Chareidi Woman Gives Birth In Arab Hospital In Eastern Jerusalem


In Israel, there are quite a lot of criticism about the condition of the hospitals, the overcrowding and the treatment, but it seems that while the Israelis are complaining, there are those who choose to take this matter a step further and go to receive medical treatment at St. Joseph, an Arab hospital in eastern Jerusalem.

In a phenomenon that is developing in the hospital, one can also see a chareidi woman who chose to give birth to her son in the Arab hospital, after she said that she was hurt by abusive treatment in hospitals in Jerusalem.

According to Yossi Eli’s report on News 10, the small hospital, owned by the French Church, welcomes with open arms both the Jewish patients and the Palestinians, some of whom were injured during the fighting in Gaza.

Joanna Hazan, a young chareidi woman who immigrated to Israel from Britain three years ago, chose to give birth to her first child in the Arab hospital. In a conversation with News 10, she said: “For two years I had failed attempts to bring life into the world, and in other hospitals in Israel I had negative experiences,” describing a difficult experience during medical treatment at an Israeli hospital.

About three weeks ago, B’shaa Tova, Joanna gave birth to her eldest son in the Arab hospital and he has since been named Gavriel Chaim.

Another Jewish mother who gave birth at the hospital added: “It does not feel unusual, the staff is calming and the atmosphere here is amazing.”

It should be noted that other Jews appeared in the article who chose to receive medical treatment at the hospital, most of them – as stated – in the maternity ward.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Weird. How can they trust though. I know pretty much all the staff in Israeli hospitals are Arab anyway, but here aren’t they all including doctors?

  2. “the small hospital, owned by the French Church”

    How ironic. One of the major “Chareidi” issues in the old yishuv was a virulent opposition to Jews using Christian missionary hospitals.

  3. litvishechossid, Christain Arabs arent the same as Muslim Arabs, as they too have to deal with persecution from the PLO. Still it is weird that she would feel more comfortable in a goyish hospital more than in a hospital with a proper hechsher on it s food and is shomer shabbos.

  4. LitvisheChossid: What’s not to trust? I would feel safe there (although maybe not on the way there). I’m sure that the staff are professionals and act as such. They probably graduated from the same medical schools and the Arabs in the Jewish hospitals, and even if not, there are some very good medical schools in several Arab countries.

    Athos: I agree that it would be easier to obtain kosher food at a Jewish hospital, but it seems that the medical experience there is pretty bad. So between bad food and bad medical service, it’s an easy choice.

  5. Mistake to refer to it as an Arab hospital when In fact it is French Christian. I imagine they imploy many Christian Arabs, but the ownership is French Christian. I would postulate that there is little to no missionary work in the hospital as this type of thing is taboo in obvious places. They aim for the new immigrants uneducated etc… I’m sure the hospital likes the business and would not allow missionizing openly. No, not certain, but an educated guess.Furthermore I’m sure patients can order kosher airline type food while some get from home.Soon will become a gemach stop!

  6. If this young chareidi woman who immigrated to Israel from Britain three years ago had given birth in London, Manchester or Gateshead, the only places in England with Haredi communities, guess what, she would have been attended to by non-Jewish staff, quite possibly Arabs as well. If she had given birth in Hadassah Har Hazofim in North East Jerusalem she would likely have had Arab staff. If she had given birth in any of the other “Jewish” hospitals in Jerusalem she could easily have had Arab staff look after her and have had an Arab roommate or two. So what is all the fuss about? Why is this newsworthy? I doubt the staff at this hospital are as arrogant as most Israelis. The more gentle English find the Israeli arrogance very hard to take. We Americans are more used to arrogant people.

  7. I’ve been to the hospitals here. They can be really aggressive, mean, rude. They will take advantage at any opportunity, if you know Hebrew enough it’s very hard…

  8. Its high time the Israeli hospitals, especially in Jerusalem, started to work on their etiquette, overhauling the attitude to mke a hospital stay just that bit less unpleasant. Individually, most staff are kind and benevolent but the systematic fight for your right culture is still reminiscent of the early years of the country and must be addressed.

  9. No one has mentioned one of the main reasons for this problem of dissatisfaction with the Israeli service which is the lack of competition between Israeli hospitals. It is very difficult to open a new hospital in Israel. Doctors in the government run system are not paid enough leading to a shortage of doctors, in the land of the Jews! In every other country, Jews are disproportionately represented in the medical profession. Unfortunately, Arabs are taking advantage of this and in recent years Arab medical students are outnumbering Jewish students. Litzman as health minister had protests against him when he refused to allow other hospitals to open a cancer department for children since it would lead to competition that threatened Hadassah hospital.

  10. She is no nut case and I know her and her husband well. My daughter gave birth in an Israeli hospital and it’s a factory and you are treated as a number. Men that have never given birth to a baby shouldn’t be commenting on a woman’s decision on where to give birth.

  11. I just came home this afternoon from having undergone major surgery in Hadassah Mt Scopus. I was treated so well by everyone, from the surgical staff, nurses, secretaries, cleaning staff… a mixture of Jewish & Arab, & very few frum. Yet despite my poor Hebrew they made every effort to accommodate my needs, answer my questions & couldn’t have done any more for me. May they all be blessed, & may He Who heals deliver His rachamim to all cholim.

    a guten Shabbos, & a gutten yom tov.

  12. My neighbor just have a baby in Bikur Cholom hospital in Yerushalayim. Wonderful experience with Jewish nurses & drs. Poor A/C – need better competition & no socialized medicine for better facilities & client satisfaction.

  13. If there are crosses there so it’s assur to enter without a strong need. See the Rambam AZ 10:4 and Shulchan Aruch with nosei keilim YD 151:10 and the Shach 141 sk 6. See the Darkei Teshuva. Did these people ask a shaila? Why not simply use a private midwife or even a private doctor in a normal Jewish hospital and not subject yourself and your new baby to images of Avoda Zara?
    If there are no religious images or symbols so what’s the big deal? There are Arabs everywhere and plenty of them give just as good care as Jews or other non-Jews in chutz la’aretz. That’s not the issue here.