Spiritual care

Baycrest began in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home which was established to provide Jewish elderly people with care that reflected their religious traditions. By meeting their cultural and religious needs and sustaining those traditions that brought joy and meaning to their lives, Baycrest helps clients reach their maximum level of wellness.

At the same time, because Baycrest has grown larger and now serves elderly people from a variety of backgrounds, we recognize the diversity of our clients’ religious practices and endeavour to provide services to meet the individual’s needs.

Some of our services include:

  • Regular, on-floor pastoral care
  • Rabbis and chaplains on staff
  • Special services for Jewish Holidays
  • Kosher food policy
  • Ritual, religious and spiritual items for religious needs
  • Bioethical consultation for clients, families and staff
  • Observance of traditions concerning dying
  • Various religious traditions observed to some extent in Baycrest Hospital, which is non-sectarian
  • Chaplaincy services for non-Jewish clients at Baycrest Hospital
  • Meditation room for all clients and their families available for prayer and contemplation
  • CASC (Canadian Association for Spiritual Care) training for chaplaincy students

For further information, please call Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey Haber at 416-785-2500, ext. 3743


Religious and pastoral services

Baycrest is committed to meeting the religious and spiritual needs of our clients. We employ three 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.

  • Traditional Shabbat morning services are held at 9 a.m. in the Wolinsky Synagogue located on the 2nd floor of the Posluns Building and in the Beth Abraham Jacob Synagogue on the 1st floor of the Terraces. Please refer to the “Spiritual practice places and worship schedule” for a complete listing and schedule of services.
  • Liberal Shabbat services are held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings in the Loftus Hall and on Shabbat mornings at 10 a.m. in the Beth Chaverim synagogue in the Common Room, Lower Level at the Terraces. Please refer to the “Spiritual practice places and worship schedule” for a complete listing and schedule of services.
  • There are organized religious services for the High Holy Days and other holy days. Please refer to the “Spiritual practice places and worship schedule” for a complete listing and schedule of services as the each holy day approaches.

Sabbath days and Jewish holidays

Baycrest is committed to the principles of Judaism. We provide a warm, welcoming environment that follows Jewish traditions and practices.

  • The Apotex Centre is “shomer Shabbat.” This means we respect the Sabbath. For this reason, all our shops and restaurant services (except the Cafeteria) are closed from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.
  • As stated earlier, each resident room comes equipped with electric Sabbath lights which are controlled centrally, so residents can “light the candles” on Friday night if they wish. We must ask residents and families NOT to light regular wax candles which are a serious fire hazard.
  • Special Sabbath elevators that stop at every floor operate from sundown on Friday evening until sundown on Saturday and also on Jewish Holy Days.

Jewish Holidays are special at the Apotex Centre. A variety of programs, traditional foods, parties and other activities help mark Passover, Purim, Sukkot and the High Holy days.