Special Sections

Trauma Care Expanding As Need Grows

New round of violence puts focus on ways to cope with terror for children and adults.
Israel Correspondent
05/16/2011 - 20:00

Sderot, Israel — Last autumn, Ronith Gil, a kindergarten teacher in Kibbutz Zakim, near the Gaza border, attended five workshops offered by the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) on how to help children cope
with fear and trauma. On Dec. 21, soon after the fifth class, Gil was forced to put her new training to use when a Kassam rocket landed just 15 feet from her kindergarten.

“I was on my way to school when it hit,” Gil recalled. “Despite the loud boom, I was in total denial until I saw a rocket sticking out of the ground.”

In Sderot, where roughly 10,000 rockets from Gaza have landed during the past 10 years, bus stop bomb shelters are common .

The Summer The Rabbi Got Thin

A California congregation does some belt-tightening — with mindful eating, surgery and exercise.
Special To The Jewish Week
05/16/2011 - 20:00

Rabbi Nat Ezray is no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop. Neither are his wife and children, his colleagues, nor his congregation, now that he has undergone life-changing bariatric surgery to help him lose weight and restore his health following several cardiac events.

Having learned the hard way the importance of mindful eating and a healthy, balanced lifestyle, he has made these not only a personal priority, but also a top agenda item at his synagogue.

Since his bariatric surgery, Rabbi Nat Ezray spends at least an hour a day exercising.

The ‘Skinny’ On Eating Disorders

Novel weighs in on the connections between hunger, longing and love.
Jewish Week Book Critic
05/16/2011 - 20:00

Gray Lachmann was one of those women who kept a running tab of how many calories she had consumed so far each day. Always dieting, she would cease all eating when she got to 1,600: No more food until the following day. She’d brush her teeth and silently repeat, “You’re done,” even as she kept thinking about food.

“Skinny” is set in a weight-loss camp. The camps are, Spechler says.

Weighty Matters

With eating disorders on the rise, here’s how parents can help.
Special To The Jewish Week
05/16/2011 - 20:00

 Lenny Kramer had never seen his eldest daughter in such a state. Rebecca’s face was pale, her features drawn, her palms discolored in an orangey hue. Rebecca had left her Long Island home three months before for a year of study in Israel, and during the interim she’d shed so many pounds that friends alerted her father: Rebecca may be bulimic.

“Just as genetics loads the gun” about the predisposition to eating disorders, “environment pulls the trigger,”

Health Briefs

05/16/2011 - 20:00

Gene Mutation
Is Marker For Cancer, Parkinson’s

A gene mutation identified as the most frequent cause of Parkinson’s disease and a major cause of the disease among Ashkenazi Jews also carries a risk of cancer in the Ashkenazi population, researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center have found. According to a report in “Movement Disorders,” carriers of the LRRK2 G2019S mutation were almost three times as likely as non-carriers to develop non-skin cancers.

‘It’s Not Just Tay-Sachs’

Three new screening tests for diseases available as Jewish Genetic Disease Consortium trains more rabbis, reaches out to intermarried.
Editorial Assistant
05/16/2011 - 20:00

When Shira Fisher was just 4 months old, her parents already knew that something was wrong. She had frequent problems with choking and serious “physical developmental delays,” said Brad Fisher, Shira’s father and full-time caretaker.

Brad and Maxine Fisher with son Sam, 8 and daughter Shira, 5, who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Tracking The PCCA Gene In Sephardim

Ben-Gurion University researcher working for cure to atrophy disease found in Jews of Iraqi and Moroccan descent.
Special To The Jewish Week
05/16/2011 - 20:00

 Dr. Ohad Birk, head of the Genetics Institute at Soroka Medical Center and The Morris Kahn Lab of Human Genetics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is a connector. Though he may not technically fit Malcolm Gladwell’s pop-culture definition of the term, he has still played the pivotal role in bringing key people together to solve a difficult genetics puzzle. Through the right collaborations with patients and scientists, he has been able to better understand the causes of and work toward the cure for a devastating disease found among Jews of Iraqi and Moroccan descent.

Dr. Ohad Birk, left, with Bedouin Dr. Khalil Elbedour and Bedouin children. Courtesy of Ben-Gurion University

Healthcare May 2011

The skinny on eating disorders, updates on Jewish genetic diseases, the first Arab woman plastic surgeon in Israel and more.
05/16/2011 - 20:00

Jourdan Urbach, 19

Concert violinist who raises funds for medical research.
Editorial Intern
05/09/2011 - 20:00

When Jourdan Urbach was a little boy, he wanted to be a doctor. He has since settled on being a concert violinist.
Urbach is currently a sophomore at Yale and creator of Children Helping Children, an organization that organizes fundraising events through Concerts for a Cure to support medical research for neurological conditions.

Jourdan Urbach

Emily Gindi, 32

Empowering Jewish women to give.
Editorial Assistant
05/09/2011 - 20:00

For Emily Gindi, Jewish giving is a family affair. Growing up on Long Island, she was constantly hearing about her parents’ dinners, trips and events with the UJA-Federation of New York (her mother is a current board member and her father is a past board member). When Gindi chose an agency to join as part of the UJA-Fed’s Observership Program, she selected the Samuel Field Y, where her aunt had served as an assistant executive director. She is also an active member of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, along with her mother, aunt and two cousins.

Emily Gindi
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