Rabbi Ed Bernstein Offers Spiritual Support
As a chaplain at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and at Vitas Healthcare hospice, Rabbi Ed Bernstein brings spiritual support to the increasingly diverse and growing Jewish community across Palm Beach County. In doing so, he continues to draw from the JTS educational experience that was core to his personal and professional development.
“When I am at a patient’s bedside, so much of what I learned at JTS is there with me,” he recently said, “whether it is in an intellectual conversation about Job with an end-of-life patient or understanding the family dynamics surrounding the care of a loved one in the hospital.”
Rabbi Bernstein is in what he calls the “second act” of his career, having spent nearly 20 years as a pulpit rabbi, including six years at Temple Torat Emet in Boynton Beach. While his work as a chaplain is mostly with Jewish patients, he also attends to those of all (or no) faiths. “Spiritual care serves everyone,” said Bernstein.
Bernstein says the approach to Jewish knowledge he gained at JTS—both in the classroom and as a student chaplain at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—informs every day of his service to the varied population in Palm Beach County, allowing him to meet people where they are at times of need and create moments where texts and traditions can ease their challenges.
“The learning approach at JTS starts from a belief that even the most ancient Jewish texts and traditions are relevant to contemporary realities,” said Rabbi Bernstein. “I see the power of that relevance every day, especially in a diverse community like Palm Beach County where so many are seeking and creating their own paths to meaning.”