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Maimonides Chaplains and staff are here for you and your loved ones

A hospital stay can be unexpected, anxious, or lonely. Spiritual and emotional well-being is as important to your health and recovery as the medical care you are receiving. We can play a role in all aspects of care, from assessment to treatment and end of life.

Maimonides offers daily religious services, as well as holiday services, in the hospital synagogue, our interdenominational chapel, and a Muslim prayer room

We can help you

As chaplains, we make daily rounds providing comfort, solace, and spiritual guidance during your stay. We respect the spiritual, religious, and cultural beliefs and practices of the diverse communities we serve. Our conversations with you are personal and confidential. We can help if you:

  • Are anticipating surgery or other procedures
  • Are facing the end of life decisions
  • Are struggling with the meaning of your illness
  • Desire to have someone pray with you or bless you
  • Feel that you would like to confide in a “safe” person
  • Have concerns with spiritual issues outside of illness
  • Need assistance with contacting a member of your faith community
  • Need support and comfort
  • Need support when making difficult treatment choices
  • Receive bad news
  • Would like to request a religious ritual specific to your tradition

Spiritual Care services are also available to Maimonides staff – please call ext. 8500

Schedule of weekly religious services

Jewish services (Herman Family Synagogue)

  • Daily Mincha Services: 1:30 p.m.
  • Daily Mincha (winter): 4:30 p.m.
  • Daily Mincha (summer): 6:00 p.m.
  • Daily Maariv: 50 minutes after sunset

Friday night services

  • Mincha / Kabbalat Shabbos at sunset

Sabbath services

  • Shachris: 8:55 a.m.
  • Maariv: 60 minutes after sunset

Catholic services (Saltzman)

  • Weekly Mass: Sunday 2:00 p.m.
  • The holiday of Obligation Mass: 1:00 p.m.

Prayer and meditation locations

Herman Family Synagogue
Main Hospital Lobby
4802 Tenth Avenue

Interfaith Chapel
Administration Building Lobby
4802 Tenth Avenue

Muslim Prayer Room
Administration Building Lobby
4802 Tenth Avenue

Prayer books, sacred texts, and religious items

A variety of religious books and items are available upon request, including Bible, Torah, Koran, rosary beads, and more.

Our Leadership

Our team of trained pastoral care staff is available to support people of all faiths and religious traditions.  If you need to speak with someone in a language other than English, please let us know so we can arrange multilingual support.

Rabbi Benzion Leser, Senior Director Of Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care

Rabbi Benzion Leser is an ordained Orthodox Jewish Rabbi who has dedicated his career to providing rabbinical, spiritual, and pastoral guidance to those in need. Rabbi Leser was ordained by the Rabbinical College of Bobov Bnai Zion and has pursued Clinical Pastoral Education in Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. Rabbi Leser took specialty training in Medical Halacha with Chayem Aruchem and is a certified Halachik decisor. He has been with Maimonides Medical Center since 2007 and serving as director of the Pastoral Care department since 2013. He started his chaplaincy career in 2001, with the New York State Department of Corrections as the Jewish Chaplain in Downstate, Fishkill, and Beacon Correctional Facilities. Rabbi Leser is a member of the hospital’s bioethics committee and serves on the Professional Advisory Committee for CPE at Healthcare Chaplaincy Network.

Rev. Francis Joojo Obu-Mends, Staff Chaplain

Rev Francis Joojo Obu-Mends is a Catholic priest of the Spiritan religious missionary congregation. He is a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) and has been a Certified Professional Healthcare Chaplain since 2013.  He has been part of the Maimonides family since 2012. Originally from Ghana (Africa), Francis brings into our Chaplaincy his enriching academic and pastoral life and work experiences in Africa, Europe, and the United States. He has academic degrees in Philosophy, Theology, Sociology, and Health. Here in the United States, Francis has served in several Catholic parish communities, notably in Blessed Trinity (Breezy Point) and Immaculate Heart of Mary (Brooklyn). He has worked as a healthcare chaplain in LICH, Peninsula (Rockaway), and Brooklyn Hospital.  He pursued Clinical Pastoral Education in Queens Hospital (Jamaica) and since then he has been undertaking continuing education to broaden his clinical pastoral competencies.  He is an interfaith Chaplain. He serves on the Certification Interview Team of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. Francis brings his relational and linguistics skills to bear in his chaplaincy profession. He has an affable, calm, self-giving personality. He is a team player. Apart from English, he is fluent in French, Spanish, German, and several African languages.

Imam Ahmet Muharrem Atlig, Staff Chaplain

Chaplain Ahmet Muharrem Atlig started his career at Imams and Preachers Seminary in Izmir, Turkey in 1984. After being ordained in 1989 as an Imam and Muslim cleric, he attended the Dokuz Eylul University Theology Faculty in Izmir and graduated in 1994. He earned his PhD from the Theology Department at the University of West Coast in London. He served as the Imam of the Turkish Community Mosque (New Packham Mosque) for 5 years in London. In 2015, Chaplain Atlig relocated to the United States, and did his CPE chaplaincy training with HealthCare Chaplaincy. After his completion of level I and level II CPE at the VA Medical Center New York, he became Board Certified in 2019. Chaplain Atlig is a member of The Interfaith Center of New York and the Peace Islands Institute of New York. Chaplain Atlig speaks Turkish, Arabic and English. He is married and a father of three children.

Contact our spiritual care services 24/7 

During your stay, your healthcare provider can contact a chaplain to schedule a visit or please contact us directly.