Transform your physicality into spirituality, and back. Retire in Tzfat


A Novel Supportive Neighborhood for Elder Aliyah to Israel

Hadarta is named for the Torah verse, ‘v’Hadarta pnei zaken [Viykra 19:32]’ translated as, “…and you shall glorify the status of the elderly.”     Hadarta’s main goal  is to attract  Jewish retirees to visit, retire and age healthfully in a unique continuous care neighborhood in Tzfat, Israel.  This new community would grow into a viable and vibrant supportive community for Jewish retirees in Israel, with an emphasis on integrative health and maximal functionality.  And though the project would be open to all Jewish people, all participants would commit to a Torah based Jewish environment aimed toward the final return of all Jews to the Land of Israel.

Such a continuous care neighborhood would employ the values of spirituo-educational growth in a Torah context, maximizing functional preservation utilizing both ancient and modern concepts of preventive medicine.    Hadarta’s overreaching goal would to allow Jewish retirees to retire in Tzfat and to age in place in a unique intergenerational environment.   In that vein, Hadarta would focus on building and strengthening intergenerational connections amongst both older and younger local populations in Tzfat, to foster the age old Jewish mitzvah of elevating the status of the elder within, and not separate from the community at large. 

Hadarta’s main clients would  include but not be limited to retirement age (65+) singles and couples, from both North America and Israel, looking for a community where one can age in place, while gradually and quietly acquiring needed services in the privacy of one’s home.  This supportive Tzfat neighborhood would be founded on principles of a Jewish spiritual growth in the context of maximizing physical health, community, mutual participation and functionality. 

Hadarta, in its unique Tzfat neighborhood, would offer the maximal opportunity for the older adult and the opportunity to age in place by providing multiple affordable housing options for independent seniors, whether attached cottages or apartments, both macro and micro in nature.  The focus of housing would be to maximize functionality, comfort and modern amenities, no matter the size of the unit, yet the overriding principle would be to do more with less, with a focus on community living.  That is to say that while the living quarters would be expansive in their modernity, they will encourage community living over isolation.  Micro design would be at the core architectural concept, as in this article: Http://     

Thus, the living space’s main focus would be outward flow into the social realm with other community members in a variety of settings with common spaces including living rooms and gardens, to start. 

With community in mind, the center of the retirement center would  include a community social center for daily community gatherings attached to centralized shul or beit kinesset (lit. house of ingathering) for daily group meditation, prayer, song and religious ritual.

The community center will be not only a central gathering point, providing common purpose for the supportive neighborhood, but will also serve to attract intergenerational interaction, including: weddings, bar mitzvahs and bris milah ceremonies.  Indeed, the residents of the supportive neighborhood will help to direct the beit kinesset or shul and all of its activities.

To further the goal of intergenerational connections, Hadarta will establish a small independent pre-school and kindergarten, which will be administered and taught by the retirees on campus; in addition there will be a pediatric practice on site run by a Hadarta physician, yet served by volunteer members of the elder community.

For those members of a medical background, Hadarta would arrange to audit classes at the local medical school (Bar Ilan Medical School); for others of a non-medical background, classes of a large variety will be available to audit as well from a nearby college (Bar Ilan branch in Tzfat).  Most importantly, however, Torah classes (shiurim) will be readily available for all people of all backgrounds, both on and off site, provided by an on-site rabbi and his guests in a rotating fashion.

Other important services provided will be daily maintenance of grounds and individual apartments, exercise, music and art classes of several rotating varieties.

The medical model for this neighborhood, however will top-down, meaning that the medical piece will not be prominent, rather in the background.   In that vein, basic medical services, including a nurse and geriatrician, would be typically provided via home visits, utilizing the latest technology of mobile medicine. 

And while there may be a small medically oriented space developed on site to avoid hospitalizations, the focus of that unique space would be to encourage independent functional mobility, physical, occupational and speech therapies, and a special emphasis on music, dance and animal therapies.    Additionally, medical cannabis would be freely utilized as a preventive and curative in a respectful and responsible way.

Transportation would be provided to outside cultural and shopping centers on a regular basis. Activities would be planned in an organized, yet, non-pressured way by a qualified and experienced social planner.