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Happy Hanukah from Hadassah Medical Center

A Friday Story
By Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef

Dear Friends,

Chanukah at Hadassah is  always a wonderful time when the entire Medical Center seems especially filled  with joy and warmth. This is particularly true in the Charlotte R. Bloomberg  Mother and Child Center where decorations delight and our staff makes sure  that parents and patients – even the sickest children – can celebrate in some  fashion. In the Maternity Pavilion, there are celebrations of a different sort  as a record number of babies continue to be born – five to eight percent more  than this time last year.

Chanukah is special, but  Chanukah comes only once a year. Yet every day of the year I see how our  Hadassah family goes out of its way to convey that warmth, to connect in a  very personal way. Every day I hear at least one story that illustrates the  caring and concern that is such an integral part of medical treatment.  

Just the other day, Head  Midwife Nava Braverman told me one of those stories, which I would like  to share with you.

Last week, on a busy Friday  night, a young couple anxiously arrived at the Hadassah-Ein Kerem – not  an easy feat, for she is confined to a wheelchair and he is deaf. The woman  thought she was about to give birth to their first child. When it turned out  the baby was not ready to be born, the midwives advised them to go home and  wait a little longer, offering to have an ambulance transport them.

Religiously observant, they refused to  be driven on Friday night. The midwives and nurses suggested they remain at  the hospital until the end of Shabbat. Again they refused, insisting they  could make it on their own.

All they wanted, they said,  was the use of a wheelchair, so they could walk home – that is, he would  walk and push her home. They live in Kiryat HaYovel – about ten  minutes away from Hadassah by car – but a taxing journey by foot, up and  down several steep hills .

The midwives pleaded with  them to stay, to no avail. The couple was adamant. After several more  attempts at persuasion, the midwives contacted Hadassah’s security team –  and when they heard the  story, one of the security guards volunteered to push the woman home. Then  off they went into the night – a deaf  man accompanying his pregnant wife, and the strapping young security guard  pushing her wheelchair.

As of now, their baby has not arrived, but we look forward to welcoming them and assisting in the  birth.

In Israel, midwives assist  women in giving birth, although there is always a doctor available in case of  an unexpected complication.

When the midwives and the  parents differ, trust is essential. The midwives always explain the situation  and the reasons for their approach, but never proceed without the parent’s  agreement. They both want the same thing – to do what’s best for their  baby.   

The enormous responsibility  of assisting a birth is more than offset by the reward of the experience,  Ms. Braverman said. The 45 midwives at Hadassah-Ein Kerem work in  shifts, but they often ignore the clock, staying with their patients until the  baby is born. The intense experience creates a strong personal connection in a  short period of time. Many of Hadassah’s patients return years later to visit  “their” midwife and introduce their child – a testimony to the strong bond  they remember.

Nava Braverman said she  became a midwife for many reasons, but most of all for the joy of the  experience. Now hers is essentially a management position, but she still  returns to the birthing rooms to assist in deliveries. “I love my work,” she  says simply. “I love the happiness it brings.”


At Hadassah, everyone cares.  From the midwives and the security guards to the highest levels of management,  everyone cares intensely. There is a special spirit here, a dedication  to seeing our patients as people, treating them with the understanding that  each and every one of them comes with personal concerns.

Our human touch is the tie  that connects us to our patients, to each other and to you, our Hadassah  family throughout the world.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag  Chanukah Sameach,

Prof. Shlomo  Mor-Yosef
Director General

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