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Rabbi Michael Latz

Rabbi Michael Latz

Rabbi Michael Latz

Rabbi Michael Latz


Celebrating Light, Love and the Holiday Spirit at Lakeridge Health Oshawa

During this time of light and joy, nothing lights up a room more than Rabbi Michael Latz.

Recognized amongst his peers as an enthusiastic and knowledgeable practitioner, Michael is a friendly and well-respected member of the Spiritual Care team. You might even spot him making new friends or showing off his dance moves in the cafeteria line!

In his role, Michael provides confidential spiritual or religious care, counsel, and support directly to patients and partners in care. This time of year marks a very emotional period for many people staying at or visiting the Hospital.

“The patients we see at Lakeridge Health come from many diverse backgrounds – but so many of our needs as humans are the same,” shares Michael. “Whether it’s a need to understand personal pain and struggles, wanting someone to sit or pray with…sometimes people just need a little joy! I serve patients in many different ways.”

Lakeridge Health is committed to including the religious community in various activities and supporting multi-faith environments to meet patient needs. We engage with over 160 registered Community Faith-Based Representatives (faith leaders) registered with us, including leaders like Rabbi Michael.

“Many cultures have their own festival of lights this time of year and Chanukkah is one of them,” says Michael. “We celebrate and cherish what gives us hope, meaning and love.”

This week marks the second half of Chanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights that takes place over the course of eight days. Typically, families will celebrate with a Chanukkiyah – or Chanukkah Menorah – a nine-branched candleholder. Each night, a candle is lit to symbolize the eight nights of the holiday. The ninth spot is for the Shamash, or helper candle, which is used to light the candles before it.

In 2018 Lakeridge Health Foundation funded the purchase of two Chanukkiyahs for the Whitby and Oshawa Hospitals that illuminate during Chanukkah. While they are larger than life in size, the small gesture has meant a lot to patients and staff like Michael.

“It’s important that we work with the Hospital to provide funds for more than just equipment,” says Yves Gadler, CEO, Lakeridge Health Foundation. “Helping with the purchase of the Chanukkiyahs a few years ago was an exciting time for our team and meant that we could help the Hospital create a representative environment for patients and their families during the holidays.”

While it can be difficult and lonely to spend time at the Hospital over the next few weeks, there is comfort in knowing special people like Michael are in the halls ready and willing to lend a hand, share a story or dive deeper to find joy.

“It’s important for everyone to know that Spiritual Care in Hospital isn’t always about end-of life. My colleagues and I are here every day of the year – even during the holidays – to support patients, regardless of what they celebrate.”

On behalf of Michael and his team: Chag Sameach! And best wishes to all our patients and their families over the next few weeks.