The Jewish faith revolves around weekly rituals and seasonal traditions that are meaningful at every stage of life. A Pew Research survey found that 72% of Jews said cooking traditional food was important to them, 62% enjoy sharing holiday traditions with their non-Jewish friends and nearly 60% say they visit Jewish historic sites and attractions. These traditions may become even more important to you as you age. If you’re at a point where you feel like you need extra help or want to have assistance available just in case, residential facilities are a great option. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your faith to gain security, comfort and peace of mind.

With a faith-based assisted living facility built on the guiding principles of Judaism, you don’t have to give up your Friday night Shabbat dinners or your latkes and rugelach during the holidays. Jewish senior living communities offer regular religious services, special celebrations and activities that honor Jewish culture. If you’re one of the 1.3 million Jews who follow a kosher diet, your assisted living facility can accommodate these restrictions, although you’re welcome to bring in non-kosher items to stock your pantry or fridge.

Jews are recognized far and wide for their strong sense of community, and this attribute is on display at Jewish retirement homes and continuing-care communities across the country. This guide highlights some of the unique features of Jewish senior living communities, along with information about average costs and typical amenities. We’ve also included tips for locating providers, comparing facilities and paying for care to help you make a smooth transition.

What Is Jewish Senior Living, and How Is It Different From Regular Senior Care?

What Is Jewish Senior Living, and How Is It Different From Regular Senior Care?

The main difference between Jewish senior living communities and traditional assisted living facilities is that they place a greater emphasis on religious values and spiritual activities in daily life. In fact, many are owned and managed by religious organizations and nonprofits that are guided by the same principles.

Faith-based facilities provide regular religious services, traditional kosher foods and fun cultural activities, such as baking classes where you can make traditional breads or desserts, including babka. Being in a community of like-minded seniors who share similar culture, values and religious beliefs can be very comforting for seniors and their families. Unfortunately, traditional long-term care facilities only provide limited religious services or holiday celebrations for residents who follow the Jewish faith. 

While residents in these communities are predominantly Jewish, you don’t have to identify with a particular religion to be admitted. For example, the traditionally Jewish Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is recognized as one of the nation’s top hospitals, and many patients seek out this faith-based facility for its world-class care. Seniors in your area may also give preference to faith-based senior living communities that are known for upholding high quality standards.

What Does Standard Senior Living Offer?

Conventional senior living communities provide housing and supportive services to help seniors maintain their independence. Since residents have different needs, families can choose from several levels of care. These facilities also offer meals, structured activities and specialized services for specific medical needs. Here are some potential long-term care options, including an overview of their services.

Type of Senior Living

Standard Services and Amenities

Who Is a Good Fit?

Independent Living

  • Communal dining room with two meals a day
  • Private apartments with kitchenettes
  • Recreational activities
  • Interior and exterior maintenance
  • Independent seniors
  • Residents who want to hire a private caregiver

Assisted Living

  • Accommodations
  • Meals and snacks
  • Personal care
  • Recreational activities
  • Medication reminders and sometimes medication administration and management
  • Adults who need help with daily activities
  • Individuals who want access to 24-hour assistance

Memory Care

  • Accommodations
  • Meals and snacks
  • Personal care
  • Recreational activities
  • Medication reminders
  • Specialized staffing and security
  • Specialized cognitive therapy and programs
  • Alzheimer's and dementia patients
  • Individuals who are at risk of wandering or have cognitive impairments

Skilled Nursing

  • Room, board and activities
  • Medication administration
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Round-the-clock nursing
  • Seniors who need medical monitoring or skilled rehabilitation

Continuing-Care Retirement Community

  • Multiple housing options
  • Resort-style amenities
  • Recreational activities
  • Independent living and skilled medical care
  • Couples
  • High-net-worth seniors
  • Individuals who want to avoid relocating
  • Anyone who wants fixed costs

Adult Day Health Care

  • Daytime Supervision
  • Peer-to-peer support
  • Recreational activities
  • Limited medical and personal care
  • Mobile, healthy seniors
  • Individuals with dementia or Alzheimer's who live at home

Faith-Specific Services and Amenities Provided in Jewish Senior Living Communities

Jewish senior communities make it easy to stay in touch with your roots and gain a greater understanding of your faith. Some of the unique offerings you may find in a Jewish assisted living facility include weekly Shabbat services, holiday celebrations, discussion groups and presentations from experts on Jewish history, travel and other topics. Learn more below about what makes these communities so unique.

Shabbat Sabbath Services

Jewish senior living facilities are sure to have weekly Shabbat services that are held on Friday evening and Saturday morning. They may also offer additional afternoon services. One of the best things about Shabbat is that it’s followed by a satisfying Oneg dinner. Most large and midsize facilities have an on-campus synagogue for these services. Jewish communities are generally good about providing additional religious services for non-Jewish residents, as well as free transportation for those who want to worship with friends or family off-site.

Celebrations for the High Holidays

Assisted living facilities make it easy to celebrate the high holidays without all the preparation, work and cleanup. Most communities with Jewish affiliations offer religious services, food and fun activities to celebrate the holidays, including Passover, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah. Religious and recreational activities may also mark other holidays, such as Sukkot and Purim. As a bonus, seniors may be able to invite relatives to these holiday events and dinners.

Cultural Engagement and Entertainment

Recreational activities and special events give residents additional ways to express their faith. The calendar of events at these facilities may feature Judaic study groups or Torah classes, as well as presentations from guest speakers and lecturers. You may also have a chance to practice your Yiddish during weekly language classes or discussion groups. Arts and crafts projects may involve Jewish themes, and facilities often arrange on- and off-site volunteer opportunities, including options for international travel and missionary work in some cases.

Kosher Meals

While some mainstream assisted living chains offer special dietary options, Jewish facilities take things a step further. Most offer kosher-style dining programs featuring certified ingredients prepared using approved methods that separate meat and dairy and utensils, just as you would when preparing items at home. Some larger facilities operate fully certified kitchens that are overseen by a Vaad-approved supervisor recognized by the local kosher certification body. If you have health-related dietary restrictions or follow a strict kosher diet, make sure to discuss your needs with the admissions team, and ask to sample a meal when you tour the facility.

How Much Does Jewish Senior Living Cost? 

Long-term care costs aren’t usually influenced by a facility’s religious affiliation. They’re more likely to be affected by the level of assistance you need and the local cost of living. Other factors, such as the facility’s amenities and staffing ratio, can play a role, as can the service plan that you select.

It’s worth noting that a disproportionate number of Jewish households report incomes above $100,000 per year. Some of these individuals may live in affluent areas or expect a higher standard of living. However, there are faith-based retirement communities at all price points. To help you estimate potential costs, we’ve provided data from Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey. This annual study has been tracking long-term care costs in over 400 major cities for more than 15 years.

This study shows that long-term care costs range from $1,690 per month for adult day health care to $7,908 for skilled nursing. Residential living options may cost anywhere from $2,925 to $5,625 per month, with a median of $4,500 for assisted living. Home health aides cost nearly $5,000 per month or approximately $27 per hour.

Type of Care

Average Daily Cost

Average Monthly Cost

Adult Day Health Care



Independent Living



Assisted Living



Nursing Homes



Memory Care



In-Home Care



What Is Included in Long-Term Care Prices?

Long-term care costs may or may not be comprehensive, depending on the living arrangement you select. For this reason, seniors should use their ordinary living expenses as a baseline when comparing different options. The cost of adult day health care and personal care aides must be added on top of your monthly living expenses, for example.

If you’re looking at a residential senior community, monthly fees typically include housing, personal care and meals for all levels of care above independent living. Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care in addition to these services, which is why they cost so much more than alternatives.

The facilities you’re considering will provide detailed information about their fees before admission. Different floor plans and service packages may be available depending on your needs and budget, and seniors may be able to save money by sharing a companion suite with a spouse, friend or sibling.

A Note on Continuing-Care Retirement Communities

Some continuing-care or life plan retirement communities may have an initial buy-in fee that gives you a stake in the property or interest in a specific apartment or villa. This fee may also pay for care in perpetuity. However, residents still pay monthly fees for meals, utilities and upkeep. One advantage of life plan communities is that your rates won’t increase if you need a higher level of care in the future. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure that you understand all the terms and know what you’re getting before you sign any paperwork. Moving into a senior living community is a big commitment, so you want to ensure you’ll be happy with the location you choose.

Tips for Finding a Jewish Senior Living Community

Tips for Finding a Jewish Senior Living Community

Chances are there’s at least one Jewish-affiliated senior living community in your area. You may have even more options if you live in a state with a large percentage of Jewish residents, such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. Connecticut, California, Florida and Nevada are also strongholds for the Jewish community. If you’re looking for personal recommendations, check the following sources:

  • For a list of senior living communities in your area, contact the Association of Jewish Aging Services. This nonprofit association represents nearly 100 long-term care providers and community organizations that adhere to Jewish values.
  • Reach out to your rabbi, Jewish community center or family services agency for advice. Synagogues and Jewish federations often provide funding that helps to provide affordable housing and sustain senior living communities, so they should be familiar with local options.
  • Your doctors may have some ideas about which faith-based long-term care providers are located in the area. They may be able to suggest a high-quality option that has benefited other patients.
  • Check with friends or relatives, especially those in the Jewish faith. They may be aware of a facility you haven’t heard of, and they can provide insight into the services and lifestyle offered at different properties.
  • State licensing boards are another way to locate qualified long-term care providers based on the level of assistance they provide. In most cases, you can request inspection reports through
  • Online searches and sites, such as, can give you an inside look at the amenities and services offered at individual facilities. You can also get a better feel for the community’s offerings by reading reviews from residents, family and folks who have visited these facilities.
  • Once you have a list of candidates, reach out to communities individually to schedule a tour. You’ll have a chance to see the facility, meet the residents and learn more about the activities. Don’t forget to try a meal to see if you enjoy the food. 

Questions to Ask When Looking for a Jewish Senior Living Community

Choosing a senior living community is a personal decision because everyone is different. However, there are a few things you should check, regardless of your needs or personal preferences:

  • Staffing requirements
  • Activities
  • Meal plans
  • Physical therapy options
  • On-site medical care
  • Medication management
  • Pricing options
  • Transportation
  • Pet policies

For more details, download our free PDF checklist, featuring a comprehensive list of questions to ask when looking for a Jewish senior living community. You can use it the next time you visit a facility to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Where to Find Jewish Senior Living

To help with your search for the ideal retirement community, we’ve prepared a directory of Jewish senior living providers across the country. This will give you a better idea of the amenities and services they offer and help you find communities in your area. View some of our top selections below.

Financial Resources for Jewish Senior Living

Although Jewish households often report above-average incomes, not everyone is as fortunate. Approximately one in four Jews report that they struggled to pay for housing, food, medical care or other bills in the past year. This number increases to one in two households for those earning less than $50,000 per year. Individuals with the lowest incomes tend to be adults under 30 or over 65.

Fortunately, thanks to faith-based groups and government funding, numerous resources may be available to help you pay for long-term care depending on your finances and medical needs. Seniors who have a limited income or high medical bills may qualify for Medicaid. Your assisted living facility or long-term care provider may be able to help with the application process or refer you to your local Area Agency on Aging.

Some faith-based long-term care providers offer direct assistance to seniors who have exhausted their resources or are experiencing a short-term hardship. You’ll also find a variety of services through your local Jewish community center or family services organization. The table below details more about these options.




(202) 543-7500

The AJAS represents nearly 100 nonprofits and community-based organizations that follow Jewish values, including nursing homes and retirement communities. It maintains a directory of members nationwide. Many of these organizations operate their own financial assistance programs.


JFCS chapters are located in most major cities. They provide a wide range of senior services, including options counseling and case management. In some areas, they work with the government to provide low-cost, long-term care for seniors on Medicaid. They can also refer you to outside agencies.

(212) 284-6500

There are roughly 150 Jewish Federations located across the United States. These organizations support numerous humanitarian efforts locally and globally. Regional federations fund senior housing communities, provide special needs grants and maintain a directory of partner organizations and Jewish community centers that can provide relief at the local level.

(412) 521-3237

Based in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the JAF provides emergency grants to families in need across western Pennsylvania. Repayment is not required, and funds can be used for a variety of essential expenses, including housing, utilities, food, personal care and medical equipment.

(913) 317-2600

Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Village Shalom is a faith-based senior living community that provides charitable assistance to approximately 25% of its residents. The Village Shalom Financial Assistance Program is available to residents who have exhausted their resources or don't have enough money to pay for care.

(585) 784-6384

The Jewish Senior Life Foundation sponsors programs and services that help seniors live meaningful lives while enjoying dignity and respect. Every year, it provides more than $2 million in funding to support an award-winning long-term care center in Rochester, New York. Its programs benefit more than 2,500 seniors annually.

(401) 331-1244

Jewish Collaborative Services assists seniors and families in Rhode Island and surrounding parts of Massachusetts. It provides long-term care, affordable housing, kosher meals, emergency response systems, outreach visits and related services to all residents in need, regardless of their religious beliefs.

(404) 351-8410

Based in Atlanta, Jewish HomeLife operates a comprehensive senior care network that provides everything from independent living to assisted living, hospice and palliative care. JHL is committed to providing quality care to needy members of the community. The organization accepts donations and organizes fundraising activities to support these services.

B'nai B'rith International is the largest operator of subsidized senior housing for the Jewish community. It operates more than two dozen communities across the nation, including many locations in the Northeast. It also engages in advocacy related to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and related issues.