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Jewish Mental Health Society Gets $250,000 at Dinner Launching Drive

November 27, 1928
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An appeal for $1,500,000 for a new structure to increase the scope of the Hastings Hospital, Hastings-on-Hudson, was made at a dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, under the auspices of the Jewish Mental Health Society. About 500 persons, including 100 physicians, attended and contributions totaling $250,000 were made, including one of $100,000 by Henry Kaufmann, of Pittsburgh, a director of the society.

The Hastings Hillside Hospital, established last year, is the only institution of its kind devoted to the prevention and treatment of mental diseases among the poor, it was stated at the dinner.

Dr. Israel Strauss, president of the hospital and of the Jewish Mental Health Society, in outlining the work said that because of inadequate facilities only a few patients have been treated while hundreds have been turned away. The new structure will enable the hospital to care for 150 patients at a time. Dr. Strauss expects to have the funds collected and construction started within a year.

“In a comparison of statistics from other hospitals and those we have gathered from our own work, we have found that by our methods the period of convalescence for mental patients has been reduced 50 per cent.” Dr. Strauss said. “You have hospitals for the care of the stomach, hospitals for the care of the limbs, but the thing of which the Jew has most pride–the mind–you have let go.”

Dr. Foster Kennedy, professor of neurology at Cornell Medical School, said that the most common mental trouble, in his opinion, is “recolored depression,” or the despair to which the Jew is peculiarly susceptible because of the oppression he has always suffered.

Other speakers were Justice Joseph M. Proskauer, of the Appellate Division; Dr. Bernard Sachs, consulting neurologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Felix M. Warburg, who presided.

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