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The Jewish Hospital Medical Center Brooklyn School of Nursing

The Brooklyn Jewish Hospital School of Nursing was founded in 1906 with the opening that same year of the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital on Classen Avenue. The first class graduated in 1908.Included in this collection are year books starting with the 1950s, textbooks, a box of glass-plate negatives, bisque dolls clothed in student uniforms and caps, photographs of classes spanning 1912 to 1939, tea services used at the school, uniforms and other alumni memorabilia donated by Sue Rudnick, Susan Mayer, Edna Bernstein, Susan Lazar and Milagros Ilea.

Index code: MC56

Finding Guide:

Finding Aid for the Jewish Hospital Medical Center of Brooklyn School of Nursing Collection 1910-2004 

Compiled by Kerry Lynch, Archival Intern, July 2010 in partial fulfillment of the MSIS degree, University at Albany, SUNY

VOLUME: 19.5 cubic feet
ACQUISITION: The items in this collection were donated by Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn School of Nursing Alumnae Association.
ACCESS: This collection is open to the public by appointment.
COPYRIGHT: Please consult the repository for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.
Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn School of Nursing Collection 1910-2004(MC56), Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History, Foundation of New York State Nurses, Guilderland, NY

Organizational History

The Jewish Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn, New York, founded in the early 1900s, evolved at a time when nursing as a profession was still a relatively new avenue for women. For Jewish women in particular, nursing careers were uncertain territory because that profession traditionally was not considered culturally acceptable. Nursing was looked upon as a menial job that was only an extension of housekeeping duties. Further complicating nursing careers for Jewish women was the belief that it was improper for good Jewish girls to have physical contact with male patients.[1]

The right age for embarking on a nursing career was also thought to be appropriate for marrying and starting a family, so for many years women often had to make the difficult choice between entering the nursing profession or filling the more traditional roles of wife and mother. Many women of the early 1900s who needed to enter the workplace ended up doing so in factories, which usually offered better pay.[2]

The Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn existed several years prior to its nursing school. Jewish doctors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries often found themselves barred from working in existing hospitals of the day, so of necessity they founded their own institutions. Those hospitals were able to cater to the religious needs of their patients as well as health issues, a well-rounded service that provided an extra measure of comfort to the people for whom they cared.[3] The establishment of the Jewish Hospital, originally located in a small, two-story building at 70 Johnson Street, was also necessary due to the increasing numbers of immigrants who arrived in New York City in the decades preceding 1900. It thrived in this location from 1895 through 1906, when the Jewish Hospital Society of Brooklyn dedicated a new Jewish Hospital at the Prospect Place address. By this time, they realized that the training of nurses was crucial to the efficient running of the hospital and established the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing.[4]

Founded in 1906, the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing graduated its first class (made up of seven students) in 1908. [5] Their nursing program grew steadily over the years, evolving from minimal graduation requirements in the early 1900s to a rigorous, nationally accredited nursing school in the years to follow. The two-year academic program expanded to two and half years in 1917, then to three full years in 1937. Classes were added, the faculty gained members, and prerequisites for admission were put into place, such as a four-year high school diploma and aptitude test. Although student nurses initially did not need to pay tuition and received a small stipend, the latter was eliminated in 1931 after the stock market crash. A $50.00 tuition fee was implemented four years later.[6] Despite these changes, steady enrollment continued and the school thrived.

Although the makeup of the students and methods of teaching and learning changed over the years, the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing never wavered in its mission to “believe in the intrinsic unity of man and his worth as an individual.” [7]The faculty taught the nurses that an individual’s well-being is a dynamic state and that its care requires lifelong learning and adaptability. While promoting good study and professional habits, the nursing school administrators also sought to develop positive social habits in their students. Particularly in the years leading up to and including the 1960s, the school sponsored plays, dances, teas, sing-alongs and other group activities to promote unity and social graces so the nurses would be well-rounded graduates. So important was this aspect of student life that the school hired social directors beginning in the late 1920s.[8]Tight bonds were encouraged between members of different classes as older students, called big sisters, paired up with first-year students,”Littles,” and acted as mentors to the less experienced girls. Ceremony played an important role in the students’ lives as they marked academic achievements through traditions like capping and black-banding, both of which celebrated the students’ milestones leading up to the official start of their careers.

By 1979, the school administrators decided that the three-year diploma needed to be condensed to two years.[9]They also changed their name slightly to the Jewish Hospital and Medical Center of Brooklyn in the 1970s, only to become the Interfaith Hospital and Nursing School by 1983. Though the roots of the hospital and its nursing school were Jewish, the administration welcomed students of all races and religions. Male students also became increasingly common in later years.

Although the Interfaith Hospital of Brooklyn Nursing School closed in 1999, its alumnae association (which operates under the original school name) continues to be active. It was organized in 1909 by the first graduating class of the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing. Anna Mae Sabol, a former superintendent of nurses, was instrumental in guiding the formation of the association in its early days. Though they started out with just twelve members, those numbers grew steadily over the history of the nursing school.[10] Although the details and means of carrying out their mission have changed over the years, their core goals continue to be discussions of professional issues and creating solutions to obstacles that arise in their field. They also continue to celebrate the achievements of their members, provide scholarship support for budding nurses, and host reunions for alumnae.

The building that housed the Jewish Hospital still stands on Prospect Place in Brooklyn; as of 2004, it was slated to become a 700-unit apartment complex along with restaurant and grocery store.[11]

Scope and Contents Notes

The collection of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn School of Nursing is a combination of documents and artifacts originating from the school itself (ex. nursing caps or graduation photos) and from the school’s alumnae association (ex. reunion brochures). Although the school does not exist anymore, the alumnae association still sponsors activities for graduates and retains a vested interest in the success of future nurses. There is limited coverage of the Mills School of Nursing (for male nurses) and the Bellevue School for Midwives.

Artifacts are as numerous as paper records in this particular collection. Many of the materials revolve around the culture of student life, such as the yearbooks, tea sets, and photographs. Paper documents are primarily those of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn Nursing School Alumnae Association; there are several decades worth of their meeting minutes, some correspondence, alumnae bulletins, and a few materials on the founding of the association. Records of the school itself are sparse, but there are several program catalogues outlining the school’s history, mission, and class requirements in addition to extensive class notes from a 1950s graduate.

One special feature of the collection is found in the photograph series, which contains glass plate negatives likely used to teach history of nursing. There are also two boxes of negatives from events such as alumnae teas, dances, and school plays spanning 1949 to 1963, but most of the negatives from 1950-1954 had to be disposed of due to extreme damage including brittleness, rippling, and bubbled emulsion. Negatives from 1955+ are in very good condition, as are most of the films from 1949.

Series Descriptions

Series 1: Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn School of Nursing Alumnae Association Records   (1.2 cu. ft.)
This part of the collection is made up of materials created by the alumnae association of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn School of Nursing or materials gathered by the association which dealt with the history of their school. (i.e. alumnae meeting minutes versus photographs of student life.) There are association meeting minutes from the 1920s through the 1940s as well as the mid-1970s through the early 2000s, alumnae bulletins, correspondence, certificates of incorporation, and group by-laws.
Series 2: Individual Alumnae Files  (0.4 cu. ft.)
Researchers will find materials donated by individual Jewish Hospital School of Nursing graduates in this series. They were originally part of collection MC-5 but have been added to the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing collection to give an added perspective of what nursing student life entailed at that school. Some files contain classroom materials while others house nursing certification documents and photographs.
Series 3: Yearbooks  (4.0 cu. ft.)
This series consists entirely of yearbooks from the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn School of Nursing. The earliest in the collection date to 1930, which was the first time a yearbook was published for the nursing school, and run through the 1980s. The yearbook was originally known as The Echo, then becameQ. Anno in the 1940s. The name remained the same for the rest of the school’s history with the exception of 1974 when the students renamed it Zodiac. The following year it reverted to the name Q. Anno. The run of yearbooks is nearly complete, with the second half of the 1930s and most of the 1940s comprising the most noticeable gap in material.

Special note: there are two different yearbooks for 1979�one for the first 2-year program graduates and one for the final 3-year program graduates.
Series 4: Photographs  (3.8 cu. ft.)
This series is comprised of both photos and negatives. The bulk of the negatives are from the mid- to late 1950s, but there is a set from 1949 and a small selection from the early to mid-1960s as well. The series also features photos, mainly black and white, from the turn of the twentieth century right through the 1990s. One undated sepia picture may be one of the first graduating classes of the Jewish hospital School of Nursing, while other pictures show graduating classes of the nineteen-teens and twenties. There are also photos of capping ceremonies, early physicians, and student life through the decades. One box contains glass plate negatives featuring the history of the medical profession generally and nursing specifically. While the majority of the photos are loose, there is a selection of senior class photos from the 1940s and 1950s that are framed.
Series 5: Memorabilia  (10.0 cu. ft.)
The last series consists of memorabilia of the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing. Some of the artifacts were gifts to the school from graduating classes. There are nursing caps and uniforms, nursing dolls, syringes, a nursing school umbrella, and a commemorative 1999 candleholder.

Box and Folder List

Series 1: Jewish Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association Records (1916-2004)

Box 1:

  1. Alumnae Association 90th Anniversary, 1999
  2. Alumnae Bulletin, Winter 1980
  3. Alumnae Bulletin, Spring 1997, Spring, Fall, and Winter 1998
  4. Alumnae Bulletin, Spring, Fall, & Winter 1999, Winter 1999/2000
  5. Alumnae Bulletin, Spring & Fall 2000
  6. Alumnae Bulletin, Spring, Fall, & Winter 2001
  7. Alumnae Bulletin, Spring & Winter 2002, Fall 2004
  8. Alumnae Membership Lists, 1999, 2001, undated
  9. Annual Meeting Programs, 1937, 1938
  10. Articles of Incorporation & By-Laws of the Nurses’ Association of the Counties of Long Island, Inc., 1946
  11. By-Laws of the Nurses Alumnae Association of the School of Nursing of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn, 1996
  12. Card from the Class of 1952
  13. Care of Sick Nurses, 1923, 1930, 1938, 1941, 1946, 1949
  14. Care of Sick Nurses/Well Care, 1961-1962, 1971-1976
  15. Certificate of Incorporation & By-laws, 1909, 1954
  16. Committee Notebook, c. 1954-1964
  17. Correspondence, 1978, 1997-2001
  18. Finances: General, 1924, 1946, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1975-76
  19. Finances: Nurses Club of Brooklyn, 1927, 1941, 1944, 1946-47, 1957
  20. Finances: Stocks & Bonds, 1940, 1942, 1946, 1957
  21. Graduation Programs, 1916, 1955
  22. Homecoming & Reunion Planning, 1991, 1993-1995, 1997-1998
  23. “Mainly for Seniors”  Article by Jack Leahy, undated
  24. Meeting Minutes Logbook, Feb. 1922-Feb. 1931
  25. Meeting Minutes, Jan. 1931-Feb. 1933
  26. Meeting Minutes, Jan. 1933-Dec. 1935
  27. Meeting Minutes, Jan. 1936-Jan. 1940
  28. Meeting Minutes w/ Articles and By-laws, Jan. 1940-Dec. 1942
  29. Meeting Minutes Logbook, Jan. 1943-Jan. 1950
  30. Meeting Minutes & Activities, 1976, 1978-1981
  31. Meeting Minutes & Activities, 1982-1988
  32. Meeting Minutes & Activities, 1988-1995
  33. Meeting Minutes & Activities, 1996-2000
  34. Meeting Minutes & Activities, 2001-2002
Box 2

  1. New Directions: Publication of Interfaith Medical Center, Jan. 1999
  2. New Student Instructions, undated
  3. The Nurse: Publication of Jewish Hospital Nurses Training School, Feb. 1937
  4. Nurses Registry Correspondence, 1936-1937, 1950
  5. Presidents of the Nurses Alumnae Association, 1909-1958
  6. Record Book, 1924-1926
  7. Reunion Programs, 2003
  8. School of Nursing Booklets, 1971-1972, 1974-1979
  9. “Who’s Who Directory of Directors: Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn 60th Anniversary,” 1969 [SEE ALSO OVERSIZED FOLDER]

Series 2: Alumnae Association Individual Files (1936-1977, 1991)

  1. Bernstein, Edna, 1938-1977, 1991
  2. Carey, Margaret Buirydas, 1936-1946  *Includes Oct. 1937 issue of The Nurse
  3. Rudnick, Susan Rosenberg: Procedure Manual, 1953
  4. Rudnick, Susan Rosenberg: Class Materials, 1953 [1/2]
  5. Rudnick, Susan Rosenberg: Class Materials, 1953 [2/2]

Series 3: Yearbooks (1930-1988, non-inclusive)

Box 1

  1. The Echo1930
  2. The Echo1931
  3. The Echo1932
  4. The Echo1933
  5. The Echo1334
  6. The Echo1935
  7. Q. Anno1947
  8. Q. Anno1952
  9. Q. Anno1952
  10. Q. Anno1953
  11. Q. Anno1954
  12. Q. Anno1954
  13. Q. Anno1955
  14. Q. Anno1955
  15. Q. Anno1956
  16. Q. Anno1957
  17. Q. Anno1957
  18. Q. Anno1958
  19. Q. Anno1958
Box 2

  1. Q. Anno1959
  2. Q. Anno1959
  3. Q. Anno1960
  4. Q. Anno1961
  5. Q. Anno1961
  6. Q. Anno1962
  7. Q. Anno1962
  8. Q. Anno1963
  9. Q. Anno1963
  10. Q. Anno1964
  11. Q. Anno1964
  12. Q. Anno1965
  13. Q. Anno1965
  14. Q. Anno1966
  15. Q. Anno1966
Box 3

  1. Q. Anno1967
  2. Q. Anno1967
  3. Q. Anno1968
  4. Q. Anno1968
  5. Q. Anno1969
  6. Q. Anno1970
  7. Q. Anno1971
  8. Q. Anno1971
  9. Q. Anno1972
  10. Q. Anno1972
  11. Q. Anno1973
  12. Q. Anno1973
  13. Zodiac1974
  14. Zodiac1974
  15. Q. Anno1975
  16. Q. Anno1976
  17. Q. Anno1976
Box 4

  1. Q. Anno1977
  2. Q. Anno1977
  3. Q. Anno1978
  4. Q. Anno1978
  5. Q. Anno1979–3year program
  6. Q. Anno1979–3year program
  7. Q. Anno1979–2year program
  8. Q. Anno1979–2year program
  9. Q. Anno1980
  10. Q. Anno1981
  11. Q. Anno1983
  12. Q. Anno1983
  13. Q. Anno1984
  14. Q. Anno1984
  15. Q. Anno1985
  16. Q. Anno1986
  17. Q. Anno1987
  18. Q. Anno1988

Series 4: Photographs (1910-2000, undated; bulk 1940-1970)

Box 1
 Negatives, 1949, 1955 *Envelopes with yellow sticker are empty; negatives were badly damaged and had to be eliminated.
Box 2
 Negatives, 1955-1963
Box 3

  1. Class Photo, 1912
  2. Class Photo, 1926
  3. Class Photos, 1988
  4. Farewell Parties, 1951, 1953
  5. Graduating Classes, 1965, 1966, undated
  6. Graduating Class, c. 1985
  7. House Staff, 1947, 1950
  8. Jean Lecher Czuker Photo, Letters, News Clip (1940, 1998)
  9. Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn Physicians, undated
  10. Medical Staff in Operating Room, November 2, 1913
  11. Nurses S. Lande and T. Gurian, 1959
  12. Nursing Students, 1912
  13. Nursing Students, 1914
  14. Nursing Students, 1917
  15. Nursing Students, 1929
  16. Nursing Students, undated
  17. Nursing Students and Teachers, undated
  18. Nursing Students with Roy Rogers and Trigger, 1943
  19. Nursing Students with Dodger’s Leo Durocher, Ebbet’s Field, 1946
  20. Operating Room, 1940
  21. Pediatric Ward, 1926
  22. Physicians: Group Photo, undated
  23. Residence Hall Lobby, 1938
  24. Reunion Photos with Original Graduation Photos, 1967, 1997
  25. Reunions, 1984, 1985, 1989
  26. Student Life, 1945, undated
  27. Student Life & Faculty, 1942-1943, 1946-1948, 1953, undated
  28. Student Life c. 1965-1977
  29. World War I-Era Nurses, 1918
Box 4
 Glass plate negatives, undated
Oversize Box 5

  • Class photos, framed: 1913, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1944-1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1957
  • Class photos, unframed: 1911, 1914, 1916, 1936
  • Physician group photo, 1910
  • Annual Convention of New York State Nurses Association, 1928

Series 5: Memorabilia (1944-1948, 1953, 1999, undated)

Box 1

  • 12 china plates: rose pattern
  • 9 china cups: rose pattern
  • 1 china sugar bowl: rose pattern
  • 1 china sugar bowl: rose pattern
  • 3 hypodermic syringes
  • 1 Jewish School of Nursing umbrella

Box 2

  • 7 china plates: rose pattern
  • 4 china plates: blue floral
  • 4 china cups: blue floral

Box 3

  • 4 nurses’ caps regular size
  • 1 mini replica nursing cap
  • 1 commemorative candle holder from capping & graduation, “1909-1999”

Box 4

  • Nursing uniforms from Rose Landsman, undated
  • Letter from R. Landsman, April 3, 2000
  • Student nursing cap, undated

Box 5 [Oversize]

  • 2 china bisque nursing dolls with uniforms
Box 6-Box 10
Please consult archivistBox 11Realia worn by Gloria Cohen Golden, Class of 1947: blue wool cape; graduate pin; alumnae association pin; Cadet Corps pins.

Oversized Artifact

  • Wooden table in use in Foundation of New York State Nurses office area. Undated dedication plaque reads: “In Memory of Sondrasue Deneff-Friedman presented by Alumnae Association, Jewish Hospital and Medical Center of Brooklyn.”

  • [1]  Jack Leahy, “Mainly for Seniors,” news clipping. Undated, publication unknown. MC56, Series #1 Nurses Alumnae Association.
  • [2]  Susan L. Mayer, “Nursing in the United States.” Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 20 March 2009. Jewish Women’s Archive. Printed January 11, 2010.
  • [3]  ibid
  • [4]  Brochure: School of Nursing Jewish Hospital & Medical Center of Brooklyn, 1977-1979, p. 10-11. MC56, Series #1 Nurses Alumnae Association.
  • [5]  ibid
  • [6]  “Brief History of the School of Nursing of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn, 1906-1946.” From collection source folder, dated February 24, 1948.
  • [7]  Brochure: School of Nursing Jewish Hospital & Medical Center of Brooklyn, 1977-1979, p. 10-11. MC56, Series #1 Nurses Alumnae Association.
  • [8]  “Brief History of the School of Nursing of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn, 1906-1946.” From collection source folder, dated February 24, 1948.
  • [9]  1979 editions of Q’Anno, Jewish Hospital School of Nursing yearbook.
  • [10]  Meeting Minutes book, Alumnae Annual Report, 1927. Series #1 Nurses Alumnae Association, MC56.
  • [11]  Sana Siwolop.New York Times. “Casting an eye toward Brooklyn’s ‘Hidden Jewel.'”(19 September 2004.)

Gertrude B. Hutchinson, Archivist August 2010
 June, 2014

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