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New ‘Ozer Umagen’ supports Jewish patients keeping the Sabbath at Southend Hospital

17 January 2019

Members of Southend’s Jewish community celebrated the installation of a special cupboard called an ‘Ozer Umagen’ which is a dedicated religious facility in the Chaplaincy area of Southend Hospital. Jewish patients and their visitors will be able to use the resources in the cupboard to help them celebrate the Sabbath fully.

The Ozer Umagen, which means 'Help and Protect' in Hebrew, will make available the scriptures and all the Kosher items needed to properly mark and keep the Sabbath. There is also a special quiet place in the Chaplaincy area for the Sabbath meal and prayers. 

Reverend David Childs, Lead Chaplain at Southend University Hospital said: "Southend Hospital welcomes people from all religions and faiths and it has been a real pleasure to work with Isaac Kohn and Rabbi Bar in making this 'Ozer Umagen' a possibility. Jewish patients, relatives and staff members will be able to make use of the facility and even the lighting in this area will comply with the religious law. Using this special resource - or even just knowing it is there - will bring great comfort and strength to many."

Isaac Kohn, from the Hasidic Jewish community, said: "The support we have had from the hospital has been amazing. We are very grateful to the Trust's commitment to different religious faiths and this lifts us all."

Rabbi Benjamin Bar said: "I am delighted that a space has been kindly allocated to help accommodate the needs of Jewish patients admitted to hospital. The Sabbath cupboard addresses the special religious requirements of those who observe the Sabbath. We are very grateful to Southend Hospital and particularly the Reverend David Childs, for driving this project forward."


Image l-r:Rabbi Binyamin - Bar of Southend Synagogue and Isaac Kohn from the Hasidic community in Stamford Hill, Cheryl Schwarz - Deputy Director of Nursing and The Reverend David Childs - Lead Chaplain at Southend University Hospital