US Chesed News

Jewish Visiting Conference 2017
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Thursday 20th July 2017

On Wednesday 12th July, Jewish Visiting held its annual conference for hospital chaplains and visitors.

Following a warm introduction by Rabbi Michael Laitner, interim Senior Hospital Chaplain, Reverend Dr Fraser from Cambridge University Hospital, spoke about Chaplaincy Under the Spotlight. This was a fascinating talk, including an analysis of the subjects patients raised when talking to chaplains, how even patients who have declared they have no religion, actually value interaction with chaplains – and the considerable benefit to patients of these encounters. The 2nd speaker was Paula Plaskow from Jewish Care who spoke about supporting patients at the end of life, both emotionally and in more practical ways.

Rabbi Alan Garber, Rabbi of Shenley Synagogue and Jewish Chaplain at Watford Hospital, commented on how good it was to meet other people involved in this work. He added that “both speakers made me think more deeply about what I am doing in my pastoral work”.

Michelle Minsky, Head of US Chesed, who organised the event for Jewish Visiting, said it was great to see a cross-section of chaplains and visitors from across London, some new and some with many years of experience, discussing issues of mutual interest, such as how to recognise when patients want to discuss spiritual issues, although that may not be the language they use, how to identify Jewish patients when no lists are provided and their role when patients need end of life support. Our chaplains and visitors do a wonderful job in supporting patients and through events like this these we aim both to show our appreciation of them and to help them enhance their skills.

To request a visit for yourself or a friend or relative, please telephone the Jewish Vising office on 020 8343 6238.