BROOKLYN JEWISH HOSPITAL, Prospect Heights

by Kevin Walsh

Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, later called Interfaith Medical Center after a 1983 merger, occupied a huge swath in Prospect Heights in buildings facing Classon Avenue, St. Mark’s Avenue and Prospect Place. Its original name is still showing in terra cotta lettering on its Classon Avenue side. 

In 1903, the Brooklyn Hebrew Hospital Society purchased property along Classon Avenue belonging to the Memorial Hospital for Women and Children, and spent three years fundraising and acquiring additional properties, opening to patients in December 1906. Even more property was acquired in 1928 that was used to build an additional wing.

After several decades, Jewish Hospital’s fortunes declined along with the neighborhood. In 1983, it merged with St. John’s Episcopal Hospital to form Interfaith Medical Center. Ultimately Interfaith moved out, and the vast property became residential units (much like my old high school, the nearby Cathedral Prep, did in 1985). 

I have a personal memory of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. I went in there just once, in 1975, to visit an ailing classmate in high school, Fred Costanzo. Though Fred was undersized, he was an agile athlete and active in our school’s extracurricular activities. Late in our senior year, Fred contacted leukemia and though he seemed upbeat when I and other friends went to see him, he succumbed during the summer in an era when there were not the life-extending treatments for leukemia available today.

Thus, I always feel the pull of nostalgia when I’m in Prospect Heights and walk past the old place.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”

3/29/18

47 comments

James Thompson March 30, 2018 - 10:13 am

I remember Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, spent a lot of time there as patient. This was in the 1950 to 1962 time and I went back forth to the children ward. I remember the walls were painted with complete stories like Ferdinand the Bull and stayed this way for years, this made my stay a little easy. They also had a children’s play room with toys and games. I had visited the hospital later as an adult to see a friend’s child and was sorry to see the walls were painted over.

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Anonymous August 17, 2018 - 5:59 pm

I also spent time often at Brooklyn Jewish besides being born there in 1953 at the age of five I had kidney surgery and then at the age of twelve and fourteen was hospitalized for minor back issues. I remember well the children’s playroom also the nurses student nurses and I’m guessing residents and interns were warm and friendly. In those days your parents didn’t stay with you overnight.

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BETTY JEAN JACKSON October 20, 2018 - 9:47 am

YES! I WAS BORN THERE IN 1953 AS WELL. ONE THING ABOUT THEM THEY TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEIR PATIENTS.

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Makeda Bailey November 19, 2018 - 1:22 pm

Hi
I was born July 13 1952 at brooklyn Jewish hospital.
How can you find the file of when you where born from that time
Does any one have the number and name of the new hospital.
What would have happened to the old files? Can anyone reply?

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Richard Steel February 26, 2019 - 9:41 pm

Did you ever hear how to find the records from Brooklyn Jewish Hospital from past years? I was born in 1964 and I am trying to get a copy of my birth certificate.

Roger Williams October 11, 2019 - 2:25 am

I was hit by a car right after my 3rd grade Catholic school term had begun in 1948. I woke up in an ambulance where my older brother who was accompanying me to the hospital asked me if I knew what had happened. I was able to tell him I had been hit by a 1947 Packard. My brother and ambulance attendants were amazed. I awoke again in the hospital several days later and was amazed to hear all the nurses saying Happy New Year! I thought I had been unconscious for months. I will always remember how friendly and. bubbly the nurses were.

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Dan March 31, 2018 - 2:57 pm

As a kid during the late 1950s and early 60s, I went for weekly allergy shots at the Jewish Hospital’s low-cost public clinic.

The wait was always endless. The wooden benches were hard. The gloomy, echo-filled hallways went on forever. And I’m sure more than one kid made a snack out of the lead-based paint that flaked off the institutional green walls.

The place had all the “charm” of a Victorian madhouse. Like something out a Dickens novel. And though I probably received thousands of shots over many years, my allergies never really went away.

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Anonymous May 3, 2019 - 11:07 am

Go to 125 worth st in the city dept of vital statistics they have all birth certificates

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Tina Lynette Taylor July 12, 2019 - 9:57 am

I was born in 1974 September and I never got my birth certificate that hospital was not good

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Barbara Loughlin September 17, 2020 - 8:14 am

I went there in 1951 to ER with a broken arm. My sister Kay Morris Barton had her appendix out thete. It was our neighborhood hospital.

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Susan B, Lioy August 6, 2018 - 1:51 pm

LOOKING FOR SOMEONE THAT WAS BORN THERE . I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THE TIME OF BIRTH WAS IN MILITARY TIME . THERE APPEARS TO BE A MISTAKE ON MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE

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Bettie August 14, 2018 - 7:32 am

I was born there in the mid-1950s. The time on my hospital certificate is *not* in military time. I was born around 8 p.m., and the time is recorded that way. I hope this is helpful.

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Paul August 26, 2018 - 11:47 pm

I was born there in 1967 at around 3am, and it is not printed in military time.

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Patricia Schiller Prince November 22, 2018 - 10:38 pm

I was born there in 1944; time recorded is not in military time.

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Joseph T Ferguson August 31, 2018 - 2:24 pm

I was born October 15, 1956. My doctor’s name was Fred Sapio. I lived on St. Marks Avenue between Vanderbilt Avenue and Underhill Avenue.

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Amy September 8, 2018 - 1:48 pm

I was born in Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in April 1945 just as WW II was ending

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Anonymous November 4, 2018 - 4:15 pm

I was born there in December 1949. Lots of changes in Brooklyn since we were born there!

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Arthur J Rivers III September 18, 2018 - 1:53 am

I was born there in 1954

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Sue Palmer Atkinson October 28, 2019 - 9:04 am

My brother was born in 1964. We grew up on Herkimer Street in Brooklyn. As a result of a school football injury he incurred hip surgery at BJH. At that time this hospital was one of the BEST in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery! The surgeon was phenomenal – I wish I could remember his name however, we are Blessed to have had a hospital during a trying time. Thank You for being a historic part of BROOKLYN.

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Sue Palmer Atkinson October 28, 2019 - 9:05 am

My brother was born in 1964. We grew up on Herkimer Street in Brooklyn. As a result of a school football injury he incurred hip surgery at BJH. At that time this hospital was one of the BEST in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery! The surgeon was phenomenal – I wish I could remember his name however, we are Blessed to have had a hospital during a trying time. Thank You for being a historic part of BROOKLYN.

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Nadine Silverman October 20, 2018 - 4:17 pm

I was born on May 14, 1946. Looking for my twin brother who was given away at birth

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Howard Yorke December 12, 2020 - 9:44 am

I was born there May 12 1946. I lived on prospect place between nostrand and rogers

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Marilyn November 15, 2018 - 10:25 pm

My dad worked there for our forty years in maintenance and plumbing. He was so proud to have that job and even when we moved to Co-op City in the Bronx, he would take the train to work. He refused to apply to Montefiore which would have been a much shorter commute. I never understood why until one day he was injured on the job and had to stay as a patient. It was one family. All the visitors in the hospital who came to visit and to wish him well. He left for retirement when the hospital moved to Atlantic Avenue after becoming Interfaith. He said it was not the same. Good memories. He would have loved to see his Brooklyn now and how it is coming back to life.

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stan o December 12, 2018 - 11:18 am

I did my medical residency there 1960-64

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ELLIOTT J. SCHERTZER January 20, 2019 - 1:41 am

I was born there on April 30th,1954 I came out a day early then predicted.. We lived in Boro Park at 1601 48th Street, my parents name were Rhoda & Milton.

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Phil Zaleskin February 23, 2019 - 11:15 pm

Born @ Brooklyn Jewish Hospital on 07/02/1951
Family lived at 451 Kingston Avenue
Dad owned a clothing store at 1784 Fulton St

Does anyone know the street address of the hospital back then?

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Richard Steel February 26, 2019 - 9:39 pm

I am trying to locate my birth certificate from Brooklyn Jewish Medical Center. I was born on Feb. 27, 1964. I think my parents lived on Kings HIghway. Any help would be appreciated. My parents are both deceased and I never have seen my birth certificate.

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Steve Atlas March 9, 2019 - 4:13 am

Richard Steel, you need to contact the NYC office of Vital Records for a request form. You need to fill it out and send it to that office with check .
Address: 125 Worth St #144, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 639-9675

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Ellen September 30, 2019 - 8:58 am

how do I get my birth certificate – born there in 1957 TU

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Sondra heren November 21, 2019 - 1:31 pm

Am trying to do the same for my daughter without success. I hope you were sucessfull

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Cats January 13, 2020 - 1:45 pm

I was born in Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in 1940

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arnie adler February 2, 2020 - 2:17 pm

I was born on Jan 5, 1957, at Prospect Heights Hospital . I was conceived by artificial insemination my mom working Dr. Irving Lieberman. I’m trying to find information about him. And specifically if I have any half siblings.

You can contact me at arnieadler@gmail.com

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Frances April 11, 2020 - 1:12 am

My grandmother went to their nursing school in the 1930s. She used to refer to it as the Judische Krankenhaus. She had a lot of fond stories about the place. She had my mother there in 1940.

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Jon Freeman September 19, 2020 - 5:15 pm

My Mom went to Nurse’s Training there in the ’20’s and I was born there in 1933. I still have the Hospital Bill for my Birth which amounted to $125.00 for 11 days!

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Marianne Nisco-Rodriguez April 19, 2020 - 2:50 pm

Looking for Helen Chin we were nursing school classmates fro 1967-1970

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Ellen Anderson June 24, 2020 - 1:42 pm

Marianne – check out the Jewish Hospital and Medical Center School of Nursing page on Facebook.
Ellen “Schatzie” Anderson

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Linda Lasky June 14, 2020 - 8:32 pm

I was born there my dad was doing his training as a pediatrician. I was born 28 March 1955

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Frances Squillari September 16, 2020 - 9:03 pm

I attended nursing school. Graduated 1976

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Felicia Lopez September 29, 2020 - 10:57 pm

Was this hospital ever referred to as Brooklyn Doctors Hospital. I was born there 12/23/52.

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Leonard Meiselman, MD November 15, 2020 - 1:19 am

I was a medical student, intern and resident at JHB in the sixties. All 3 of my children were born there and my wife to be trained in their nursing school. It was one of the finer teaching hospitals associated with Downstate Medical Center medical school. I was very disappointed to learn that it no longer exists as a full service institution. We have many fond memories of the place.

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Merryl Kaplan December 11, 2020 - 12:21 pm

I worked in their Personnel department back in 1977 Nice people. At that time however, the neighborhood wasn’t very safe but it had great character. Sorry to hear that the hospital no longer exists.

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Jessica December 12, 2020 - 8:49 am

Gave birth to my first child at BJH in 1966… I was 19 yrs old. “Firsts”always have a special place in our memories, as this does for me.

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Lynn January 3, 2021 - 6:41 am

What was the birth date? I was born at BJH in 1966. Adopted.

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Jeannette Mehr Altman December 12, 2020 - 10:38 am

I had my appendix out at Jewish Hospital in 1954. Being there made me want to become a nurse. I graduated from BJC School of Nursing in 1959 and worked in the OR for one year. From the day I walked into BJC it felt like home. So sad to see it is no longer viable.

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Laura Smith January 10, 2021 - 12:50 am

I do not have fond memories of the BJH… In fact… It is a nightmare to me. My mother sent me there on a Greyhound bus… Alone… Under age, to have an abortion performed on me at 25 weeks gestational. My Baby was injected with poison to kill it and I was induced and forced to deliver a dead baby boy. I will never forget this nightmare that happened to me in December of 1979. They told me I had no rights. While I was there… There was an 11 year old girl going through it as well… With many other young girls… It was the most horrible nightmare I ever experienced. The doctors and nurses there were completely heartless. My own mother was heartless.

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Cynthia Williams February 20, 2021 - 7:03 am

Yes I was in the bklyn jewish hospital at the age of 14yrs old in (may 1983..July 1983)I had my spleen removed and the time I been there I had a blood transfusion the blood was tainted with HIV+AND THE DOCTOR WHO TREATED ME KNEW WHAT HAPPENED D.R.DAVID DIAMOND PEDIATRIC HEMOTOGOLY DOCTOR AND DIDN’T INFORM ME NOW ITS BEEN 37YRS I BEEN LIVING WITH HIV+AND DEVELOP MORE MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS IN MY LIFE SMH THAT WAS WRONG & 2021 I WHAT JUSTICE TO BE SERVED.FOR ME AND OTHERS WHO THAT HOSPITAL GAVE BLOOD TO IN 1983 VEFORE THEY COMBINED WITH INTERFAITH HOSPITAL IN BROOKLYN N.Y.

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Anonymous February 28, 2021 - 7:28 pm

My son was born there on 10/18/1974. I had no problem and was treated okay.

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