Thanks to the vision of Professor Tamir Ben-Hur, Neurology department chair at Hadassah Ein Karem, Kashouvot began providing pastoral care for his patients in November 2016. Rabbi Annabelle Herziger-Tenzer is now at Hadassah two days a week, helping patients cope with the sudden, life-changing effects of strokes, multiple sclerosis and other neurological issues. Loss of independence, unknown chances of improvement, and family adjustments are all stresses which the staff cope with daily in this 50-bed unit. Many patients struggle with feelings of helplessness and despair. They need a safe space to give voice to their feelings and grapple with the theological questions that arise; they eagerly welcome the chaplain’s time, attention and support and the opportunity to express their anger, fear and other emotions.

Rabbi Annabelle, originally from Belgium, is a conservative rabbi and certified spiritual care-giver.  She can provide pastoral care in Hebrew, French, English, Arabic, German, Yiddish, Flemish, Spanish and Indonesian.  She helps patients identify their self-worth and spirituality and to cope with illness and readjustment. Rabbi Annabelle’s warm manner, her experience as a tour guide and her familiarity with the beliefs and rituals of many cultures make her a wonderful emissary for pastoral care and for Judaism.

Annabelle makes an average of 5 visits per day, two days a week (approximately 500 visits per year), serving about 400 people per year (most have 1-3 visits; 1-5 family members per patient are also helped). Most of the patients are Israeli citizens of all cultural backgrounds,  some from abroad.

Our main goals are to provide quality pastoral care, show the benefits and need for it, begin research to measure the impact, establish the chaplain as part of the staff, and expand services and presence within Hadassah.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Houston Jewish Community Foundation, the First Narayever Congregation, the Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, and the Kathryn Ames Foundation.

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