Likrat Public, the SIG’s project for dialogue and educational outreach, recently visited the nursing staff at the Children’s Hospital Zurich. Over 30 caregivers wanted to know more about how to treat Jewish patients and their families best. The encounter was met with great interest among the hospital staff.
On this Tuesday afternoon, it was snowing harder than it had done for years. “Even for decades”, Likratino Ari read on his news app. Together with Liora and Michel, he made up the Likrat Public trio for the encounter at the Kinderspital Zürich (Children’s Hospital Zurich). From the snow-decked main entrance, the Likratina and the Likratinos were ushered into a well-heated auditorium where the meeting was staged.
Lively interest among nursing staff
The questions asked by the hospital’s caregivers gave evidence of considerable experience in dealing with Jewish patients and their family members. However, the precise religious laws and customs that determine Jewish behaviour and requirements were largely unknown to the staff. Many of the questions touched either on specific experiences in the hospital or on more general topics of Jewish life, such as rules relating to Shabbat or what is kosher. On the question of how to decide when certain life-saving measures violate a religious law, Michel had a very clear and straightforward answer: “Life always takes precedence”. However, both the nursing staff and the Likratina and Likratinos were aware that not all questions could be answered so simply. So Liora advised the nurses always to consult their Jewish patients if in doubt. “Talking to one another is invariably the best solution and it is very much appreciated.”
Likrat Public encounters in times of Corona
The Corona pandemic continues to prevent meetings and events in formats that used to be perfectly normal. So the Likrat project has adapted to circumstances over the past months and currently offers encounters that either have a fully-fledged protection concept or are conducted virtually. Today’s meeting at the Children’s Hospital was, for the first time, held in a dual form combining physical and virtual presence. Around half the participants were present in the auditorium, while the other half were connected virtually. Such flexibility will make further encounters possible even under the current circumstances.