Hadassah

Chaplain Dina Brings Spiritual Comfort to Hadassah’s Severely Ill

Wednesday, Mar 30 2016

Dina Herz works in Hadassah Medical Center’s Bone Marrow Transplantation Department in Hemato-Oncology,

With chaplaincy being relatively new in Israel, patients aren’t always sure what a chaplain does.  But Dina Herz, who works in the Hadassah Medical Center’s Bone Marrow Transplantation Department in Hemato-Oncology, understands that “most people have moments of loneliness and spiritual needs when they are hospitalized--particularly for serious diseases.”

Fluent in English and Hebrew with a lilting accent that sometimes gives away her birthplace of Switzerland, Ms. Herz is a modern Orthodox Jew, who has her own ideas about the “World to Come.” When she speaks with patients, however, such as the Moslem woman who just received the unhappy news that there were no more treatments for her lymphoma, she is careful. The woman wanted to talk about where she was going. “Let’s read the Traveler’s Prayer,” suggested Dina, who has a set of cards with various prayers and spiritual thoughts in different languages. “The Traveler’s Prayer?  We have one, too,” said the woman. So they compared the prayers and then said them together.

Ms. Hertz explains that, of course, Hadassah has its own Rabbi--Rabbi Moshe Klein—but he has many other duties such as organizing prayer services, overseeing that kashrut of the food, and forging and sustaining ties with the religious community. Although he does visit and comfort patients, it’s not the single focus of his work as it is for a chaplain.

To qualify as a hospital chaplain, Ms. Herz had to undergo 800 hours of training, in Israel and abroad. She now sees patients twice a week. “Sometimes a person needs a hug, sometimes the chance to talk about fears, and sometimes just to have someone to be with,” says Ms. Herz. “They see I’m not upset by talking about the big subjects like pain and death. One woman told me that her tears were stuck and I helped her by letting her cry. ‘You made space in my throat,’ she said.'”

For Ms. Herz, “being able to bring spiritual comfort is a dream job.”

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Aug 16 2017

Gazan Boy Walks for First Time at Hadassah

Unable to stand on his feet, suffering from severe respiratory distress, a four-year-old boy from Gaza gained the ability to walk once Hadassah Hospital surgeons identified and removed a large tumor lodged in his chest.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Aug 16 2017

Hadassah Hosts Health Innovation Conference

Over one hundred doctors, researchers, and entrepreneurs gathered at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem this summer to discuss how to advance the quality of patient care with computational power.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Aug 14 2017

Hadassah Hosts First Human Trial with Drug to Fight Nasty Bacterial Infection

Immuron, an Australian biopharmaceutical company, has received approval from the Hadassah Medical Organization’s ethics committee and Israel’s Ministry of Health to begin its first clinical trial with a new drug to fight a bacterial infection called Clostridium Difficile (CDI).

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Aug 3 2017

Mystery of Devastating Pediatric Disease Solved by Hadassah Team

A genetic mutation causing a rare and devastating pediatric neurological disease that has puzzled medical centers around the world has been identified at the Hadassah Medical Organization by Prof. Orly Elpeleg, head of Hadassah's Department of Genetics and Metabolic Diseases.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More