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Photo of Beth Israel nursing class of 1951 appears in NY exhibit


A photo of the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing Class of 1951 is part of an exhibit of the work of acclaimed photographer Roman Vishniac on display through May 5 at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan.

One of the pictures in the collection is a classroom photo of Beth Israel nursing students taken in 1949.

A student who appears in the photo, Ruth Weiss Merdinger, attended the exhibit opening, along with Janet Mackin, RN, EdD, dean, Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing.

“Ruth is an amazing graduate,” Mackin said in a news release. “She survived the Holocaust and arrived in New York City from Poland without her family. In spite of the challenges as a new immigrant, she succeeded in getting into the nursing program. She went on to an outstanding career in nursing. Most notably, she earned her master’s degree and shared her nursing wisdom as an instructor.”

Merdinger, who graduated in 1951, raised a family and has a large group of friends, including classmates and fellow students in the photo, such as Blanche Krinsky Jaffee and Eva Lifshitz Lewin.

“Ruth continues to help Phillips Beth Israel,” Mackin said. “She is an active member of the board of the alumni association. Through her generosity, the Dr. Chaim and Pearl Weiss Award was established.”

The award is named in honor of Merdinger’s parents and is presented to a graduate who, like she did, succeeded in the face of challenges.

LEARN MORE about the exhibit at


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