After starting her career as a nurse, Jodi Hirsch has been a health care lawyer for 30 years. She is passionate about her labradoodle, Kelev, her 15 years with her best friend, who also happens to be her husband, and the Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam.
Q: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since joining the Lifespace Communities leadership team?
A: We have restructured our organization’s leadership to ensure we are effectively aligned to meet the growing demands and needs of our residents. We continuously seek to enhance the engagement between the home office and our 12 communities to provide additional support and resources they may need. I am so proud to serve alongside such compassionate and experienced leaders.
Q: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career at Lifespace Communities?
A: One of the best lessons I have learned is that the key to being an effective problem solver is to collaborate with those on the “frontlines” of an issue – such as our community team members and residents. My role should always be to facilitate and troubleshoot, not to obstruct, as is the case sometimes with attorneys.
Q: Was there a situation that inspired your career move into senior living?
A: About 20 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at just 62 years old and soon needed 24/7 care. At that time, I had no knowledge of CCRCs and Life Care. I wish I had. Many years later, I heard about Lifespace Communities, their approach to senior living and their resident-focused mission statement. I wanted to be a part of that mission and help provide a place where seniors and their families could find a warm, welcoming and safe place to live while receiving the best care possible.
Q: One of your passions is Tikkun Olam. Can you explain what this is and why it is one of your passions?
A: Tikkun Olam can be translated as “repair of the world.” While it has many interpretations, the one that is the most meaningful to me is the concept that we have a responsibility to make the world a better place. This can be through a variety of means, including charitable giving, which can be gifts of time, talents or treasure. Lifespace’s social accountability program is an excellent example of Tikkun Olam, and one which I am honored to lead. It provides a means for all of us to help repair our world in a variety of meaningful ways.
Q: Tell us a little more about your traveling companion, your labradoodle, Kelev.
A: We named him “Kelev” because it means “dog” in Hebrew. My husband and I thought it was a funny name for a dog. He is 11 years old and always comes with me to the office. He is like a rock star at Lifespace. It makes everyone’s day to see Kelev walk through the door.
Q: Who inspires you the most?
A: My husband. Words can’t describe how wonderful he is. We have been together almost 15 years. It is the second marriage for both of us. I was very lucky to find him.
[In the photo: Jodi Hirsch enjoys a weekend with her husband Raphael and their dog Kelev.]
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