| Dorchester Illustration no. 2170 Hebrew Home for the Aged
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On Wednesday, January 28, 1903, a small group of Orthodox Jews - five women and one man - completed and signed the official documents and paid the five-dollar fee, thus creating the Hebrew Moshav Zekainim Association. Its purpose, the documents stated, was to establish a Home for the taking care of the old and infirm Jewish men and women in the City of Boston. Two years later, owing to the demand for a Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews in our city, where the ritual of orthodoxy will be strictly adhered to, the Association announced that it had purchased a building at 21 Queen Street in Dorchester. It opened its doors in September 1905 with 15 elderly residents. Today, Hebrew SeniorLife serves more than 3,500 seniors at seven sites and, through its programs and facilities, impacts the lives of nearly one-quarter of Jewish seniors over age 70 in the Greater Boston area.
The Board of Directors voted to relocate the home to a new location. The official announcement that a greatly expanded facility would be built on a location other than Queen Street was made on June 4, 1953, at a gala dinner commemorating the 50th anniversary. The belief was that in order for the home to establish itself as an important geriatric treatment facility, it had to be closer in proximity to the Boston medical area on a site in which there was room to grow. However, the new location had yet to be determined. The City of Boston was willing to sell a 9.5-acre parcel of land known as Joyce Kilmer Park, which abutted the Arnold Arboretum. The purchase price was $40,500. Ground was broken in 1956 at the new location at 1200 Centre Street in Roslindale and on September 22, 1963, more than 260 residents moved from 21 Queen Street in Dorchester to the new 475-bed residence. The name was officially changed from "Hebrew Home for Aged" to "Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged."
The Queen Street property is now home to The Neighborhood House Charter School.
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Created: November 8, 2014 Modified: November 8, 2014