Annual Report 2018

Executive Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting

July 2018

During the past year the introduction of regular newsletters has kept members informed about ongoing events. The four relevant newsletters are included as appendices to this Report.

The students that have been awarded elective scholarships are also listed in an appendix. The Association is fortunate to have received a generous new award from the Edith and Ferdinand Porjes Trust to help support these scholarships

Highlights of the year since the 2017 Annual General Meeting, which was addressed by Prof Parveen Kumar on the topic of “Women in Medicine” (see accompanying minutes), have been:

Presidential Address

Prof Gideon Lack delivered a Presidential address on the topic Prevention of Food Allergies – from London to Tel Aviv”.

Prof Lack outlined his research on peanut allergy, and on strategies to prevent food allergies through oral tolerance induction. The LEAP study showed that early consumption of peanuts in atopic infants reduces the development of peanut allergy by >80%. He is investigating whether oral tolerance induction is long-lasting in the absence of peanut consumption and if early consumption of other food allergens induces tolerance. His findings suggest that allergic sensitisation to food occurs through an impaired skin barrier, and focuses on the mechanisms of cutaneous sensitisation and oral tolerance that are involved in this.

Annual Dinner

Baroness Ruth Deech was the Guest Speaker at the Annual Dinner.

In her talk she said that she had made a contribution to medicine via the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Authority, including the recognition of stem cell research, but that the wider more general role of defending an open and honest society was itself very important for doctors. Freedom of the press was a critical element, and needed to be used effectively. She noted that her late father had devoted much time to speaking and writing about Zionist affairs, and now she found herself in the situation of having to do the same. It was very disturbing that misinformation about Israel in particular is constantly appearing in the public domain and going unchallenged. She regarded combatting this as a major priority which is not as widely recognized as it should be by colleagues.

Organ Donation

An interfaith meeting on the topic of organ donation – whether or not an opt out system should be introduced in England and Wales – was held at the S and P Synagogue, hosted by Rabbi Dweck. Speakers included Prof David Jones [Director of the Anscombe (Catholic) Centre] Prof Gurch Randhawa (Professor of Diversity in Public Health and Director, Institute for Health Research, University of Bedfordshire), and Prof Anthony Warrens (Dean for Education and Professor of Renal and Transplantation Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London, and former chair of the British Transplant Society). Dr Shuji Shafi (former chair, Muslim Council of Britain) also took part.

Visiting Colorectal Surgeons – Ulcerative Colitis

The annual visit by Israeli colorectal surgeons, organized by Prof Alex Deutsch and led by Dr Weil, took place in March. Participants were Dr Betty Abitbul (Barzilai Medical Centre, Ashkelon), Dr Midhat Abu Snieneh (Asaf Harofe Medical Centre, Ramla), Dr Shadi Abu Swis (Soroka Medical Centre, Beersheba), Dr Nimrod Aviran (Beilinson Medical Centre, Petach Tikva), Dr Guy Elad (Meir Medical Centre, Kfar Saba), Dr Khalayieh Harbi (Kaplan Medical Centre, Rehovot), Dr Muhammad Khalifa (Western Galilee Medical Centre, Nahariyah), Dr Guy Pascal (Carmel Medical Centre, Haifa), Dr Jacob Rachmuth (Hadassah-HU Medical Centre, Jerusalem) and Dr Meir Zemel (Sourasky-Ichilov Medical Centre, Tel Aviv).

The theme in 2018 was Ulcerative Colitis. The topic was introduced with an overview of medical aspects from Dr Sara McCartney and surgical aspects from Mr Richard Cohen. Three case studies were presented by the visiting Israeli surgeons for discussion of management.

Henry Cohen Visiting Professor – visit to Israel, May-June 2018

Prof Patrick Maxwell, together with Mrs Maxwell, visited Israel in May-June 2018.

During his visit he was able to visit all five Israeli medical schools, as well as the Weizmann Institute. At Tzfat (Bar-Ilan Medical School) he was welcomed by Dr Essa-Haddad from Population Health, Prof Anthony Luder (Ziv Hospital) and Dr Zvi Segal (Western Galilee Hospital). At the Technion he met with the Dean of Medicine, Prof Marom, and with Prof Marcelle Machlouf; and at Rapaport-Rambam with Prof Karl Skorecki. At Ben Gurion he met with Profs Henkin, Moran, Lewis and Jotkowitz. At the Weizmann he was welcomed by the Vice-President, Prof Neeman and then met with Drs Zalckvar and Shalit. At Sheba Hospital (Tel Aviv University Medical School) he was shown the Childrens’ Hospital by Prof Reichmann. In Jerusalem his first visit was to meet Prof Jonathan Halevy at Shaarei Zedek. This was followed by a tour of Yad Vashem. At Hebrew University – Hadassah he was welcomed by the Dean of the Medical School, Prof Dina Ben Yehuda, and presentations were given by Prof Ora Paltiel (Head of the School of Public Health) and by Dr Harel and Profs Ben Porath, Lorberbaum-Galski, Domb and Geerts. He also met with Prof Keshet, Dr Gross and Prof Altuvia in their research units. On his final day Ambassador Quarrey hosted a breakfast meeting at the UK Embassy, where a group of young Cambridge graduates (Drs Balcombe, Fertleman, Galinsky-Tzoref, Pepys-Vered, Pine and Silverstein) told him about experiences at the interface between British and Israeli science and medicine. Prof Afek, from the Israeli Medical Association, also participated in this meeting, mentioning the importance of international exchange with the UK.

During the remainder of their visit Prof and Mrs Maxwell were able to visit Tel Aviv – Jaffa, swim in the Mediterranean and see different aspects of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Israel Museum.

Medical Student Activities

Medical Student Groups have been active in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham and North West. They have organised a variety of different functions – meet and greet, Channukah drinks and Donuts with a talk by Dr Bomstyk, Shabbat dinner with talks from Dr Myers and from Dr Miriam Fine-Goulden and Dr Ellie Cannon, and regular social events to update on Jewish medical matters. All medical schools are notified annually about Jewish festivals and special arrangements have been arranged for examinations where necessary. All medical schools are also notified about the elective scholarships to Israel.


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