“We knew his time was limited, and his dying became inevitable, so we asked for a place in the Hadassah hospice on Mount Scopus,” relates Sharon Altshul, speaking of her brother, Rabbi Gil Marks. “We wanted a dignified and compassionate place,” she said. “And that’s what we found.”
The Hadassah Medical Center’s Ina and Jack Kay Center for Supportive Care opened in 1986 as the answer to a need for Jewish hospice care in Jerusalem. A few years later, the Crown hospice home care program was established, which provides palliative care at home.
Rabbi Marks, a well-known cookbook author, immigrated to Israel from New York, when he was already ill with stage three incurable lung cancer. Making Aliyah was one of his life’s dreams. His name is, perhaps, most closely associated with the 2010 Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, reflecting decades of research into Jewish food around the world. He was also the founding editor of Kosher Gourmet magazine.
In expounding upon her brother’s experience with Hadassah’s hospice, Ms. Altshul notes: “The home care was remarkable, and when it became time to go to the hospice, every courtesy, comfort, and support was provided. Everything was coordinated with our own health care provider. The home-like atmosphere and the garden allowed my brother to have visitors when he could, and he even bounced back for a while because of the encouragement. This has been a very hard time for our family and Hadassah came through for us.”