-one spiritual companionship during the last days and hours of residents’ lives) is evolving. Now renamed Imadi (a Hebrew word that means “with me”), the goal is to recreate the program as a Jewishly-grounded one that will utilize spiritual care partners (volunteers) alongside (and perhaps eventually in place of) paid community agencies’ staff. SFCJL’s team will continue to develop Imadi’s protocol, create a curriculum, and open the first training (anticipated to take place in early 2019) to current Kol Haneshama spiritual care partners, SFCJL staff members, and other interested individuals. 

SFCJL’s board of trustees is committed to its long tradition of service to the entire community and, in particular, the underserved. It will continue to identify and plan for needs as the ages and demographics of both members of the community and the organization’s population undergo growth and change.

Young student shakes hands with male Jewish Home resident

Through on-site visits and programs, youth groups from schools and synagogues learn about the wider Jewish community, the cycle of life, and respect for elders.

Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction
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Disclaimer: Website content that still bears the names Jewish Home of San Francisco and Jewish Home reflects material that is in circulation or was published before we became San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living – on which Jewish Home & Rehab Center, our acute geriatric psychiatry hospital, and the new Lynne & Roy M. Frank Residences and Byer Square are located. Wherever possible, new and updated website content will bear our new names.

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