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A Community of Care

American Jewish communities built hospitals for a variety of reasons: to fulfill the imperative to take care of the community’s poor, to allow Jewish patients to observe their faith, and to create career opportunities for medical professionals who faced discrimination elsewhere. As the 20th century progressed, Jewish hospitals expanded to serve a broad population.

From the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, Jewish communities across the United States founded more than 100 hospitals. This section explores why these institutions were so important to their communities.


“We take care of our own. We are known for this; I think it is part of the Jewish heritage.” ~Sinai Hospital nurse Bobbie Horwitz

This section made possible, in part, by

Caring for Our Communities Together.


World Tuberculosis Day

Did you know that March 24th is World Tuberculosis Day? Each year the World Health Organization (WHO) commemorates World Tuberculosis (TB) Day to “raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr […]

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Women in Medical Science: Sophie Rabinoff

Sophie Rabinoff was born in Mogileff, Russia in 1889. Less than a year after her birth, her family immigrated to the United States, settling in New York City. Rabinoff attended Hunter College, going on to study at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in 1913.   Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, […]

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July 22 – The First Baby Born at the New Montefiore Hospital

In the Hospital section, illustrating a panel about the introduction of modern maternity wards, is this charming little picture, captioned simply “The first baby born at Pittsburgh’s Montefiore Hospital after its 1929 renovation.” A close look at the image itself tells us that the young gentleman is Ronald Montefiore Anatole, born July 22, 1929.  Yes, […]

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Medical Inventions: An Improved Nurses’ Uniform

Not every medical patent relates directly to treatment or medicine.  Any invention you want to protect needs a patent, whether it’s a pacemaker or – in this case – a better-fitting nurse’s uniform. Baltimore’s Morris & Co was founded by Edward Morris in 1867 as a men’s underwear manufacturer.  The company moved into production of men’s […]

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Winnie Coxe

Many thank yous to a Museum visitor who pointed out something quite important about women’s lives—and especially the lives of career nurses–in generations past. Women who single-mindedly dedicated themselves to their careers had to forgo marriage and family. “They gave their lives to their profession,” this visitor reminded me. They should be named and remembered. […]

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Medical Inventions: Morris Tischler’s Solid State Pacemaker

The history of the cardiac pacemaker is a long one, with many individuals over the centuries contributing to our understanding of – and regulation of – electrical impulses and the human heart. In Beyond Chicken Soup, we highlight two Baltimore physicians, Morton Mower and Michel Mirowsky, who invented the implantable defibrillator. However, they were not […]

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Adventures in Nursing

Nurses are a vital part of health care… and they also make great fictional heroes! As these examples show, there’s a long history of nurses starring in novels and comic books. District Nurse (1932), by Faith Baldwin, tells the story of Ellen Adams, a young woman working in a large city for the Visiting Nurse Association. […]

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A 1919 ‘Announcement,’ in honor of National Nursing Week

The Training School for Nurses of the Hebrew Hospital (in Baltimore, now Sinai Hospital) was incorporated in 1909. It was a necessity no well-run hospital could afford to be without. Training schools for nurses assured a steady labor supply; without trainees, the wards were impossibly short-staffed. By 1919, however, the nursing school was professional and […]

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The Nurse’s Uniform

Standing at the ready behind the nurses’ station is a dress-form displaying a white uniform dress and a blue wool cape, both worn by nurses at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore.  Here’s a little more about the women who owned these pieces. The uniform belonged to Isabelle M. Heyman Laub, R.N., member of the Sinai Hospital School […]

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Memories of Polio

A recent comment left in “Beyond Chicken Soup” mentioned the visitor’s wish to learn more about “polio before the vaccine.”  We mention the disease briefly, but in an exhibit that covers so much ground, we did not have the space to devote more than a photo to the topic. Baltimore has an important link to the […]

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Why is World Tuberculosis Day March 24?

March 24 was the 35th annual observance of World Tuberculosis Day, and a spate of articles (including this from the Washington Post) caught my eye. I’m usually the kind of person who skips the “deadly disease” reading, but my research on TB for Beyond Chicken Soup raised my consciousness. So I looked it up: March […]

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Women in Medical Science: Elizabeth D.A. Magnus Cohen

ELIZABETH D. A. MAGNUS COHEN Elizabeth D.A. Magnus Cohen was born in New York City in 1820. Later, she married Dr. Aaron Cohen and had five children. Her youngest son died from the measles, which inspired her to pursue medicine. When her husband left New York and went to New Orleans to study surgery, Cohen […]

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Women in Medical Science: Lillian Wald

LILLIAN WALD Lillian Wald was born on March 10, 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio, into a German-Jewish family. In 1878, her family moved to Rochester, New York, where she soon attended New York Hospital’s School of Nursing. She graduated in 1891, and began medical school at the Woman’s Medical College. In 1893, Wald left medical school […]

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Beyond Chicken Soup Bibliography: History of Hospitals

Bridge, Daniel E. “The Rise and Development success wholesale nba jerseys of the Jewish Hospital in America, 1850-1984.” Rabbinic thesis submitted by Daniel Bridge to HUC-JIR. Cincinnati, Ohio. Chambliss, Daniel F. Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses, and the Social Organization of Ethics. University of Chicago Press, 1996. Dowling, Harry Filmore. City Hospitals: The Undercare of the […]

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