Hatikvah House Provides a Home
California’s only Jewish independent living facility for developmentally disabled adults
If it’s Wednesday, you can be sure the residents of Hatikvah House will be enjoying pizza at Mountain Mike’s. According to Delores Wade, the House Manager, the only thing residents love more is their weekly trip to Costco.
“The samples are a big hit,” Wade said. “So is the food court. The residents love Costco hot dogs.”
A trip to Costco also provides an opportunity for the developmentally disabled residents of Hatikvah House to make the decisions about what food to buy for the week.
“Our residents have responsibilities around the house,” Wade said. “Those are in addition to the jobs most of them also have. Hatikvah House is their home, and there are always things that need to be done.”
As California’s only Jewish independent living facility for developmentally disabled adults, Hatikvah House fills a unique need. The nondescript house on the quiet residential street in Campbell gives no outward indication as to its importance within the disability community.
“I’ve been here since Hatikvah House opened 17 years ago and I want to live here for the rest of my life."
— Hillary Wolfe
“I’ve been here since it opened 17 years ago,” said resident Hillary Wolfe, "and I want to live here for the rest of my life." Wolfe’s family lived in San Diego when they discovered Hatikvah House. After living away from them for many years, her family eventually moved to the Bay Area to be closer to her.
“We’re a family,” said Diane Covarrubias, the live-in night supervisor. “They’re my kids.”
Hatikvah House serves residents who are classified as “level three” by the State of California, describing developmentally disabled adults who have the ability to work and take basic care of themselves.
“We have a specific type of client we can accommodate,” Wade said. “And because we keep a kosher kitchen, we’re also able to accommodate clients with very specific cultural needs.”
Shabbat is observed, as are all Jewish holidays, including a huge annual Hanukkah party. Rabbi Phillip Ohriner of Congregation Beth David provides rabbinical support. Residents participate in a structured schedule of events and activities that are responsive to their individual needs. Outings to restaurants, films and live theater are all part of life at Hatikvah House.
“Most of our residents have jobs,” Wade explained. “Hillary Wolfe is a greeter at Safeway. And Joey Ferman does landscaping at the Tesla factory in Fremont. They travel to and from their jobs every day, pack their own lunches the night before, and it’s that sense of freedom and responsibility that helps keep them engaged.”
“Hatikvah House is like a little pearl of Jewish values,” said David Hurwitz, a member of the facility’s board of directors. “Not many people know it exists, and we’d like to change that.”
Hatikvah House currently has an open room available. Residents must be between 18 and 59 with challenges in cognitive, self-help and social functioning. They may also have physical limitations, but do need to be ambulatory and able to exit the facility on their own in the event of an emergency.
Balancing its budget based on tzedakah from members of the Silicon Valley Jewish community, Hatikvah House is always appreciative of donations. Donations may be made through their website or by calling 408.379.0106.
From left: Diane Covarrubias, Joey Ferman, Shota Goldston, David Hurwitz, Tina Schmidt, Hillary Wolfe and Delores Wade.
Not pictured since he was at work: Steven Kluger
[This article is from the 2017 Fall/Winter issue of JValley Magazine.]