Of the many Jewish institutions in East Baltimore, the Jewish Educational Alliance at 1216 East Baltimore Street is one of the most fondly remembered. The organization formed in 1909 when the Daughters in Israel merged with the Macabbeans, a similar organization serving local boys.
The JEA building, donated by the Levy family, opened in 1913. It immediately became a refuge where local adults and children participated in activities that included English classes; art, dance, and music programs; citizenship, business, and job training; and athletic, literary, and social clubs. There was also a nursery, kindergarten, health clinic, and rooftop playground.
In 1951, with Jewish families gone from the neighborhood, the JEA merged with related organizations to form the Jewish Community Center (JCC), located in northwest Baltimore, and this building was sold to the maritime Seafarer’s Union. It later became an adult day care center. Through the years, the building was altered so that the original brick facade is no longer visible but it is still the same building that served thousands of Jewish residents in East Baltimore.