Pride of Judea Children’s Home
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April 16, 1923 - Pride of Judea Orphan Home officially opened with about 75 infants and children under six years old. During next decade the minimum admission age was gradually raised to 5 ½.
1925 - P.S. 202 began operations and it would be the elementary school for almost all the Pride’s children.
1930 - U.S. census recorded 215 residents: 127 boys and 88 girls.
Population counts by age group: 1 to 3 - 16; 3 to 6 - 54; 6 to 10 - 98; 10 to 13 - 41; 13 years old and over – 6.
1933 - Name was changed to the Pride of Judea Children’s Home.
August 8, 1933 - During a day trip to Rockaway Beach seven boys lost their lives. The tragic event was front page story in most of the New York City newspapers.
1935 - Earliest known b’nai mitzvah took place at the Pride. It would continue to be a “boys only” annual event until 1948.
1937 - Third floor addition was dedicated for girls’ dormitories.
1938 - Max Blumberg, a founder and early president of the Pride of Judea, died and was succeeded by Jacob H. Cohen.
1940 - U.S. census recorded 188 children: 114 boys and 74 girls. Although gender percentages for 1930 and 1940 remained constant (60/40) there was a 12.5 percent resident decline for the 10-year period. There were no residents under six years of age and half of the population were teenagers.
1941-46 - World War II: More than 100 former residents and staff members served in the military. Four perished.
1943 - Two newly acquired Long Beach, L.I. houses became the Pride’s annual summer residence.
1950 - U.S. census recorded 108 children; 73 boys and 35 girls, an overall decline of 88, or nearly 47 percent from 1940 census. Forty five were ages 13 thru 17.
1959 - The few remaining residents were placed in foster care and the Pride of Judea Children's Home ceased to exist.
Among U.S.A Jewish “orphanages” PJCH was one of the last one to open, and probably the last one to close.
1960 - Pride of Judea Mental Health Clinic (Center) began and offered outpatient services in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
1972 - the Center relocated to Douglaston, Queens
1985 - PJCH alumni organization was named in memory of Rose Nadler Schefer, a 16-year resident who had proposed its formation. Stan Friedland, president for more than two dozen years, orchestrated annual picnics and Hanukkah parties and the publication of a quarterly newsletter.
1998 - Stan Friedland and fellow alum Phil Craft coauthored An Orphan Has Many Parents, an anecdotal account of the Pride. The book’s publication attracted new alumni members which, at its peak, had over 200 residing in 10 states.
1999 - Pride of Judea Mental Health Center became a division of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
2000 - Center renamed Pride of Judea Community Services and provides outpatient services for Northeast Queens residents.
2021 - Alumni organization disbanded but, thanks in part to cell phones and emails, a number of members in several states retain their lifelong friendships.
After nearly a full century, with name, purpose and location changes, there is continues to be a “Pride of Judea" ...in practice and in spirit.
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