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 primer nursing home and geriatric research center, to our current evolution as a provider of a full-continuum of senior care services:

1866

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

1873

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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

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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

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The Auxiliary was formed.

1952

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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.

1959

Gerontology Research Institute is formed.

1973

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

1974

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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

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PGC’s research institute becomes the Edward and Esther Polisher Research Institute.

1999

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PGC closes its Philadelphia doors and ground is broken for the Horsham campus.

2001

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The Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life officially accepts its first residents in October.

2007

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

2008

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Opened first phase of Birnhak Transitional Care.

2010

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

2011

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

2012

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Opened the second phase of Birnhak Transitional Care.

2013

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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

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