The JEWISH CHRONIC RELIEF SOCIETY, established in 1914 by six women as the Cleveland Ladies Consumptive Aid Society, assisted indigent Jews suffering from tuberculosis and other illnesses for 75 years. In 1923 the organization incorporated as the Cleveland Denver Consumptive Society of the State of Ohio, reflecting aid provided to individuals entering the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver. In 1926 the society merged with the Los Angeles Consumptive Aid Society, founded in Cleveland in 1920, and became the Cleveland-Denver-Los Angeles Consumptive Aid Society. The society donated several thousand dollars to the Los Angeles Sanatorium, resulting in the construction of the Cleveland Bldg. there.
In cooperation with the Bikur Cholim Ladies Sick Aid Society and the Fed. of Jewish Charities, the society raised the funds for a local 19-bed center for recovering TB patients, the Jewish Convalescent Hospital, dedicated in 1937. In 1945 the federation assumed control of the center and constructed a new hospital with the help of a $35,000 donation from the Consumptive Aid Society. The society then donated $3,500 annually toward maintenance. In Nov. 1935 the society changed its name to the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society. As the incidence of tuberculosis decreased, the organization again modified its title, to the Jewish Chronic Relief Society. In the 1940s and 1950s, the society's membership was more than 1,000, including its auxiliaries. In the early 1980s, with less than 100 members, it still aided chronically ill Jews and contributed annually to Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital. The society held its last meeting 7 Nov. 1988, disbursing its funds to MONTEFIORE HOME, MENORAH PARK, and Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital.
See also JEWS AND JUDAISM.