Re: 're: senior-multigenerational dilemma
From: Mariana Almeida (
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:27:29 -0800 (PST)
Hi there, 
I thought I would chime in. We have a coho community with 14 units that is 22 
years old. Many original residents are still here. Consequently, we are a 
naturally occurring retirement home. We are self-managing; we're organized as a 
condo. There's a lot of work to do.
My experience is that it's getting harder for all of us as our average age goes 
up. Many people age out of being able to take care of cohousing 
If you map a host of tasks that you need to keep a community going from hardest 
to easiest - the younger folks (60 and under) are doing the hardest tasks. 
For example - older folks can't facilitate meetings, take effective minutes, 
plan complicated projects, keep up with legal discussions, and depending, even 
retain information from meeting to meeting. Not to mention more physical tasks 
such as cooking for the community. It's pretty hard to cook for 25 when you're 
70 years old with hip pain, back pain, etc.  Some of our elders can do it, but 
they are wiped out the next day. 
Another factor -- more limited incomes as seniors. Some of our older folks are 
in a bind of not being able to as much as they, AND not having the funds to 
allow us to get external help (with higher fees.)
I'm all for age diversity. We'd be lost without it. I hope to be here as an 
elder with lots of spry young things living next door.
BTW, I just did a little math for 19 adults (non-renters) who live here: 
average age 60; median 61. I'm one on the younger folks.
This all might be different with a much larger group, too. We just need 
everyone to do stuff!

I just thought I'd put forth my perspective. 
MarianaBerkeley, California
On Monday, February 27, 2017, 4:04:54 AM PST, David Mencher <menchers [at]> wrote:
Hi Yoni,

Thanks for your interest.
As you seem to know, Israeli society has a rich variety of community
organization, including traditionally agricultural kibbutzim and moshavim
with different levels of cooperative economies and social design, as well
as many permutations, usually more recent, of rural and urban collectives.
What characterizes many of Israel's "intentional communities" is a shared
ideology, be it social/political or religious.

To date, no community has been established here designed along the lines of
cohousing, as set forth by CHarles Durrett.  Before becoming interested in
cohousing, we (a kernel of 4 couples 55-67, at the time) came together to
discuss alternatives to the "for profit" assisted living or elder care
facilities that currently serve the aging Israeli population.  After
beginning some naive community building exercises ("visioning", if you
will) we happened upon CHarles Durrett's Senior Cohousing Handbook, and
were tickled to see that we were far from alone in our quest.

As I have said- our main concern is providing suitable community life
choices for aging populations.  If we are successful, I have no doubt that
others , and not only seniors, will be motivated to explore the options
that cohousing provides.  That said, though, I personally do not see myself
as an ambassador of cohousing, rather as an alternative voice to the dismal
"for profit" model of elder care in this country.


On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 6:35 PM, Jonathan Kallay <yoni [at]> wrote:

> I'm curious how you're differentiating your community from other forms of
> cooperative living in Israel. That's germane to the discussion if being
> 'the first cohousing community in Israel' means you want to be ambassadors
> for the movement, such that there are considerations of what sort of
> precedent and example you want to set, and who should be allowed to
> participate in something unique.
> It may be that the senior-only aspect is an important differentiator,
> central to the original vision, and offers something that is critically
> missing from the current menu of options.
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David Mencher
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