New York - Chaplains of all religious denominations gathered at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in East Flatbush on March 1st for the first ever conference of Brooklyn hospital and nursing home chaplains.
Forty five chaplains attended the inaugural breakfast of the Brooklyn Healthcare Chaplains Group, whose goal is to facilitate better chaplaincy and spiritual care for residents of all faiths.
“There are so many Jewish patients in both hospitals and nursing homes who are completely lacking in basic Yiddishkeit,” said RabbiMichoel Chazan, Director of Chaplaincy Services at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, in an exclusive interview with VIN News. “If chaplains of all faiths work together then not only can we make a Kiddush Hashem by helping non- Jews in need of spiritual care, but chaplains in non-Jewish institutions will be able to contact us to provide for the spiritual needs for their Jewish patients.”
The ultimate objective of the newly established Brooklyn Hospital Chaplains Group is to create a network of chaplains within the Brooklyn health care system to service patients of all faiths.
“If I need an Imam at Kingsbrook,” explained Rabbi Chazan, “now I know who to call. In a similar vein, chaplains in other facilities are now able to contact the Vaad Harabonim Dibotai Refuah, the Central Committee of Rabbinic Chaplains, should their Jewish patients be in need of spiritual guidance.”
Not only does the Brooklyn Hospital Chaplains Group plan to have quarterly meetings, but they hope that hospitals in other boroughs will follow suit and create chaplain networks of their own to serve their patients as well.