Mt. Zion Hospital
In 1887 the Mount Zion Hospital Association was organized.
It was not until the beginning of 1897 that Mount Zion Hospital came into existence.
During the interim nine-year period, funds were raised, including a donation of $5,000 from Clara de Hirsch, widow of the famed Baron Maurice de Hirsch.
The preamble to its Constitution (1888) noted that the hospital would be for the purpose, “of affording surgical and medical aid, comfort and protection in sickness to deserving and needy Israelites and others…”
In 1897, Julius Rosenstirn, M.D., offered his private hospital at the northeast corner of Sutter and Hyde, with all its furnishings and equipment, that the hospital came into being.
Dr. Rosenstirn put his hospital at the disposal of the Mount Zion Hospital Association without a charge of any kind.
The building enabled Mount Zion Hospital to start with twelve-bed facility, though it was quickly apparent that a larger quarters would soon be needed.
At the time the hospital opened there was much discussion as to whether a Jewish Hospital was needed.
One commentator pointed out that the city-operated hospital was so bad a facility that the Board of Health of San Francisco had condemned it as dangerous, and it was the only place available for people who couldn’t afford private hospital care, which included many Jews.
The Gunst Outpatient Clinic opened in 1916, funded by the Family of Moses Gunst [click here]
In 1897 the Mount Zion Training School for Nurses was formed with a large grant from Isaias W. Hellman in honor of his late wife, Esther.
Mount Zion Hospital new facility was opened in 1914 and considered the most modern hospital in San Francisco.
After World War II another new building location was planed and was opened in 1950
In 1962 the Mount Zion Training School for Nurses was closed after training over 1,200 highly skilled nurses for the community.
In 1989 Mount Zion Hospital began a planned merger with the University of California which was completed in 1992.
Mount Zion was the first Jewish-sponsored hospital in the West.
It has gone from strength to strength as a top-rated institution, still rendering magnificent service now as a part of the University of California.
More information can be found in the following issues of Western States Jewish History:
- Mount Zion Hospital, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part Two, M-Z, Norton Stern, 41/2
- Mount Zion Hospital School of Nursing. Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part Two, M-Z, Norton Stern, 41/2
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