The Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, a Charles E. Smith Life Community

We have cared for the elderly in our community since 1910.  During these 100+ years, the frailty of those we serve, the size of our residences, and the scope of the services we provide all have increased dramatically. 

1914 Hebrew HomeIn 1910, individuals concerned about the lack of care for the aged formed a small organization and collected funds that were used to board elderly Jewish men and women in private homes.
In 1914, the group purchased a brick row house at 415 M Street, NW. Ten residents lived on the second and third floors (there was no elevator). The main concern was to provide room, board, and a religious atmosphere.

In 1924, a new Hebrew Home for the Aged was built on Spring Road (Cost: $27,000).  The 35-bed nursing home became overcrowded, with residents sleeping in hallways and on porches, and in 1953, a new addition increased capacity to 165. A medical panel was established. 

In 1964, a survey indicated a need for a new facility that could provide complete medical and nursing care.  Charles E. Smith was instrumental in selecting the site and raising the funds that made it possible for the Hebrew Home, Jewish Social Service Agency, and Jewish Community Center to purchase land in Montgomery County. When these agencies moved to the Rockville campus in 1969, the Honorable Arthur J. Goldberg, Supreme Court Justice and former United Nations Ambassador, gave the opening address.

1925 ceremonyThe DC National Guard and American Red Cross participated in the complex task of moving 172 senior citizens from Spring Road to the new Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. The Wasserman Residence contained 266 beds and an innovative shopping arcade.  The opening of our Smith-Kogod Residence in 1981 increased our capacity to 556 residents, and the Rakusin Rehabilitation Center in the Wasserman Residence made it possible to offer rehabilitation services to short-stay patients. 

Our campus services have grown to include two apartment communities for independent living, Revitz House (opened in 1978) and Ring House (1989), and the Hirsh Health Center (1991). Our most recent expansion is Landow House, an assisted living residence, which opened in January 2005

1940 PassoverIn May 2006, in honor of the visionary leadership of the late Charles E. Smith and the generosity of the Charles E. Smith Family Foundation, our services were united under the name Charles E. Smith Life Communities.  More than 1,000 seniors are now making our campus their home, and about 1,000 more take advantage of our rehabilitation services each year. 

The years since 1910 have seen countless hours of commitment -- both on the part of the Charles E. Smith Life Communities toward the elderly, and on the part of the Washington community in support of our system of care.

Please enjoy this Centennial video introduced by renowned