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Maimonides can trace its history back as far
as 1910 when it was founded by the Jewish community of Montreal
under the name "Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home." At
the time, it was more commonly referred to as the Moshav Zkainim,
and housed only six residents in a home on Evans Street.
1923: A second home located on City Hall Avenue opened with the
name of its founders, the B. & S. Steinhouse, Old People’s
1927: Encouraged by the newly formed Federation of Jewish Philanthropies
of Montreal, an agreement was signed between both homes to raise
funds for the construction of a larger building on land owned by
the Sheltering Home on Esplanade street.
1945: There were 145 beds.
The demand for more beds kept growing as Montreal’s Jewish
community thrived and aged. The new residents admitted now had
an average age over 80.
Until this time, it was the policy of the founding homes to admit
only the aged who were autonomous and required minimal nursing
supervision. However, as the physical condition of the residents
deteriorated, medical and nursing staff were provided and the criteria
for admission was altered accordingly.
To reflect this change, the institution was renamed Maimonides
Hospital and Home for the Aged in honour of Rabbi
Moshe Bar Maimon - also known as Maimonides. He was one of
the greatest Rabbis in Jewish history as well as a noted philosopher
and doctor serving as physician to Saladin, Sultan of Egypt.
Recognizing the obvious needs in the community for a first rate,
long-term hospital to care for the elderly who were chronically
ill, Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged and Allied
Jewish Community Services made the decision to sell the building
on Esplanade which was no longer adequate to meet the demands of
1964: A 7 ½ acre site was purchased in Cote Saint Luc. A
new facility was built containing five floors and accommodating
1967: Another first was realized
when the "Meals-on Wheels" program
came into being - the first of its kind in the Jewish community
and one which is totally staffed
To reflect this expanded role in the community, in 1977 the facility
became known as Maimonides Hospital Geriatric Centre.
1983: Two more floors were added to increase
the bed capacity to 387, where it now stands. Maimonides has
long been a leader in geriatric care and became involved in community
outreach as far back as 1965 when the Maimonides Day Hospital,
now the Helen and Sam Steinberg Geriatric Day hospital, was inaugurated
- the first psychogeriatric day hospital in both Canada and the
1993: Management of the Accredited
Foster Home program, now renamed Accredited Homes for Seniors,
was transferred from Jewish Family Services to Maimonides. Approximately
100 residents in 12 to 15 residential homes in the community
came under the supervision of Maimonides Hospital Geriatric Centre.
1997: Maimonides Foundation fostered the development of the
Collaborative Research Network in Long Term Care involving 14
institutions with over 2,000 residents. The result of research
projects emanating from this network will undoubtedly impact
on the care of the institutionalized elderly.
2002: Maimonides officially changes its name to Maimonides Geriatric Centre.
2011: Thanks to a transformative gift from the Donald Berman Foundation, Maimonides is officially renamed Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre.