It all started in 1894 in the Old City of Jerusalem. On the fifth night of Hanukkah, a group of women wanted to help other women, who were having mental health issues after they gave birth. In those days, no one knew about postpartum depression. So these courageous women organized the Ezrat Nashim Association to provide these new mothers with a special home to give them time to return to themselves. This home soon became the first psychiatric hospital in the Middle East when, in 1906, men with mental health challenges were admitted.
The Ezrat Nashim Hospital quickly grew to become a major psychiatric hospital in Israel, moving to a new facility opposite the Jerusalem Central bus station.
Rabbanit Sarah Herzog, the wife of Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, took over as President, and served from 1943-1979. She spearheaded the further development of the hospital when a new 330-bed building was constructed in the Givat Shaul neighbourhood of Jerusalem. She was the mother of Israel’s sixth president, President Haim, and the grandmother of Israel’s current president, Isaac. Herzog. After Rabbanit Sarah Herzog passed away, the hospital’s board decided to change the hospital’s name to Rabbanit Sarah Herzog Memorial Hospital.
In the 1970s, as Israel’s population started getting older, the leadership at what was now Herzog Hospital decided to meet the growing need, and developed Geriatric and Physical Rehabilitation departments. Recognizing this need, the hospital continued to expand to treat the full range of healthcare illnesses for the increasing number of people in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and older.
With this increased demand, it became clear that the existing 330 beds would not be sufficient. Plans were made to erect an additional hospital building that would add 270 beds. The result was the building of the six-storey Samson Medical Pavilion, which today is fully occupied.
And all this happened through the many wars that Israel has fought since 1894. And today, we are once again at the forefront, helping in so many different ways, from admitting patients from hospitals in the South, to providing extensive mental health and psychotrauma care.
We have gone from a small Ezrat Nashim home, and grown today to the Herzog Medical Center.
We thank you for your support over the years to help us get to this point. And now, we have plans to build a totally new Mental Health Center building.
We invite you to be part of this new endeavour.
Happy 129th Birthday Herzog Medical Center!
And Happy Hanukkah!
|During this critical time, YOUR help is needed to reach this goal — we cannot do it without you.