Hebrew Orphan Asylum

Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum Founded 1878

The Hebrew Orphan Society of Brooklyn originated from a gathering of charitable Hebrews to provide a home for orphans from Brooklyn. An organization was perfected and the society incorporated in August, 1878.

A house was rented on the corner of Stuyvesant avenue and McDonough street. The asylum was opened for the reception of orphans January 7, 1879, and sixteen children received. Before the expiration of two years the need of larger accommodations was felt, and at a meeting April 17, 1881, it was resolved to purchase grounds on McDonough street, near Stuyvesant avenue, 120 by 200 feet, for the sum of $12,500.

The trustees resolved to erect a new building, 70 by 100 feet, of which the corner-stone was laid June 26, 1883. It is of brick, with stone trimmings, and three stories in height. The managers have deemed it a wise policy to educate the children in the neighboring public school.

The asylum owes much to the efforts of Ernst Nathan, who has been its President from the first. The other OFFICERS for 1883-1884 are: S. Goodstein, Vice-President; G. Merzbach, Secretary, and M. Bruckheimer, Treasurer.

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Source: The Charitable Institutions of Kings County and Brooklyn in Civil, Political, Professional and Ecclesiastical History and Commercial and Industrial Record of the County of Kings and the City of Brooklyn, N.Y. from 1683 yo 1884 (VOLUME II) in our American County Histories Collection.

WPA Mural

In 1938 the WPA produced a mural for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. This photo shows William Karp and an unidentified female artist working on the mural.

WPA mural for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum by William Karp (1938)

WPA mural for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum by William Karp (1938)

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