For years it has been conventional wisdom that Ashkenazi women alone have an increased risk for certain forms of breast cancer. But a new study is challenging that claim of genetic researchers.
The study, published in this month's issue of The American Journal of Public Health, found that although three recognized breast cancer mutations are present in 2 to 3 percent of Ashkenazi Jewish women, the mutations are not unique to Ashkenazi Jewish women.
When he arrived at the Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center in Commack three years ago, Stanley Golditch said he could not feed himself and had difficulty walking.
Golditch, 71, of Forest Hills, Queens and diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, said doctors told him he had "an aggressive degenerative condition."
But with the help of positive thinking under the guidance of Karen Nash, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, Golditch adopted a "positive and courageous" mindset that resulted in improvements in his condition.
With evidence suggesting that Ashkenazi Jewish women are five to 10 times more likely than other women to be born with a mutant gene associated with breast cancer, Columbia Universityís College of Physicians and Surgeons is preparing a booklet to help such women decide whether to undergo genetic testing.
"There are legal and social issues that a woman may wish to consider," said Sherry Brandt-Rauf, associate research scholar at the schoolís Center for the Study of Society and Medicine.
Saying there is "a serious problem" in the Orthodox community with "weekend alcoholics," the president of the Orthodox movement's Rabbinical Council of America plans to ask colleagues to consider restricting hard liquor in their synagogues for any and all occasions.
Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere, L.I., an 800-member congregation that instituted its own ban on hard liquor for the first time last weekend, said he planned to issue the call at the groupís annual national convention at the Rye Town Hilton at the end of this month.
Education is in the cards at the Menorah Day School in Smithtown, L.I.: bingo cards, that is.
The school was forced to relocate its 50 students last week after the Suffolk County Department of Health Services said the youngsters, in kindergarten through sixth grade, could not be in a building in which smoking was permitted. Four nights a week the school runs bingo games that allow smoking.
"Bingo supports three-quarters of our budget," said Gittel Bausk, the school board's chair. "We had the most successful bingo in the county."
While most people concerned about potential health risks from fish focus on the mercury levels, researchers in a Tel Aviv University laboratory are seeking to determine the impact of the antibiotics in them.
“Fish farmers want the highest density of fish and that means less of an area for them to swim and an increased likelihood of them developing infections,” explained Arie Nesher, director of the university’s Porter School of Environmental Studies.