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Hospital Shabbat Cabinets

Many Jewish people find it disorienting to be a patient in a hospital setting because they can’t carry out the religious practices that connect them to the Jewish community. Like the hospitals’ catering contracts that offer kosher meals, a Shabbat Cabinet can help these patients and their families feel more at ease.


The Shabbat Cabinet contains basic supplies for Jewish observance. It is particularly useful to patients who are admitted on a Friday before or during Shabbat, such as women who have gone into labor; or patients whose stay is unexpectedly extended over Shabbat due to complications in their treatment. The materials in the Shabbat Cabinet are intended as one-time use: once they enter a patient’s room, they can’t be transferred to another patient. This means that supplies need to be replenished from time to time. The basic contents include: kippot/yarmulkas; battery-powered, electric filament candles; and kosher grape juice and other non-perishable kosher foods. Bentchers, prayerbooks, and other supplies can also be added.

The Shabbat Cabinet is placed in an area of the hospital where it is accessible to patients, families, and staff, yet protected for the use of those who most need it. Each Cabinet has a special lock whose code is shown in Hebrew letters.


Shabbat Cabinet locations in UPMC hospitals:


UPMC Presbyterian: 1st floor, in alcove of Citizens Bank ATM machine in hallway across from the main visitor elevators.

UPMC Montefiore: 7th floor main lobby, in the wheelchair storage area off to the right of the Information Desk.

UPMC Shadyside: 1st floor, in the wheelchair storage area off the Information Desk (Posner Tower).

UPMC Magee: 2nd floor, in the Vending alcove to the right of the main visitor elevators.

We hope the Shabbat Cabinets provide Jewish patients and families the additional support and comfort they need. Please tell your family, friends and others in the community about the existence of these cabinets, so that people will know to ask about them at the hospital information desks.

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784