During a follow-up doctor’s appointment held recently, 41-year-old Chaim Shapiro was given the good news by Rajiv Datta, MD, Medical Director of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center, that the surgery he had performed to remove stage 1 cancer from Mr. Shapiro’s thyroid gland was a success.

Of course, Mr. Shapiro was thankful and felt blessed for the outcome. He was, however, just as thankful that Dr. Datta and South Nassau made necessary accommodations in absolute respect and reverence for his religious beliefs.

Since its founding in 1928, South Nassau has fulfilled its responsibility to meet the spiritual needs of its patients, families, and staff, recognizing that pastoral counseling and other spiritual guidance are an integral part of the healing process.

South Nassau’s spiritual care department’s comprehensive Jewish Communities Program is designed to meet the spiritual needs of its patients who are devoted to the Jewish faith. The program helps schedule rabbinical emergency visits and facilitates access to all Shabbos hospitality, Jewish holiday, kosher food, and other ritual needs.

The program provides a Sabbath Hospitality House for Shabbos or Jewish holiday obligations. Located on the hospital campus, the Sabbath House offers comfort and familiarity to the families of observant Jewish patients. The house has prayer books, Shabbos candles, and everything necessary to meet the highest standards for the most religious families. In addition, the house’s kitchen is equipped for kosher food handling.

Inside the hospital is a Kosher Pantry/Respite Room that provides a place for quiet contemplation, prayer, and rest. It includes siddurim, Tehillim, and Chumashim, as well as fresh and heatable kosher food, books, religious items, and recliners. “Both the Sabbath House and Kosher Pantry/Respite Room can be used by family members and friends during a time of emergency or an extended stay for a patient or for those who live far away from the hospital,” said Chaplain Allen Siegel, director of the spiritual care department.

To meet the dietary needs of patients as well as their families, the hospital’s food and nutrition department offers a full kosher menu. The department prepares glatt kosher meals on request for patients as well as their family members. Frozen kosher entrees are generally available for patients or family members arriving after hours. Freshly prepared kosher food is also available for purchase in the hospital’s Coffee/Gift Shop.

For more information, please call the Spiritual Care program at 516-632-4586 or 1-877-SouthNassau. v


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