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About

About

We’re There
Whenever You Need Us

Jewish Senior Life is an inclusive and welcoming community to all, rooted in the Jewish values of our founding mothers. We are guided by the values of honoring family and emphasizing senior care and aging in place—supporting people to remain in the place of their choice longer.

Jewish Senior Life is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), offering all levels of senior care from independent living to skilled nursing care on a single campus. We are the only senior care provider in the Rochester area to offer Life Care, which eliminates worries about unforeseen care needs and medical expenses throughout the full continuum of care. We offer a full spectrum of services and programs to meet the changing needs of our community – whether you live on our campus or in your own home.

At Jewish Senior Life, we cherish relationships. We get to know you so we can be there for you when and how you need us. You’ve had a rich life experience. We love hearing your stories. That’s one of the most rewarding aspects of being on the Jewish Senior Life team.

History
In 1920, four visionary women with a passionate cause went door to door, asking support from the Jewish Community in Rochester to create a Jewish Home for the aging. Their efforts were successful; the Jewish Home of Rochester has provided premier services for seniors, emphasizing the values of caring, compassion, integrity and quality for 100 years.
Mission
To enhance the quality of life, health, and well-being of older adults, their families, and others in our community, consistent with the values and traditions of our Jewish heritage.
Vision
Jewish Senior Life will be a nationally recognized leader in providing a full-spectrum of innovative, high quality, person-centered aging and rehabilitative healthcare services to individuals and their families in our region. We will remain guided by our Jewish values of a meaningful life, compassion, choice, and dignity. We will expand our focus on home and community-based services, preserve financial stability, and invest in our most valuable resource—our family of employees.
Our Values
We recognize that people thrive in an atmosphere of respect, compassion and individuality and we are committed to providing programs and services implementing these values and provide an atmosphere of diversity, equity and inclusion among our residents, families, participants, and staff.
An Inviting, Welcoming Community
At Jewish Senior Life, we celebrate diversity. It makes us an even more vibrant community. We’re here to help enhance your quality of life, health and well-being—no matter your faith, ethnicity or orientation. We began our mission as the Jewish Home for the Aged in 1920, and we continue to practice our Jewish values of honoring our parents, being welcoming to all, and acting with loving kindness and compassion as we've grown to serve the entire community. Everyone deserves the highest quality of life, at any stage of their life.
Our Daily Mission
We are here to enhance the quality of life, health and well-being of older adults, their families, and others in our community, consistent with the values of our founding mothers.
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Meet the Team

Michael S. King

Michael S. King

President and CEO
Michael S. King
Michael S. King
President and CEO

“I am proud to be part of an organization rich in the history of providing compassionate, quality health care services.”

Mike leads the organization in providing the highest quality care, ensuring that the community’s older adults lead meaningful lives with choice and dignity. Mike served in Jewish Senior Life’s senior management for 10 years before becoming CEO, and he has served in a number of leadership roles in the senior services profession. Mike is a member of the Executive Committee for the Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS), is a member of the Executive Committee for LeadingAge New York (LANY), and is a Board Member for the Alzheimer’s Association of Rochester & Finger Lakes Region, and Mary Cariola Center. He also serves as Treasurer for LeadingAge New York.

Susan Bussey

Senior VP of Housing
Susan Bussey
Senior VP of Housing

“It is an honor to be a part of an extraordinary organization that prides itself on excellence in senior care and making a difference in people’s lives.”

Susan oversees The Summit at Brighton independent living, Wolk Manor assisted living, and The Lodge at Wolk Manor assisted living memory care, as well as community programs including the Marian’s House adult day memory care program, and Living Well Companion Care. Susan has served in management roles in operations and marketing in various senior housing settings in both local and regional capacities. Susan serves as a board member on the Family Service Communities Board of Directors and was recognized as 2018 Professional of the Year by LeadingAge NY.

Emy Giacalone

Senior VP of HR and Staff & Organizational Development
Emy Giacalone
Senior VP of HR and Staff & Organizational Development

“My goal is to be the employer of choice by recruiting and retaining quality staff that have the highest regard for our residents and families. We value our employees and the care they provide to our residents.”

Emy oversees the human resources and staff development departments, having served in management roles previously in senior services organizations. She is responsible for talent acquisition, as well as the training and development of staff to meet the innovative continuum of aging programs needed for our residents and the community at large.

Debbie McIlveen

CFO, Senior VP of Finance
Debbie McIlveen
CFO, Senior VP of Finance

“I am so pleased and proud to be part of such a progressive, caring organization that has and continues to provide quality care to the seniors of our community.”

Debbie has been with Jewish Senior Life for more than thirty years and has watched the organization grow with added lines of business to serve the seniors in our community over time. She has proudly participated in the building of the Summit, Wolk, Lodge and the Jewish Home campus renovation. Her responsibilities include oversight of financial activities for all Jewish Senior Life corporations including reimbursement, budgeting, audits and materials management. In 2018, Debbie received the Financial Executive of the Year Award, presented by the Rochester Chapter of Financial Executives International and the Rochester Business Journal. She has previously served on committees for Leading Age, Rochester RHIO (Rochester Health Information Organization), and FLPPS (Finger Lakes Performing Provider System) Finance Committee.

Michele Schirano

Senior VP/Administrator,
Jewish Home of Rochester
Michele Schirano
Senior VP/Administrator,
Jewish Home of Rochester

“During my years at the Jewish Home of Rochester, there have been many advances in the way we provide care to our residents. I am proud of our staff and the positive difference we make in the lives of our residents.”

Michele has been with the Jewish Home for more than 20 years and has grown along with the organization, having started as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). As Senior Vice President/Administrator, she is responsible for overseeing all operations of the Jewish Home.

Travis Masonis

CIO, VP of Information Technology
Travis Masonis
CIO, VP of Information Technology

“Jewish Senior Life understands the importance of technology in healthcare and strives to be on the cutting edge. I am proud to be part of such a forward-thinking organization.”

Travis is responsible for all information technology initiatives including strategy, architecture, and governance and operations. He also oversees corporate compliance and HIPAA security programs. Travis has served in healthcare information technology leadership roles in a number of healthcare organizations.

Tracy Schleyer

Executive Director,
Jewish Senior Life Foundation
Tracy Schleyer
Executive Director,
Jewish Senior Life Foundation

“I am excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who are served by Jewish Senior Life. I look forward to establishing a culture of philanthropy that provides funding for a full spectrum of innovative, high quality, person-centered aging and healthcare services to individuals and their families in our region.”

Tracy is responsible for managing all aspects of the Foundation, which provides the financial resources that support innovative programs and services that enhance the lives of residents. She provides leadership to direct the continued growth of advancement programs and promote fundraising for Jewish Senior Life.

Christine Van Vessem

Christine Van Vessem

VP of Staff Development &
Quality Management
Christine Van Vessem
Christine Van Vessem
VP of Staff Development &
Quality Management

“Jewish Senior Life is a learning organization. We invest in the education of our employees, and continuously adapt and transform to meet the needs and expectations of those we serve.”

Christine is responsible for strategic initiatives and operations that support the comprehensive education and training needed for workforce growth and development, including Jewish Home’s Nurse Aide Training Program. In addition, she directs quality assurance and performance improvement activity across all lines of business. Christine serves as the Business Liaison for Jewish Senior Life’s Project SEARCH Program, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Northstar Network’s Healthcare Business Academy Fellowship Program.

Deborah Wegman

VP of Nursing
Deborah Wegman
VP of Nursing

“I’m proud to be part of the remarkable Jewish Senior Life team. Everyone, without exception, is very welcoming and friendly, and exhibits great pride in the work that is accomplished here.”

In her role as Vice President of Nursing, Deborah is responsible for overseeing the nursing department and ensuring the quality care of the residents of the Jewish Home of Rochester. She has served in leadership roles in a number of health care organizations.

She brings several years’ experience to Jewish Senior Life having served as Director of Nursing at DeMay Living Center in Newark. Prior to that, she worked at the University of Rochester Medical Center for 20 years in various positions.

Dr. Daniel Mendelson

CMO, VP Medical Services
Dr. Daniel Mendelson
CMO, VP Medical Services

“I am thrilled and honored to serve the Jewish Senior Life community, and enjoy seeing so many kind and familiar faces amongst the residents, families, and employees. I look forward to building on the rich history of excellence in caring and innovation alongside our amazing staff, leaders, and volunteers.”

Dr. Daniel Mendelson is responsible for overseeing Jewish Senior Life’s Medical Department. He has more than 20 years’ experience as Medical Director in long-term care facilities. He co-founded the Geriatric Fracture Center at Highland Hospital, as well as the UR Medicine Geriatrics Group. Dr. Mendelson also was the founder of the Highland Hospital Geriatrics Palliative Care Clinic.

Dr. Mendelson earned his M.D. degree at the University of Rochester, where he also earned a Master’s degree in Biophysics, and trained in Primary Care Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.

Robert M. Baker

Chair
Robert M. Baker
Chair

Alan Kinel

Chair Elect
Alan Kinel
Chair Elect

Steven R. Gersz, Esq.

Secretary
Steven R. Gersz, Esq.
Secretary
Michael S. King

Michael S. King

President and CEO,
Jewish Senior Life
Michael S. King
Michael S. King
President and CEO,
Jewish Senior Life

Margot Weinberg, M.D.

Immediate Past Chair
Margot Weinberg, M.D.
Immediate Past Chair
  • Valerie Alhart
  • Adam Anolik
  • Lawrence M. Becker
  • Irena Boyce, Ph.D.
  • Betsy D. Brugg, Esq.
  • Jill Eisenstein
  • Hon. Jonathan W. Feldman
  • Joshua E. Gewolb, Esq.
  • Kenneth J. Glazer
  • Julian Goldstein
  • Helena Kaptein-Shrier, RN, BSN
  • Emily A. Krohn, LCSW-R
  • Jeffrey H. Levinson
  • Abraham Monk, Ph.D.
  • Marc Reich
  • Michele Ruda
  • Wendy Silverman, RN, BSN
  • Maurice E. Varon, M.D.
  • Jeffrey M. Wexler
  • Marvin L. Wolk

Our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Jewish Senior Life is committed to promoting a community of diversity and inclusion across our campus where all employees, residents, patients, families and visitors can feel welcomed, valued and respected. How?

Conducting Ourselves With the Highest Degree of Ethics

Jewish Senior Life is committed to conducting ourselves with the highest degree of ethics and integrity. Our Code of Ethics is an extension of our values. This code applies to any interaction, with any person—a resident, their loved one, a co-worker, and others. Whether we answer a call light, administer a medication, have a discussion with a resident’s loved one, make a home visit, or develop a policy, we must conduct our behavior with the best of intentions to serve others’ best interests. It’s not only doing things right, but doing the right thing.

We have a responsibility to act in our residents’ best interests. Our business ethics are the same behavior we would have with our own family members. Looking out for them, protecting them, and helping them to live meaningful lives in the safest, most professional and caring way possible.

We want everyone associated with Jewish Senior Life to be proud of it.

Affiliations

Jewish Senior Life is a member of the Alliance of Senior Care Communities, The Greater Rochester Chamber of CommerceLeadingAge NY, LeadingAge. We also have an affiliation with the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer Foundation of America (AFA) – Memory Screening Site and Project SEARCH. We are a member of the Stroke Center Network (SCN). Jewish Senior Life works closely with partner organizations in the Jewish community, including: Association of Jewish Aging Services, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Service and Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

Accreditations, Certifications, and Awards

Jewish Home of Rochester has been nationally recognized for excellence in care. For 2021-2022, the organization was named a U.S. News Best Nursing Home for both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation. Of the 15,000 nursing homes throughout the nation, fewer than 3,000 received this recognition.

Jewish Senior Life has been certified as a Great Place to Work® by the Great Place to Work Institute, the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures, for the second year in a row. Great Place to Work evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job for employees across the Jewish Senior Life organization. The elements included employee trust in the organization, pride in the organization’s community impact, belief that their work makes a difference, and feeling their work has special meaning. Rankings are based on employees’ experiences, no matter who they are or what they do.

The Jewish Home of Rochester, an affiliate of Jewish Senior Life, has been recognized by Newsweek’s America’s Best Nursing Homes 2022. Only four percent of nursing homes nationwide received this distinction.

Jewish Home of Rochester has been nationally recognized for excellence in care. For 2020-2021, the organization was named a U.S. News Best Nursing Home for both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation. Of the 15,000 nursing homes throughout the nation, fewer than 3,000 received this recognition.

Jewish Senior Life earned a five-year term of CARF accreditation as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and for Adult Day Health Care, Assisted Living, Person-Centered Long-Term Care and Person-Centered Dementia Care programs. A three-year term of CARF accreditation was awarded for the Transitional Care program and Atkin Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation program. Both of these term lengths are the maximum allowable by CARF.

CARF accreditation demonstrates an organization’s quality, transparency and commitment to the satisfaction of the persons served. An organization receiving accreditation has voluntarily put itself through a rigorous peer review process and demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site survey that it is committed to conforming to CARF’s accreditation conditions and standards. Furthermore, an organization that earns CARF accreditation is commended on its quest for quality programs and services.

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