Our History

Home > About > Our History

Over the years, anticipating and responding to the needs of those we serve, what is now known as Jewish Home Life Communities has enjoyed significant growth. Today we offer residential communities and a variety of community-based care and supportive services that meet the many needs of seniors of all faiths and their families.

It Takes Leadership

In 1941, a seemingly simple, but ultimately unsuccessful, search to find a suitable home for an elderly Jewish Atlanta woman propelled Fannie Boorstin into an unrelenting campaign to establish a home for the Jewish aged. Her proposal was controversial for the time and was met with considerable skepticism; many people simply believed that no one would choose such an alternative.

Fannie Boorstin’s steadfast mission to educate individuals and groups in the Jewish community on the importance of filling this housing void was rewarded when she visited Frank Garson, prominent Atlanta businessman and civic leader, who resolutely took up her cause.

“We visited four women and three men when Mr. Garson said, ‘Fannie I’ve seen enough.’ From that day on, Mr. Garson never let up. He had truly seen the need for a Jewish Home.” 
–Fannie S. Boorstin, The Southern Israelite, November 1981

Welcome Home

The Jewish Home opened on November 26, 1951 with 21 residents on a nine-acre lot on 14th Street that had been donated by real estate developer Ben J. Massell. Construction in 1957 doubled The Home’s capacity, but rapid growth made evident the need for a larger, updated facility. In 1971 the second Jewish Home opened in its current location on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta.

Twenty years later, The Home was renamed The William Breman Jewish Home to honor and recognize its third president, Bill Breman, as the prime motivator of our modern day nursing home.

Life Goes On

In 1999, the third and current nursing home opened its doors to a new, state-of-the-art facility with room for 96 residents adjacent to the building erected in 1971. The old nursing home facility was converted into The Zaban Tower, which provides independent living for very low income seniors.

That same year, community volunteers Sam Coolik, Irwin and Faye Siegel and Valerie Needle endeavored to form the Vi & Milton Weinstein Hospice to address the community’s need for compassionate end of life care in the Jewish tradition.

Looking Forward

In 2009, a merger with The Cohen Home in Johns Creek added assisted living to the range of services for the elderly. Land was also acquired in Dunwoody to develop an additional assisted living community with a secure memory care neighborhood. Named for past Chair of The Home Stephen M. Berman, Berman Commons Assisted Living & Memory Care opened in March 2015 and shares property with the bustling campus of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

In 2012, the Board of Directors created the overarching brand Jewish Home Life Communities to better reflect the broad range of communities and services that share the tradition of quality and honoring our elders, for which we are known. During that time, a generous donation from Cherie and Gary Aviv resulted in the renaming of The Home’s rehabilitation services to Aviv Rehabilitation Center.

Continuing to anticipate and respond to the needs in our community for options outside of a residential setting, The One Group was established in 2013 to provide private home care to individuals needing additional support in their own environment. The One Group has also earned a reputation for quality supplemental staffing for other assisted living communities and nursing homes across metro Atlanta.

In 2014 The William Breman Jewish Home earned several honors and awards, most notably the Silver Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and being chosen for US News and World Report’s annual list of Best Nursing Homes in the USA. In addition, Jewish Home Life Communities earned a place on the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Top Workplaces list in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Today, Jewish Home Life Communities continues to earn our strong and respected reputation for treating residents, patients and clients with dignity and providing the highest quality of care in the Jewish tradition.