Over 200 were in attendance on Sunday, September 18, to celebrate the Reutlinger Community’s completion of the landmark “Renew Reutlinger” project. The massive, five-year undertaking enhanced the already award-winning community by adding new amenities, services and programs to elevate the already high standard of living for all residents. The launch event honored the Schiff and Polse families in recognition of their generosity that helped turn the vision of the renovation project into a reality.
Nearly every aspect of the community’s common physical space has been reconfigured, reconstructed or repurposed to meet the needs and demands of the community’s senior residents for today, tomorrow and well into the future. Soft light fills the wide and walkable hallways. Gentle colors and wood accents give the environs a feel 21st Century sophistication while not neglecting a sense of gentle comfort.
A gift from Ilse Schiff allowed the second floor to be redesigned in a “Main Street” configuration that mimics an outdoor shopping center complete with a salon, a café, a gift shop and more. The new halls are adorned with resident-created art from the Reutlinger’s award-winning art program complete with descriptions from the artists themselves. “Without the extreme generosity of these two families the scope of this project could not have been achieved,” said Jay Zimmer, CEO of the Reutlinger.
Following the ribbon cutting, guests were invited to freely explore the grounds and experience the elegant yet warm new environment. Attendees were able to visit the brand new art studio, fitness room, reception lobby, dining rooms, resident rooms, salon, nurses’ station, activity and sunroom, gallery and Jewish Heritage Museum and experience for themselves why The Reutlinger is considered the gold standard for senior living.
“It was a wonderful event,” stated Jay Zimmer, CEO. “It capped 18 months of intense renovations of most of our public areas and many of our residences and clinical spaces. 73,000 square feet in all!”
All dining rooms, reading and activities areas, and relaxing spaces include inviting seating options, beautiful window treatments, and tasteful furnishings. A 24/7 café is a wonderful addition to the communal areas. Residents can now easily communicate on a number of devices with friends and loved ones who may be far away geographically but always close in their hearts.
“This renovation firmly establishes The Reutlinger as the East Bay’s premier senior living facility,” said Zimmer. “Our Board of Directors has backed this project 100% because they believe our residents deserve the best. This $10 million renovation project has delivered that and more.”
Burton and Betty Ann Polse had been enthusiastic supporters of the Reutlinger Community since its inception as the Home for Jewish Parents in Oakland. Betty Ann enjoyed serving residents, helping in the thrift shop or in the office. They were instrumental in raising funds for the Community’s move to Danville. Today, the Polse Family Pavilion stands as a testament to their lifetime passion.
The Schiff Center for Life now stands as testament to Ilse Schiff’s generosity. Ilse was sharp and vivacious up through her 101st year. She passed her DMV exam at 100 years of age, and considered her driver’s license her best birthday present. Schiff was a long-term supporter of a high standard of living for seniors and her donation to The Reutlinger fulfilled that vision.
Board President Richard Goldstein thanked the residents for putting up with the construction. He went on to thank Betty Anne Polse and Deborah and Sam Lind, managers of the Ilse Schiff trust, for their financial and creative contributions that made the project possible. He also thanked past and present staff and board members for their assistance.