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Hebrew Infant Asylum of the City of New York records

Identifier: I-166

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains primarily bound volume reports of the Hebrew Infant Asylum, and its later iteration: the Home for Hebrew Infants. Included in these volumes are annual reports, 1898-1917; the "monthly city billing" (1904-1906), reports of the admitting physicians, 1895-1908; and other printed materials.


  • Creation: 1895-1934


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Historical Note

"To receive and take charge of infants in cases where parent or parents are dead or unable or incompetent to afford to the infant the nursing and attention which they merit, and to care for their religious, physical and moral training." -Hebrew Infant Asylum Society, 1892.

The origins of the Hebrew Infant Asylum can be traced back to Mrs. Solomon [Esther Hellman] Wallenstein, a member of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society. She and other concerned New Yorkers recognized a a lack of proper housing for the city's abandoned Jewish children below the age range of orphanage admittance.

In 1892 she engaged the help of the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York, and created an informal committee to tackle this problem. Two weeks later, the committee coalesced into the Hebrew Infant Asylum Society, with Wallenstein as President.

The Society mailed circulars to members of already-existing charitable organizations, collected second-hand clothing for infants for distribution among the poor, and placed several infants with families at the Society's expense.

On April 17, 1895 the Society obtained a charter, established membership dues, and secured a location at 149th/Mott Ave for the children's shelter.

Wallenstein ran the Hebrew Infant Asylum until July 8, 1903, when she died at the age of 57. It changed locations several times since.

By 1942, the Asylum had merged with the Jewish Child Care Association, an organization dedicated to providing "quality services to children and their families, and the universal mandate within the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam— the responsibility of every person to make the world a better place."

Later, the Hebrew Infant Asylum, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, the Fellowship House, and the Jewish Children’s Clearing Bureau merged to become part of the Jewish Child Care Association ( the JCCA), which continues to care for thousands of children in as many foster homes.


3.70 Linear Feet (4 manuscript boxes + 1 OS1 box)


Collection contains bound records from the administrative activities of the Hebrew Infant Asylum, including annual reports, board meeting minutes, reports of the admitting physicians, and the admission and discharge records of children.


This collection is organized into three Series:

  1. Series I: Reports and meeting minutes, 1896-1923
  2. Series II: Promotional materials, 1896-1934
  3. Series III: Admissions books and physicians reports, 1893-1908

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY.

Guide to the Hebrew Infant Asylum of the City of New York records, 1895-1934 I-166
Finding aid created by marc2ead_ajhs.xsl
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2016-09-26: PDF box list converted to dsc. Finding aid encoding revised by Janine Veazue.
  • 2016-03-01.: Changed "Orphanages" to "Jewish orphanages" in Subjects by Tanya Elder.
  • April 2021: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States