Early Hekdeshim did not distinguish between the housing of the poor, travelling strangers, old and sick people. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century Jewish hospitals with explicit medical intentions and with 30 to 40 beds were built in cities with large Jewish communities such as Budapest, Vienna, Krakow, Trieste, Chernivtsi and Lviv. Besides, there also existed small hospitals and »Siechenhäuser« for old and chronically ill people in smaller communities. They were often funded by donations of wealthy persons and by community taxes and administrated by the Chevra Kadisha, the Jewish burial societies. With the exception of the Jewish hospital in Prague all institutions were privately run. In Austro-Hungary, the building of big modern hospitals with 100 beds and more began during the last two decades of the 19th century (Budapest 1889, Vienna 1893) and continued through the turn of the century (Lviv and Prague) until the 1920s and 1930s (Chernivtsi, Krakow, Pozsony). At the same time, the old and small hospitals continued to exist, especially in regions with poor Jewish communities such as Galicia and Eastern Hungary.
© 2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston