Who We Serve

Patients and families

Patients and families served by The Jewish Chaplaincy cover the spectrum of Jewish identity. They can be religious or secular, American-born or émigrés from the former Soviet Union, Iran, North Africa and Israel. They come from traditional and non-traditional families, from the mid-Peninsula, throughout the Bay Area, across the country and around the world. They may be single, from same-sex relationships or in families that blend different faith traditions. Ages range from newborns to the elderly and they are from all walks of life.

How we identify Jewish patients

We visit patients who list their religious preference as Jewish when they are admitted to the hospital. We also visit patients referred to us by hospital staff as well as by patients themselves, their families or clergy. Importantly, we take steps to protect patient privacy and confidentiality in keeping with national guidelines (HIPPA) that govern hospital care.

When we visit

The Jewish chaplains and spiritual care volunteers make regular visits to hospitalized patients on weekdays and most weekends unless a patient does not wish to be visited. The chaplains also provide visits by special request to patients in other locations, such as the emergency department, endoscopy center, catheterization lab, outpatient clinics and the Cancer Center. A Jewish chaplain is available 24 hours.

Health care professionals and area clergy

The Jewish Chaplaincy educates current and future health care professionals through programs at the hospitals and Stanford University School of Medicine. For example, Chaplain Feldstein teaches a required class at the School of Medicine titled "Spirituality & Meaning in Medicine" and an elective class titled "The Healer's Art." At the hospitals, physicians and staff often ask the Jewish chaplains for guidance on how best to care for patients going through difficult times. The chaplains also provide spiritual care for the staff.

The Jewish Chaplaincy collaborates with Jewish clergy who may refer their congregants. Clergy may also contact the Jewish chaplains to better understand what members of their congregations may be facing during a difficult time. With the permission of patients, the chaplains will contact a patient's clergy.