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JCA: Jewish Home for the Aged Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR001697
The majority of papers in this collection were amassed by Jack Schon during his tenure as a board member and president of the Home. This collection includes correspondence, minutes, reports, agendas, manuals, and scrapbooks covering the creation and operation of the Jewish Home for the Aged facilities, with an emphasis on events that occurred in the 1980s.
Important Subjects: Housing, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Nursing homes, Senior centers

Series Description: Series 1: History and Administration, 1930-1993, Administrative and board documents and correspondence, reports, committee minutes, financial documents and material relating to real estate and building issues.

Series 2: Administration and Scrapbooks, 1907-1993, Correspondence, minutes, reports, agendas, manuals, and scrapbooks covering the creation and operation of the Jewish Home for the Aged facilities, with an emphasis on events that occurred in the 1980s. Box 30 contains information cards on individual residents and is restricted.

Dates

  • 1907 - 1993
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 1990

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research, with the exception of one restricted box, Box 30.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

34 Linear Feet (3 SB, 22 MB, 5 OS)

Abstract

Incorporated as the Jewish Old Folks Home in 1907 to provide housing for the homeless and those who no longer could maintain their homes, the Jewish Home for the Aged was at one time a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the Detroit Jewish community. After expansion to the northwest suburbs with two full-scale nursing homes, financial and management difficulties in the 1980s led to contraction of services. The majority of the records of the Home cover the creation and operation of the facilities, with an emphasis on events that occurred in the 1980s.

History

On June 10, 1907, members of the Anshe Chesed Shel Emeth, a Jewish burial society, incorporated the Jewish Old Folks Home to provide housing for the homeless and those who could no longer maintain their own homes and wished to live in a facility that observed kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. A house was purchased at Brush and Winder Streets in Detroit as the facility, and in 1915 the organization moved to larger quarters at Brush and Edmund Streets, in the heart of the Jewish community.

In 1931 the Jewish Old Folks Home affiliated with the Jewish Welfare Federation, and in 1933 the group changed its name to the Jewish Home for the Aged. In 1937 a state-of-the-art facility was built on Petoskey Street in Detroit. Ira Sonneblick, a nationally known gerontologist, served as director. Services expanded to include sophisticated physical and occupational therapy and recreational opportunities. When medical needs increased, the Home developed an infirmary and ambulatory services.

As Detroit’s Jewish population moved northwest, Borman Hall, a modern facility that included married-couples housing, opened in 1968 on Seven Mile Road and Sutherland Street. In 1971 Prentis Manor, an existing nursing home in Southfield, was acquired. These facilities became full-scale nursing homes. Facilities for the well elderly were also needed. The Fleischman Residence, on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, accommodated this group of people.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, financial and management difficulties plagued the Home. The cost of running a full-service nursing facility escalated, and problems arose with nursing care. In 1995 the Jewish Home for the Aged relinquished its ability to provide skilled nursing care and sold Borman Hall and Prentis Manor.

Arrangement

Arranged in 2 series: Series 1 (Boxes 1-14), Series 2 (Boxes 15-30). Boxes 23-27 hold oversize materials. Folders are generally arranged alphabetically.

Related Materials

Jewish Community Archives at the Reuther Library, including Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Records and Jewish Apartments and Services Records.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Title
Guide to the JCA: Jewish Home for the Aged Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2016-01-05: Finding aid updated and revised by Aimee Ergas.
  • 2019-01-31: Finding aid updated and revised by Aimee Ergas.
  • 2020-07-01: Proofread and updated by Aimee Ergas.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA