Chabad Delivers Shabbat Care Packages For Jewish Kennestone Patients

By Anna Streetman | AJT Editorial Intern

Rabbi Zalman Charytan and wife Nechami

The Chabad at Kennesaw is making Shabbat special for Jewish patients at Kennestone Hospital.

Every Thursday or Friday, Rabbi Zalman Charytan and the students of Kennesaw State University create “Shabbat care packages” to give to Jewish patients at the hospital. The care packages consist of homemade challah, get well cards with prayers on them, and Shabbat candles. They deliver them in brown bags with “I ♥ Shabbat” printed on them. Rabbi Zalman also volunteers part time at the hospital.

“We always knew that there were a lot of Jewish patients at Kennestone Hospital,” Rabbi Zalman says. “We knew they would appreciate a visit from a Rabbi, and nobody was doing it. We wanted to do something to show them that people are thinking about them.”

The program was made possible through the Rabbi’s partnership with the Pastoral Care Center at Kennestone Hospital. Each week, the center gives Chabad a list of the Jewish patients to deliver the care packages to. The program has been running strong for close to three years.

The Rabbi says that the Pastoral Care Center at Kennestone has been very understanding and helpful with the program. “They care about the welfare of their Jewish patients,” he says. “The center recognizes the value of what we are doing.”

Rabbi Zalman and his wife Nechami run the Chabad at Kennesaw State University. Each week, they host a Shabbat dinner for the Jewish students at Kennesaw State. They also host other Jewish-related events such as menorah lightings for Hanukkah. The Chabad also offers Jewish students at Kennesaw State an exclusive and low-cost trip to New York with thousands of other Chabad students across the country. Recently, they also began installing mezuzahs in dorm rooms.

Rabbi Zalman and Nechami make an effort to keep Judaism in the students’ lives while they are in school, and they do the same for the Jewish patients at Kennestone.