Our Story

Big Things Come From Small Beginnings.

Ours is a story of dreamers. A collection of pioneers who shared the same goal. Real visionaries with a passion for making a difference in our community for years to come. They had no land, very little money, and little experience in the senior living industry. What they did have was plenty of chutzpah.

It all began in 1959 with the first recorded mention of building a senior community founded on the Jewish values of reverence for life and a belief in its dignity. For nearly three decades, succeeding groups of community leaders explored the possibilities, defined the philosophy and principles, and studied the practicalities of financing this vision. But, the time was not ripe until 1987, when a small group of enterprising trailblazers led by Marie Brown began making the dream a reality.

Together they formed what is today the Aviva Jewish Housing Foundation with the goal of establishing Sarasota’s only rental campus for senior life. Their dream faced many challenges along the way, but it was the natural leadership ability, willingness to move forward and the eternal cheerfulness of Marie Brown – who still lives at Aviva with us today – that kept the team together.

A Shared Dream Becomes A Reality.

The decades of true grit and determination finally paid off in 1993, when the doors to Kobernick Independent Living opened on a beautiful 27-acre site in The Meadows. The shared dream of our visionaries finally became a reality. It was the answer to the growing need for quality affordable senior housing, financial peace of mind, wellness, safety and spiritual fulfillment. It was a place for people of all faiths to live life to its fullest.

But Marie Brown and her dream team envisioned a larger purpose for the organization. With the desire to age in place on the same campus, the community opened the doors to Anchin Assisted Living and Memory Support in 1997. In 2011 the vision was fully realized when Benderson Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation opened to the public.

Now, we honor our progressive and visionary beginning with exciting plans for the future.

Experience The Possibilities™

Our campus has always been a place where every resident feels a part of something special. We foster innovation in our programs and stand committed to excellence in customer service and care tailored to each individual resident. As a not-for-profit, we continually reinvest in our residents and our campus. This investment is evident through the growth and the grand scale of renovations in process within our community, designed to bring a more fulfilling and enriching environment for those we serve.

It is in this spirit of growth and an eye to the future that we transitioned the Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson name to Aviva-  A Campus for Senior Life.

The word “Aviva” in Hebrew means spring. It is a powerful embodiment of the sense of renewal for our residents when they come here to live – a place where seniors can truly Experience The Possibilities of exceptional lifestyles, compassion and support at every turn.

This was the dream of our founders, who believed that in the right environment every individual can maximize his or her potential. It was a philosophy founded on the principles of daily engagement to nurture the mind, body and spirit. Our promise is to continue this dream for excellence in senior living, and to provide our residents with healthy and enjoyable living and the support they deserve.

This is the Aviva Experience.

Our Mission, Vision and Values


As a not-for-profit organization with a reverence for life and a belief in its dignity, we create and sustain non-exclusionary communities where seniors can live life to its fullest, answering their needs for quality housing, financial peace of mind, wellness, safety and spiritual fulfillment.


To be the retirement community of choice for seniors who wish to spend their lives in an intellectually, physically and spiritually rich environment.

Value Proposition

Aviva is the region’s only rental retirement community with a full continuum of care, welcoming all seniors who want a stimulating environment, superior access to quality health care services and financial peace of mind.

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