May 28, 2024
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Bikur Cholim Pantry Established at Kessler

Bikur Cholim Bergen County (BCBC) is excited to announce the establishment of a kosher pantry at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (aka Kessler) located in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, one of its four hospital campuses. Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is one of the most recognized and respected hospitals of its kind in the U.S. and around the world. It is one of the nation’s largest inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, treating more than 6,000 patients each year, and is the highest-ranking rehabilitation hospital in the tri-state area and the only such hospital of its kind in New Jersey.

Kessler’s physicians, therapists, rehabilitation nurses and other clinical staff are involved in leading-edge research that is translated into clinical practice. The professional staff have been extremely eager and cooperative in seeing this project take shape and in helping to get it off the ground. Jennifer Balk, executive secretary to Kessler Saddle Brook CEO Philip Driscoll, has been instrumental in securing a full-size refrigerator and a locked cabinet containing a microwave solely for our use. BCBC appreciates Dr. Uri Adler’s steadfast commitment to this project as well. Fran Weinberg of Teaneck and Chaya Adler of Bergenfield, BCBC’s coordinators at Kessler, have worked tirelessly to stock the pantry with comfort foods, snacks, drinks, Shabbos packages and meals, and sefarim. These items will always be available to family members while spending time with their loved ones during their stay at Kessler. Margarita Lawton, RN, clinical nutrition manager, will serve as BCBC/Kessler liaison and work closely with Fran and Chaya to keep us up to date as to the needs of any family members of an incoming patient designating themselves as kosher. Upon arrival, these patients will be informed of Bikur Cholim’s services, not only on site but also of the availability of our beautifully furnished apartments located just a few miles away. If there are “out of town” family members in need of a place to stay, arrangements can be made through Bikur Cholim Bergen County’s hospitality coordinator, Lydia (call our hotline #201-579-3066 for more contact info).

Medical Director and Chief Quality Officer Dr. Bruce Pomeranz says that “the support provided by Bikur Cholim permits our patients and their families to focus on healing and their rehabilitation. We are most appreciative for our relationship with this dedicated organization.”

When Ophira Abramson, senior occupational therapist and Co-OT clinical educational coordinator, comes across a patient with particular needs, she will reach out to us as well. “We are very excited to partner with BCBC. We often have patients who are at Kessler for an extended period of time including Shabbatot and chagim. The family members struggle to find a place to rest or have kosher food available. This is a wonderful chesed and our patients and family members will be very appreciative.”

By Meredith Yager and Tsipi Gurell


To see a complete description of our services, to volunteer, or to donate to Bikur Cholim Bergen County, please visit our website at www.bikurcholimbergencounty.org  or call our hotline at 201-579-3066.

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