Following decades of discussions by the Jewish leadership on how best to provide quality health care for both the Jewish poor and the community at large, while also serving with a Kosher kitchen, the Jewish Memorial Hospital Association was established in 1926. The Association successfully organized a million-dollar philanthropic campaign to create what became Menorah Hospital on Rockhill Road in Kansas City, Missouri. With assistance from the Women’s Auxiliary and the philanthropic support of the Jewish community and others, Menorah Hospital was dedicated on August 30, 1931. Since that dedication, Menorah Hospital (later Menorah Medical Center) served as a hospital leader throughout the Kansas City area. Its success was made possible by the continued philanthropic support of the community and through the Jewish Memorial Hospital Association and its successor foundations.
One of our predecessor foundations, the Jewish Heritage Foundation, was created in 1994 from the proceeds resulting from Menorah Medical Center joining Health Midwest, a local non-profit health care system. The other of our predecessor foundations, the Menorah Legacy Foundation, was created in 2003 when Health Midwest was purchased by HCA, a national for-profit health care company. At that time, the Menorah Medical Center Foundation concluded its affiliation with Menorah Medical Center, changed its name to the Menorah Legacy Foundation, and became an independent, charitable foundation. In 2016, Jewish Heritage Foundation and Menorah Legacy Foundation merged to pursue their common mission to support health and well-being in the community. Since 1994, Menorah Heritage and its predecessors have distributed over $75,000,000 to organizations in the Jewish and greater Kansas City community, with about two-thirds of funds going to Jewish agencies and programs. Menorah Heritage remains deeply committed to Menorah’s tradition of healing and compassionate service.
Jewish tradition holds that every act of goodness — every mitzvah commanded by the Torah — contributes to the ultimate repair of the world (tikkun olam), and that feeding the hungry, healing the sick and comforting the bereaved are building blocks for redemption. This tradition guides our work as a community funder.