New Carts Carry Kosher Food to Observant Jewish Patients
Patients who adhere to Jewish practices and customs are now able to receive kosher meals and snacks from a portable kosher food cart at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park, and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.
The carts are one service offered by the Jewish Health Resource Center at Einstein. Funded by a grant from Einstein’s Compassionate Care Fund, the carts include a microwave and refrigerator and room for nonperishable food. They will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, upon request.
Community volunteers from the organization Bikkur Cholim partnered with Einstein to accommodate the dietary needs for patients who keep kosher. Bikkur Cholim volunteers will keep the cart stocked with nonperishable food and, upon request, provide hot meals for patients.
“We are so pleased to offer this service to meet the dietary needs of our patients who keep a kosher diet,” says David Jaspan, DO, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Einstein Healthcare Network. “It is in keeping with Einstein’s mission to provide care to as many people as we can reach and we are committed to meeting the needs of our community.”
Family members also may be able to receive kosher meals from volunteers and can eat snacks from the cart, especially on the Sabbath or High Holy Days when they are at the hospital and not permitted to drive home.
These accommodations began in September to ensure that patients could receive meals during the September High Holy Days.
Patients can request the cart from nurses on their unit, reach out directly to Bikkur Cholim for meals, or ask staff to reach out on their behalf. Information about how to use the cart and how to contact the volunteers will be available at nursing stations.
“It’s wonderful to have a portable kosher cart and partner with our patients to enable them to feel comfortable that their dietary needs are being met while they receive their healthcare,” says Melissa Rosenberg, CNM, at Einstein Healthcare Network.