The last time we opined on the trouble at The Covenant at South Hills, we expressed hope that the broader Jewish community in Pittsburgh would have more to say about the financial challenges facing The Covenant and its residents.
The Covenant filed for bankruptcy six months ago. Since then, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of the B’nai B’rith-sponsored facility to Lifecare of the South Hills, provided Lifecare can secure financing.
But the future of The Covenant’s Jewish character is uncertain.
This week, Chronicle staff writer Toby Tabachnick reports that a committee is in place to monitor the situation. It’s composed of representatives from the United Jewish Federation, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Jewish Association on Aging.
That’s a good start; all the right players are at the table. Still, more needs to be done.
Perhaps it’s impracticable for the community to purchase The Covenant, especially during a deep and painful recession. But there are other proactive measures the community can take to ensure The Covenant maintains its Jewish quality of life.
For instance, Lifecare has said it cannot afford to maintain a kosher kitchen. This is one area where a Jewish agency could step in, perhaps by subsidizing the kitchen’s operating cost, perhaps by running the kitchen outright. There are probably other ways we can smooth the transition as well.
But we need to stay engaged. We owe it to the residents of The Covenant, many of whom were actively engaged in the community during their most productive years. This community has a good track record of always taking care of its own.
The Covenant problems didn’t happen overnight, and they won’t be resolved overnight, but with the community’s active participation, they can be resolved.