The Jewish Chaplaincy at Stanford Medicine, established in 2000, has been an important source of spiritual comfort and guidance for thousands of patients, families, staff and students at Stanford Health Care, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford University School of Medicine.
Each year, nearly 1,200 Jewish adults and children are hospitalized at Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Most of these individuals are not affiliated with a local synagogue and have no rabbi or chaplain to turn to in times of anguish and uncertainty. In addition, the staff that cares for them is often overwhelmed and unfamiliar with the role of spirituality and religion in the healing process. The Jewish Chaplaincy was created to help meet their spiritual needs.
The Jewish Chaplaincy was founded by Chaplain Bruce Feldstein, MD and an advisory board of area rabbis, physicians, community leaders and hospital chaplains in collaboration with the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness. It is organized within the Spiritual Care Service at Stanford Health Care.
In the spirit of Moses Maimonides (the renowned 12th century rabbi, philosopher and physician), the Jewish Chaplaincy bridges the worlds of medical knowledge, spiritual care, religious wisdom and tradition to:
- Provide spiritual comfort and guidance for patients, families, and staff
- Strengthen community
- Educate medical students, physicians, healthcare professionals, chaplains, clergy and volunteers in the healing role of spirituality and religion
The Jewish Chaplaincy is part of the Bay Area's Jewish network of community services, collaborating with area synagogues, Stanford Hillel, the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, Jewish Family and Children's Services, Sinai Memorial Chapel and many other organizations. In addition, The Jewish Chaplaincy helps bring spirituality and meaning to medicine through teaching medical students and physicians of all faiths at Stanford University School of Medicine, at conferences and through publications.