Kavod was fortunate enough to catch up with Elaine Wolf, one of Kavod’s founders and the namesake of the Elaine Wolf Dining Room at Kavod. Elaine played a key role in envisioning and building the organization over 50 years ago. We asked her to paint us a picture of how it all came together in those early days.
“It started with my mother,” Elaine shared. “She wanted a place to live that was rooted in the Jewish community, but open to everyone. I looked around and there wasn’t one, so I got to work.”
Elaine reached out to friends and business associates in the community, including Bob Loup, z”l and Paul Miller, z”l, (both has since passed on) who became the first president. They contacted various government agencies to get permits and eventually secured private and public funds for the property in Cherry Creek. It wasn’t long before they broke ground on the first building at 11 South Adams Street. Once it opened in August 1971, Elaine’s mother was one of the first to move in.
“My mother worked all her life and never even had a neighbor to talk to,” Elaine recalls. “Now, she had friends and a whole community of activities to keep her active and engaged.”
Elaine continued to develop activities and events on campus to serve residents. She met with them often to hear what they wanted and helped make it happen. “I always wanted to do more for them,” she says.
When asked about obstacles or hardships with the development, Elaine dismissed the question firmly. “When I want something, I go after it.” Today, Elaine continues to stay involved with Kavod. She helped provide funds for Kavod to build a bistro in the dining room where residents can eventually (once restrictions have lifted) enjoy a place to sit, have a cup of coffee and a snack, and visit. Kavod named the dining room after her and held a celebratory event in 2018.
“It is important to leave a legacy behind,” Elaine shares. “We continue to fund important projects in the community, and will continue to do so. But of all the things I’ve done, Kavod is the one I am most proud of.”
Kavod is grateful to Elaine and her family who now direct the Melvin and Elaine Wolf Foundation for 50+ years of support and her invaluable contributions in establishing Kavod to serve older adults in aging well.