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

Rambam Hospital Prepares For Worst, Hopes For Best

Haifa medical center building a massive subterranean emergency room in case of war, even as it promotes peace by treating Arabs from outside Israel.
Assistant Managing Editor
02/08/2011 - 19:00

The Rambam Health Care Campus is the largest hospital in northern Israel with 36 departments, 1,000 beds, nine institutes and six laboratories. But there’s more to the 73-year-old institution, founded by the British, than what’s on the surface.

Construction began in October on a massive underground emergency room,

Health Briefs

Staff Writer
02/07/2011 - 19:00

 Clowns Help Fertility Treatment

Getting pregnant is a serious matter, but a little laughter doesn’t hurt, an Israeli study has found.

Tackling Bullying As A Health Issue

Nassau County Girl Scouts brings anti-bullying to synagogues, JCCs.
Staff Writer
02/07/2011 - 19:00

I t happened two years ago, but it is still fresh in the mind of Avigail Borah, 11, of Hewlett, L.I. “A bunch of people — maybe four or five — were yelling at someone I knew during recess,” she recalled. “They were yelling things like, ‘You’re so stupid.’ I told them to stop yelling at her, and then some other people joined me in telling them to stop. They stopped.”

Asked if she had ever been bullied, Avigail said it had happened once when she was in the second or third grade.

Hewlett Girl Scout Troop members who took part in the anti-bullying program. Avigail Borah, right, intervened in a bullying situ

Body, Soul And Midrash

New collection of essays shows how interpretation can be used to find new meaning in the biblical text — and as a resource for healing.
Jewish Week Book Critic
02/07/2011 - 19:00

I n shuls everywhere, of all denominations, the “Mi Sheberach” prayer is said regularly, naming individuals in need of healing. The prayer itself and the way it is said may differ from one community to the next. The late Debbie Friedman, for instance, set the words to music that is widely known and sung. Some people approach the bima with “long lists of names inside their hearts,” while others have handwritten lists in their pockets, Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler, explains in an essay, “A Midrash on the Mi Sheberakh.”

Contributors to “Midrash and Medicine” include physicians, rabbis, social workers, psychologists and philosophers.
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