The Hebrew Home at Riverdale Centennial

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale.  What began in Harlem as a small shelter for 20 elderly immigrants has transformed into RiverSpring Health, one of the nation’s most comprehensive, innovative and compassionate senior health care organizations caring for 12,000 older New Yorkers every day.  Known for challenging stereotypes, confronting ageism and embodying a pioneering spirit, RiverSpring Health provides managed long term care, assisted living, rehabilitation services, housing, skilled nursing at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale and specialized services including elder abuse prevention, memory care, and LGBT programs and a rich array of arts and cultural offerings.  We look forward to our next century of helping older adults live forward, sending the message that aging is a relevant, meaningful journey.

 
The earliest extant photograph of the Hebrew Home for the Aged of Harlem from ca. 1920 shows its quarters in a series of brownstones adjacent to the Beth Hamedrosh Hagadol Synagogue on East 105th Street.  A sliver of the synagogue building is visible at far right in the photograph. Members of its congregation were the founders of the Home, which was incorporated in 1917.

The earliest extant photograph of the Hebrew Home for the Aged of Harlem from ca. 1920 shows its quarters in a series of brownstones adjacent to the Beth Hamedrosh Hagadol Synagogue on East 105th Street.  A sliver of the synagogue building is visible at far right in the photograph. Members of its congregation were the founders of the Home, which was incorporated in 1917.

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale campus in the early 1950s.

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale campus in the early 1950s.

The lay leadership of the Home early in its history, were photographed in the dining room, including Harry Barschi (far left, standing) and Anna Barschi (second woman from left, standing), the great-grandparents of the Hebrew Home’s current Board Chairman Jeffrey Maurer, before 1951.

The lay leadership of the Home early in its history, were photographed in the dining room, including Harry Barschi (far left, standing) and Anna Barschi (second woman from left, standing), the great-grandparents of the Hebrew Home’s current Board Chairman Jeffrey Maurer, before 1951.

Members of the board of directors prepare to carry Torahs brought from the Harlem Home into the main building of the new Hebrew Home situated on an idyllic campus of almost 19 acres overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. They arrived, along with the Home’s 39 residents, on April 17, 1951, just a few days before Passover.

Members of the board of directors prepare to carry Torahs brought from the Harlem Home into the main building of the new Hebrew Home situated on an idyllic campus of almost 19 acres overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. They arrived, along with the Home’s 39 residents, on April 17, 1951, just a few days before Passover.

Residents with visitors outside the Irving and Pearl Stolz Pavilion, ca. early 1970s.

Residents with visitors outside the Irving and Pearl Stolz Pavilion, ca. early 1970s.

ElderServe becomes a model resource in the 1990s, reaching thousands in the neighboring communities of Manhattan and Westchester, and assisting those who want to remain in their own homes by providing housekeeping and medical services. ElderServe also provides social day programs as well as overnight respite programs on campus, and offers a full spectrum of healthcare and supportive services to the community.

ElderServe becomes a model resource in the 1990s, reaching thousands in the neighboring communities of Manhattan and Westchester, and assisting those who want to remain in their own homes by providing housekeeping and medical services. ElderServe also provides social day programs as well as overnight respite programs on campus, and offers a full spectrum of healthcare and supportive services to the community.

An op-ed by Jacob Reingold, “How to Cope with Alzheimer’s,” appears in The New York Times in 1985. One of the earliest and also one of the few, still-extant research divisions to be located within a long-term senior care setting, the Hebrew Home’s National Alzheimer Center was created as an entity that would collect and disseminate cutting-edge care techniques for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

An op-ed by Jacob Reingold, “How to Cope with Alzheimer’s,” appears in The New York Times in 1985. One of the earliest and also one of the few, still-extant research divisions to be located within a long-term senior care setting, the Hebrew Home’s National Alzheimer Center was created as an entity that would collect and disseminate cutting-edge care techniques for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Hebrew Home ushers in the new millennium with a centenarian calendar, celebrating 12 residents aged 100.

The Hebrew Home ushers in the new millennium with a centenarian calendar, celebrating 12 residents aged 100.

In September 2010 the Hebrew Home begins serving the first members of a new Managed Long Term Care program, ElderServe Health, today RiverSpring at Home.

In September 2010 the Hebrew Home begins serving the first members of a new Managed Long Term Care program, ElderServe Health, today RiverSpring at Home.

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale and New York- Presbyterian Healthcare System create a comprehensive and interdisciplinary rehabilitation service in 2014 to maximize patient recovery so they can return home and regain their independence as quickly as possible.  Physicians from New York -Presbyterian medical staff work on site with nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, dieticians, and social workers from the Hebrew Home’s award-winning team.

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale and New York- Presbyterian Healthcare System create a comprehensive and interdisciplinary rehabilitation service in 2014 to maximize patient recovery so they can return home and regain their independence as quickly as possible.  Physicians from New York -Presbyterian medical staff work on site with nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, dieticians, and social workers from the Hebrew Home’s award-winning team.

Residents ring in the New Year, 1937. 

Residents ring in the New Year, 1937. 

An early resident of the Hebrew Home, before 1951.  Most of the older adults cared for at Hebrew Home were indigent, which put a constant strain on the resources of the organization. In an article written for The Jewish American in July, 1929, just months before the Wall Street Crash, the author noted: “100 old men and women are cared for here. They are immigrants from Russia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Roumania [sic], Germany and also many Americans. A good many of these immigrants are 40 and 50 years in the United States.”

An early resident of the Hebrew Home, before 1951.  Most of the older adults cared for at Hebrew Home were indigent, which put a constant strain on the resources of the organization. In an article written for The Jewish American in July, 1929, just months before the Wall Street Crash, the author noted: “100 old men and women are cared for here. They are immigrants from Russia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Roumania [sic], Germany and also many Americans. A good many of these immigrants are 40 and 50 years in the United States.”

An intergenerational visit, before 1951.

An intergenerational visit, before 1951.

Synagogue services in the early days of the Hebrew Home of Harlem, before 1951.

Synagogue services in the early days of the Hebrew Home of Harlem, before 1951.

Dr. Norman Frenkiel, Hebrew Home’s first medical director, in the Pharmacy, ca. 1960s.

Dr. Norman Frenkiel, Hebrew Home’s first medical director, in the Pharmacy, ca. 1960s.

A resident working on a painting in the art studio, ca. 1970s.

A resident working on a painting in the art studio, ca. 1970s.

First celebrated at Hebrew Home in 1961, Grandparents Day draws distinguished guests from across the city and across the country.  Pictured here, seated, left to right, are Gov. Hugh L. Carey, Lillian Carter, mother of the former President, and Mayor Edward I. Koch, in 1978. 

First celebrated at Hebrew Home in 1961, Grandparents Day draws distinguished guests from across the city and across the country.  Pictured here, seated, left to right, are Gov. Hugh L. Carey, Lillian Carter, mother of the former President, and Mayor Edward I. Koch, in 1978. 

Jacob Reingold, on the right, with Senator Edward M.(Ted) Kennedy at the dedication of the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion in September 1991.

Jacob Reingold, on the right, with Senator Edward M.(Ted) Kennedy at the dedication of the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion in September 1991.

The Riverdale property had been the former home of the Riverdale Childrens Association, founded in Harlem in 1836 as the Colored Orphan Asylum by a group of Quakers and dedicated to the care of African-American children. The orphanage had moved several times before settling at its final location in Riverdale in 1904. The institution closed in 1946 in response to the changing needs of children and families. Several of the campus’s original structures were kept when Hebrew Home first occupied the property, including the cottages and the three-story brick building, today known as the Irving and Pearl Stolz Pavilion. The Hebrew Home acquired the property in December 1948.

The Riverdale property had been the former home of the Riverdale Childrens Association, founded in Harlem in 1836 as the Colored Orphan Asylum by a group of Quakers and dedicated to the care of African-American children. The orphanage had moved several times before settling at its final location in Riverdale in 1904. The institution closed in 1946 in response to the changing needs of children and families. Several of the campus’s original structures were kept when Hebrew Home first occupied the property, including the cottages and the three-story brick building, today known as the Irving and Pearl Stolz Pavilion. The Hebrew Home acquired the property in December 1948.

Rabbi Isaac Spira, an immigrant from Palestine, who was the Superintendent and later the Executive Director of the Home from 1920-1953, posed with father and son residents, Isaac Gelbwacks, age 87, and Mendel Gelbwacks, age 66, before 1951.

Rabbi Isaac Spira, an immigrant from Palestine, who was the Superintendent and later the Executive Director of the Home from 1920-1953, posed with father and son residents, Isaac Gelbwacks, age 87, and Mendel Gelbwacks, age 66, before 1951.

Blessing the Sabbath candles in the Hebrew Home’s sanctuary, before 1951.

Blessing the Sabbath candles in the Hebrew Home’s sanctuary, before 1951.

A musician plays guitar for residents in the 1960s, demonstrating the Hebrew Home’s early commitment to the healing potential of the arts.

A musician plays guitar for residents in the 1960s, demonstrating the Hebrew Home’s early commitment to the healing potential of the arts.

A poster for Grandparents Day on September 23, 1962. First celebrated at the Hebrew Home in 1961, National Grandparents Day was officially recognized by Jimmy Carter in 1978.

A poster for Grandparents Day on September 23, 1962. First celebrated at the Hebrew Home in 1961, National Grandparents Day was officially recognized by Jimmy Carter in 1978.

Hebrew Home opens River House West in 1981 which later became RiverWalk, a premier independent living community, dedicated in 2014 as the Jenny and John Paulson Residences.

Hebrew Home opens River House West in 1981 which later became RiverWalk, a premier independent living community, dedicated in 2014 as the Jenny and John Paulson Residences.

Grandparents Day, ca. 1992.

Grandparents Day, ca. 1992.

Continuing to challenge the possibilities of aging, in 2004, Hebrew Home residents and staff embark on the first-ever overseas trip to Israel from a long-term care facility, appropriately dubbed the “Chutzpah Mission.”

Continuing to challenge the possibilities of aging, in 2004, Hebrew Home residents and staff embark on the first-ever overseas trip to Israel from a long-term care facility, appropriately dubbed the “Chutzpah Mission.”

Established in 2005, the Weinberg Center is the nation's first elder abuse shelter serving eligible individuals 60 years or older. The Weinberg Center provides emergency short-term housing, healthcare services, legal advocacy, and support services to victims of elder abuse.

Established in 2005, the Weinberg Center is the nation's first elder abuse shelter serving eligible individuals 60 years or older. The Weinberg Center provides emergency short-term housing, healthcare services, legal advocacy, and support services to victims of elder abuse.

In 2005, the innovative and architecturally unique Jacob Reingold Pavilion opens, representing the next generation of design for long-term care with private rooms and bathrooms arranged around central living room-style spaces. The Reingold Pavilion also has one of the first aquatic therapy pools in a long-term care facility.

In 2005, the innovative and architecturally unique Jacob Reingold Pavilion opens, representing the next generation of design for long-term care with private rooms and bathrooms arranged around central living room-style spaces. The Reingold Pavilion also has one of the first aquatic therapy pools in a long-term care facility.

In 2012, Hudson House low-income senior housing opens with priority admissions for elder abuse victims. Congressman Eliot Engel cuts the ribbon as future residents and others at the ceremony, including Board member Herman (Sonny) Loeffler, former City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell, State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and Hebrew Home President and CEO Daniel Reingold, look on.

In 2012, Hudson House low-income senior housing opens with priority admissions for elder abuse victims. Congressman Eliot Engel cuts the ribbon as future residents and others at the ceremony, including Board member Herman (Sonny) Loeffler, former City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell, State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and Hebrew Home President and CEO Daniel Reingold, look on.

In 2015, the Hebrew Home embraces a new brand, RiverSpring Health™, to reflect our growing range of care solutions and to support our commitment to help those in our care “live forward.”  The expansive RiverSpring Health™ programs and services provide care to over 12,000 clients, members, patients, and residents. The Hebrew Home at Riverdale nursing home maintains its name in recognition of its long-standing reputation as a 5-star facility and leader in the field of long-term care.

In 2015, the Hebrew Home embraces a new brand, RiverSpring Health™, to reflect our growing range of care solutions and to support our commitment to help those in our care “live forward.”  The expansive RiverSpring Health™ programs and services provide care to over 12,000 clients, members, patients, and residents. The Hebrew Home at Riverdale nursing home maintains its name in recognition of its long-standing reputation as a 5-star facility and leader in the field of long-term care.

With a new, ongoing exhibition of its treasures, entitled “Tradition and Remembrance,” and located on the main floor of the Jacob Reingold Pavilion, the Derfner Judaica Museum is dedicated in April 2009. The Judaica Museum was originally founded in 1982 through an initial gift of 800 Jewish ceremonial objects from Leuba and Ralph Baum and was located in RiverWalk.

With a new, ongoing exhibition of its treasures, entitled “Tradition and Remembrance,” and located on the main floor of the Jacob Reingold Pavilion, the Derfner Judaica Museum is dedicated in April 2009. The Judaica Museum was originally founded in 1982 through an initial gift of 800 Jewish ceremonial objects from Leuba and Ralph Baum and was located in RiverWalk.

The Hebrew Home’s National Alzheimer Center launches the mobile Balance App in 2013 to assist caregivers by tracking and sharing changes in real-time with the patient’s doctors, learning about the latest developments in the disease, and getting vital information about what to expect as Alzheimer’s progresses.

The Hebrew Home’s National Alzheimer Center launches the mobile Balance App in 2013 to assist caregivers by tracking and sharing changes in real-time with the patient’s doctors, learning about the latest developments in the disease, and getting vital information about what to expect as Alzheimer’s progresses.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Hebrew Home.  A special commemorative logo is introduced.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Hebrew Home.  A special commemorative logo is introduced.