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Jewish Journal: Rabbis of LA | Rabbi Sarah Barukh―Guiding Spiritual Leaders in the Hospital

The Jewish Journal recently interviewed Rabbi Sarah Barukh, chaplain and supervisor in training for the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Cedars-Sinai, about her background, her job and what she finds most rewarding.

Barukh told the Jewish Journal that the first time she met a hospital chaplain, during a hospital stay, she assumed they didn’t share her faith and kicked them out of her room.

“I incorrectly thought they were there to proselytize me or they had ill intent,” Barukh told the Jewish Journal. “It was comical because [today] I very much identify with my title of chaplain. A chaplain is someone who is trained to have sensitivity and provide support for people in need, cross-culturally, often in a multi-faith context. They support individuals in their search for hope, meaning, purpose and connection.”

Barukh, who said she has always loved helping people, had an epiphany at just 12 years old, telling a cousin she wanted to be a rabbi when she grew up. Her cousin didn’t know there were female rabbis.

“It wasn’t the cultural norm when I was younger,” she told the Jewish Journal.

Barukh’s role at Cedars-Sinai also involves training clergy members and laypeople from various religious backgrounds to provide spiritual care for anyone who is ill or going through a crisis. Despite the emotional challenges, Barukh said supporting people who are experiencing tough times is her life’s mission.

“When you’re at someone’s bedside, you’re navigating life with them,” she told the Jewish Journal. “Chaplains are there for birth up until the end of life. To be a witness to that and partner with people is really awe-inspiring. I have a real passion for supporting people on their unique life journey.”

Click here to read the complete article from the Jewish Journal.