(Project 2016-2017)

Bet Michal is a nursing home on Kibbutz HaHotrim in northern Israel. As an intimate, kibbutz-based center, Bet Michal is able to provide a high quality level of care attuned to the needs of the residents. There is a warm and home-like atmosphere, and Bet Michal has welcomed our student chaplain, Avraham Sacks, who is based nearby in Pardes Hana.

Residents at Bet Michal come from diverse backgrounds and speak a variety of languages, hailing from nearly every corner of the Jewish diaspora. Many are coping with Alzheimers, dementia and other cognitive concerns. Those who are dealing with other kinds of challenges often lack a sense of community, people they can turn to and speak with (everything from the mundane to the profound). There can be a sense of isolation just at a time when deep emotional and spiritual concerns are emerging.

Family and staff at Bet Michal felt that more needed to be done to address the needs of these residents. Bet Michal’s director reached out to Kashouvot in the fall of 2015 after hearing her speak at a conference for nursing home directors, and the partnership began.

Intern Avraham Sacks provided pastoral support there once a week and made strong connections with the patients, thanks to his background in counseling.

Recently the nursing home was closed due to logistical considerations.