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Weinberg Campus and Rosa Coplon

Opening in 1915 as the Daughters of Israel Jewish Old Folks Home to care for Yiddish speaking elderly men and women, it was renamed The Rosa Coplon Jewish Old Folks Home: Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged in 1924. Expanding its functions to include nursing it became the Rosa Coplon Jewish Home and Infirmary during the 1950s. In 1993 a new Campus emerged in the suburbs subsequently renamed Weinberg Campus in 1994.

Overview

The Rosa Coplon Jewish Old Folks Home evolved from a small group of Jewish women from the East side of Buffalo who were concerned at the plight of elderly Yiddish speaking Jewish immigrants. This group included Rosa Coplon, among others, who in 1910 formed a group that created the “Daughters of Israel Jewish Old Folks’ Home,” the earliest forerunner to the current Rosa Coplon Living Center at Weinberg Campus. Before the first premises were occupied, the “Daughters of Israel” group spent five years fundraising in order to buy and renovate a house for occupation. During these early days, the group joined with another group of Buffalo Jewish women from the West side in 1912, and opened their membership to men in 1914.

A location was chosen at 210 Porter Avenue in Buffalo and the first three residents moved into the building in October 1915 when the home was officially dedicated. From the outset the Home was observant and Orthodox in orientation. Kashrut (Jewish dietary law) was observed and a sefer torah (biblical scroll for religious services) was purchased for the sole use of the home. A small volunteer group of medical professionals (doctors and dentists) aided the Home’s residents, and clothing and food were often donated in the early days of the Home.

In 1920, Rosa Coplon, one of the original members of the group that enabled the founding of the Home, died in an accident. She was survived by her husband, three sons and a daughter. Rosa Coplon and the Coplon children who active supporters of the Home and Joseph Coplon was elected vice-chairman in 1915. As the Home struggled to meet demand for its services, the Porter Avenue site grew cramped for its current occupants and a growing waiting list expanded. As a memorial to their mother, the three Coplon brothers, David, Joseph and Philip, donated the George Walbridge Miller residence at 310 North Street on the corner of Symphony Circle. After the remodeling of the new site, it opened in May 1924 with capacity for 32 residents and a new longer name: The Rosa Coplon Jewish Old Folks Home: Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged.  An Annex and sick bay were added in 1925 and 1938.

The Rosa Coplon Jewish Old Folks Home or Rosa Coplon Home as it was popularly known continued to expand over the decades. Increasingly its focus expanded from the “well-aged” to include the infirm, frail and chronically ill. By 1954 and successive expansions at its Symphony circle site, the Home took another name to reflect its total role: The Rosa Coplon Jewish Home and Infirmary. By the time the Home celebrated its 50th Anniversary it had expanded to support 139 persons and had a 100-bed infirmary. In 1972, the Home made the decision to forgo Federal money and retain its independent Jewish character after a community wide discussion. In 1974 the New Rosa Coplon opens with modernization of the 1954 Circle Building, and the 1925 and 1938 Grossman Additions, and demolition of the old Coplon-Walbridge Mansion. At a cost of 3.5 million, the facility had expanded to a 166-bed skilled and health care facility. In 1983 Rosa Coplon received a New York State Department of Health grant for the care of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and two years later celebrated its 75th anniversary with a commissioned history.

The Age of Weinberg Campus

With community leaders observing an accelerating aging trend within the Jewish community, and with the Symphony Circle site at full capacity, Menorah Campus took shape – a campus to provide everything that the older adult would need, located in the suburbs. In 1990, groundbreaking in suburban Getzville at a 70-acre site adjacent to the Jewish Community Center, marked this next phase of the Rosa Coplon Jewish Home and Infirmary history. Moving to the site in 1993 was aided by a gift of $1 million by Haskell and James Stovroff in 1991. The Menorah name was replaced soon after a substantive gift from the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation and the site was renamed the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Campus. It 1994 it received an American Association of Homes for the Aging (AAHA) National Design for Aging Award for Architecture and the Peter F. Drucker award for non-profit innovation for its cluster management program.

The Campus continues to develop and innovate new models. In 1998, the Garden House Apartments designed for people with progressive frailty opened and this addition to the campus was joined by several other major capital programs. From the Total Aging in Place Program, to the first Medicaid managed long term care, pre-PACE “Total Aging In Place (PACE) Program” (now managed by Fallon Health-Weinberg), to the opening of the HUD 202 Grant funded Amherst Towne Senior Apartments in 2004, the Weinberg Campus offered a full spectrum of healthcare options and living arrangements designed for seniors with a range of economic backgrounds and changing health levels. Extensive renovations in 2010 revitalized the Forest Creek and Meadows Apartments, and the Dosberg Manor Adult Home and Assisted Living Program, and in 2012 the new Amherst Glen Senior Apartments opened. Despite these significant services and facilities improvements, the changing economic support of retirement communities, elderly care and senior services more generally prompted a search for a buyer of the campus.  In 2019, the Campus was part of a sale to Elderwood.

Articles

Documents

Jewish women members: 1910 East Side group

Jewish women members from the 1910 East Side group worked to create the initial organizing group for a Jewish Old Folks Home:

  • Mrs. Pauline Agranove, the organizer
  • Mrs. Bear
  • Mrs. Rosa Coplon
  • Mrs. Esther Bell Dautch
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Goldman
  • Mrs. Sarah Rivo
  • Miss Gertrude Rivo
  • Mrs. Catherine Rubenstein
  • Mrs. Sol Rubenstein
  • Mrs. Sarah Smith
  • Mrs. Sarah Sheifitz
  • Mrs. Louis Maisel
  • Mrs. Simon Kahn

Women’s League of Weinberg Campus

The Women’s League of Weinberg Campus was created to support Weinberg Campus and the needs of the home and the residents. As a successor to the Rosa Coplon Women’s Auxiliary, it had a wider variety of officer roles reflecting its diversifying areas of service. In addition to more familiar roles of Publicity, Fund Raising, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Vice President, and President, officer roles at Weinberg Campus included Membership, Fashion Show, Tribute Fund, President’s Luncheon and Hospitality. Weinberg Campus administrative support staff and all past presidents served as advisors. Working with the management leadership, the Women’s League of Weinberg Campus, among other activities including the assembly of a significant art collection, it raised funds to buy a bus for residents outings, and a garden for residents and their families. The Women’s League also ran parties for residents’ birthdays, holidays, and cultural and social activities and services. In the mid 2000’s, the Campus administration absorbed these roles, and the Women’s League of Weinberg Campus dissolved its organization. Their records are at the University Archives in collection ms 200.37, Weinberg Campus Women’s League and Forerunners Records 1910-2004

Names on the 1912 on the New York State charter as “The Daughters of Israel Jewish Old Folks Home

The charter members as affixed to the charter of incorporation follows:

  • Mrs. Pauline Agranove
  • Mrs. Louis Banditson
  • Mrs. Abe Bieneman
  • Mrs. Joseph Coplon
  • Mr. Isaac Given
  • Mrs. Moses Goodman
  • Mrs. Charles Harris
  • Mrs. Louis Michael
  • Mr. Isaac Cohen
  • Mr. Louis Roth
  • Mrs. Louis Rosen
  • Mrs. Sol Rubenstein
  • Mr. David Ruslander
  • Mrs. Isaac Smith
  • Mrs. Alexander Bohne
  • Mrs. Dora Block
  • Mrs. Rosa Coplon
  • Mr. Joseph B. Block
  • Mrs. Herbert Guggenheimer
  • Miss Sarah Haas
  • Mr. Benajmin Meshorer
  • Mr. Louis Miller
  • Mr. Louis Roth
  • Mr. Louis Rosen
  • Mrs. Catherine Rubenstein
  • Mrs. Wolf Pincus
  • Mrs. Sara Shapiro
  • Mr. Adolf Winters

Gallery

Dosberg Manor, Weinberg Campus

Dosberg Manor, Weinberg Campus

The Meadows, Weinberg Campus

The Meadows, Weinberg Campus

Stovroff Towers, Weinberg Campus

Stovroff Towers, Weinberg Campus

Turtle Creek, Weinberg Campus

Turtle Creek, Weinberg Campus

Turtle Creek, Weinberg Campus

Turtle Creek, Weinberg Campus

The Patios, Weinberg Campus

The Patios, Weinberg Campus

Weinberg Campus Main Entrance

Weinberg Campus Main Entrance

Coplon family home in Buffalo

Coplon family home in Buffalo

Discover More

Collections at the University Archives, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Written and Photographic Histories and articles

  • Selig Adler, and Thomas F. Connelly. From Ararat to Suburbia: The History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1960.
  • Ilene R. Fleischmann, The Rosa Coplon Home Story, 1910-1985, Buffalo: Partner’s Press, 1985.
  • Harlan C. Abbey, “Menorah Campus is Renamed,” Buffalo Jewish Review, Vol. 87, No. 15, December 16, 1994.
  • Chana Revell Kotzin. Images of America: Jewish Community of Greater Buffalo. Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013.

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