Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel And the Jewish Hospital in America
Publisher: Rutgers University Press | ISBN: 0813539102 | edition 2006 | PDF | 304 pages | 1,13 mb
Where were you born? Were you born at the Beth? Many thousands of Americans--Jewish and non-Jewish--were born at a hospital bearing the Star of David and named Beth Israel, Mount Sinai, or Montefiore. Newark Beth Israel Hospital is a distinguished modern medical institution in New Jersey whose history opens a window on American health care, the immigrant experience, the religious impulse for health care, and urban life. Alan and Deborah Kraut tell the story of this important institution, illuminating the broader history of voluntary nonprofit hospitals created under religious auspices initially to serve poor immigrant communities. Like so many Jewish hospitals in the early half of the twentieth century, "the Beth" cared not only for its own community's poor and underprivileged, a responsibility grounded in the Jewish traditions of tzedakah ("justice") and tikkun olam ("to heal the world"), but also for all Newarkers. The Krauts tell the Beth Israel story against the backdrop of twentieth-century medical progress, Newark's tumultuous history, and the broader social and demographic changes altering the landscape of American cities. Today, the United States, in the midst of another great wave of immigration, once again faces the question of how to provide newcomers with culturally sensitive and economically accessible medical care. Covenant of Care will inform and inspire all those working to meet these demands, offering a compelling look at the creative ways that voluntary hospitals navigated similar challenges throughout the twentieth century.
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