First Nathan Straus Death Anniversary Observed at Straus Health Centre in Jerusalem
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First Nathan Straus Death Anniversary Observed at Straus Health Centre in Jerusalem

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The first anniversary of the death of Mr. Nathan Straus was observed this afternoon by a memorial gathering held this afternoon at the Nathan and Lina Straus Health Centre in Jerusalem, which he founded.

Dr. L. J. Kligler, Professor of Hygiene at the Hebrew University, who was the first Director of the Palestine Malaria Research Department, was in the chair, and Miss Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah Health Unit, paid tribute to Mr. Nathan Straus’s character and his any philanthropies. Dr. A. J. Levy afterwards delivered lecture on the development and aims of public health.

The many charitable gifts which Mr. Nathan Straus bestowed on Palestine will not be forgotten, the late High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir John Chancellor, wrote to the Jewish Agency Executive last January when Mr. Nathan Straus died. His endowments for the promotion of social hygiene and infant welfare among all sections of the community remains a lasting memorial to his philanthropy in the Holy Land.

Colonel G. W. Heron, the Director of the Health Department of the Palestine Government, in a tribute which he gave the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at the time, said: Mr. Straus’s system of pasteurised milk distribution was the principal reason for the remarkable diminution of the infantile death rate in recent years in America, Europe and elsewhere. In Palestine, his benefactions, with which his. wife was associated, were designed to benefit all communities, and were in no way influenced by political considerations. His generosity is remembered by those who suffered destruction of their property in the 1927 earthquake in Palestine. The value of his Health Centres in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from the curative, educational and charitable aspects cannot be too highly emphasised. The influence which they exert on the minds and bodies of the children of Palestine will be a permanent memorial to the great and wise benefactor.

The Nathan and Lina Straus Health Centre in Jerusalem, which Mr. Straus gave to the Hadassah, was dedicated on Mr. Straus’s 81st. birthday, on January 31st., 1929, by Rev. Dr. John Haynes Holmes, the Minister of the Community Church in New York, who was specially selected for the mission by Mr. Straus.

The corner-stone of the Nathan and Lina Health Centre was laid on March 2nd., 1927 by the then High Commissioner, Field-Marshal Lord Plumer, Mr. Nathan Straus being present at the ceremony, and Mr. Straus, in explaining his plans with regard to it said that it is to be for the use of all the inhabitants of the country, irrespective of race, creed or colour. It is to be a model structure of its kind, he went on, the centre from which health propaganda will radiate to all sections of the country; it will

serve as the headquarters of the Health Welfare Department of the Hadassah, giving the rest of its space to other health activities not before undertaken by the Hadassah. It will include all the preventive measures which the numerous modern scientific inventions in medicine make possible. My experience in pasteurisation of milk, he added, has taught me how much sickness and death can be prevented. The activities of the Health Centre will comprise every department of practical application for health of the inhabitants of the Holy Land ###a contribution to the sum total of human happiness.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund