Synagogue, multi-faith room and pastoral care
On Saturdays, Shabbat services take place in our main centre synagogue with an average weekly attendance of approximately 50 people. A weekly Liberal service takes place most Friday evenings in the Loftus Hall, supported by volunteers, with an average weekly attendance of 8 – 12 clients.
At the Terraces in the Beth Chaverim Synagogue, there is a weekly Friday night service and a Saturday morning service once per month that is led by volunteer leaders. The Beth Abraham Jacob Synagogue, in the Terraces, continues with evening and Shabbat services that are supported by the community.
Havdalah Services are planned usually starting in November and concluding in March, dependent on Daylight Savings time. These occur once a month and several community synagogues, including Adath Israel, Beth David and Shaarei Shomayim, are involved. Parents, children and residents gather together to share the Havdalah blessings, sing songs, and sometimes even engage in craftwork together in the creative arts studio (which opens specifically to promote an intergenerational experience). Havdalah services were introduced at the Terraces last year with much positive feedback from the residents. They will be starting again in December.
Holiday Specific Synagogue Services
Traditional services are held in the Wortsman Hall in the Main Complex. For this smaller congregation the acoustics are better in this closed area. Tables are set up to assist all clients with managing the prayer books.
The Alternative Chaverim Service takes place in the Winter Garden Court. To meet the needs of our clients, these services are abridged (1 – 1.5hrs in duration) and are supported with a sound system which enables clients to remain on the balconies and still participate in the service. This service has seen a steady increase in participants. A new large print, user friendly machzor, called “Spirit of the Heart”, was designed for the High Holidays offering the text in Hebrew, English and transliteration. There is also an adapted siddur for Shabbat.
For Clients of Other Faiths
We continue to try to address the spiritual needs of the 50-60% of non-Jewish patients in the hospital. Currently, we have religious leaders of Christian, Roman Catholic and Moslem faiths providing support to both patients and staff. A Christmas dinner, an Easter tea, and ecumenical services are examples of holiday programs organized for these patients.
This room is located on the first floor near the Silverman Garden Court. It is a calming space that honours the diversity of expressions of religious and spiritual practices and provides a flexible spiritual gathering space for people of all faiths for prayer, meditation, and study. Seniors, family members, volunteers or staff wishing to use the room can book it by contacting Lorraine Chelsky at extension 6323.
Baycrest is committed to meeting the religious and spiritual needs of our clients. We employ two Rabbis and are also served by volunteer Chaplains who make pastoral care rounds on a regular basis. Residents of the Apotex Centre can also arrange for their own Rabbi to visit.
For more information about our Pastoral Services, please click here.
To contact Pastoral Services, please phone 416-785-2500 ext. 3743