Visiting Prince of Wales Hospital? Kiss the Mezuzah

August 17, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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Jewish patients being admitted to Sydney’s Prince of Wales Private Hospital will now have the opportunity of kissing a Mezuzah on arrival.

Professor Graham Newstead, Rabbi Mendel Kastel and Deborah Latta photo: Henry Benjamin

At a special ceremony on the fifth floor admission area of the hospital, the CEO of Sydney’s The Jewish House Rabbi Mendel Kastel attached the Mezuzah to the wall at the entry.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel shows his Shabbat "candle" photo: Henry Benjamin

Assisting him were the hospital’s Chief of Staff Professor Graham Newstead and General Manager Deborah Latta. Rabbi Kastel has also introduced to the hospital special battery driven Shabbat candles. Latta said: “We checked regulations and there is no way we can have naked flames in the hospital so Rabbi Kastel has found a suitable alternative.

She told the meeting that the hospital has a large turnover of Jewish patients and visitors. The Royal Hospital for Women, part of the POW complex is the birthplace of many members of the Jewish community at which recently ten Jewish babies were born in one week.

Rabbi Kastel is one of the hospital’s chaplains and has been responsible for many of the medical unit’s initiatives includingfull Kosher menus and Kosher snacks in the vending machines. Jewish House offers its counseling services any patients in need of advice or help.

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