Spiritual Healing

One Volunteer’s Mission

Esther Rabizadeh is a deeply spiritual woman. 

The long-time Cherry Hill resident gives back to her community by sharing her spirituality with patients at Virtua. Over the past three years, she has brought the spirit of Shabbat to more than 3,000 Jewish patients at Virtua Marlton and Virtua Voorhees.
Observing Shabbat (Saturday), one of the Ten Commandments, is a Mitzvah (an act of holiness) for people of Jewish faith. 
“It is my mission and obligation as a Jew to bring holiness into the world and make it a better place for mankind,” says Esther. “My wish is that this act of kindness will spread and have a positive impact on the community at large.”
Every Friday, Esther visits with patients and delivers a package of items significant to observing Shabbat:  challah, grape juice, candle and printed pages of blessings. To lighten the mood, she dresses in bright clothing and wears her signature hat with the words “Shabbat Shalom” written across the front.
When she began her service at Virtua, friends and family sponsored the project. Today, JWed.com, a Jewish Dating Service, helps fund Esther’s work. 
Deaconess Dr. Lee Manns, director of pastoral care at Virtua Marlton, says patients and their families share with her that Esther’s visits lift their spirits and help them stay connected to their faith while they are going through difficult times.
“Bringing the spirit of Shabbat to our Jewish patients had been a long time goal at Virtua Marlton”, says Manns. “I had waited eight years before Esther came to me and asked if she could do this for our patients. She was heaven sent.”


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Virtua Health Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to enhancing Virtua's mission through philanthropy.


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