History of Care at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life

Since 1866, we have dedicated ourselves to serving our community’s most vulnerable citizens: the aged. We have spent a century and a half providing seniors in Pennsylvania with enlightened care, companionship, unique living environments, educational and cultural enrichment, and a continuous connection to their Jewish heritage.

Here is a timeline of the proud history of the Abramson Center, from our beginnings as part of the Jewish Hospital Association, to our growth as the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, a premier nursing home and geriatric research center, to our current evolution as a provider of a full-continuum of senior care services:


1866 - Home for Israelites.jpg

First residents moved into the Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites of the Jewish Hospital Association at 56th and Haverford Avenues.


1873 - Aged Home at Jewish Hospital.13.jpg
Home for the Aged and Infirm Israelites moves to the Tabor Road campus of the Jewish Hospital Association until moving in 1889 to 13th and Clarkson Streets.


1891 - Jew Sheltering Home.jpg
Wayfarer’s Lodge/Jewish Sheltering Home for the Aged opens in South Philadelphia. It serves both serve the elderly and to meet the needs of the immigrant surge.


1948 - Reba Klein at Outing Jewish Sheltering Home2.jpg
The Auxiliary was formed.


1952 - HJA Dedic.jpg
Jewish Sheltering Home merged with the Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites and opened its new 202-bed home September 14, 1952 at 5301 Old York Road.


Gerontology Research Institute is formed.


1973 - PGC.jpg
Agency incorporated to become the Philadelphia Geriatric Center (PGC).


1974 - PGC-CornerStone Weiss Institute.jpg
The Weiss Institute opens with its Sley Pavilion, making it the first nursing home built for the purpose to research optimal designs of facilities for Alzheimer’s patients.


1988 - PRI Elaine Brody Powell Lawton img575.jpg
PGC’s research institute becomes the Edward and Esther Polisher Research Institute.


1999 - groundbreaking.jpg
PGC closes its Philadelphia doors and ground is broken for the Horsham campus.


2001 - Resident Room IMG_1423.jpg
The Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life officially accepts its first residents in October.


2007 - Hospice DSCF1827_1.jpg
Abramson Hospice program begins to serve residents on the Horsham campus and is expanded to the community in 2008.


2008 - Birnhak_MG_1043.jpg
Opened first phase of Birnhak Transitional Care.


2010 Home Care DSC_1664.jpg
Abramson Home Care begins providing healthcare and homemaker services to seniors in the comfort of their own homes.


Abramson Care Advisors, a free, around-the-clock telephonic senior care information and referral source begins.


2012 - Birhnak AC_NT 037.jpg
Opened the second phase of Birnhak Transitional Care.


2013 -  Dialysis Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 10.46.51 AM.jpg
Abramson Dialysis Center, an eight-chair joint venture with Fresenius Medical Care and Delaware Valley Nephrology & Hypertension Associates, opens to serve both residents and community patients.


2013 - Medical Adult Day.jpg
Abramson Medical Adult Day Services opens in Northeast Philadelphia. It provides seniors with daytime medical, therapeutic and recreational programming in a safe cheerful environment.