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. ••