Keep Covenant Jewish
Why hasn’t the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and the United Jewish Federation taken some positive action to submit a bid for the Covenant?
There are many Jewish residents at the Covenant who thought they would live out their lives in a Jewish environment, with kosher food and ready access to religious services. Toby Tabachnick’s article in [the May 14] Chronicle, “Secured creditor stops auction for Covenant,” pointed out that of the four bids received by the Bankruptcy Court none were from Jewish organizations.
The Covenant is a beautiful facility and was well on its way to operating at a near break-even situation until the problems surfaced over real estate taxes due to its failure to give away some free care. If the Covenant can be purchased at 15 to 20 percent of original costs and could be run by the JAA, why not make an effort to save this Jewish institution?
It’s understandable that the community as a whole has no obligation to help B’nai B’rith, but we do have an obligation to the Jewish families who have invested between $100,000 and $300,000 to provide the base of their lifetime care. Approximately 20 percent of the Pittsburgh Jewish community resides in the South Hills. For those with elderly parents, the Covenant was an ideal solution. It meant that South Hills residents were only minutes away from seeing their parents or siblings. To lose this institution will not have a major impact on either Weinberg Terrace or Weinberg Village and the Charles Morris Nursing Home, as most elderly South Hillers will opt for other life care communities close to their children. It would be a feather in the cap of the Pittsburgh Jewish leadership to find a way to acquire the Covenant. Take advantage of the bargain price to acquire a first class life care facility.
(Editor’s note: The author, a Pittsburgh attorney, represented B’nai B’rith in acquiring the land for the Covenant from Temple Emanuel.)