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Pride of Judea Children's Home Records

Identifier: I-448

Scope and Content Note

The Pride of Judea Children's Home records document life at the home from the 1930s through the 1950s. The collection contains photographs and the newsletters Pride Survey, Judea Journal, and the alumni newsletters The Voice and the Rose Nadler Schefer Chapter. The collection also holds a few brochures, lists of residents from 1941 and 1946, newspaper and magazine clippings about the home and its residents and staff, and printouts from the Pride of Judea Alumni website from 2001 which is no longer active. Also included are copies of a book proposal letter to Teacher's College Press at Columbia University regarding An Orphan Has Many Parents written by Stan Friedland and Phil Craft. The book was eventually published in 1998 by KTAV Publishing House in Hoboken, New Jersey and the collection has newspaper and magazine clippings announcing the publication. The collection also contains materials concerning the 1933 Rockaway Beach tragedy, including photographs and newspaper photocopies. The collection also contains materials related to the Home during the Second World War, including newspaper photocopies and correspondence about a memorial issue of the alumni newsletter. There are also photographs and newspaper photocopies about Max Blumberg, the Home’s longtime president; and correspondence and photographs related to alumni reunions.


  • 1932-2013
  • Majority of material found within 1933 - 1949


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Historical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Group Portrait, Exterior of Building, 1948" href="" show="embed" title="Group Portrait, Exterior of Building, 1948"/>

The Pride of Judea Orphan Home opened on April 16, 1923 at 992 Dumont Avenue and Elton Street in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. The home was founded by Orthodox Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia who opted to use the term “Judea” in the organization’s name rather than “Jewish” or “Hebrew” which were used in the naming of other orphanages and organizations.1 The building and grounds comprised a block of land two-hundred by four-hundred feet that included a large yard, kitchen and dining room, living room, library, Hebrew classrooms and study rooms, a synagogue, an infirmary, clothing, sewing, and laundry rooms in addition to the upstairs bedrooms.2 Three years before construction began Max Blumberg, a merchant and philanthropist, who contributed many donations, was elected president and the building was built during his tenure.3 The first residents consisted of approximately seventy-five infants, toddlers, and children through age five. The next year six orphaned sisters from four to thirteen years of age were admitted. Through the years the policy changed, the minimum age was raised to five, and the home accommodated three-hundred children between the ages of five and eighteen.4

In the early 1930s the name was changed to Pride of Judea Children’s Home to acknowledge that not all of the residents were orphans. Education, both religious (Orthodox) and secular, was also a large focus.5 Most of the children attended Public School 202 on Hegerman Avenue a few blocks away. Aside from their studies children were also expected to make their beds and keep their dresser drawers and closets organized.6

On August 8, 1933, around 100 children from the Home were taken on a daytrip to Rockaway Beach, Queens. Sadly, the outing turned disastrous when seven of the children drowned. Nine other children were revived at the beach or had to be hospitalized.

Max Blumberg served as board president for twenty years until his death in 1939 when he was succeeded by his friend and former treasurer Jacob H. Cohen. In the summer of 1943 a mansion in Long Beach, New York was donated by Bernard Sharp and his wife to provide a summer vacation home for the children. The deed for the house was presented to Mr. Cohen on the sixteenth of August. The house was known as the “Martin R.D. Sharp Pavilion” in memory of the deceased son of Mr. and Mrs. Sharp.7

After World War II the number of residents and new admissions began to decline. In 1954 no new admissions were accepted and in June 1958 the remaining residents were placed elsewhere and the home closed. The following year the Pride of Judea organization created a new name and mission and become the Pride of Judea Mental Health Center which relocated to Douglaston Queens in 1972. In 1999 the organization became a division of the Jewish Board for Family and Children’s Services and as of 2016 was still in existence and operating as an outpatient clinic under the name Pride of Judea Counseling Center. The Pride of Judea organization also maintains a website on the history of the home. 8

Between 1915 and 1958 Pride of Judea Children’s Home was home for over ten thousand children.9


April 16, 1923
Pride of Judea Orphan Home opens.
P.S. 202 built and becomes elementary school to hundreds of Pride children.
Name changed to Pride of Judea Children’s Home to acknowledge that many of the residents were not “orphans.”
August 8, 1933
Seven children from the Home drown during a daytrip to Rockaway Beach, Queens.
Third floor is added to accommodate the female residents.
Bernard Scharp donates two homes in Long Beach, NY which provide the Home’s children with summer vacations.
Pride of Judea Children's Home closes.
Pride of Judea Mental Health Clinic (Center) opens and offers outpatient services.
Center relocates to Douglaston, Queens and building closes.
Building is torn down.
An alumni chapter of former PJCH residents is established and named in honor of the late Rose Nadler Schefer who lived in the Home for 16 years.
Pride of Judea Mental Health Center becomes part of a division of the Jewish Board for Family Services.
Center changes its name to Pride of Judea Community Services and offers outpatient services and programs for the population of Northeast Queens.


  1. 1 Samuel P. Abelow, History of Brooklyn Jewry (Brooklyn, NY: Sheba Publishing Company, 1937), 192. Accessed on Google books on July 23, 2015.
  2. 2 Clarice Tilchen and Sharon Tilchen Balaban, Blame it on Anna (United States: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012), 32-34.
  3. 3 Phil Craft and Stan Friedland, An Orphan Has Many Parents (Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing, 1998), 13-18.
  4. 4 Lois Goodrich, “Local Woman Takes Pride in her Childhood” Jewish Standard (August 17, 2006). Accessed July 22, 2015.
  5. 5 Mary Pilon, “'Cradled in Judea' remembers the orphans” USA Today (March 23, 2006). Accessed July 22, 2015.
  6. 6 Tilchen and Balaban, Blame it on Anna, 35-37.
  7. 7 “Pride of Judea Home Dedicated: Gift of Bernard Sharp Provides Orphans ‘Summer Home,’” Nassau Daily Review-Star(Mon. Aug 16, 1943). Accessed July 1, 2015.
  8. 8Pride of Judea Counseling Center and Pride of Judea, Accessed February 22, 2016
  9. 9 Goodrich, “Local Woman Takes Pride” Jewish Standard


.75 Linear Feet


The collection includes an annual report, brochures, photographs, newsclippings, and issues of the resident newsletters Pride Survey and the Judea Journal, and the alumni newsletters The Voice and Rose Nadler Schefer Chapter. Some photographs contain names of those depicted. The collection also contains articles and a publisher's order form for the 1998 release of the book An Orphan Has Many Parents as well as information and newsclippings of a 1933 Rockaway Beach outing that ended in tragedy.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by material type and chronologically.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Physical Location

Located in New York, NY

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated in 1998 by Sam Arcus and Phil Craft. The photographs and a few newsletters were donated by Stan Friedland in 2001, 2005, and 2012. Additional material regarding the Rockaway Beach tragedy of 1933, and information on Max Blumberg and Maxwell Papurt, along with some photographs, were donated by Paul Hirsch in 2018.

Guide to the Pride of Judea Children's Home Records, undated, 1932-2013 (bulk 1933-1949)   I-448
Processed by Boni Joi Koelliker
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • July 23, 2018:: Added seven folders to collection. Updated Historical Note and Scope and Content Note. Rachel Brill.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States