Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) provides affordable housing where seniors of all backgrounds can live safely and independently. Our communities, located in Greater Boston, offer a dynamic and caring environment that fosters successful aging. At JCHE, 1,500 residents can experience their senior years as an opportunity for engagement, connection and purpose.

Sylvia, like so many others, moved to JCHE when she could no longer afford where she was living. She considered moving in with her children, but she did not want to crowd their lives or become dependent. She tried to cut back on her expenses, but keeping her heat off was not practical in New England and skipping medicines was not healthy.  

When an apartment became available, Sylvia felt she was being offered a lifetime of security.  

Sylvia, now 83, most values the sense of community that she has at JCHE. “Here, I am connected – and that’s priceless.” She engages in activities that make a difference, including tutoring inner city children, organizing festive events that bring her neighbors together, and leading an English class for the non-English speakers in her building.

While being part of a community is wonderful on the good days, it’s essential in difficult times. When she had serious surgery, her neighbors were there to cheer her on and fill her refrigerator. She happily does the same for others: Sylvia is always available to lend an ear, offer a smile and deliver home-baked cookies. 

Sylvia is often reflective. “We don’t realize as we grow older that we need to think about where we are going to live. Because I live at JCHE, I am never alone. I know that I can pay the rent and have heat while I am busy doing things that make me feel useful. How lucky I am! I am part of a community where people truly care.”


This post appeared on #GivingTuesday's website on November 21, 2013.