Click for the latest issue of Heartbeat, the magazine of the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Deep inside Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, a dedicated team of doctors, technicians, and geneticists, armed with an alphabet soup of treatments with names like IVF, PGD and PGS, spend their days helping couples overcome serious fertility issues. Shaare Zedek, which has been providing medical care to Jerusalem since 1902, is on the cutting edge of assisted reproductive technologies, making the miraculous seem almost routine.
Prof. Jonathan Halevy, who stepped down in March 2019 as director-general at Shaare Zedek, explains, “At Shaare Zedek, we have created an infrastructure able to recognize the potential for new medical technologies and find ways to integrate them for the benefit of our patients. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) are prime examples of this approach.”
According to the hospital, Kupot Holim medical organizations in Israel cover the cost of IVF and PGD fertility treatments until the couple has up to two children via these procedures. Other countries are much more restrictive in the amount of IVF treatments that are offered, and costs are much higher – a situation that Halevy says has helped make Israel an innovator in these technologies.
The IVF process involves three stages: ovarian stimulation, which increases the number of eggs; egg retrieval and fertilization using sperm in a lab environment; and embryo transfer into the uterus, which results in pregnancy. Of the hundreds of IVF procedures that are performed each year at Shaare Zedek, 75% are performed for couples who have difficulty conceiving. The remaining 25% of the IVF procedures are associated with PGD.
First developed in 1990, PGD allows doctors to perform genetic profiling of embryos prior to implantation and is used to prevent certain genetic diseases or disorders from being passed on to the child. more >
At midnight on March 1, 2019, Professor Jonathan Halevy stepped down as the hospital’s Director-General and Professor Ofer Merin, previously Deputy Director-General and Director of Trauma Services assumed the hospital’s directorship. He is just the fifth person to hold that job in the Hospital’s more than 117-year history. Professor Halevy, who is widely credited with managing Shaare Zedek’s rise to become one of Israel’s top hospitals, will continue his involvement in numerous management issues including development and fundraising.
During his final week in the position, Professor Halevy visited all of the medical departments and support units and thanked the staff for their dedication and hard work that made the hospital so successful. Professor Halevy also addressed hundreds of current and former hospital employees as well as friends and family at the weekly Clinical Conference. So many members of the staff wanted to attend this session that three additional viewing areas were set up around the hospital. During his presentation, Professor Halevy said that his professional accomplishments were a result of the partnership with Shaare Zedek’s staff. In addition, an exhibition of photos detailing his life and career were on display throughout the hospital. The week concluded with a farewell luncheon in the hospital cafeteria for all staff.
When Professor Halevy assumed the position of Director-General in 1988, Shaare Zedek was considered a small community hospital well-known for its compassion for patients. During his tenure, he oversaw the opening of 26 new medical units. Today, Shaare Zedek offers care across all major medical disciplines and treats over 800,000 cases per year. The inpatient care rate over the last three decades multiplied by 469% while outpatient care went up by a remarkable 2,221%.
Under Prof. Halevy’s leadership, Shaare Zedek more >
With the end of 2018, Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center once again established itself as one of the world’s most active maternity hospitals, recording 22,398 deliveries, the most in the hospital’s more than 117-year old history. This number translated to 22,748 babies: 11,671 boys and 11,077 girls including 327 multiple births.
This feat is reflective of the hospital’s continued growth and translates to an average of 61 deliveries in every 24-hour period — a record for any Israeli hospital and believed to be among the most active anywhere in the Western world.
“Over the past decade, the number of babies born in our hospital has doubled and with it the level of satisfaction that parents attribute to their experience at Shaare Zedek,” says Professor Sorina Grisaru-Granovsky, Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Shaare Zedek. “Mothers come from all the different demographic communities we are blessed to serve and we provide every couple with the chance to experience this critical moment in their lives in a way that works best for them while ensuring the optimal safety and health for mother and child.”
In recent years, Shaare Zedek has opened new maternity facilities including “rooming-in” options, a fourth Mother and Infant Department and a post-partum hotel where mothers benefit from a heightened level of comfort and privacy. “We are proud to offer multiple approaches to pain-reduction including acupuncture as well as traditional approaches provided by our highly trained team of obstetricians and anesthesiologists,” Professor Grisaru-Granovsky says. “And whenever the couple expresses interest in a ‘natural birth’ we also do our utmost to respect those wishes while ensuring the safest experience for all involved.”
Including the Downtown campus, which previously housed Bikur Cholim Hospital, Shaare Zedek operates a total of six Mother more >
When Caleb Maeir became ill, his friend Roni Allswang went to work to try to keep Caleb’s spirits high and make sure he knew he wasn’t alone.
Roni is a student at the University of Maryland-College Park, majoring in Marketing. He connected with the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem when the organization he created, Team Caleb, joined with Shaare Zedek to fundraise for the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon. After Caleb Maeir was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2015 Roni came up with the idea for Team Caleb, but it was Caleb himself who first chose to partner with Shaare Zedek. Caleb’s great uncle, David Maeir, was the Director-General of Shaare Zedek from 1968-1981. Because of this, Caleb wanted Shaare Zedek to benefit from his friends’ support. While Caleb began this journey with Shaare Zedek in September of 2017, he tragically never got to see the outcome. Sadly, Caleb passed away on December 9, 2017, just three months before the Jerusalem Marathon. Under Roni’s leadership, 98 runners joined Team Caleb and raised more than $75,000 for the Pediatric Cancer unit at Shaare Zedek. Thanks to Roni’s incredible efforts and Team Caleb, so many acts of kindness are done every day in Caleb’s memory. With great admiration, we presented Roni with the Caleb Maeir Memorial Award at our 2018 Heart of Jerusalem Dinner.
Meet four young leaders, Talia Askowitz, Ari Baratz, Alexandra Meisels, and Lizzy Schlesinger, whose dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to Shaare Zedek we recognized at our 2018 Heart of Jerusalem Dinner.
Talia Askowitz is from White Plains, NY and co-chaired the 2017 College Bowl-a-thon. She proactively recruited teams for the event and helped encourage optimal participation from the board and teams. Talia’s family has a deep history of involvement with Shaare Zedek which she hopes to continue. She will be graduating from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in June 2020 as a pre-med student, majoring in Economics and minoring in Biology.
Ari Baratz graduated this summer from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business with a major in Finance and minor in Management. In the summer of 2017, his bubby, Sarah Hammerman a”h, passed away. Ari wanted to run a charity event in her memory and decided a basketball tournament would be a great way to have everyone come together in memory of his bubby while raising money for a great cause. Since his grandmother passed away from cancer, the $18,000 that was raised was donated to the new Radiotherapy Oncology Institute under construction at Shaare Zedek. During his year in Israel Ari visited Shaare Zedek and was so amazed to see the care each patient received.
Alexandra Meisels grew up in New Rochelle, NY and is currently a sophomore at New York University School of Nursing where she is studying to become a nurse practitioner. Alex co-chaired the 2018 College Board and Bowl-a-thon and was the captain of the team that was the 3rd highest fundraising team in 2017. Alex developed a strong attachment to Shaare Zedek when she participated in medical clowning at Shaare Zedek more >
Enjoy the DINNER JOURNAL from our 2018 Heart of Jerusalem Dinner in New York City on Nov. 14th honoring Debbie and Howard Jonas, Hermann Kaiser, Talia Askowitz, Alexandra Meisels, Lizzy Schlesinger, Ari Baratz, and Roni Allswang.
Please click here to download the 2018 Dinner Journal
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The 2018 Heart of Jerusalem Dinner was a great success. We thank all who participated. With great pleasure, we honored Shaare Zedek’s longtime friend and supporter, Mr. Hermann Kaiser, with the Lev Tov Award. We were glad Mr. Kaiser could join us, along with his son Herbert, daughter-in-law Judith, and daughter Hinda.
Hermann Kaiser emigrated with his parents and brother from Germany to the United States six months before Pearl Harbor. They settled in Utica, NY, where Hermann received his B.A. in Accounting from Syracuse University followed by an M.A. from Wharton. After a two-year Army draft, he married Hannah Meyer, daughter of Dr. Max and Rosel Meyer, z”l members of the Breuer Kehilla in Washington Heights, NY. They joined the Elizabeth, NJ Jewish community because Hermann was employed as an accountant in nearby Clark by RCA Corp.
Mr. Kaiser became involved with the Shaare Zedek Annual Concert through Hannah a”h, who worked at the time at Manhattan Day School. Her connection to Shaare Zedek dated back to Germany where her father knew Dr. Moshe Wallach, the first Director-General of the Hospital. That support grew as the Kaisers visited Shaare Zedek’s original building on Rechov Jaffo in 1969 and then again in 1972. They were highly impressed when they toured the “new Shaare Zedek” several times, including in 1999 when they dedicated a project in the Oncology Unit and visited the Neonatal Unit in the Wilf Woman and Infant Center. Today, in recognition of decades of consistent and outstanding support, the Kaisers’ names are affixed on the Hospital’s Platinum Founders Wall.
Many organizations have benefitted from the outstretched hand of kindness shown by the Kaisers. In particular, his shul, Bais Yitzchak Chevrah Tehillim, AMIT, Hatzalah of Union County, more >
Debbie and Howard Jonas lead the distinguished honorees at our 2018 Heart of Jerusalem Dinner, on November 14 in New York City. Click to Make Your Reservation.
After 31 years of dedicated service to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Professor Jonathan Halevy announced he will step down from his post as Director-General, effective March 1, 2019. Following an extensive selection process, The Shaare Zedek International Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Professor Ofer Merin as the next Director-General.
Professor Merin was chosen by the Board’s Search Committee for his remarkable professional record as a medical and organizational expert and for his leadership, both here at the hospital and throughout his storied career in the IDF. He is a cardiothoracic surgeon who currently serves as head of trauma services and as Deputy Director-General of Shaare Zedek. Professor Merin is also Col. Merin (res.) and, in that role, he heads the IDF’s mobile field hospital, which the World Health Organization has recognized as the world’s best for its rapid and comprehensive response to natural disasters.
Accepting the position to serve as only the fifth Director-General in Shaare Zedek’s 116-year history, Professor Merin spoke of his vision to continue to promote the hospital as a medical pioneer defined by compassionate care together with financial and managerial excellence.
Professor Halevy delivered an inspiring presentation portraying the unprecedented growth of the Medical Center during his tenure, at the end of which he was profoundly thanked for all his many achievements.
We are happy to announce that Professor Halevy will remain actively involved in the future development of Shaare Zedek. His leadership will continue in his counseling to the Board and the new Director-General, in national and international fundraising, in special projects and throughout the medical activity of the hospital.
We wish Professor Merin much success in his new role and look forward, with your continued partnership, to giving him all the support more >