A Foundation of Caring | The History of MJHS Health System

The Brooklyn Ladies

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

– Coretta Scott King

These famous words uttered by Coretta Scott King are a perfect example of how four immigrant women living in Brooklyn over 115 years ago made their community proud and created a legacy that still benefits New Yorkers today.

Sarah Webelovsky, Emma Rosenthal, Sarah Berlin, and Flora Grodin (affectionately known as the Brooklyn Ladies) are four names you may not be familiar with. However, their story is a memorable journey that eventually paved the way for MJHS to care for thousands in the Greater New York Area.

In the early 1900s, the Brooklyn Ladies saw significant illness affecting the poor and elderly throughout the Jewish community. This daily experience gave them an intense desire to offer refuge to those in desperate need of care. Inspired by a tradition of community service, the Brooklyn Ladies sought to create better access to quality health care and a safe place to live for those struggling. The four brave women made it their mission to provide that compassionate care within their community. They saw a great need, and they did something about it. Ultimately, they founded the organization that would become MJHS Health System.

Sarah, Emma, Sarah, and Flora were resilient and determined and began going door to door to ask for charitable support from their neighbors in Brooklyn. With no donation being too small, it was ultimately hard-working members of the community that pieced together the financial support needed to open our first nursing home for the at-risk members of their community.

Through the years, as the mission of the Brooklyn Ladies became a reality, the dream grew as the community’s needs grew. Now known as MJHS Health System, today we care for people of every race, ethnicity, faith, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or military status with that same compassion, dignity, and respect instilled by our founders.

Just like at its beginnings, MJHS holds firm to our core values and our mission of providing care and comfort to at-risk New Yorkers when and where they need it most. We are one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the area and offer:

Today, MJHS is a health system and a community caring for all people. Like our founding Brooklyn Ladies, we have a welcoming heart and a caring spirit of inclusivity. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about our available services. You can also make a gift today.