SHU will purchase current Jewish Home property to expand campus

A rendering of the new Jewish Home facility to be built at 4200 Park Ave. in Bridgeport, the former site of the Jewish Community Center.
A rendering of the new Jewish Home facility to be built at 4200 Park Ave. in Bridgeport, the former site of the Jewish Community Center.

The Jewish Home has agreed to sell its current location to Sacred Heart University (SHU) after its new facility is completed in 2016.

Construction on a new Jewish Home has started on Park Avenue, at the former Jewish Community Center site in Bridgeport, which is about a mile south of the SHU campus.

The current Jewish Home— known to many as the Jewish Home for the Elderly — is on Jefferson Street in Fairfield, and adjacent to the SHU campus.

SHU will pay $16.5 million for the current Jewish Home property, which is 15.6 acres. The current SHU campus is 77 acres.

On-campus housing shortage

“While we are a long way from taking ownership of the property, we are excited about beginning long-term planning for this land,” said SHU President John J. Petillo.

“This property is surrounded on all three sides by Sacred Heart’s main campus and it will, in time, add immeasurably to the facilities we will be able to offer future students,” Petillo said.

“Among other possibilities, I hope that it will provide a solution to our current shortage of on-campus housing for our students, which has been a topic of much discussion with our neighbors over the past few years,” he said.

Friction with Bridgeport neighbors, officials

There has been friction with Bridgeport, in particular, as SHU has build new student dorms on that side of Park Avenue and also leased or purchased existing, nearby housing facilities to use for student housing.

This has led to some town-gown conflicts in Bridgeport’s North End neighborhood, with residents being upset at times with the behavior of students living near them.

Park Avenue divides Bridgeport and Fairfield in this area, just south of the Merritt Parkway’s Exit 47. The main SHU campus is on the Fairfield side.

‘Household’ model at new Jewish Home

The new Jewish Home is being described as “a new inter-generational campus on Park Avenue that will allow for the creation of the first ‘household’ model nursing home in the state of Connecticut,” according to a press release from Jewish Senior Services (JSS), which operates the Jewish Home.

“The household model of nursing home care has a residential design and supports the philosophy of person-centered care,” said Andrew H. Banoff, JSS president and CEO.

“Each household will include 14 private bedrooms and bathrooms for residents with a shared kitchen, dining and living room area, thereby improving the overall quality of life provided,” Banoff said.

Will offer many services

The new Jewish Home will offer long-term care, short-term rehabilitation (Goldstein Rehabilitation Center), outpatient therapy, geriatric assessment and an adult day program. Assisted living will be added at the new location.

The new campus also will house offices for JSS programs offered throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties, such as home care (Friedman Home Care Agency), hospice (Chaifetz Family Hospice), Institute on Aging, Center for Elder Abuse Prevention and Senior Choice at Home.

An expanding SHU footprint

The main SHU campus has been adjacent to what is currently the Jewish Home since 1963.

The university is currently constructing a new academic building on the corner of Jefferson Street and Park Avenue, scheduled to open in 2015, that will house the John F. Welch College of Business and the Department of Communication and Media Studies.

Plans are also under way to build a Student Success Center across the street on Park Avenue.

About Jewish Senior Services

Jewish Senior Services provides senior care at two Fairfield locations as well as in clients’ homes throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties.

It operates a nursing and short-term rehabilitation facility and also offers home care, hospice, day services, advocacy and education, and long-term care protection. Learn more at

About Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart University, the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, offers more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs on its main campus in Fairfield, and satellite locations elsewhere in Connecticut as well as Luxembourg and Ireland.

More than 6,400 students attend SHU’s five colleges. Find out more at