End-of-Life Halachic Advisory Program

RIETS and Calvary Hospital Form Collaboration to Serve Orthodox Community

Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Calvary Hospital today announced a collaboration to serve the needs of observant Jews in the metropolitan area in need of information and access to the best end-of-life care.

Jewish families seeking halachically appropriate, highest quality end-of-life medical care often lack familiarity with the intricate religious laws that govern such care.

To address this important need, Yeshiva University has formed the YU/RIETS End-of-Life Halachic Advisory Program to provide rabbinic consultation for families and community rabbis. It includes:

  • A rabbinic panel comprised of four roshei yeshiva who have extensive experience with end-of-life halachic issues. Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger, Rabbi Mordechai Willig and Rabbi Moshe Tendler will serve on a rotating basis as pre-hospice advisors, answering questions from patients’ families and community rabbis after a physician has recommended that an individual receive hospice care.
  • A panel of physicians associated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and its affiliates will be available to advise community rabbis on the clinical issues surrounding the terminally ill. The medical panel includes Dr. Edward Burns, Dr. Seymour Huberfeld, Dr. Beth Popp, Dr. Edward Reichman and Dr. Robert Sidlow.

“There is a pressing need in the Orthodox community for accurate and thorough information on the conditions under which end-of-life care should be provided,” said Burns, Einstein’s executive dean. “Regardless of where a person chooses to seek hospice care, Yeshiva University’s End-of-Life Halachic Advisory Program is designed to answer their questions. Our decision to collaborate with Calvary recognizes the unmatched quality of care that every patient receives there and the staff’s commitment to the hospital’s mission.”

“Since the Hospital was founded more than 113 years ago, Calvary has embraced the opportunity to care for people from all religious backgrounds,” said Frank Calamari, president and chief executive officer of Calvary Hospital. “We are confident that our collaboration with Yeshiva University will provide the Orthodox community with the information they need to make the right healthcare decisions for their loved ones.

“And if they should decide to choose Calvary home hospice care or care in our hospital, we want traditionally observant patients and families to be confident that Calvary care will be provided in accordance with their faith traditions.”

Calvary’s patient care model successfully addresses the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families. For Jewish patients and families this includes a comprehensive range of services such as:

  • Pastoral care by the Hospital’s two staff rabbis, both of whom are graduates of RIETS;
  • End-of-life counseling in accordance with Jewish tradition;
  • Kosher meals and cholov yisroel dairy products available upon request;
  • Kosher food pantry with two microwave ovens, refrigerator and sink;
  • Celebration of Shabbat and all major Jewish holidays;
  • Shabbat lounge;
  • Inclusion in the Einstein and Pelham Parkway eruv; and
  • Being part of the Einstein and Pelham Parkway communities.

Founded in 1896, RIETS is the leading center for education and ordination of Orthodox rabbis in North America. To learn more about the YU/RIETS End-of-Life Halachic Advisory Program, visit www.yu.edu/riets/end-of-life-care.

To learn more about Calvary, visit www.calvaryhospital.org.