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.”


No comments yet.
First Name
Enter this word:

Related Stories


Wednesday, Oct 19 2016

Caryn Andrews: Hadassah Nurse Practitioner on a Mission

Nurse Practitioner Caryn Scheinberg Andrews, who immigrated to Israel from Baltimore, Maryland in 2011 and is a lecturer in the Hadassah-Hebrew University Henrietta Szold School of Nursing, is on a personal mission: to fortify Israel's health delivery capacity by helping to create a cadre of advanced practice nurses.


Wednesday, Oct 5 2016

Russian Children Travel to Hadassah to be Treated For a Rare Disease

To date, Hadassah has treated over 14 Russian children, saving their sight and hearing and offering them the opportunity to grow up and live normal lives.


Wednesday, Sep 28 2016

Hadassah Medical Organization Goes on High Alert for Peres Funeral

Thousands of visitors, including high profile dignitaries, are expected to arrive in Jerusalem for the funeral of past Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres, who will be laid to rest on Friday, September 30.


Friday, Sep 23 2016

2016 Graduates from 19 Countries Celebrate Hadassah’s IMPH Program

Singing "It's a Wonderful Country" in Hebrew, wearing their native dress, the members of the 41st International Master of Public Health (IMPH) program of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine celebrated their graduation.


Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005


More ›

Membership Questions


(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions


(800) 928-0685

Missions Department


(800) 237-1517

Show More