This past fall, Raisy Yehuda moved into the first renovated one-bedroom apartment at the Anna & Meyer Prentis Apartments, the Jewish Senior Life (JSL) residence whose studio units are being converted and renovated this year. With an east-facing view, Cairo-born Raisy enjoyed watching the fall color change from her 15th-floor apartment and boasts that she can now see all the way to the Renaissance Center from her home.

By April, all 97 apartments at the 15-story Prentis Apartments on the A. Alfred Taubman Jewish Community Campus in Oak Park will be reconfigured and renovated from studio flats to one-bedroom apartments. In addition, the common areas will undergo a complete redecoration during this process.

Color swatches, tile and carpet samples: a preview of renovations to be completed by Spring 2014
Color swatches, tile and carpet samples: a preview of renovations to be completed by Spring 2014

“This is the beginning of what will be a complete transformation of JSL’s properties on the Oak Park campus,” says Carol Rosenberg, Director, Jewish Senior Life Foundation.

Thanks to difficult-to-obtain federal tax credits, Jewish Senior Life began the renovation last spring. JSL took care of moving all the residents out of their apartments and relocating them within the building to create as little inconvenience as possible in the process. When the apartments are ready, JSL again is managing all moving details so residents are not unsettled in the least.

Opened in 1969, Prentis Apartments were JSL’s first established community. In the beginning, Prentis offered 143 one-bedroom units and 88 efficiency/studio apartments.

While big-city residents are used to studio efficiencies, Michigan residents are not. To satisfy market demand, JSL CEO Rochelle Upfal was thrilled to receive the news of the approval and allocation of federal tax credits to enable this immense project to take place.

Moving forward without a hitch

“We are so proud of the programs, services and residences we offer through Jewish Senior Life,” says Upfal. “Our goal and focus every day is to serve our older adults with compassion, promote dignity and enhance every aspect of their lives while supporting our community. These renovations allow us to do this in an even greater way.”

“The residents are very excited about the renovations,” says Judy Rosner, Prentis Administrator. “Everyone is thrilled. They can’t believe how beautiful everything looks. The materials and fixtures are tasteful and classic at the same time.”Bedroom Comfort-0393

Upfal guided the entire renovation project, working closely with designers and builders to achieve a look of elegance while maximizing efficiency. The week before the first apartment was ready for move-in, JSL hosted a luncheon and ice cream party for residents to thank them for their support during construction.

The renovation allows for new residents to move into Prentis, as well. One-bedroom apartments are a hot commodity locally, especially with brand new kitchens featuring state-of-the-art dishwashers. “They are beautiful one-bedrooms,” says Rosner.

“We certainly are looking forward to an influx of new residents,” says Rosner. “These renovations will enhance everything about our building to attract even more people from the community. Plus, the décor choices made by Rochelle Upfal make the renovated one-bedrooms classy and classic at the same time. I love these new timeless designs that are inviting and elegant.”

In Raisy’s apartment, her own needlepoint pictures decorate the walls. A Farmington Hills resident until she relocated to Prentis in 2012, Maisy says she couldn’t be happier with the decision to move. “I can’t imagine living alone in a big house. I wish I’d moved here sooner. I love the community!”

Raisy in the Kitchen-0377
Raisy in her new kitchen

Raisy epitomizes the active older adults of our community. She volunteers in The Pantry, the lobby shop located inside Prentis, and also assists in the dining room. She has volunteered with Meals on Wheels. She knows everyone by name, calling out hellos as she walks down the hall and into the eleva

tor; they all know her, too.

“At JSL, we create community,” says Upfal. “We serve our older adults to ensure quality of life on a daily basis and we connect our older adult community to the greater community. This renovation symbolizes our priorities at JSL: we put our people first.”


For information about the Prentis Apartments, or to inquire about available apartments, contact Judy Rosner, 248.967.4240 or

Lynne Meredith Golodner owns Your People LLC,, a Southfield public relations firm.