Annual General Meeting 2013

Annual General Meeting 2013

Executive Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 9th July 2013

Since the last Annual General Meeting, the Association has been involved in a wide range of charitable activities in pursuit of our charitable aims:

All medical schools are notified at the start of the academic year about the elective scholarship scheme, and students actively involved in the affairs of the Association are also very aware of the scheme. Twenty seven elective bursaries were awarded (August 2012 – July 2013) to medical students. Seventeen were for periods of study in Israel, and the other ten ranged from the Orkneys to Guyana, Honduras, Australia, South Africa and the USA. The tradition of presentations by medical students on their return to the UK has been continued, and Joanna Ish Horowicz and Leo Arkush have done so during the year.

Medical schools are also notified by the Association about Jewish festivals in order to avoid timetable clashes, particularly with examinations.

Three Israeli medical students did electives at Newham Hospital (Barts and the London Medical School) in summer 2012. Three students are planning an elective later in 2013.

The medical student groups have held social events in both London and Birmingham, and contact with other campuses has continued, with a new initiative in Nottingham. A joint meeting was held with the Muslim Healthcare Students Network on the subject “Circumcision circumscribed? An interfaith perspective on 2012”. Speakers were Prof David Katz, Dr Asim Yusuf and Mr Adam Wagner.

The Presidential Address was delivered by Dr Fiona Sim and was entitled “Health system reform: is it good for our health?Dr Sim explained that public health physicians and their colleagues have developed useful models to look at outcomes of health service reform. Then she guided the Association through the complexities of the latest changes which would be taking effect in April 2013, and indicated why some of these might be a cause for concern.

An Israeli Medical Association meeting for international physicians was held in December 2012. Prof Michael Baum spoke at the meeting about his recent studies in breast cancer.

Rabbi Prof Avraham Steinberg, the Israeli authority on Jewish medical ethics and originator of the “Steinberg Law” delivered a “Hodgkin Lecture” which was arranged following an initiative by one of the Association’s patrons, Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy, under the auspices of the Montefiore College. The theme of the lecture was “Organ Donation” and Prof Steinberg presented an analysis of how the current Israeli approach, which accepts stringent donor brain stem death criteria, has been analysed both by physicians and rabbinic authorities. Prof Warrens and Prof Katz also spoke. Following this meeting there have been ongoing discussions with the UK Transplant authorities about how a variant to the consent form might be introduced which would be acceptable more widely amongst the Jewish community.

A reception was held for eleven Israeli colorectal surgeons who visited the UK for the training course organized annually by Dr Alex Deutsch. The reception was followed by a discussion led by Prof Taylor and Dr Deutsch about clinical and ethical dilemmas in advanced colorectal cancer management. Speakers were Mr Richard Cohen and Dr Adrian Tookman, and Drs Ilanit Mahler and Amir Dagan presented Israeli cases that posed important ethical problems.

The Annual Dinner took place on 7th May 2013. The speaker was Ambassador Daniel Taub, who is a Patron of the Association. In his address Ambassador Taub noted that he had served briefly as a combat medic in the Israel Defence Forces. He referred to the Israeli Army oath which required medics to treat all injured on the battlefield – from both sides – which was a clear reflection of a higher value which the Army has to respect and implement. Later in his career he had participated in the negotiations for the recognition of Magen David Adom by the International Red Cross.


With regard to legal issues, he discussed how he had had to give advice about aspects of warfare, and in particular about ethical dimensions of what is and is not lawful. He observed that the concept of a United Nations may have been wonderful at the outset but that it has become an organisation which is defined by the ability to remain silent in so many instances. The behaviour of the UN in relationship to Gaza was a striking example of dysfunction.


Reflecting on Israeli medicine today, he said that the Israeli hospital ward is a force for unity, demonstrating how multiple nationalities can live together harmoniously. Despite this, Israel faces challenges not only militarily but also in terms of legitimacy, and today some of these challenges are emanating from universities and hospitals in the UK, which harms relationships. Responses need to be immediate – do not let false accusation go unanswered – but the deeper response is also very important, which has to include the promotion of enduring medical and academic links between the countries.

Prof Michael Arthur currently Vice-Chancellor of Leeds University and President / Provost – elect of University College London, visited Israeli universities, medical schools, research institutes and hospitals as Henry Cohen Visiting Professor in May 2013. This visit was co-funded by the Jewish Medical Association, Hadassah UK and the British Friends of the Hebrew University. He was accompanied by Mrs Arthur (Dr Elizabeth McCaughey, who is a community paediatrician. They started their visit at the Western Galillee Hospital in Nahariya; and then went to the Technion, where he met with the President and with senior adminstrators, saw the facilities for widening access to higher education, and met with researchers. In Jerusalem the following day started at Shaarei Zedek Hospital before meeting with the Research Vice-Dean of the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine and colleagues in Ein Karem. They spent time at the Givat Ram campus, where they were hosted by the Director of the Centre for Brain Research, before returning to visit the Hadassah Hospital. The final day started with a meeting with the President of the Weizmann Institute. followed by discussions with several researchers. After a lunch meeting at Sheba Medical Centre the British Council hosted a seminar with members of the Israeli Council for Higher Education. The visit concluded with a dinner in his honour hosted by the UK Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, where the guests included the Acting Director of Hadassah; Sir Ian Gainsford; the newly elected President of Bar Ilan University and the head of medical education at their medical school; the Director for Global Research at Teva; and representatives of the Israeli Medical Association

Sadly Dr Alan Naftalin, Hon Secretary of the Association for many years, died in December 2012. In the Association’s tribute to him his warm and friendly approach, his unfailing ability to focus on what was really important, and his enthusiasm for education were noted. Despite his serious illness he gave much time, thought and energy to the Association’s affairs, and promoted it as one of his priorities, setting an example to his friends and colleagues. The Naftalin family kindly allowed the Association to hold a special meeting in his memory, and Caroline Marcus (who is a Museum and Gallery Lecturer, a devoted neighbor of the Naftalin family and has hosted the visiting Israeli medical students annually) addressed the meeting on the topic: Rembrandt, the Rabbi and Dr.Tulip: a flavour of Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter in the 17th Century

The Association website continues to be in the capable hands of Dr Simon Woldman. Prof Taylor has relinquished the role of Board of Deputies representative and his place has been taken by Dr Simon Nadel

The activities of the Association would not be possible without the stalwart support and efforts of our Financial Officer, Mrs Helene Gordon, and our Administrator, Mrs Hilary Cane.

Finally several Jewish Medical Association (UK) members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues.   This has once again included countering attempts both to criticise the Association itself and to misrepresent and damage the links between British and Israeli medicine. On a more positive note, these activities have included many productive interfaith discussions and these have been pursued on many occasions during the past year.



Scholarships and Electives – August 2012 to July 2013

  1. From the UK:


Benjamin Artman (UCL)

Dept of Cardiology and Neurology, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Leo Arkush (UCL)

Dept of Paediatrics, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Warren Backman (UCL)

Dept of Cardiology, University of Southern California

Lidia Bartosziewicz (UCL)

Depts of Paediatric Neurology and Neonatology, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Grace Bradley (Cardiff)

Dept of Paediatrics, Wolfson Hospital, Holon, Israel

Brooke Calvert (UCL)

Clinico Esperanza, Roatan, Honduras

Felicity Cartz (UCL)

Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda

Rebecca Chislett (Nottingham)

St John of Jerusalem Ophthalmic Hospital / Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Becky Foxler (Birmingham)

Emergency and Internal Medicine, Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana

Josh Gaon (KCL)

Emergency Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Adi Gordon (KCL)

Dept of Paediatrics, Sheba Medical Centre / Tel Aviv University Medical School

Joanna Kurzer (UCL)

Dept of Anaesthetics, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Hannah Marber (UCL

Rheumatology and Endocrinology Depts, Mater Dei Hospital, Malta

Victoria Ormerod (Oxford)

Refugee Camp Clinic, Tel Aviv / Emergency Department, Eilat, Israel

Alison Rice (Leicester)

Emergency Medicine, Western Galillee Hospital, Nahariyah, Israel

Conor Rice (St George’s)

Emergency Medicine, Western Galillee Hospital, Nahariyah, Israel

Leah Rosenbaum (UCL)

Trauma Medicine, Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

Robin Sands (UCL)

Depts of Anaesthetics and Cardiac Intensive Care, Cedars – Sinai Medical Centre, Los Angeles USA

Max Sayers (Birmingham)

Cardiology Department, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, India

Hannah Shields (Birmingham)

Dept of Trauma Surgery, Beilinson Hospital, Rabin Medical Centre, Petach Tikva, Israel

Aryeh Sopher (Barts and the London)

Dept of Paediatrics, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Daniel Swerdlow (UCL)

Medicine, Balfour Hospital, Orkney

Amy Taylor (UCL)

Dept of Paediatrics, Meyer Childrens Hospital, Rambam Medical Centre, Haifa, Israel

Sebastian Vandermolen (KCL)

Dept of Medicine, Somerset Hospital / University of Cape Town Medical School, South Africa; Tamale Hospital, Tamale

Monika Wasserman (Newcastle)

Intensive Care, Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel

Jonathan Watkins (Warwick)

Dept of Cardiology, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Brooke Zaidman (Birmingham)

Clinical Photography in Oral Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel


  1. From Israel to UK (Newham Hospital):

Itay Aspis (Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University).

Rona Rabinowicz (Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University).

Adi Wasserlauf (Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University).