The Grotta Legacy
Throughout its more than 100-year history, as a society, facility, foundation, and now a fund, the Grotta's name has been associated with a mission to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families primarily living in Essex, Union and Morris counties in New Jersey.
In 1916, for her 80th birthday, Theresa Grotta’s friends formed the Theresa Grotta Aid Society for Convalescents. The society members along with Theresa Grotta, initially helped needy families in Newark and later women recuperating from surgery as they transitioned from the hospital to home. In 1979, The Theresa Grotta Center for Rehabilitative Services was established. This 142-bed skilled nursing home and rehabilitation center in West Orange provided state-of-the-art services for the elderly, on a non-sectarian basis.
Facing changes in the health care industry, the facility was sold in 1993. The proceeds of that sale were used to establish, first, a private foundation, the Grotta Foundation for Senior Care and later, in 2003, a philanthropic fund within the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Dedicated Grotta Fund advisory council members determine and oversee grantmaking.
- Strategic grants, such as supporting improved discharge efforts to reduce high readmissions by older adults with new care models, spurring age-friendly community development locally, regionally and in New Jersey, and recently, pursuing collaborative action to address food security among older adults.
- Responsive small grants, such as addressing social isolation and encouraging social engagement, reducing risk for homelessness, and emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” (Benjamin Franklin)