The Maimonides Institute was a Jewish educational center based in Squirrel Hill.
Rabbi Wolf Leiter started the Beth Midrash Rambam at 1620 Murray Ave. in July 1942, after relocating to Squirrel Hill from the Hill District. The building included a synagogue, a study hall with a chevrah shas (Talmud study group), and a local branch of the Beis Yakov School for Girls. The organization began using the name “The Maimonides Institute” in 1943 to organize lectures and to oversee the publication of scholarly works.
The Maimonides Institute formally launched in December 1944 under the leadership of Rabbi Leiter with assistance from a “Committee of Sponsors” including Charles J. Rosenbloom, Julius Halpern, Walter Burke, Morris Benkovitz, Louis Caplan, Samuel Deaktor, Abe Dunn, Max Engelberg, Leon Falk Jr., Herman Fineberg, Dr. Solomon B. Freehof, Samuel Hyman, Samuel Kalb, Stanley J. Kann, Frank R. S. Kaplan, Leo Lehman, Samuel Levinson, Harry I. Neaman, Richard S. Rauh, Isadore Rosenfield, Harry Seiner, Emanuel Spector, Samuel Sussman, Dr. Maurice Taylor, and I. D. Wolf.
Among the works published by the Maimonides Institute were “Mi-Toroson Shel Rishonim” (1946), “Sha’aray Teshuva” (1946), Commentary on “Hilkhot Malakhim” (1947), “Beth David” (reissued, 1952), Commentary on the Responsa of Rabbi Yitzchak Alfasi (1954), “Tzion Lenefesh Chaya” (1964), and “Shem Mi-Shimon” (1965).
The Maimonides Institute sold 1620 Murray Ave. in 1962 to Bessie Anathan, who donated it to the National Council of Jewish Women-Pittsburgh Section. It became the new home for the Council Lounge for Older People, later the Anathan House. The Institute continued operating locally for many years following the sale, arranging display, publications, and events throughout Pittsburgh.