Beth Sholom Village: The past informs the future of Jewish senior care in Tidewater

by | Aug 10, 2023 | Trending News

Much has changed since Beth Sholom Village opened its doors in 1980, but the tradition of caring has not. Among those changes: The name of the organization changed from Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia, an assisted living community was added in 2004, and services were expanded to include a rehabilitation wing, hospice care, and more. The quest for creative ways to meet seniors’ needs has never wavered, and through every turning point in Beth Sholom Village’s history, the mission has been simple: to provide the highest quality healthcare services to area seniors in need.

For 43 years, Beth Sholom Village staff have honored older adults by providing fulfilling and purposeful living, ensuring the dignity of every person served. The financial support of individual donors and the community helped bridge the gap between medical assistance and the true cost of care, ensuring all residents received the highest levels of care with the respect and dignity they deserve.

It has been because of the community’s support that Beth Sholom has been so successful for so many decades. “We are grateful to our annual supporters and legacy donors, and to those who entrusted us with caring for their loved ones,” says David Abraham, president and CEO of BSV for more than 15 years. “There is no question – Beth Sholom Village is so strong today because of the innumerable people and organizations who have sustained us throughout our journey.”

The first campaign for support for Beth Sholom Home’s construction in the late 1970s was led by the very first president of the board, Morton “Morty” Goldmeier. Stories have been told of Goldmeier going door to door raising funds for Beth Sholom, to bring a home for Jewish elders to Tidewater – then a branch of the Richmond-based Beth Sholom facility. Goldmeier and his fellow board members were bold – setting and exceeding big goals for the community.

Beth Sholom’s history in Hampton Roads is both personal and professional. For example, on September 1, 1980, Mrs. Bessie Hurst of Portsmouth became the first resident to move into the Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. In 1998, the board of directors determined that a streamlined form of governance would be best to respond to the dramatic changes taking place in the healthcare industry and separated from the Richmond organization.

As today’s board of directors look towards the future, the group recognizes that the organization and the senior healthcare industry are again at major turning points.

“This is a defining moment in Beth Sholom Village’s history, and in the writing of our future story of how we serve Jewish seniors and the greater Hampton Roads community,” says Larry Siegel, BSV chairman of the board. “It is once again thanks to our community supporters that Beth Sholom Village was so well positioned to make this change seamlessly.”

The needs of those that Beth Sholom Village has served are shifting, and in response, and to continue to honor its mission, BSV is also changing. In response to national trends that challenge the viability of stand-alone skilled care nursing facilities, Beth Sholom Village sold its skilled nursing facility as well as its assisted living center in Virginia Beach’s College Park neighborhood to Green Tree Healthcare Management, LLC of Jackson, New Jersey, effective July 1.

As baby boomers age, the senior population is poised for dramatic growth. Demand for senior housing and services, already great, will grow dramatically in the future. Today’s seniors have more active lifestyles than previous generations. At Beth Sholom Village, the Board and executive leadership recognize this paradigm shift and are encouraging aging with vitality by working towards creating transformative communities that will redefine senior living in Hampton Roads.

As BSV reflects on the incredible journey of the last 43 years of caring for Jewish seniors in Hampton Roads, it is filled with deep gratitude and immense pride. The unwavering commitment and generosity of the community have been the bedrock of the organization, through industry changes, economic ups and downs, staffing challenges, capital campaigns, and more. The community has enabled BSV to provide exceptional care and support to seniors, ensuring their well-being and happiness during their golden years.

As BSV embarks on this new journey, it wants the community, its valued neighbors, friends, and partners, to be part of it so it can achieve even greater heights and continue making a positive impact in the lives of countless seniors throughout the region, for decades to come.

In the coming weeks and months, BSV will share more details about Beth Sholom Village’s new initiatives and projects. A transition committee has been meeting regularly and is hard at work creating the new vision for the future of Beth Sholom Village, as well as crafting and creating what services will be offered.

The transition committee, led by Lawrence Steingold,  includes Abby Friedman, Jason Hoffman, Jay Kossman, Nancy Lowenberg, Arlene Owens, Sara Jo Rubin, Larry Siegel, and Bill Wagner. It is overseen by the board of directors for Beth Sholom Village.

Beth Sholom Village continues to operate as a
non-profit organization and will continue to be a strong presence within the Tidewater Jewish community and the senior healthcare community. Beth Sholom Village will be a stronger organization in the long run, better able to meet the evolving demands of the marketplace while ensuring that all Jewish and non-Jewish seniors have options to meet their housing and healthcare needs for generations to come.

Visit for contact information for David Abraham and Beth Sholom Village staff.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Amy Weinstein is director of philanthropy and marketing at Beth Sholom Village.

-Amy Weinstein