Einstein Predecessor, The Jewish Hospital, Honored with Historical Marker
A new bright blue and yellow state historical marker sign is in place on Old York Road near Broad Street. It recognizes and honors The Jewish Hospital, precursor to what would become Albert Einstein Medical Center and later, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia.
The hospital opened its doors in West Philadelphia in 1866 in a 22-bed farmhouse, and in 1872 moved to its current location in North Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney—who once worked at Einstein—along with Ruth Lefton, Chief Operating Officer of Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, and Lawrence S. Reichlin, Chairman of Einstein’s Board of Trustees, unveiled the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marker in a ceremony Wednesday morning. Rabbi Leah F. Wald, Einstein’s Clinical Manager of Spiritual Care and Clinical Pastoral Education, offered the dedication blessing.
Among the special guests:
Cherelle L. Parker, District 9 member of Philadelphia City Council; Rob Armstrong, PhD, Preservation and Capital Projects Manager, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation; state Rep. Isabella V. Fitzgerald; Cindy Bass, District 8 member of Philadelphia City Council; and Kimberly Turner, Chief of Staff in the office of U.S. Congressman Dwight Evans.
The historical marker is a coveted designation granted only to the most deserving subjects as evaluated by an independent panel of professional historians, educators, and museum and historical society directors.
Councilwoman Parker presented a resolution, which “honors and recognizes Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, formerly the Jewish Hospital, on receiving a historical marker to commemorate its illustrious history.”
In addition, Mayor Kenney offered a tribute, commending “the many people involved in the past, current, and future success of this facility that is such an invaluable resource to the Jewish community and others throughout its history.”
The inscription on the marker stands out as a point of pride for the entire Einstein community:
The Jewish Hospital
Organized in 1865, it was the first hospital in Pa. funded and established by Jewish people to treat members of their religion, although it was open to all. By the mid-1800s, Philadelphia’s Jewish population rose sharply, primarily because of Jews fleeing Germany. The Jewish Hospital provided kosher food and observed Jewish religious practices unavailable at other hospitals. It was renamed Albert Einstein Medical Center in 1952.
Photos by Wes Hilton