Events

Past Events 2016

A reception was held on 29th February 2016 to welcome the Israeli colorectal surgeons who were in the UK from 28th February to 4th March as part of the annual programme organised by Prof Alex Deutsch and supported by the Israel and British Commonwealth Association John Firman Fund.

The 2016 participants were:
Dr Reuven Weil (Group leader; Rabin Medical Centre, Petah Tikva)
Dr Ronen Ghinea (Meir Hospital, School, Kfar Saba)
Dr Haim Gilstein (Rambam Hospital, Haifa )`
Dr Nikolai Gurevich (Rabin Medical Centre, Petah Tikva)
Dr Aner Keinan (Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem)
Dr Anton Kvasha (Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya)
Dr Ahmad Mahamid (Hillel Yaffe Medical Centre, Hadera)
Dr Husam Menzal (Haemek Medical Centre, Afula)
Dr Forat Swaid (Bnai Zion Medical Centre, Haifa)
Dr Itay Zoarets (Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan)

Following the reception, there was a discussion meeting on the topic of “Colorectal Emergencies – Illustrative Clinical Cases from the UK and Israel”. The chair will be taken by Prof Alex Deutsch and Prof Irving Taylor, and the meeting was introduced by Mr Richard Cohen. Presentations were delivered by Dr Laura Gould and Dr Christopher Liao (from University College London Hospital), and by Dr Nikolai Gurevich and Dr Tzvi Zoarets.

During their visit the surgeons were hosted at Kings College Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital and University College London Hospital, visited the Houses of Parliament (hosted by Lord Pollak) and then attended the international Basingstoke M25 Colorectal Surgeons course.

Organised by the Jewish Medical Association UK and BIRAX

The Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership – known as BIRAX – is an initiative of the British Council and British Embassy in Israel, in collaboration with several funding bodies in the UK and in Israel.

BIRAX funds joint research projects between the two countries in the fields of stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies.

The Director of the British Council in Israel commented recently that “Through BIRAX, the best scientists in Britain and Israel are working together to develop therapies and find cures for diseases that affect millions of people. We are proud that in partnership with medical research foundations we are able to support this.”

Professor Chris Mason, co-Chair of the BIRAX Research Call and Professor of Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing, UCL said: “Bringing together world-leading scientists from Israel and the UK will accelerate cures and transformative therapies for a number of serious conditions that impact the lives of millions of patients and their carers.”

The UK-Israel Science Counci co-chaired by Prof Raymond Dwek, Director of the Glycobiology Centre at Oxford University, provides the scientific oversight for the BIRAX programme.

The third BIRAX conference is taking place this year in Oxford on April 11th and 12th in association with OSCI.

As part of its charitable role in informing and educating about Israeli medical approaches and achievements, the Jewish Medical Association (UK) has invited some of the visiting Israeli physician scientists, that will be speaking at the BIRAX Conference, to tell a wider audience about their work, which makes such an important contribution not only to Israeli biomedical innovation but also to strengthening the medical academic links between the two countries.

Tuesday 12th April 2016
Welcome Reception 19:00:
Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, University College London, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT
Presentations and discussion 19:45:
Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT

Confirmed speakers are:

Prof Tamir Ben Hur (Professor of Neurology, Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre), with research interests in the- therapeutic properties of stem cells, and their bilateral interactions with the nervous system in normal and pathologic states, and whose clinical work is in the field of general and neuro-immunology. Prof Ben Hur’s BIRAX project is together with Prof Siddharthan Chandran (University of Edinburgh) and is entitled “Towards regenerative medicine in multiple sclerosis”. They are exploring the therapeutic potential of cell therapy in an experimental model system for the progressive phase of multiple sclerosis. Further details can be accessed here.

Prof Jonathan Leor (Prof of Cardiology, Tel Aviv University – Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Hashomer) whose research interest is in the biology of myocardial infarction and myocardial regeneration, and whose clinical work is in cardiovascular medicine.

Prof Eli Lewis (Director, Clinical Islet Laboratory, Ben Gurion University of the Negev – Faculty of Health Sciences) whose research interest is in islet transplantation and immune diversion, and whose clinical work includes many treatment trials in diabetes.

There is no charge for this event (although donations from non-members of the Association would be welcome!) but in order to facilitate catering and security arrangements please notify info@jewishmedicalassociationuk.org that you will be attending.

This year’s annual meeting of the Myers Brookdale Health Advisory committee (of which I am a member) was arranged helpfully to coincide with the 6th International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy. Amongst the several hundred delegates were a dozen or so from the UK, including some eminent health policy and health services research academics. The US was more generously represented, and we were told by Orly Manor, Chairman of the Board of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research, which sponsors the Conference, in her welcoming address, that in all there were representatives of 43 countries present. Orly told us some of the medical history of the area, including about Sir Moses Montefiore’s physician, no less than one Dr Thomas Hodgkin [1798-1866; as in lymphoma], who is buried in Yafo.

The plenary presentations were mainly excellent, and overall the standard in parallel sessions was every bit as good as other quality international conferences I have attended.

We heard from Israel’s new Director General of the Ministry of Health, Moshe Bar Simon Tov, who summarised Israel’s demography and its democratic system of government. Demographically, Israel’s over 75 population is growing at five thousand per annum. In healthcare, he emphasised the diversity of both workforce and patients, with comments such as the routine care of elderly Holocaust survivors alongside wounded Syrians in the Northern hospitals. He also pointed out that Israel spend 7.5% GDP on health, compared with the OECD average of 8.9%. Israel is clearly pleased to be included in the OECD. Regarding healthcare, Moshe went on to describe the notably short length of stay in Israel, reflective in part at least of good after care, a well known stumbling block for the NHS. He also mentioned data – the largest Israeli Kupat Cholim [Health Plans], Clalit, apparently has the biggest medical database in the world: not only does that offer great opportunities for health research, but maybe it is something to show our NHS leaders, before the next massive speculative investment in Information Technology.

Other plenary speakers included Martin McKee (LSHTM, UK), Patricia Shaw (Herts, UK), Christian Lovis (Switzerland), David Hunter (Durham, UK), Victor Rodwin (NYU, USA) and Peter Smith (ICL, UK). Perhaps the lightest comment was the cautionary lesson about carelessly attributing causation to correlations – Christian Lovis gleefully told us that there is a strong correlation between countries with high chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel Prize winners: did I say he came from Switzerland?!

Between sessions, and even during them, as well as over lunch or coffee, or while peering at ePosters, there were lots of opportunities for networking. The atmosphere was very sociable, English was the common language and there were many new contacts to be made. During a social event at the Israel Museum, for example, I met a Vietnamese dentist who had completed her Public Health Masters at the Hebrew University the previous year and had returned to meet her tutors and other former students at the Conference, as well as to present her dissertation findings at a session. I asked her why she had chosen Israel to study and it seems she just fancied the idea, and her country had sponsored her to do so. Two young men from the US were studying medicine at Tel Aviv – one of the dedicated courses taught in English solely for overseas students, who are expected to leave Israel when they graduate.

The final plenary session took us away from health policy completely. We welcomed Professor Eliezer Rabinovici, a physicist from the Hebrew U, who has been heavily involved for 20 years in an international collaboration, SESAME, building a CERN-like synchrotron in Jordan. He emphasised the nature of the project, which relied on total trust between scientists from all over the world and, in particular, between scientists from several unlikely collaborating countries – including Iran, Jordan, Turkey and Israel. As he reminded us, at its inception, the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak had “taken politics out of science” in order for the collaboration to flourish.

Having attended the 5th International Conference three years ago, I had learned a bit about the dynamic of the meeting and the Israeli attitude to overseas visitors: along with the general good mood and friendliness, there was a widespread assumption that if you were attending the Conference from overseas, unless you had an obviously Jewish name or visible identifier such as a Yarmulke, you would not be Jewish. So, whilst as a tourist I had never recognised this phenomenon, at the Conference it became the norm to bring into conversation that yes, you had visited Israel many times before, that you had relatives living in Netanya {or wherever} and yes, that you were able to read/understand/speak {as applicable} Ivrit – and maybe some Yiddish for good measure. At the 5th Conference, I jokingly explained this experience to an Israeli delegate, whose advice was that I should go and buy a Magen David pendant and wear it prominently around my neck to make life easier for the Israelis!

I am looking forward to the 7th International Jerusalem Conference – hopefully in 2019. Overall, the standard is high and the Conference offers the opportunity to Israel to showcase some of the high quality research being undertaken there, to share the comparative achievements in terms of health outcomes and the inclusion of speakers from diverse communities in Israel, the PA and around the world. I would very much like to encourage expansion of the UK contingent in attendance on that occasion.

Fiona Sim

The 6th Anglo Israeli Cardiovascular Symposium took place on the 7-8th December 2016 in the beautiful setting of the Rimmonim Galei Kinneret Hotel, with a view over Lake Tiberias.

The Symposium displayed some of the very best of British and Israeli cardiology. A variety of wonderful speakers and leaders in their fields provided updates on their latest research and there were important take-home messages for clinical practice. Highlights included the talks given by Prof Ulrich Sigwart (University of Geneva, Switzerland) who spoke about alcohol septal ablation in hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM); Prof Sanjay Sharma (St George’s Hospital, London) who gave an update on the electrocardiographs (ECG) ) of young athletes: and Prof Michael Glikson (Sheba Hospital, Ramat Gan, Israel) who provided important lessons that could be learned from the comprehensive Israeli implantable cardioverter – defibrillator (ICD) registry.

The symposium provided an excellent opportunity for conversation and relationship building between Israeli and British cardiologists. The Israeli participants included both Jewish and non-Jewish doctors – the conference was opened by Dr. Ofer Amir, Director of Cardiology at Poriya Medical Centre, which was the hosting hospital, and in his talk he explained how Muslim, Christian and Jewish doctors in his department work together seamlessly, provide an example of religious co-existence in Israel. He said that there are Palestinian cardiologists in training at Poriya hospital and then transferring their expertise upon their return to their home hospital.

As an FY1 doctor, embarking upon a career in cardiology, I was honoured and delighted to have been invited to attend the conference. I thoroughly enjoyed both the subject matter, and the opportunity for networking with British and Israeli cardiologists alike. I feel that this opportunity will prove beneficial to me when embarking on specialty training in the UK, and will also allow me to consider future potential collaborative projects with contacts in Israel. These symposia, creating and fostering connections between Israeli and British cardiologists, are a wonderful opportunity and I would be delighted to help organise them in the future.

(Dr) Brett Bernstein

FY1, North Middlesex University Hospital

Executive Chair Report July 2018 – June 2019

During the past year the Association has continued to be involved in a range of different activities.

As a reflection of this range, and prompted by student and trainee members, it was agreed that the website needed a revitalising revamp. This new version is now accessible; the Association hopes that members will continue to explore and use it; and to make suggestions about items which might be incorporated into it.

Annual General Meeting

The 2018 Annual General Meeting was addressed by Prof Patrick Maxwell on the topic of “Genes(is)….the key insight to some medical challenges”. He reflected on work done in Israel on genetic aspects of renal disease and described his own studies in this field, which have shown that potentiation of Hypoxia Inducible Factor can be inhibited by hydroxylase enzymes, and thus that this pathway may have important therapeutic possibilities.

Highlights of the year since the last Annual General Meeting have included:

Presidential Address

Prof Liz Lightstone delivered the London Presidential Lecture on the subject of “The Accidental Nephrologist”. She told the Association how her career had evolved, from a chance starting point in kidney disease, via a fellowship which led to an interest in the immune system, and into her present role. She described her current work on kidney disease in pregnancy, and on her important treatment studies which are looking at the relationship between the use of steroids and biologicals for kidney disease.

Insights into healthcare in Israel – the view from 2019

Prof Ora Paltiel (Haematologist / Oncologist and Epidemiologist, Hadassah-Hebrew University, Israel) led a discussion on this theme. Prof Mark Clarfield (Geriatrics, Ben-Gurion University) spoke about “Care of the Aging”. The similarities in attitudes and perspectives towards healthcare between the two countries were summarized by Prof Martin McKee (Medical Director / Professor of European Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

Women in Medicine – an Israeli Perspective

Prof Paltiel spoke to the Association at a meeting (organized together with the UK Medical Women’s Federation) about Women in Medicine – an Israeli Perspective. Her talk was followed by contributions from two Association members, Dr Nicola Rosenfelder and Dr Naomi Katz. The Federation’s Past President, Prof Parveen Kumar, and current President, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, discussed the comparative Israeli and UK status. The event followed on from Prof Kumar’s 2017 meeting with the leading women in Israeli medicine, held at the British Embassy in Ramat Gan.

Annual Dinner

Prof Sir Simon Wessely (Professor of Psychological Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London and Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at King’s College and the Maudsley Hospitals) was the Guest Speaker at the Annual Dinner. In his talk Sir Simon reflected on his experience in sorting out fact from mythology in management of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. He used examples from military medicine to illustrate that interventions may not always be as effective as we think they are. Overall doctors need to have an open mind and to consider the evidence carefully in order retain our credibility.

Medical Student Activities

Twelve elective scholarships have been awarded during the past year. All medical schools are notified about Jewish festivals, and about the elective scholarships available for those wishing to go to Israel.

In London there was a medical student welcome event, a support session to help prepare prospective medical students for interviews, a Friday Night dinner, and a “mock OSCE” session. An Imperial College group organised a meet and greet event for their cohort, and additional OSCE mentoring sessions. In Birmingham there was a welcome drinks event, a Friday Night Dinner, a Purim party and a blood donation drive. The Birmingham Jewish medical student group worked with the local Jsoc and the charity Jnetics to provide a free screening initiative for almost 150 Jewish students in Birmingham. This provided testing for some of the common autosomal recessive diseases that Ashkenazi Jews may carry. The medical students were able to be screening advisors on the day and gained interesting experience about these diseases, and about how to discuss these important medical issues with their fellow students. In Leeds the group arranged a case-based discussion, a quiz, two OSCE practice sessions, and a Saturday night dinner.

Other activities

The Association continues to have a role in public education about Jewish issues that relate to medicine. For example, there have been media requests for comment about Milah, about organ donation and about the measles outbreak. In addition, there is contact with other faith medical groups, including Catholic, Islamic and Sikh. The Association has been invited to be a member of the General Medical Council’s Black and Minority Ethnic Group which looks at issues of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Unfortunately, there is also a continuing need for the Association to support medical students and doctors who are confronted with anti-Israel and / or antisemitic critiques.

 

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” 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.

Executive Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting

 5th July 2017

Annual General Meeting

Prof Sir Robert Lechler (Henry Cohen Visiting Professor, 2016) addressed the Annual General Meeting on the theme of “Sustaining Excellence in Biomedical and Health Research”. A vote of thanks was proposed by Prof Anthony Warrens.

BRCA screening and the Jewish community

There has been much public debate about the role of the BRCA genes in breast cancer, about screening, and about how the Jewish community should respond. To explore these issues a panel discussion was held on this theme. The keynote speaker was Prof Ros Eeles (Insitute of Cancer Research / Royal Marsden Hospital), who is an international authority on oncogenetics. This was followed by a panel discussion introduced by Dr Ian Ellis, in which Dr Mary Burgess, Dr Michelle Ferris, Dr Jo Franks and Dr Ranjit Manchanda took part. A full meeting report will be published on the website shortly.

Presidential Address

The London Presidential Address was delivered by Miss Jo Franks and was entitled “Evolution if not revolution in breast cancer management”. She described her experience, seeing both symptomatic and breast screened patients, and those who come via family history clinics and are high risk. She described the developments in breast conservation surgery using oncoplastic techniques, and illustrated how immediate reconstruction can be done where mastectomy is necessary.

Israeli Workshop: Medical Professionalism in the Practice of Medicine

The Association was asked to suggest British participants for the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research (NIHPR), Dead Sea Workshop, organised by Prof Ora Paltiel on this topic. Prof. Pali Hungin, President of the British Medical Association, and former Dean of Medicine at Durham University was invited to attend by the organisers. He delivered what was described as “a thought provoking session regarding the current crisis faced by the profession, due in part to changing demands and expectations of the public, on the one hand, and the relative conservatism of the profession on the other. He delineated the symptoms of this crisis, including attrition / dropout, burnout and even decreased enrolment in UK medical schools, and suggested some of their causes – including loss of status, time pressure and loss of clinical autonomy. He warned that Medicine as an esteemed profession is threatened because of changes both in societal expectations and rapid technological transformation”. Despite genuine cause for concern, he predicted that as the use of digital technologies to their full potential, and as expertise is refined, medicine will evolve. The paradigm will shift and he foresaw enhanced professionalism, increased professional satisfaction, and improved patient outcomes in the long term. Prof David Katz also spoke at the workshop on the theme of “Professional Regulation”.

Visiting Israeli Colorectal Surgeons

The annual visit by a group of Israeli colorectal surgeons, organised by Prof Alex Deutsch, and supported by the Israel and British Commonwealth Association – John Furman Fund, and the David Yanir Foundation for the Advancement of Colorectal Surgery in Israel, took place in March. The group was led by Dr Reuven Weil (Group leader; Rabin Hospital, Petah Tikva). Participants were Dr Alexander Barenboim (Sourasky Medical Centre, Tel Aviv), Dr Yonatan Demma (Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem); Dr Ofer Eldar (Hasharon Medical Centre, Petach Tikva); Dr Dmitry Fadeev (Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem); Dr Bassel Haj (Bnai-Zion Medical Centre, Haifa); Dr Aviel Meoded (Poria Medical Centre, Poria); Dr Benjamin Raskin (Sheba Medical Centre, Ramat Gan) and Dr Gal Westrich (Sheba Medical Centre, Ramat Gan).

A reception was held for the group at University College London, and this was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Prof Irving Taylor. The topic was Crohn’s Disease and speakers included two junior doctors from the Association (Drs Adam Levine and Sara Renshaw), Prof Stuart Bloom, (who heads the UK inflammatory bowel disease group) and Dr Alex Barenboim from Ichilov-Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv. During their visit the surgeons were hosted at Kings College Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital and University College London Hospital, and attended the international Basingstoke M25 Colorectal Surgeons course.

Medical Students

Seventeen elective bursaries have been awarded to medical students. Five went to Israel, and twelve (including four in health inequality settings) – all active in their local Jewish medical student group – went to other locations (see Appendix 1). The medical student groups have been active in London, Birmingham, Leeds, North – West area, and Nottingham. In London after the initial “meet and greet”, a Friday night dinner was held with talks from Dr Abigail Swerdlow, Prof Laurence Lovat, and Mr David Gilbert.

Two Israeli medical students, Amos Beck and Inbal Gotfrid, from the Bar-Ilan University Medical School, did electives at Imperial College Medical School, and accommodation was again kindly provided by Prof Liz Lightstone.

The Association communicates with all UK medical schools about Jewish Sabbath and festival observance and has responded to several queries about scheduling in this regard. In 2017 representations were made about examination scheduling over Shavuot, and alternative arrangements were made for the affected students.

Annual Dinner

The Annual Dinner took place in April 2017 with Lord Turnberg as guest speaker. He outlined the main features of his recent studies about the Balfour Declaration, which were due to be published shortly. A vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Michael Fertleman.

Immunisation – a Jewish question? Problems and Solutions.

Prompted by concerned paediatricians, the Association organised a panel discussion meeting on 8th May 2017. Dr Tammy Rothenberg provided the key background public health information, Dr Joseph Spitzer summarised some of the difficulties that arise within the community, Dr Jonathan Cohen highlighted complications and Ms Laura Sharpe (from the GP Confederation) outlined the steps being taken to remediate the problem. A visiting physician, Dr Rilwan Raji (who trained at the Hebrew University School of Public Health, sponsored by the Pears Foundation) commented on the similarities with what he faces in promoting immunisation in Northern Nigeria. Summarising the meeting Dr Fiona Sim noted that failure of immunisation is a health inequalities issue which needs social solidarity to resolve. A full report can be accessed from the Association website.

Advisory and Educational Role

Association members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues during the year.

There has been continued public debate about brit milah. Court proceedings about parental consent for neonatal male circumcision have arisen this year involving the Muslim community – notably, within the Jewish community consent is a requirement. Several Association members have advised the Initiation Society about how to formulate their new guidelines for brit milah ,that are consistent with modern medical practice. All neonatal male circumcision under Jewish community auspices (including both the Initiation Society and the Association of Reform and Liberal Mohelim) will be addressed in the Care Quality Commission guidelines that are due to appear shortly. Issues surrounding coroner services and death certification, medical examiners, and the development of minimal invasive autopsy services remain of concern, and a meeting with the new Chief Coroner has been arranged to discuss these. The Law Commission has published new proposals how to resolve interpretation of Deprivation of Liberty under the Mental Capacity Act, which has recently had adverse impact on Jewish families and their practices. Association members have also been provided to take part in discussions about neonatal intensive care, about genetic screening, and new approaches to gene editing.

Association members have continued to play their part in responding to adverse anti – Israel comment relating to “medical issues”, falling within the remit of “supporting the UK’s Jewish medical professionals and informing on Jewish and Israeli medical approaches and achievements”. This has included advice to medical students as to how to address problems in this area which arise on campus, both in academic and in extra-curricular settings.

Henry Cohen Visiting Professor

Prof Kumar visited Israel in June 2017.

This visit was arranged together with the British Friends of the Hebrew University.

On her arrival Prof Kumar attended the Hebrew University Board of Governors reception on Mount Scopus where she met with the outgoing Dean of the Medical School, Prof David Lichtstein.  Her first formal visit was to Prof Jonathan Halevy at Shaarei Zedek Hospital where she heard about Israeli medical services and the “basket of services”, and about health care delivery in Jerusalem. On the Ein Kerem Hebrew University – Hadassah campus, she met first with Profs Orly Manor, Yehuda Neumark and Ora Paltiel from the Braun School of Public Health, who introduced her to some of the international students. She then met with the vice-Dean, Prof Joel Israeli, together with Prof Arie Ben Yehuda and Prof Shlomo Sasson.

The UK Ambassador’s Residence was the venue for a remarkable lunch attended by the leading women in Israeli medicine, including the President of Ben Gurion University (Prof Rivka Carmi), the newly elected Dean of the Hebrew University Medical Faculty (Prof Dina Ben Yehuda), and the Israeli Medical Association Chief Legal Officer (Adv Malke Borow). Further details about this event can be accessed here.

Later she met with Dr Tzaki Ziv-Nir (Sheba Medical Centre) who is about to head the National Rehabilitation Services at the Ministry of Health, and with Prof Shmuel Reis (Hebrew University), who heads the Israeli Medical Education Society, and leads on education about the impact of the Holocaust on medicine.

At the Technion – Rapaport School she met with the new Dean (Prof Shimon Marom) and was taken to visit the Rambam Gastroenterology Department by Dr Matti Waterman. After visiting Western Galilee Hospital (part of the Bar Ilan University Medical School in the Galilee), where she was welcomed by the Director, Dr Massad Barhoum, she met with Dr Mary Rudolf  (from Paediatrics at that Medical School) together with Dr Lilech Maletskey, and then had dinner with UK medical graduates working in Israel.

On her final day she visited Ben Gurion University, meeting with Prof Alan Jotkowitz, Dr Anat Rosenthal, Prof Eli Lewis, Dr Nihaya Dauod and Prof Alex Fisch. She heard about the International School, Ben Gurion work in Africa, initiatives looking at the status of women in Israel, and new developments in Immunology and Gastroenterology.

Prof Kumar was also able to tour Jerusalem, visit Bethlehem and see the exhibitions at Lochamei Hagetaot on Medicine in the Holocaust and on Jews of Holland.

Communication

The Association has reviewed communication with members during the past year and as an outcome has introduced a bimonthly newsletter. The aim of this is to provide easier access to material about meetings and to disseminate information following them, and reports from student elective scholarships, which have not been as readily available in the past.

(Prof) David R Katz
Executive Chair
June 2017

Executive Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 

 4th July 2016

Annual General Meeting

Prof Terence Stephenson (Henry Cohen Visiting Professor, 2015) addressed the Annual General Meeting on the theme of “The General Medical Council as a Patient Safety Organisation”. A vote of thanks was proposed by Prof Lewis Spitz.

 European Jewish Medical Forum

A meeting was organized in late August 2015 to bring together doctors from several European countries and Israel. Dr Zeev Feldman from the Israeli Medical Association, gave an opening address and spoke about concerns about the delegitimisation of Israel in European medicine. There were four talks which addressed current medical issues that are topical and important to the Jewish community in the UK, and are also relevant to Jewish doctors from other parts of Europe, and from Israel. Prof Tim Cox spoke about Tay-Sachs Disease and Gaucher’s Disease; Dr Adam Levine spoke about genetics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Dr Ranjit Manchanda about screening for BRCA genes, and Prof Ian Roberts about post mortem imaging as an alternative to medico-legal autopsy. There were two talks which focused on the controversies about Israel and Israeli medicine that have emerged in Europe over the past few years. Adv Leah Wapner outlined the Israeli Medical Association’s role in International Medicine; and Prof David Stone addressed the subject: Has Israel damaged Palestinian health?  Two speakers focussed on the medical challenges that doctors in Israel have had to meet in recent years: Dr Tzaki Siev-Nir about transferring from a Civilian Rehabilitation Department to a department which handles war injuries and Prof Anthony Luder spoke about the treatment of patients from Syria. Two panel discussions were chaired by Dr Lawrence Buckman on the themes of the current status of Brit Milah in Europe, and combatting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic prejudice in medicine. Throughout the Forum there was considerable discussion about how to take forward some of the important topics raised; about how better to educate and inform Jewish physicians; and about how to encourage them to participate in joint initiatives of mutual interest.

Presidential Address

 The London Presidential Address was delivered by Dr Adrian Tookman and was entitled “Living and Dying in ‘uncertain times’”. He described his pioneering work in the field of palliative care, and how this had developed to encompass not only supportive care but also new ideas about the pharmacology and neuroscience of pain, and about patient perceptions and choice.

End of Life Issues – Jewish and Israeli Perceptions and Perspectives

 Rabbi Prof Avraham Steinberg, who is known for his work on the “Steimberg law” about end of life and organ donation in Israel, addressed meetings in London and Manchester on this topic.

 Visiting Israeli Colorectal Surgeons

Ten Israeli Colorectal Surgeons visited London as part of the annual programme organised by Prof Alex Deutsch and supported by the Israel and British Commonwealth Association John Firman Fund. The group was led by Dr Reuven Weil (Group leader; Rabin Hospital, Petah Tikva); and included Dr Ronen Ghinea (Meir Hospital, Kfar Saba); Dr Haim Gilstein (Rambam Hospital, Haifa ); Dr Nikolai Gurevich (Rabin Hospital,  Petah Tikva); Dr Aner Keinan (Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem); Dr Anton Kvasha (Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya); Dr Ahmad Mahamid (Hillel Yaffe, Hadera); Dr Husam Menzal (Haemek Hospital, Afula), Dr Forat Swaid (Bnai Zion Hospital, Haifa), and Dr Itay Zoarets (Sheba Hospital, Ramat Gan). A reception was held in honour of the visitors, followed by a discussion meeting on the topic of “Colorectal Emergencies – Illustrative Clinical Cases from the UK and Israel”, introduced by Mr Richard Cohen. Presentations were delivered by Dr Laura Gould and Dr Christopher Liao (from University College London Hospital), and by Dr Nikolai Gurevich and Dr Tzvi Zoarets. During their visit the surgeons were hosted at Kings College Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital and University College London Hospital, visited the Houses of Parliament (hosted by Lord Pollak) and attended the international Basingstoke M25 Colorectal Surgeons course.

Medical Students

Eighteen elective bursaries have been awarded to medical students. Nine went to Israel, and nine – all active in their local Jewish medical student group – went to other locations. The medical student groups have been active in London and Birmingham, Leeds, and Nottingham. In Nottingham meals were organised on festivals for those who were unable to go home because of placements, and social fund raising events were held for children’s charities. In Birmingham after the initial “meet and greet”, the chaplain Rabbi Fishel Cohen hosted a Channukah party and a Friday night dinner for local Jewish doctors as well as medical students. There have been regular events under the ‘Mingle Mondays’ initiative including (bowling and a pub quiz) and Prof Michael Weingarten (from Bar Ilan Medical School, on sabbatical at Oxford University, gave an ethics session on treating a jihadist hunger striker in Israel. Multidisciplinary involvement was considerable at these events, including students from biomedical scientists and other healthcare professionals. In London after the initial “meet and greet”, a Friday night dinner was held with talks from Dr Guy Stern, Prof Katz, Lord Winston and Dr Schreiber. Prof Eli Lewis (Ben-Gurion University) spoke to the group about the use of alpha 1-antitrypsin in treatment of diabetes. Two Israeli medical students from the Bar-Ilan University Medical School did electives at Imperial College Medical School, and accommodation was again kindly provided by Prof Liz Lightstone. The Association communicates with all UK medical schools about Jewish Sabbath observance and festivals, and has responded to queries about scheduling in this regard.

Advisory and Educational Role

Association members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues during the year. Issues of concern have been the continued public debate about brit milah; issues surrounding coroner services and death certification; development of minimal invasive autopsy services. Again court rulings – about parental consent for neonatal male circumcision for religious reasons, and about the interpretation of deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act – have had impact on Jewish families and their practices. Several members of the Association have advised the Initiation Society about how to formulate guidelines for brit milah that are consistent with modern medical practice. Association members have continued to play their part in responding to adverse anti – Israel comment relating to “medical issues”, falling within the remit of “supporting the UK’s Jewish medical professionals and informing on Jewish and Israeli medical approaches and achievements”.

Annual Dinner

The Annual Dinner took place in April 2016 with Lord Finkelstein as guest speaker. He told a large gathering about his perspective on the relationship between his roles in politics and journalism. A vote of thanks was proposed by Prof Simon Woldman.

BIRAX – Contributions by Physician – Scientists to Israeli Biomedical Innovation 

The Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership – known as BIRAX – is an initiative of the British Council and British Embassy in Israel, in collaboration with several funding bodies in the UK and in Israel. The third BIRAX conference took place in Oxford in April 2016 and the Association hosted three of the Israeli physician scientists who attended that meeting to talk about their contribution not only to Israeli biomedical innovation but also to strengthening the medical links between the two countries. Prof Tamir Ben Hur (Professor of Neurology, Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre), spoke about how stem cells can interact with the nervous system in normal and pathologic states; Prof Jonathan Leor (Tel Aviv University – Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Hashomer) spoke about studies on scaffolds used to support cardiac muscle regeneration, and Prof Eli Lewis  (Ben Gurion University Faculty of Health Sciences) spoke about the use of alpha 1 antitrypsin in type 1 diabetes. 

Thomas Hodgkin

Thomas Hodgkin (1798-1866), the distinguished 18th century British Quaker physician from Guy’s Hospital, accompanied Sir Moses Montefiore on several of his travels, died during one of these journeys in Jaffa and was buried there. His grave had fallen into disrepair, and a group of Israeli physicians (led by Prof Yehudah Roth from Wolfson Hospital) took on the task of restoring it. The Association was asked to pass on this information in the UK, and messages were arranged to be delivered at the opening ceremony from the Quakers, and from Prof Byrne (Principal of Kings College London) and Prof Sir Robert Lechler (Vice-Principal, Health Sciences, King’s College London, and Medical School Dean).

Henry Cohen Visiting Professor

Prof Sir Robert Lechler (President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and visited Israel in June 2016, together his wife, Prof Giovanna Lombardi. This visit was arranged together with the British Friends of the Hebrew University. He met Dr Shoshana Revel – Vilk (Turnberg Fellow) and was hosted by Prof Nili Cohen (President of the Israeli Academy of Arts and Humanities). In Jerusalem on the Ein Kerem Hebrew University – Hadassah campus, the Dean, Prof Lichtstein, and vice-Dean, Prof Joel Israeli welcomed him and Profs Baniash (Immunology), Dor (Cancer Research), Chinitz and Paltiel (School of Public Health) discussed their work with him. At the library he was presented with a newly published book on Isaac Israeli, which had been edited by Prof Kenneth Collins, to which Prof Anthony Warrens has contributed. He met with Prof Halevy at Shaarei Zedek Hospital and heard about Israeli medical services. At the Weizmann Institute he met the President, Prof Zajfman, and discussed their work with Profs Yarden (Biological Cell Regulation) and Samuels (Molecular Cell Biology). At Ben Gurion University he met with the President, Prof Carmi, and then heard about the Medical School and its philosophy from Profs Glick and Henkin, while Prof Lombardi met with Prof Lewis (Immunology). At the Technion he met with the President, Peretz Lavie and was shown round the main campus. At Sheba Hospital Medical Centre (Tel Aviv University Medical School) he met the Dean (Prof Ehud Grossman) and was shown round the pathology laboratories, incorporating molecular pathology, by Prof Barschak. A reception in his honour was hosted by the British Ambassador at the Residency, at which senior members of Israeli Renal Medicine, Transplantation and Immunology communities, the Israeli Medical Association, and the Bar Ilan University Medical School in the Galilee were present.

(Prof) David R Katz

Executive Chair

 June 2016

Executive Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting – 25th June 2016

Annual General Meeting

Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz (Henry Cohen Visiting Professor, 2014) addressed the Annual General Meeting on the theme of “The University, Health Care and Industry Interface: lessons learned from Israel, the UK and Europe”.

Care of the Child – Practical Jewish Medical Ethics 

A one day meeting was held at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue on the theme: “Care of the Child”. Panel discussions included: “The child is more than a small adult” (Rabbi Joseph Dweck and Dr Paul de Keyser); “End of life issues” (Prof Alan Jotkowitz, Prof John Wyatt and Rabbi Wilson); “Genetics” (Dr Ian Ellis, Dayan Binstock, Rabbi Birnbaum and Prof Jotkowitz); “Brit Milah” (Prof Shimon Glick, Prof Katz and Dr Spitzer); and “Child protection” (chaired by Dr Michael Coren, with Dr Anthony Cohn, Dr Caroline Fertleman, Dr Caroline Lindsey, Prof Glick and Dayan Gelley). Prof Kottek (Hebrew University paediatrician and medical historian) spoke about the way that the embryo is discussed in the Talmud. 

Presidential Address

Dr Laurence Buckman delivered the Presidential address entitled “Ordinary Jewish doctor, extraordinary job”, outlining the training he had received on the way to becoming the Chairman of the UK¹s GPs.  He noted the similarities between consultation skills known to all doctors, and negotiation between the Profession and government, and provided insight into “how things happened” in the semi-secret world of politics, and into the Health Secretaries he had met or dealt with while at the helm of General Practice.  He concluded by looking at the role of a Jew in that position and what could be done to minimise anti-Semitism in medicine. 

Medical Students

Eleven elective bursaries have been awarded to medical students. Six went to Israel, and five – all active in their local Jewish medical student group – went to other locations. The medical student groups have been active in London and Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Nottingham. In addition to social events and lectures on medical themes, the London group have also promoted interfaith dialogue and organised a trial student OSCE.

Advisory and Educational Role

Association members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues during the year. Issues of concern have been the continued public debate about brit milah, issues surrounding coroner services and death certification; development of minimal invasive autopsy services; and about genetic screening. Two court rulings – about female genital mutilation, where neonatal male circumcision for religious reasons was clearly designated as within the law, and about deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act, which has implications for coroner referrals – have had to be analysed and explored with regard to  their impact on Jewish families and their practices. Advice from the Association about these matters has also been sought both by European doctors and by several European Jewish organisations.

The other area where Association members have had to play a particularly active role during the year under review has been in responding to adverse anti – Israel comment relating  to “medical issues”, which arose during the hostilities in Gaza during July and August 2014. This remains a matter of ongoing concern, which clearly falls within the remit of “supporting the UK’s Jewish medical professionals and informing on Jewish and Israeli medical approaches and achievements”. Much time and effort has had to be devoted to this. Several members have been involved with this; in particular the role of Prof David Stone and Prof Sir Mark Pepys has been outstanding.

Annual Dinner

The Annual Dinner took place in March 2015 with Prof A Mark Clarfield as guest speaker. He told a large gathering about how his experiences in Canada had led to his major role in provision of geriatric care in Israel.

Henry Cohen Visiting Professor

Prof Terence Stephenson visited Israel in June 2015. This visit was arranged together with the British Friends of the Hebrew University. He started his visit on the Ein Kerem campus, where the Dean, Prof Lichtstein hosted sessions with educationalists and researchers; he met with Prof Halevy at Shaarei Zedek Hospital and heard about Israeli medical services; and he met with the President, Prof Ben Sasson on Mount Scopus. Following these Jerusalem based meetings he was hosted by Prof Zajfman (Weizmann Institute), Prof Amos Katz and Dr Manuel Katz (Ben Gurion University Medical School / Rahat Community Paediatrics), Prof Gad Rennert (National Cancer Survey), Prof Peretz Lavie and Prof Shalev (Technion / Rappaport Medical School), Dr Shavit Itai (Rambam Hospital), Dr Barhoum (Western Galilee Hospital / Bar Ilan Medical School), Prof Grossman (Tel Aviv University Medical School) and Dr Amitai Ziv. He met with the head of the Israel Medical Association Scientific Committee, Prof Shapiro, and the head of their legal section, Adv Borow. A reception in his honour was hosted by the Deputy British Ambassador at the Residency. In addition, visits were arranged to Yad Vashem, Herodion and Acre.

(Prof ) David R Katz

June 2015

Executive Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 16th July 2014

Since the last Annual General Meeting, the Association has been involved in a wide range of 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. Fourteen elective bursaries were awarded (August 2013 – July 2014) to medical students. The tradition of presentations by medical students on their return to the UK has been continued, and Daniel Swerdlow has 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. Two Israeli medical students are planning an elective later in 2013. The local medical student groups have been active in London, BirminghamLeeds and Nottingham. Several Association members have participated in the JUMP-ORT scheme to provide mentoring for Jewish sixth formers interested in medical careers.

The Presidential Address was delivered by Prof Daniel Hochauser and was entitled “Jews and Cancer”. Prof Hochhauser provided an erudite and accessible exposition of how cancer research has advanced towards the development of drugs that target key molecules implicated in tumour growth. At the same time he reflected on the important contribution that Jews had made to these developments, and on the significance of the genetic inheritance of Jews, with implications not only for cancer incidence but also for therapy.

Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid spoke to the Association about his achievements in negotiating the admission of Magen David Adom to the International Red Cross, as an example of a positive co-operative initiative, despite much criticism and risk. Similarly he helped found, promote and develop the Masters course in Emergency Medicine at Ben Gurion University. He described the present Jordanian crisis – lacking the resources of other Middle Eastern countries, but confronted with a complex humanitarian crisis. The open border with Syria has resulted in an influx of ~600,000 refugees. These join a similar number of Syrians already living in Jordan, large cohorts of Palestinians and Egyptians, and migrant workers – today there are 6 million Jordanians and most probably a very similar number of refugees in the country. This situation creates cultural, educational, health and security problems, and he and his colleagues are working to tackle them.

Nine Israeli colorectal surgeons visited the UK on the annual programme organised by Prof Alex Deutsch and supported by the Israel and British Commonwealth Association John Firman Fund. The surgeons are guests of Mr Richard Cohen (University College London Hospital), Mr Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (Kings College Hospital) and Mr Andrew Williams (St Thomas’s Hospital), and will be attend a course at Basingstoke Hospital. After the reception Prof Irving Taylor led a discussion of clinical cases from Israel and from UCLH which demonstrated different aspects of the investigation and management of patients presenting  with large bowel obstruction and massive large bowel haemorrhage

The Annual Dinner was held on 1st April 2014 and was attended by almost 200 doctors and medical students. The guest speaker was Professor Sir Michael Stratton FRS who is Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. In his talk Prof Stratton reflected on the three last three decades of genetic research: from 1990-2000 was the period of the Human Genome Project; from 2001-10 was the period when disease association linkages were identified; and since 2011 we have entered the period when costs of genome sequencing are falling to such an extent that personal sequences are becoming more easily available, which poses interesting ethical problems, but also offers opportunities for more focussed treatment options. The vote of thanks to Prof Stratton was proposed by Dr Jo Franks, the toast to the Association was proposed by Dr Nicola RosenfelderDr Michael Denman spoke about the UK – Rambam Hospital Loewi meeting which took place in March 2014  and Dr Mervyn Jaswon spoke about his experiences teaching paediatrics at the new Bar-Ilan Medical School based in Tzfat.

Prof David Salisbury, who was previously Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health, and responsible for the national immunisation programme; and who now works on the WHO Global Programme for Vaccines spoke to a meeting on the theme of “An Immunisation Update”, describing how the influenza immunisation programme has evolved and touching on some of the other immunisation campaigns that have succeeded.

Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, visited Israeli universities, medical schools, research institutes and hospitals as Henry Cohen Visiting Professor in June 2014. This visit was co-funded by the Jewish Medical Association, Hadassah UK and the British Friends of the Hebrew University. He was accompanied by Lady Borysiewicz (Dr Gwenllian Borysiewicz), who is a general practitioner). They started their visit in Jerusalem with a tour of the Old City and a reception for the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University where they met with the Univeristy President, Prof Ben Sasson. The following morning Prof Jonathan Halevy hosted them at Shaarei Zedek Hospital and explained to them how the Israeli healthcare system is run. Their next visit was to the Hebrew University – Hadasah Ein Karem campus where the Dean of the Medical School, Prof Lichtstein, had arranged for them to meet senior staff, and to hear about research topics from some of the younger faculty. Prof Naparstek, who is in charge of academic activities at Hadassah, spoke to them about clinical research. The following day started with a visit to the Weizmann Institute where they were met by the Director, Prof Zajfman, and heard about recent research advances in biomedicine. This was followed by a visit to Ben Gurion University where the Rector, Prof Zvi Hacohen, told them about the University before hearing research presentations introduced by Prof Shoshan – Barmatz. On Tuesday the first visit was the Technion where they met with the President, Prof Lavie and colleagues, and this was followed by a tour of the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya and a meeting with the Director, Dr Barhoum. En route back to Tel Aviv there was time for a brief visit to Caesarea (to see the antiquities) before going to a dinner in their honour hosted by the UK Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould. The newly appointed Director – General of the Ministry of Health, Prof Afek; the head of the Israeli Medical Association, Dr Eidelman; and Prof Shimon Glick were amongst those present. The final visit was to Tel Aviv University where they met with Prof Aron Shai, and with Prof Menachem Fisch, who has a linked porgramme with Cambrdige.  and the head of the Ambassador Gould also hosted a lunch the following day- amongst those present were Prof Avi Ysiraeli (Chief Scientist, Ministry of Health); Rabbi Prof Hershkowitz (President of Bar Ilan University); Prof Lapidot (on behalf of the Israeli Academy of Sciences); and Prof Yuval Dor from the Hebrew University, who has a joint Birax project with Prof Cooke in Cambridge.

The Association website continues to be handled by Dr Simon Woldman. Dr Simon Nadel represents the Association at the Board of Deputies.

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.

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 included the preparation of material outlining the issues of health and social care relevant to the Jewish community which should be raised with Parliamentary candidates. Unfortunately there has been a recent recrudescence of criticism of the Association itself, and of the links between British and Israeli medicine. In contrast, however, there have been many productive interfaith discussions, and there are plans for these to be extended during 2014-5.

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

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

 

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).

Executive Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 10th July 2012

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

Dr David Chinitz (Braun School of Public Health at the Hebrew University) spoke to the Association about how health care is organized and funded in Israel and compared this to the way that the NHS is structured and supported.

All medical schools are notified at the start of the academic year about the scholarship scheme, and students actively involved in the affairs of the Association are also very aware of the scheme. Thirteen elective bursaries were awarded (August 2011 – July 2012) to medical students for electives, many of which were for periods of study in Israel, but also including placements in Fiji, Vanuatu, South Africa, Australia and the USA. The tradition of presentations by medical students on their return to the UK has been continued, and Meardad Amirian, Aaron Hughes, Naomi Kaplan and Naomi Tomlinson have all 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.

Four Israeli medical students did electives at Newham Hospital (Barts and the London Medical School) in summer 2011, and an additional student came to the UK in April. One of the student members of the Association, Adam Levine, arranged for two Israelis to attend the European MBPhD conference at UCL. Three students will be based at Newham in summer 2012.

The medical student groups have held many social events in both London and Birmingham, and contact has been established with other campuses (Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Nottingham).

Prof Anthony Warrens delivered the Presidential Address entitled “Mind the Gap”. Prof Warrens traced the history of organ donation and told the Association about the disparity between the number of potential recipients on the transplant lists and the number of donors available. He illustrated his talk with case studies, some of which posed serious ethical issues.

The 100th anniversary of the founding of the Israeli Medical Association took place at the headquarters of the European Parliament in November. An exhibition highlighting aspects of the Association’s activities attracted considerable interest, and included the Jews and Medicine posters from Dr Simon Cohen. Prof Katz spoke on the theme of “why there is a need for Jewish doctors’ groups in Europe in 2012”.

At a London conference on Medical Halacha organized by Drs Landau and Opat three members of the Association made significant contributions. Prof Warrens spoke about ethical aspects of organ donation; Prof Hochhauser spoke about end of life issues confronted by Jewish physicians; and Prof Katz about how the Jewish community plays a role in developing public policy about health issues.

Rabbi Prof Avraham Steinberg, the Israeli authority on Jewish medical ethics and originator of the “Steinberg Law” about end of life issues, spoke at this conference; met with the heads of the Ethics Committees of the British Medical Association and the General Medical Council, together with prominent members of other faith communities that are active in this field; and addressed a meeting of the Association about

A reception was held for eleven Israeli colorectal surgeons who visited the UK for a training course. The reception was followed by a discussion about medical professionalism in the two countries led by Dr Alex Deutsch (who had again initiated and organized the visit) and Prof Irving Taylor.

The Annual Dinner took place on 16th May 2012. The guest speaker was Prof Sir Mark Pepys, Director, Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit, and Emeritus Professor of Medicine Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins, Division of Medicine, Royal Free Campus, University College London. Sir Mark outlined how his career had developed as an illustrative example of the opportunities open to physicians in the UK.

Prof Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, (and subsequently appointed as Chief Scientific Officer to the UK Government) visited Israel in May 2012. During his visit Sir Mark saw the new Medical School facility in Safed, met with the Director of the National Cancer Centre, and visited the Technion and Rapaport School of Medicine in Haifa. In Jerusalem he met with the Brookdale Institute, and then visited the Hadassah and Hebrew University campus in Ein Karem, where several researchers gave presentations. A dinner in his honour was hosted by the Hebrew University. He visited Shaarei Zedek Hospital where he was shown the facility by the Director, and later was taken round the Weizmann Institute by the President of the Institute. After visiting Ben Gurion University he met with the Israeli Medical Association to discuss questions about postgraduate medical education, and the final event was a dinner hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Health Chief Scientist, Prof Israeli, attended by the President of the Israeli Academy of Sciences, Prof Ruth Arnon.

Prof Mary Rudolf (Centre for Public Health, Medical Faculty in the Galil, Bar Ilan University) spoke to the Association about her “Dreams and hopes for the Galil”, explaining how the intention is that the medical school will address inequities in health care in an underserved community, bring economic development to a disadvantaged region and provide cutting-edge training and education for a new generation of caring young doctors.

The Association website continues to be in the capable hands of Dr Simon Woldman.

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.   Unfortunately 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 2011 to July 2012

From the UK:

Alexander Beadel (KCL)

Dept of Cardiology, Hadassah / Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

Samuel Borin (Barts and the London)

Dept of Ophthalmology, HaEmek Hospital, Afula, Israel

Naomi Bratt (KCL)

Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medicine, Tamale Regional Hospital and Shekhinah Clinic, Ghana

Raphael Cooper (UCL)

Medicine: Diabetes, Fiji

Daniel Daud (Newcastle)

Dept of Infectious Diseases and Medicine, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Aaron Hughes (UCL)

Diabetes, Northern District Hospital, Vanuatu

Naomi Kaplan (UCL)

Orthopaedics: Stone Clinic San Francisco USA; Radiology: Singing River Group, Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA

David Kelly (Trinity College Dublin)

Nephrology and Cardiology Depts, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Emma Pack (UCL)

Anaesthetics Dept., Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sidney, Australia

Adam Sher

Medicine: HIV, Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Samuel Smith (Trinity College Dublin)

Dept of Cardiology, Sheba Medical Centre / Tel Aviv University Medical School, Israel

Demetris Tsiakkis (Birmingham)

Dept of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Sheba Medical Centre / Tel Aviv University Medical School, Israel

Charlotte Ziff (Southampton)

Dept of Cardiovascular Surgery, Sheba Medical Centre / Tel Aviv University Medical School, Israel

From Israel to UK (Newham Hospital):

Adi Goldstein (Ben Gurion University Medical School)
Katya Mail (Tel Aviv University Medical School)
Adi Silverman (Tel Aviv University Medical School)
Ofir Vinograd (Ben Gurion University Medical School)
Barak Ritan (Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem)

Executive Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 13th July 2011

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

Prof David Isenberg, in a Presidential address, told the Association about the history of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, about clinic-pathological correlates in this disease, and about emerging translational advances in the field. He illustrated his talk with case studies, some of which posed serious ethical issues.

All medical schools are notified at the start of the academic year about the scholarship scheme, and students actively involved in the affairs of the Association are also very aware of the scheme. Nine elective bursaries were awarded (August 2010 – July 2011) to medical students for electives, many of which were for periods of study in Israel, but also including placements in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Australia.

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

Four Israeli medical students did electives at Newham Hospital (Barts and the London Medical School) in summer 2010, and four Israeli medical students will be taking part in this scheme in summer 2011.

The medical student groups have held many social events in both London and Birmingham, and ran a second successful winter ski vacation.

Dr Ilan Bank, from Tel Aviv, delivered the second Sam Cohen Memorial Lecture. Dr Bank told the Association about his memories of the late Prof Cohen, and then described his work in Immunology, where he has been involved in the identification of a subgroup of lymphocytes that are now in clinical trials in anti-cancer therapy.

Several members took part in the Medical Ethics and Jewish Law meeting in Copenhagen, where the exhibition on the theme “Jews in Medicine”, compiled by Dr Simon Cohen, was on display.

Mr Norman Lebrecht, author of a recent new interpretation of the life and work of Gustav Mahler, spoke to the Association about Mahler’s medical history. He used excerpts from music to demonstrate how medicine and illness had been an important influence on the composer.

Sixteen Israeli colorectal surgeons visited the UK for a training course, and took part in a discussion about surgical training in the two countries. This was chaired by Prof Irving Taylor and Drs Alex Deutsch (who initiates and organizes these visits from Israel) and Mark Ornstein took part.

A panel discussion on the theme of Invention and Innovation in Israeli Biomedicine was chaired by Prof Daniel Hochhauser. The talks all covered areas of translational medicine. Speakers were Prof Barenholz (Hebrew University),  Prof Cohen (Ben Gurion University), Prof Revel (formerly of the Weizmann Institute).

The Annual Dinner took place on 23rd March 2011. The guest speaker was Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the International Institute for Society and Health and MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. Sir Michael gave an entertaining and thoughtful talk, explaining how his identity as a Jewish physician interdigitated with his interest in health inequalities, and how these should be tackled as a priority by the medical profession.

Prof Sir Michael Rawlins, Henry Cohen Visiting Professor for 2011, founding Chairman of the National Institute for (Health and) Clinical Excellence (NICE), and Honorary Professor,  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, visited Israel in May 2011. In Jerusalem he visited Hadassah / Hebrew University where he was welcomed by Prof Leon Epstein, and gave a seminar at the Braun School of Public Health, chaired by Prof Orly Manor. He also met with Prof Jonathan Halevy and colleagues at Shaarei Zedek Hospital. Later he was hosted at a dinner by Dr Gamzu, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health, where the Chief Scientist, Prof Avi Yisraeli was also present. While in Jerusalem Prof Rawlins also had an opportunity to see historical and cultural sites and visit Yad Vashem.

The following day Sir Michael started with a visit to Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariyah to meet the director, Dr Masad Barhoum. In Haifa he visited the Rapaport School of Medicine and Rambam Hospital, and then the main Technion campus to see the Bioengineering Unit and meet with Prof Lavie. The UK Ambassador to Israel, Mr Matthew Gould, hosted a dinner for leading members of medical academics and hospital director, including Prof Ruth Arnon of the Weizmann Institute, President of the Israeli Academy of Sciences. In addition the Ambassador hosted a breakfast for Sir Michael to meet with leading representatives of the Israeli medical equipment and biotechnology industries. His final visit was to the rehabilitation and clinical skills centres at Sheba Medical Centre, where he also met with Dr Zeev Feldman and colleagues of the International Section of the Israeli Medical Association.

During the past year there have also been several important internal changes have been made to the way that the Association is run.

The Association website was launched in late 2010, and Dr Simon Woldman has taken on the unenviable task of co-ordination and administration. This site is already accessed frequently, and proving an invaluable active resource as well as a record.

Anna Walton, who has given several years of friendly service to the Association as administrator, left us in April. Her place has been taken by Hilary Cane, who has already played a valuable role in the arrangements for the Annual General Meeting, and is planning to start her task by surveying our membership over the coming months in order to identify better our needs and interests.

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 on many occasions during the year.  Unfortunately this has once again included countering attempts to damage the links between British and Israeli medicine. On a more positive note, it has also included several interfaith discussions which will be pursued further during the coming year.

Scholarships and Electives – August 2010 to July 2011

From the UK:

Meardad Amirian (Southampton)

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

Samuel Borin (Barts and the London)

Dept of Ophthalmology, HaEmek Hospital, Afula, Israel

Naomi Bratt (KCL)

Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medicine, Tamale Regional Hospital and Shekhinah Clinic, Ghana

Hannah Lipman (UCL)

General Medicine, Victoria Hospital, St Lucia

Miriam Lopian (KCL)

Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem; and Dept of Paediatric Cardiology, Wolfson Hospital, Holon, Israel

Dalia Nelson (KCL)

Emergency Medicine, Monash Medical Centre; and Respiratory Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia

Jonathan Reiner (UCL)

Dept of Neurology, Ichilov-Sourasky Hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel

Emma Shall (UCL)

Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ichilov-Sourasky Hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel

Naomi Tomlinson (Birmingham)

Paediatric HIV, Mutare, Zimbabwe

 

From Israel to UK (Newham Hospital):

Yossi Ben-Sheetrit (Tel Aviv University Medical School)

Shira Rabinowicz (Tel Aviv University Medical School)

Yuval Schachaf (Technion – Rapaport Medical School, Haifa)

Michael Yoshpa (Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem)

Chairman’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 13th July 2010

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

Dr Nicholas Naftalin, in a Presidential address, told the Association about his experience in reorganisation and reconfiguration of UK health services in order to improve patient care.

Nine elective bursaries were awarded to medical students for electives, many of which were for periods of study in Israel, but also including placements in Mumbai (India) and Australia.

Two Israeli medical students did electives at Newham Hospital (Barts and the London Medical School) in summer 2009, and four Israeli medical students will be taking part in this scheme in summer 2010.

An intensive medical student Israel experience tour took a group from the north (Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya) to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and then south (Yeroucham and Ben Gurion University / Soroka Hospital).

Dr John Cookson delivered the first Sam Cohen Memorial Lecture, told us about his work in Liaison Psychiatry, following in the traditions of the late Prof Cohen, and about how the subject had developed in recent years.

Dr Masad Barhoum, Director of the Western Galilee Hospital, and the first Israeli Arab to be appointed to such a position, spoke to a meeting about his experiences running a 650 bed hospital, and his future plans for the Nahariyah medical campus.

Ten Israeli colorectal surgeons visited the UK for a training course, and took part in a JMA meeting addressed by Prof Irving Taylor on the topical subject of how UK doctors will be revalidated for medical practice in the future.

Dr Shai Dar from Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem spoke to a meeting about his experiences as part of the Israeli Emergency team that went to Haiti to participate in disaster relief.

Mr Alec Nacamuli from the Nebi Daniel Foundation spoke to a meeting about the topic “Jews from Arab Countries” and described the recent restoration of synagogues in Egypt.

Prof Howard Cedar from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, delivered a Joffe Memorial lecture about his current work on silencing of genes, highlighting how epigenetics is likely to influence cancer research in the future.

Medical students have held Freshers events in both London and Birmingham, promotion of Tay Sachs screening in Birmingham, a ski vacation, and regular social events

The first “Student Jewish Medical Association UK conference” took place in London, with participants from the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. Speakers were Jonathan Sacks (medical student from Barts and the London) on surrogacy in Jewish Law; Dr Michael Coren on Jewish aspects of paediatric practice; Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz about assessment of risk in Jewish Law; Prof Michael Baum about the anti-scientific nature of “alternative medicine”; and Prof David Katz and Mr Benjamin Pogrund about the inaccurate analogy that is made between Israeli medicine and medicine under the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The tenth Jakobovits Lecture in Jewish Medical Ethics was delivered by Rabbi Prof Michael Broyde. Sadly this lecture took place during the week of shiva for Lady Jakobovits z”l , an outstanding personality in the Jewish world, and a strong supporter and patron of our activities.

The Annual Dinner took place on 29th April 2010. The guest speaker was the Israeli Ambassador, His Excellency Ron Prosor, who has agreed to become one of our patrons.

Prof Sir John Bell, Henry Cohen Visiting Professor for 2010, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford and President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, visited Israel in May June 2010, and met with biomedical scientists, clinical academics and the heads of several Universities and Institutes. He visited Hadassah / Hebrew University, Weizmann Institute, Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Ben Gurion University, Sheba Medical Centre and the Technion. Accompanied by his wife and children, Prof Bell also had an opportunity to see historical and cultural sites in Israel; and at the home of British Ambassador he met inter alia with the newly appointed Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health and with the President of the Israel Medical Association.

In addition Jewish Medical Association (UK) members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues on many occasions during the year.  Unfortunately this has once again included countering attempts to damage the links between British and Israeli medicine within the UK medical press.

Chairman’s Report to the Annual General Meeting – July 2009

During the period since the last Annual General Meeting it is pleasure to report not only on what has been achieved, but also on the increasing participation of so many of our members in the development of new initiatives and activities:

  • To start the year off  in September 2008 the medical student group, led by Abigail Martyn and Paul Wolfson, organised a freshers event welcoming new Jewish medical students
  • Dr Claire Walford, in a Presidential address, described her experiences of teenage violence from the perspective of an Accident and Emergency Department
  • Prof Charles Sprung delivered a Jakobovits Memorial Lecture in Jewish medical ethics, discussing his Europe – wide studies of end of life issues in critical care units, and reviewing recent Israeli law relating to this topic.
  • The night before his talk in London Prof Sprung delivered the same lecture to the inaugural meeting of a JMA(UK) Manchester group organised by Drs Ellis, Kwartz and Simon.
  • The Channukah event took the form of a panel discussion on “Physician assisted suicide” with Dr Margaret Branthwaite and Dr Michael Fertleman as speakers.
  • Neil Bradman spoke to the clinical trainee group, which is led by Dr Claire Naftalin, on his work on chromosomal tracing of Jewish ancestry.
  • JMA members provided back-up support and medical cover at Limmud, organised by Dr Paul de Keyser.
  • Prof Mark Clarfield spoke to a meeting about his experiences as a physician at Soroka Hospital / Ben Gurion University Medical School during the recent conflict in Gaza
  • Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz spoke to a group, organised by Dr Patrick Stafler, on Jewish medical ethical issues.
  • The annual dinner was attended by over 200 people, with Prof Michael Baum as speaker. Prof Baum outlined the problems that he has encountered during the past year ever since he participated in a debate in the columns of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and spoke about his efforts to promote unified and positive linkages between British and Israeli medicine. He appealed for more funds to support this work, and the response from JMA(UK) members has been considerable
  • Several members of JMA(UK) attended the meeting of the World Fellowship of the Israel Medical Association (IMA) in Tel Aviv in April. Speakers included Prof Michael Baum, Dr Kenneth Collins and Dr Michael Peters.
  •  To celebrate the end of the academic year the medical student group held a successful summer party.
  • Prof Howard Cedar delivered a Joffe Memorial lecture in Cancer Studies, explaining how gene silencing influences our understanding of developmental biology as well as of cancer.
  • Dr Leslie Solomon spoke to the clinical trainee group about the topic of circumcision.
  • The medical student Israel tour is planned for 26th – 31st August 2009.
  • Several JMA(UK) members have responded to Dr Paul de Keyser’s request for help with the “drop in” centre that provides support for refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Dr Louise Morganstein is organising  help for Jewish Action and Training for Sexual Health (JAT) in their work with schools and youth groups.
  • Dr Charlotte Benjamin has initiated a JMA(UK) mentoring scheme to provide our members with a friendly voice to whom they can turn with their queries.
  • Two Israeli medical students are in the UK currently as part of an exchange scheme organised by Dr Alan Naftalin.
  • The educational programme run by JMA(UK) is submitted for accreditation for continuing medical educational purposes via the Royal College of Physicians.
  • During the year JMA(UK) members have provided expert advice to the Board of Deputies of British Jews and other Jewish organisations about professional issues.

This does not mean that we can be complacent about our activities. We need to expand our membership, to revamp and revitalise our website, and to begin to tackle broader themes and topics that are important in the UK Jewish medical community. We have to achieve a subtle combination of professional, educational, cultural and social objectives.

It would be, however, naïve, if not ridiculous, for me to table this report without reference to some of the serious problems that have arisen over the past year. During the latter part of 2008 Michael Baum and I, in our personal capacities, attempted to facilitate some agreement within Israeli medical circles which would prevent internal controversies spilling over into the UK. We had support and a way forward to investigate concerns offered by the IMA, but these attempts foundered in accusations of lack of good faith.  Subsequently there has been intensified criticism of the IMA, as well as personal attacks on the President, Dr Blachar, who is also President of the World Medical Association (WMA). In March a supplement to the Lancet was published which made extensive claims about public health problems for which Israel was blamed. This appeared in the same week as an article in the BMJ which attacked the “Jewish lobby” for events which took place in 2004, with a companion piece harking back to the early 1980s; and at the same time as the Lancet Editor addressed a meeting in Oxford where he made wide ranging allegations. The Board of Deputies took the view that the BMJ article was antisemitic and inappropriate. Clearly all this material had been planned well before the recent Gaza conflict. Thus these events impacted not only the JMA(UK) charitable aim “to provide linkage to Israeli health institutions” but also the way we provide “a public forum for the discussion of Jewish issues in medicine and healthcare in the United Kingdom”.

David R Katz

 

The annual dinner took place on Monday 1stApril 2019. Prof Sir Simon Wessely was the guest speaker.

The dinner was chaired by the London President, Prof Liz Lightstone, who introduced the speakers. Over 150 doctors and medical students were present.

The opening blessing was made by Eli Goldin. The loyal toasts were proposed by medical student leaders Daniel Gutmann and Sophia Fabianne Viner. The toast to the Association was proposed by Dr Yehudit Harris

In his response Prof Katz thanked Dr Harris, and also expressed his appreciation to the many Association members who had contributed to furthering our charitable aims during the past year. He welcomed especially the Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev, who had flown in from Israel the same morning, and Profs Clarfield and Paltiel who had contributed much to the Association’s activities while on their London sabbatical. He noted that the brochure included not only details of events, but also insightful and informative elective reports, and news about future events including the Health Policy and Cardiovascular meetings to be held in Israel. He introduced the Treasurer, Dr Mervyn Jaswon, who made a presentation to Dr Jeanne Katz as a token of acknowledgement of her huge background support to the Executive Chair and hence to the Association.

In her introduction to the guest speaker Prof Lightstone noted Sir Simon’s outstanding achievements in many different fields, dating back to his undergraduate career, and continuing today in his important role in review of mental capacity.

Sir Simon reflected on his experience in sorting out fact from mythology in management of conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder. He used examples from military medicine to illustrate that interventions may not always be as effective as we think they are. Overall doctors need to have an open mind and to consider the evidence carefully in order retain our credibility.

Dr Abigail Swerdlow proposed a vote of thanks to Sir Simon, noting that he had engaged with his audience and had educated and informed in an outstanding and memorable fashion.

Grace after meals was led by Dr Ian Goodman, and was followed by a desert buffet.

 

The annual dinner took place on Thursday 15th March 2018 at St John’s Wood Synagogue Hall, 37-41 Grove End Rd. Baroness Deech was the main speaker.

The dinner was chaired by the London President, Prof Gideon Lack, who introduced the speakers. Over 130 doctors and medical students were present.

The opening blessing was made by Dr Stephen Herman. The loyal toasts were proposed by medical student leaders Jemma Barash and Fabianne Viner. he toast to the Association was proposed by Dr Tammy Rothenberg.

In his response Prof Katz thanked Dr Rothenberg on behalf of the Association not only for her toast but also for her contribution to it’s activities during the past year, in particular in relationship to the immunisation initiative. He introduced the Treasurer, Dr Mervyn Jaswon, who made a presentation to Dr Lionel Balfour – Lynn as a token of acknowledgement of contribution to the Association, in particular in relationship to the student elective scheme.

Prof Katz emphasized the role of the Association as a link communication organization between different aspects of medicine. The immunisation meeting was illustrative – an important aspect of public health in general, a field where there are known Jewish principles relating to preventive medicine, a Jewish local underprivileged population affected, and Jewish doctors taking an initiative to tackle the issue and then working with local authorities to ensure that it is tackled.

Prof Katz noted that cross generational links between trainees and more senior doctors were another important aspect, and it was pleasing to have many trainees present. Similar connectivity and cross-communication between British and Israeli medicine was exemplified by Prof Stephen Brecker’s work in organizing the forthcoming Anglo-Israel Cardiovascular Meeting which will take place in April 2018. He commended the medical student elective reports which were included in the brochure, noting that these included several from Israel, as well as participation in Global Health programmes, where a new UK-Israel scheme in Uganda has been proposed.

In his introduction to the guest speaker Prof Lack paid tribute to Baroness Deech’s contribution, both to wider British society and to the Jewish community.

In her address, which she entitled “Telling it like it is”, Baroness Deech 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.

Dr Abigail Swerdlow proposed a vote of thanks to Baroness Deech, noting that she was the first woman who had been invited to speak at the dinner since 2009. She said that Baroness Deech had been a role model in many respects. She had illustrated this in her talk with her reflective insights about defending freedom and fair play as a member of the House of Lords, where we are indebted to Baroness Deech for the way that she is resolute in making sure that a balanced voice about Jewish and Israeli issues continues to be heard.

Grace after meals was led by Dr Jonathan Cohen, and was followed by a desert buffet.

The annual dinner took place on Tuesday 23rd March 2017 at St John’s Wood Synagogue Hall, 37-41 Grove End Rd. Lord Turnberg was the main speaker at this event.

The dinner was chaired by the London President, Miss Jo Franks, who introduced the speakers and who succeeded skillfully in making sure that the proceedings ran smoothly.

Over 150 doctors and medical students were present.

At the start of the evening a minute of silence was observed for those killed the previous day on Westminster Bridge and outside the Houses of Parliament. It was noted that Lord Turnberg had been in Parliament at the time and had not been allowed to leave; and that Dr Sebastian Vandermolen (a junior doctor present at the dinner) had been one of the St Thomas’s doctors who had gone on to the bridge to tend to the injured.

The loyal toasts were proposed by medical student leaders Jessica Franklin and Avi Korman.

The toast to the Association was proposed by Dr Abigail Swerdlow, junior doctor trainee in psychiatry, who reflected on the activities during the past year..

In his response Prof Katz thanked her on behalf of the Association not only for her toast but also for her contribution to all aspects of junior doctor activities, including the dinner. He highlighted that several junior doctors had contributed to the Association’s programme, during the past year, citing Dr Noam Roth and Dr Adam Levine, who had participated in recent meetings, and Dr Brett Bernstein who had reported on the Anglo-Israel Cardiovascular Meeting. He commended the medical student elective reports which were included in the brochure, and reflected that the Association is the sum of its members.

In her introduction to the guest speaker Ms Franks reminded those present about Lord Turnberg’s contribution to British medicine, and congratulated him on his recent birthday for which a celebratory cake had been included in the desserts.

In his address Lord Turnberg outlined the main features of his recent studies about the Balfour Declaration, which will be published shortly. He noted that the origins of British support for Jewish settlement in today’s Israel dated back to well before the time of Balfour, as evidenced by Lord Shaftesbury’s campaign for the “restoration of the Holy Land to the Jews”. He summarized Balfour’s early career, how he had been influenced by Joseph Chamberlain, and how the role he played in 1917 had to be seen in parallel with the Sykes-Picot agreement which was at that time still secret. He emphasized that although the Balfour Declaration was an important document of principle, the real legal substance of British involvement in the Zionist endeavor emerged from the San Remo Conference in 1920.

Dr Michael Fertleman introduced his remarks by quoting from one of Lord Turnberg’s prescient reports: “We found a health service under pressure. Services across the whole spectrum of care, from those in the community and primary care to those in hospitals, were sorely stretched. Although the impact of these pressures was most keenly felt in the care of elderly people and those with mental illness, others were not immune from the failures to meet an acceptable standard of service . . .Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that the pressures are increasing.” Dr Fertleman noted that this item was reported in Parliament in 1999, and that by a quirk of fate the next speaker was a Dr Tonge….He concluded that all present were grateful not only for Lord Turnberg’s talk but also for his eloquent and passionate commitment to Israel.

The Annual Dinner took place on Tuesday 5th April 2016.

The guest speaker was Lord Finkelstein of Pinner

-10Daniel Finkelstein, OBE, is the Associate Editor, a Columnist and Leader Writer for The Times newspaper. He sits in the House of Lords as Lord Finkelstein of Pinner.

In the Times, as well as his weekly political column in the comment section and his Saturday Notebook, Lord Finkelstein writes the “Fink Tank” for the Saturday paper, and a statistical column on football. He also writes a regular column in the Jewish Chronicle.

Lord Finkelstein is the son of the late Prof Ludwig Finkelstein, who was born in Lviv (then in Poland), and became Professor of Measurement and Instrumentation at City University London.  His mother is a Holocaust survivor. He is the grandson of Dr. Alfred Wiener, the Jewish activist and founder of the Wiener Library. He was educated at University College School, the London School of Economics and City University.

Lord Finkelstein played an important role in two respected think tanks: he was formerly Director of the Social Market Foundation and from 2011-4 was Chairman of the Trustees of the Policy Exchange. Between 1995 and 1997, he was Director of the Conservative Research Department in which capacity he advised Prime Minister John Major and attended meetings of the Cabinet when it sat in political session. Between 1997 and 2001, he was chief policy adviser to the Leader of the Opposition Rt. Hon. William Hague MP and Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet.  In 2001, he was Conservative parliamentary candidate in Harrow West.

Lord Finkelstein is married with three sons, Aron, Isaac and Samuel. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the City University in 2011. He was elevated to the House of Lords as a life peer in 2013.

In his address at the dinner Lord Finkelstein described how his career had evolved, and looked at it through the different perspectives, perceptions and misperceptions that the public has about political life. He analysed the political and media processes critically, explaining how the way we behave when confronted with alternatives can often appear paradoxical.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Simon Woldman.

Prof Mark Clarfield was brought up and educated in Toronto, receiving his MD from the University of Toronto in 1975. He specialised first in Family Medicine, then Community Medicine and Public Health and finally in Geriatrics. Together with his wife, Dr. Ora Paltiel, also a physician (haematology and clinical epidemiology), he moved to Montreal, where he was with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University from 1978 -1992.

During that period, Clarfield was Chief of Geriatrics at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis – Jewish General Hospital as well as head of the McGill University Division of Geriatric Medicine. He was the Assistant Dean of Students at the Faculty from 1989-92 and reached the rank of Professor. He maintains an adjunct status at McGill University.

In 1992 the Clarfield family he moved to Israel. From 1994-2001 Mark was Head of the Division of Geriatrics at the Ministry of Health in Jerusalem. He was appointed Head of Geriatrics at the Soroka Hospital (a 1,100 bed acute care institution) and the Sidonie Hecht Professor at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Beersheva where he now works. In 2009 he was appointed head of BGU’s Medical School for International Health. He is the medical consultant to Eshel, the Association for the Development of Services for the Elderly, in Jerusalem. Prof Clarfield’s research interests include Alzheimer’s Disease and the related dementias, the organization of health care services, medical history and ethics. He also publishes medical humour, book reviews and miscellaneous pieces in various newspapers. Described as a “journalistic nudnik” he has published many letters to the editor in publications around the world, and wrote a blog about his experiences as a physician in Beersheva during times of war.

Prof Clarfield enjoys performing folk music with his band, “The Unstrung Heroes”.

Mike Stratton is Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. He qualified in medicine at Oxford University and Guy’s Hospital, trained as a histopathologist and obtained a PhD in the molecular biology of cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, London.

His primary research interests have been in the genetics of cancer. His early research focused on inherited susceptibility. He mapped and identified the major high risk breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2 and subsequently other cancer susceptibility genes.

In 2000 he initiated the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute which conducts systematic genome-wide searches for somatic mutations in human cancer. Through these studies he discovered somatic mutations of the BRAF gene in malignant melanoma and several other mutated cancer genes in breast, lung, renal, bone, myeloid and other cancers. He has described the basic patterns of somatic mutation in cancer genomes revealing underlying DNA mutational and repair processes.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and was knighted in the 2013 Queen’s birthday honours.

In his talk Prof Stratton reflected on the three last three decades of genetic research: from 1990-2000 was the period of the Human Genome Project; from 2001-10 was the period when disease association linkages were identified; and since 2011 we have entered the period when costs of genome sequencing are falling to such an extent that personal sequences are becoming more easily available, which poses interesting ethical problems, but also offers opportunities for more focussed treatment options. The vote of thanks to Prof Stratton was proposed by Dr Jo Franks, and the toast to the Association was proposed by Dr Nicola Rosenfelder.

With over two decades of experience in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His.Excellency. Daniel Taub has played a key role in a wide range of diplomatic, legal and political arenas.

As Principal Deputy Legal Adviser of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taub served as legal adviser to Israel’s missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and represented Israel in many multilateral fora.

Ambassador Taub was extensively involved in the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, helping negotiate most of the agreements reached between the two sides, and heading the Israeli side of the Culture of Peace track of negotiations. He was also an active member of Israel’s negotiation team in the Israel-Syrian negotiations.

Ambassador Taub is a much sought after lecturer on Middle Eastern issues, international law and negotiation theory. He is frequently invited to appear on television and radio, and lectures widely in universities and policy institutes in Israel and abroad. Within Israel’s foreign ministry he developed and taught training programs for Israeli diplomats in negotiation strategies and communications skills.

In his army service, Ambassador Taub served as a combat medic and as a reserve officer in the IDF’s international law division.

Ambassador Taub holds degrees from the universities of Oxford (University College), London (University College), and Harvard (Kennedy School of Government).

Together with his wife Zehava, he has six children: Yehuda, Tsofia, Aaron, Reuven, Asher and Amichai.

In his address  at the dinner 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.

Professor Sir Mark Pepys Kt MA MD PhD FRCP FRCPath FRS FMedSci

Professor Sir Mark Pepys headed the Division of Medicine at the Royal Free Campus of University College London from 1999-2011.  After studying at Trinity College Cambridge, UCHMS, Harvard and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, he was elected Fellow of Trinity (1973) and then directed the RPMS Immunological Medicine Unit from 1977-1999.  In 1999 he established the UK NHS National Amyloidosis Centre and in 2011 founded the UCL Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit.  His work on blood proteins has had far reaching scientific and clinical impacts, identifying novel therapeutic targets and designing drugs with potential applications in amyloidosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases.  Two projects are currently in development with GlaxoSmithKline, another is supported by the first MRC Developmental Clinical Studies award.  Recognition includes the Royal College of Physicians Goulstonian (1982) and Lumleian (1998) Lectureships, the Moxon Trust Medal for Clinical Research (1999), and Harveian Oratorship (2007); Royal College of Surgeons Sims Professorship (1991) and Royal College of Pathologists Kohn Lecturership (1991).  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and was lately a Council member of both academies.  He received the Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize for biomedicine in 2007 and the Ernst Chain Prize for medical discovery in 2008.  He has won £12 million of new research funding from the UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust since 2007.  In 2008 he raised £6.5 million to renovate the extended Royal Free Division of Medicine, opened in 2011 by HRH The Princess Royal.  He was made Knight Bachelor for services to biomedicine in the 2012 New Year Honours

Professor Sir Michael G. Marmot MBBS, MPH, PhD, FRCP, FFPHM, FMedSci, FBA

Director: International Institute for Society and Health;

MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health,

University College London

The 2011 Annual Dinner was attended by 180 members, including 60 medical students, and was adjudged a great success, with positive feedback from many of those who were present. The guest speaker, Prof Sir Michael Marmot, gave an entertaining and at the same time thoughtful talk, explaining how his identity as a Jewish physician interdigitated with his interest in health inequalities, and how these should be tackled as a priority by the medical profession.

Michael Marmot has led a research group on health inequalities for the past 30 years.

His many professional activities include:

Acting as Principal Investigator for the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality.

Leading the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

Engaging in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health.

Chairing the Department of Health Scientific Reference Group on tackling health inequalities.

Serving on the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

Chairing the Commission on Social Determinants of Health set up by the World Health Organization in 2005: ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy. In 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen for services to epidemiology and understanding health inequalities.

Internationally he was a Vice President of the Academia Europaea, and is a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine.

Prizes and awards include the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology (2004) and the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research (2008). He delivered the Harveian Oration in 2006.

Most recently, at the request of the British Government, he conducted a review of health inequalities, which published its report ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ in February 2010

He has now been invited by the Regional Director of WHO Europe to conduct a European review of health inequalities.

Currently he is the President of the British Medical Association (BMA) and represents the BMA on the World Medical Association.

Prof Michael Baum is one of Britain’s most distinguished surgeons, who has made immense  contributions to the way that breast cancer is managed, both in the UK and internationally.

Before joining University College London (where he is now Professor Emeritus) in 1996, he was Professor of Surgery at Kings College London and  the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, and Director of the Cancer Research Campaign Clinical Trials Centre. One of his best known innovative achievements was to lead the multi-centre collaborative trials which reported both the survival advantage of Tamoxifen and its potential preventive role, and then later demonstrated the efficacy of aromatase inhibitors. Currently, he leads research looking at delivery of radiotherapy at the time of surgery, which may have important advantages for cancer treatment in the developing world. In addition, he has pioneered counselling and psychosocial oncology services for cancer patients, has explored quality of life issues in these patients, was involved in the development of ethical models for clinical trials and is promoting collection of archival material for translational research, looking for predictive factors determining responses to treatment.

In recognition of these achievements, he has received many prizes and awards, most recently the St Gallen Biennial Prize for lifetime achievements in breast cancer research and treatment. Furthermore, as Visiting Professor of Medical Humanities, he takes a keen interest in the relationship between art, literature and medicine. He is also very well- known for his forthright views about the role of ‘alternative medicine’ in cancer treatment.

Prof Baum started his working life in Israel, has been active in the Jewish community throughout his career, and has played a major role in promoting links between Israel and the UK in the field of breast cancer research. Despite considerable opprobrium and personal abuse for his support of Israeli medicine, he continues to campaign consistently for positive medical collaborations as a key component in the pathway towards peace.

Prof Michael Baum is one of Britain’s most distinguished surgeons, who has made immense  contributions to the way that breast cancer is managed, both in the UK and internationally. Before joining University College London (where he is now Professor Emeritus) in 1996, he was Professor of Surgery at Kings College London and  the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, and Director of the Cancer Research Campaign Clinical Trials Centre. One of his best known innovative achievements was to lead the multi-centre collaborative trials which reported both the survival advantage of Tamoxifen and its potential preventive role, and then later demonstrated the efficacy of aromatase inhibitors. Currently, he leads research looking at delivery of radiotherapy at the time of surgery, which may have important advantages for cancer treatment in the developing world. In addition, he has pioneered counselling and psychosocial oncology services for cancer patients, has explored quality of life issues in these patients, was involved in the development of ethical models for clinical trials and is promoting collection of archival material for translational research, looking for predictive factors determining responses to treatment. In recognition of these achievements, he has received many prizes and awards, most recently the St Gallen Biennial Prize for lifetime achievements in breast cancer research and treatment. Furthermore, as Visiting Professor of Medical Humanities, he takes a keen interest in the relationship between art, literature and medicine. He is also very well- known for his forthright views about the role of ‘alternative medicine’ in cancer treatment. Prof Baum started his working life in Israel, has been active in the Jewish community throughout his career, and has played a major role in promoting links between Israel and the UK in the field of breast cancer research. Despite considerable opprobrium and personal abuse for his support of Israeli medicine, he continues to campaign consistently for positive medical collaborations as a key component in the pathway towards peace.

Prof Samuel F. Berkovic, AM, MD, FAA, FRACP, FRS

Sam Berkovic is Laureate Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and Director of the Epilepsy Research Centre at Austin Health, Melbourne.

Sam is a clinical neurologist and researcher, with a special interest in establishing close research links with basic scientists.

His main research interest is the genetics of epilepsy.

Together with his molecular genetic collaborators in Adelaide, he discovered the first gene for epilepsy in 1995, and has subsequently been involved in the discovery of many of the known epilepsy genes.

This has changed the conceptualisation of causes of epilepsy and is having a major impact, both on epilepsy research and on strategies for diagnosis and development of new treatments.

He has an active research programme in Israel, collaborating with Tel Aviv University, where evaluation of Jewish and Arab families with epilepsy has complemented his studies in Australia.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007.

Sam Berkovic is Laureate Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and Director of the Epilepsy Research Centre at Austin Health, Melbourne. Sam is a clinical neurologist and researcher, with a special interest in establishing close research links with basic scientists. His main research interest is the genetics of epilepsy. Together with his molecular genetic collaborators in Adelaide, he discovered the first gene for epilepsy in 1995, and has subsequently been involved in the discovery of many of the known epilepsy genes. This has changed the conceptualisation of causes of epilepsy and is having a major impact, both on epilepsy research and on strategies for diagnosis and development of new treatments. He has an active research programme in Israel, collaborating with Tel Aviv University, where evaluation of Jewish and Arab families with epilepsy has complemented his studies in Australia. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007.

Annual Dinner 2007

Guest Speaker: Anthony Julius

Anthony Julius is a lawyer and an author. He took his first degree at Cambdrige and has a PhD from UCL. He is a full-time consultant at the London law firm Mishcon de Reya ad was head of litigation for many years. He is a solicitor – advocate. Among his clients he acted for Deborah Lipstadt in the Irving olocaust denial case.

Holo Holocaust denial case.

He has written “T S Eliot, anti-Semitism and literary form” (CUP, 1995), “Idolising Pictures (Thames and Hudson, 2001), “Transgresssions: the Offences of Art” (Thames and Hudson, 2002) and “Anti-Zionisms” (a pamphlet published by the ICA in October 2004). The second edition of his book on T S Eliot was published in 2003, and he is working on a study of English anti-Semitism, “Trials of the Diaspora” due for publication in 2008.

He is Chairman of the London Consortium and Visiting Professor in the English Department at Birkbeck College. He was Chairman of CentrreCATH at Leeds University between 2001 and 2006. He was a founder of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, its first Chairman, and now a Vice President. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Haifa University in recognition of his anti-boycott work on behalf of Israeli universities and on behalf of dissenting members of British trade unions.