Ethel Birnbaum,  Florida, USA

"When recently visiting Jerusalem I was taken ill with pneumonia and was admitted to Shaarey Tzedek Hospital.  It was a Godsend for me when Rabbi Miriam Berkowitz came to visit me (having been asked to do so by my niece, a Friend of Kashouvot).  It meant so much to have her come to console me and to see if there was anything that she could do for me.  It truly was an uplifting experience, particularly because I was so far away from home. I commend her on her important work and know that there are many others who benefit from her services and still more who will in future."

Egon Yunker, Jerusalem

“I had the occasion to speak with Miriam on an ongoing basis when my dear wife was being cared for at the French Hospital. Her ability to listen and accept without judgment my thoughts, feelings and dilemmas made me feel safe and valued. Behind her warm, youthful presence lies a depth of experience and wisdom and I am sure she will continue to be a resource for patients and their families.”

Social Worker, Jerusalem

“Miriam, before your visits, this patient was angry and closed. You gave him attention, dignity and the wish to trust... Now the staff can connect with him and sometimes even see him smile, If you had worked only with this one person, dayenu, it would have been enough.”

Dr. Jonathan Grunfeld, Clinic for Oncologic Palliative Care, Medical Center Assaf Harofeh, Zerifin

“Valerie demonstrated an array of qualities that make her uniquely suited to this field of activity. These include, among others, maturity, compassion, exceptional interpersonal communication skills, patience and attentiveness. Equipped with these qualities, she proved capable of grasping the complex personal and social predicaments of the individuals in the care of our oncology service. Furthermore, she effectively applied her skills and knowledge benefiting those who desired spiritual support.”

Rabbi Zahara Davidowitz-Farkas, Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor

“I have great respect for Rabbi Stessin. She is curious and creative, thoughtful and thorough. She is a mature listener and strives for interdisciplinary colleague-ship. She is a wonderful adult learner and is organized and resourceful. I greatly enjoyed working with Rabbi Stessin and would welcome the chance to do so again should the opportunity arise.”

Reverend John de Velder, Head of the Pastoral Care Department, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N. J.  and CPE Supervisor

“Valerie has demonstrated her abilities for spiritual/pastoral caring and she has developed her gifts during this unit of C.P.E. We recommend that Valerie make a valuable contribution to her home country of Israel and she adapts and applies her learning and growth this summer. May God bless Valerie in her life and ministry.”