Over 40 CEOs and executive directors from across the nation came together at the Leonard Florence Center for Living for the 2023 Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) Leadership Summit. Affiliated with Chelsea Jewish Lifecare/Legacy Lifecare, the Leonard Florence Center is the country’s first urban model Green House® skilled nursing facility and now cares for more individuals living with ALS than anywhere else in the world.
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare CEO Barry Berman, Legacy Lifecare president & CEO Adam Berman and AJAS president & CEO Don Schulman welcomed the prominent group. Barry Berman, who has been CEO of the nonprofit for the past 46 years, presented the first session, explaining the unique history and mission of the organization. From a small wood-frame house in Chelsea that took care of a few elders to the sprawling campuses now in Chelsea (two locations), Winthrop and Peabody, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare has grown into a renowned health care entity.
Berman also discussed designing and building of the Leonard Florence Center as well as the Cohen Florence Levine Estates, which was the first assisted living in Massachusetts to offer a subsidized tax credit program. Attendees had the opportunity to meet the residents of the Leonard Florence Center and hear, firsthand, their inspiring stories.
“We are so appreciative to AJAS for the opportunity to tell our story to such a distinguished and talented group of individuals,” said Berman. “These leaders set the stage for solving the complex challenges facing our aging population today.”
The second session, entitled “Community Security in Relation to Racism and Antisemitism,” delved into the growing antisemitism in the country. Two Legacy Lifecare communities have been the recipients of nationally publicized incidents of antisemitic acts of violence and attempted destruction. Speakers included Joshua S. Levy, acting U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts, and Jeremy Yamin, vice president of security & operations at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Additionally, Annette Cooke, president of ZDCoach, discussed “C-Suite Executive Coaching: Early, Mid and Pre-Retirement Years,” providing learning approaches to promote self-awareness, change and growth. The summit concluded with a panel discussion, led by Don Schulman, which focused upon “Operating Strategies in Our Senior Living Communities…2023 and Beyond.” Panelists included Mike King, Jewish Senior Life, Rochester, N.Y.; Kathy Callnan, The Cedars, Portland, Maine; Adam Berman, Legacy Lifecare, Chelsea, Mass.; and Jeff Gopen, Jewish Home Life, Atlanta.
“Our relationship with Barry and Adam Berman and Chelsea Jewish Lifecare/Legacy Lifecare dates back many years,” said Schulman. “I am excited to showcase these innovative homes to our members.”
Berman noted that it was meaningful for the organization to host the two-day summit. “It was remarkable to have so many industry leaders together, exchanging ideas and brainstorming a wide range of topics. We are truly honored that AJAS chose our organization as the site for such an important event.”
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