An Open Letter
For more than 80 years, our Detroit
Jewish community has sought to meet the needs
of our elderly, according to the most cherished
values of our faith. The growth in support ser-
vices, facilities and programs provided by our
Jewish Federation agencies in recent years con-
firms our deep commitment to our older citizens,
who are most deserving of our respect and care.
Since 1967, the Jewish Home for Aged
has delivered many of these services at Borman
Hall on West Seven Mile in Detroit.
At its beginnings, Borman Hall provided
a level of home for aged care that met the needs
of its residents. Over the years, however, the
definition of a "home for aged" has changed and
now requires the need for skilled specialty care, a
need that Borman Hall was not designed to meet.
Results of state public health department
quality and operational surveys conducted at
Borman Hall over the past year have brought into
focus the challenge of assuring the continuous and
consistent level of quality, provided in a cost-
effective manner, that Borman Hall residents
deserve and our community has a right to expect.
Passage of the most recent survey,
which required heroic efforts by the Borman Hall
staff, did not eliminate the inherent challenges we
face in providing an acceptable and affordable
level of care at Borman Hall.
Moreover, the location of Borman Hall,
so far from where most of our community cur-
rently lives, inhibits the Jewish Home for Aged
from serving the needs of many members of our
community who would otherwise take advantage
of the services available. As a result, the census at
Borman Hall today is at the lowest level in its
The changing scope of service require-
ments and the decline in occupancy have esca-
lated the community's financial commitments.
Since 1 987, the Jewish Home for Aged has utilized
nearly $ 15 million in community funds, most of it
directed specifically to support Borman Hall.
A review of the operational challenges
indicates that a continuous and unacceptable
community financial commitment would be re-
quired to support Borman Hall, once again with no
assurance as to the long term level of quality of
For these reasons, the boards of the
Jewish Home for Aged, the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit and the United Jewish Founda-
tion have made the difficult decision to discontinue
direct sponsorship of Borman Hall sometime within
the next year.
In keeping with our responsibility to the
current residents of Borman Hall, every effort will
be made to minimize any disruption of service to
them. In addition, appropriate action will be consid-
ered to lessen the impact on the loyal employees
of Borman Hall.
Preferably, either the facility will continue
operations under different ownership, or current
Borman Hall residents will be transferred to an-
other nursing facility that can accommodate both
our numbers and our residents' special needs.
If one of these preferred options is not
realized by March 31, 1994, Borman Hall will begin
the closure process. The process will take place
over several months, and Borman Hall residents
will be assisted with placement at other conve-
niently located facilities.
This closure plan, which relates to Bor-
man Hall only, will be completed by fall 1994.
Services to the residents of Prentis Manor
and Fleischman Residence, as well as to the users
of our community's other residential facilities and
many programs for the elderly, will not be affected
by this action.
Federation's Elder Care Options Commit-
tee is reviewing the need and feasibility of a new
nursing facility on or near the Maple/Drake Jewish
Community Campus in West Bloomfield. This
review will be conducted as part of the broader
charge of the committee to assess current and
future needs of older adults in our community,
together with the most effective way of meeting
In any event, please be assured that our
community will, to the best of our ability, do every-
thing possible to continue to meet our commit-
ments to our frail Jewish elderly, including the
current residents of Borman Hall.
In the weeks and months ahead, as we
determine the best ways to serve our older citi-
zens, we will need the support and guidance of
our entire community. It will require commitment,
sensitivity and heart — qualities for which our
community is well known.
If you have any comments, please for-
ward them to the Elder Care Options Committee,
P.O. Box 2030, Detroit, MI 48303-2030.
David K. Page
Jack A. Robinson
Robert H. Naftaly
Mark E. Schlussel
Of Metropolitan Detroit
United Jewish Foundation
Chairman of the Board
Jewish Home for Aged
Elder Care Options Committee