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

 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.


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

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

 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

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

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.

A New Beat For The Heart

Drum-fitness adds a different rhythm to the tired old workout routine.

Special To The Jewish Week

With drumsticks poised over a tremendous lime green ball, I prepare to strike. Along with 18 other women and one man, I’ve ventured to the 92nd Street Y on this icy evening to experience DrumCore, a new class that is meant to exercise body and mind, while also offering a new rhythm in one’s tired workout routine.

The DrumCore workout makes use of drum sticks to bang out a rhythm and keep the heart working.

The Long Run

Blind athlete finishes grueling Israman triathlon;
shifts gears and perceptions.

Special To The Jewish Week

A few hundred of the finest amateur athletes in the world gathered in Eilat last month for the annual Israman triathlon, where they swam in the Red Sea, cycled uphill through desert heat, and then ran for miles along trafficked roads. Among the competitors in this year’s Israman, Israel’s version of the arduous Ironman triathlon competition, was a man who didn’t exercise at all until about seven years ago; a man who can’t see two feet in front of him, or even own feet for that matter.

Richard Bernstein with his running companion Shaked. “I was putting my entire being into someone else’s hands,” Bernstein says.

The ‘Super Gene’ Spotter

Einstein researcher trying to unlock ‘the biology of aging,’
with the help of Ashkenazi centenarians.

Editorial Assistant

Lily Port is in the Galapagos Islands. When she returns, she is going to visit her daughter in Texas, then take a vacation to Florida. A few months ago she took
a trip to Austria and Hungary, traveling on the Danube River between Vienna
and Budapest. Earlier last year, she journeyed to Australia and Singapore.

After decades of traveling, Port doesn’t seem to have slowed down — even though she’s 97.

Dr. Nir Barzilai.

HealthCare February 2011

Matters of the Heart: lessons from a blind Israeli runner, drumming for aerobics, and more

Staff Writer
HealthCare February 2011
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