NE health center gets a new name

City Coun­cil has voted to re­name Pub­lic Health Cen­ter 10, at 2230 Cottman Ave., as “Dis­trict Health Cen­ter No. 10, the Judge Ed­ward B. Rosen­berg Cen­ter.”

The or­din­ance was in­tro­duced on March 17 by City Coun­cil­wo­man Joan Kra­jew­ski, who rep­res­ents that area. The meas­ure was re­ferred to the Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Prop­erty and Pub­lic Works and passed by the full Coun­cil on May 26.

Plans for the health cen­ter had ap­peared in the city budget for 21 years, but con­struc­tion was post­poned des­pite an ex­plod­ing pop­u­la­tion in the North­east start­ing with the con­clu­sion of World War II.

In 1969, Rosen­berg learned that the prop­erty ad­ja­cent to the North­east Re­gion­al Lib­rary was for sale and called a meet­ing of com­munity rep­res­ent­at­ives. He liked the loc­a­tion be­cause it was easy to reach by pub­lic trans­port­a­tion. His lead­er­ship and the com­munity’s sup­port built mo­mentum for the pro­ject.

Sev­en years later, the cen­ter was built and opened to the pub­lic. Today, in its 35th year of op­er­a­tion, it is the busiest health-care cen­ter in the city.

The cen­ter’s com­munity board voted un­an­im­ously to re­name the fa­cil­ity. Count­less edu­ca­tion­al, civic, health, so­cial and com­munity or­gan­iz­a­tions wrote let­ters of sup­port to hon­or the late judge.

Rosen­berg was a gradu­ate of Cent­ral High School, the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania and Temple Uni­versity School of Law. He served as spe­cial deputy state at­tor­ney gen­er­al and vice chair­man of the Phil­adelphia Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment be­fore be­com­ing a Com­mon Pleas Court judge in 1974. He served in Fam­ily Court and was also a cer­ti­fied mar­riage coun­selor.

Over the years, he was a com­munity act­iv­ist in the North­east, was ded­ic­ated to the Jew­ish faith, pro­moted com­pas­sion for the men­tally and phys­ic­ally ill, and was com­mit­ted to vet­er­ans or­gan­iz­a­tions, mil­it­ary groups and fam­il­ies.

Rosen­berg was pres­id­ent of the North­east Com­munity Cen­ter for Men­tal Health and the North­east Health and Wel­fare Coun­cil. He chaired the Com­munity Col­lege of Phil­adelphia Board of Trust­ees for six terms and was a found­ing mem­ber in 1995 of the CCP Found­a­tion. He was the first pres­id­ent of the Ox­ford Circle Jew­ish Com­munity Cen­ter syn­agogue and a mem­ber of the Phil­adelphia Jew­ish Fam­ily and Chil­dren’s Ser­vices.

Sue Rosenth­al, a Somer­ton res­id­ent and chair­wo­man of the health cen­ter’s com­munity board, read a state­ment to City Coun­cil be­fore fi­nal pas­sage. She de­scribed Rosen­berg as “an act­ive, con­cerned mover and shaker in the North­east.”

“Wherever there was a neigh­bor­hood need, he be­came part of the group push­ing to find a solu­tion,” she said. “I knew Ed as one of the kind­est, most con­cerned, most de­term­ined cit­izens in our city. He was of­ten the or­gan­izer of civic groups to im­prove our com­munity.”

Bruce Rosen­berg, one of his three sons, also spoke to Coun­cil. He said his fath­er rep­res­en­ted fam­ily val­ues, prin­ciples, com­mit­ment, ser­vice and the pur­suit of justice.

“Should you pass Dis­trict Health Cen­ter No. 10, the Judge Ed­ward B. Rosen­berg Cen­ter, know well that my dad in­ves­ted him­self for the bet­ter­ment of hu­man­ity, and when you speak or see his name, know well that you hon­or a man who helped make the world a bet­ter place,” he said.

Rosen­berg died in Decem­ber 2005 at age 90. Be­sides his chil­dren, he was sur­vived by his wife of 66 years, Hilda, and six grand­chil­dren. His wid­ow at­ten­ded the City Coun­cil ses­sion. ••

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