Special Events

The Henry Cohen Visiting Professorship scheme was founded in memory of Lord Cohen, who was one of Britain’s most distinguished physicians and neurologists, and who was for many years President of the General Medical Council.

Lord Cohen took a keen interest in the development of the Israeli medical schools, and of Israeli medicine. Therefore the aim of the Henry Cohen Visiting Professor scheme is to promote links between medicine in the two countries.

The Professorship is awarded annually to one of the leading members of the medical profession in Britain.

The Professor has two tasks during his / her year of office:

(i) to visit Israel;

(ii) to deliver a lecture on an agreed topic to the members of the Jewish Medical Association (UK) at their Annual General Meeting

The precise details of the visit to Israel may vary from year to year, but the principles are:

(i) that he / she will spend between three and five days in Israel;

(ii) that appropriate meetings would be arranged for him / her with the Israeli Ministry of Health, public health authorities, Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and Israel Medical Association officials;

(iii) that visits would be arranged to as many as possible of the Israeli medical schools, research institutes and major hospitals, as well as to centres for medicine in the community.

(iv) that several alternative possibilities for engagement with Israeli peers – usually small group meetings and seminars, but also lectures and one-to-one meetings - will be considered and arranged as appropriate.

[This scheme was initiated in Lord Cohen’s death by the British Friends of the Hebrew University (BFHU). Since 2009 the Jewish Medical Association (UK) has been responsible for co-ordinating the scheme together with the BHFU, and with the co-operation and support of the Israeli medical and academic communities].

Henry Cohen Visiting Professors since 2009 are:

Prof Dame Jane Dacre - 2020

Prof Patrick Maxwell - 2018

Prof Dame Parveen Kumar - 2017

Prof Sir Robert Lechler – 2016

Prof Terence Stephenson – 2015

Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz – 2014

Prof Michael Arthur – 2013

Sir Mark Walport – 2012

Prof Sir Michael Rawlins – 2011

Prof Sir John Bell – 2010

Prof Sir Peter Rubin – 2009

Annual Chief Rabbi Jakobovits Memorial Lecture in Jewish Medical Ethics

Founded in memory of the late Chief Rabbi, Lord Jakobovits, to honour his remarkable contribution to the field of Jewish Medical Ethics

2000: Prof Avraham Steinberg (Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem)
A tribute to Rav Jakobovits’ spiritual leadership and contribution to the field of Jewish medical ethics – the Ethical and Halachic Dilemmas Posed by Modern Genetics”.

Prof Steinberg is one of Israel’s leading authorities on Jewish medical ethics. He was awarded the Israel Prize in recognition of his contribution to this field in 1999. He is a paediatric neurologist, based at Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, and was formerly the Director of the Schlesinger Institute for Medical – Halakhic Research. Currently he is Director of the Hebrew University Centre for Medical Ethics, advises both the Israeli army and the Ministry of Health, and has been called upon on over 700 occasion for expert witness opinions. His many publications include the six volume Encyclopaedia of Jewish Medical Law, 23 book chapters, and over 100 articles, many of which address the fundamental medical ethical questions of our time, ranging from cloning, and reproductive technology, to end – of – life issues, from within a Jewish perspective.

2001: Prof Shimon Glick (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
Medical decision-making:  Physician, Patient or Rabbi?”.

Prof Shimon Glick is one of Israel’s leading authorities on medical ethics, and is the Ombudsman for the Israel Ministry of Health. Prof Glick studied at Yeshiva and Mesifta Torah V'Daat in Brooklyn, New York, and received his MD degree at Downstate Medical Centre, New York, in 1955. He trained in internal medicine at Maimonides Medical Centre, Yale University Medical Center, and Mount Sinai Hospital. He was a research fellow in the Berson and Yalow laboratory where he made major contributions in the field of endocrinology. His last position in the USA before leaving for Israel was as Clinical Professor of Medicine at Downstate Medical Centre, New York. He served on the board of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists in the USA, and was president in 1965-7. He was co-chairman of the medical sciences section of the Committee of Concerned Scientists in 1973-4, and traveled on several missions to the Jewish communities of the former Soviet Union. In 1974 Prof Glick and his family made aliya, and he became Professor of Medicine and founding Chairman of the Division of Medicine at the newly - opened Ben Gurion University of the Negev Faculty of Health Sciences. Subsequently he served as Dean of the Faculty, head of Health Services for the Negev region, and head of the Moshe Prywes Centre for Medical Education; and as head of the Jakobovits Centre for Jewish Medical Ethics. He is a member of the Israel National Advisory Committee on the Ethics of Human Experimentation, a founder of the Israel Society of Medical Ethics, and a member of the National Health Council. Prof Glick is married to Brenda (nee Rubinstein) and they have 6 children and 39 grandchildren.

2002: Rabbi Prof Yitzchok Breitowitz (University of Maryland and Woodside Synagogue, Silver Spring, Maryland)
"Playing G-d: Jewish Perspectives on Cloning,Genetic Engineering and Stem Cell Research"

Rabbi Breitowitz  is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and Rabbi of the Woodside Synagogue in Silver Spring, Maryland. He received his rabbinical ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in 1976;  B.S. (honors, Johns Hopkins University);  J.D. (magna cum laude, Harvard Law School) in 1979; and a Doctorate in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel in 1992. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Israel on medical, business, and family ethics.  He has published articles on bankruptcy, commercial law, medical ethics, family law, and halacha.  He authored a survey article on the Brain Death Controversy in Jewish Law published in Jewish Action and an article on the status of the pre-embryo in Jewish law published in the Fall, '96 issue of Tradition. He has also written articles in Moment Magazine on physician assisted suicide and on Jewish law perspectives on the Monica Lewinsky affair. Most recently, he was a contributor to a symposium on the new genetics and Judaism published in Wellsprings Magazine and authored an article on Spirituality and the Workplace which appeared in Jewish Action. His recent work includes a monograph on the halachic issues surrounding assisted reproductive technologies, published in the Jewish Law Annual (Boston University) and an article entitled "What's Wrong with Human Cloning?" published in the Proceedings of the Kennedy Centre on Bioethics (Georgetown University). He authored a comprehensive book on Jewish divorce, "Between Civil and Religious Law: The Plight of the Agunah" which was published by Greenwood Press, (Westport, Conn. 1993).

2003: Rabbi Prof Edward Reichman (Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University)
"Mummies, Philosophers and Smallpox: The Rabbinic Response to Scientific Discoveries Throughout the Ages

Rabbi Prof Edward Reichman is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and History of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and writes and lectures widely in the field of Jewish medical ethics. He is the recipient of a Kornfeld Foundation Fellowship and the Rubinstein Prize in Medical ethics. He is a member of the Board of the Halakhic Organ Donor Society and the New York Organ Donor Network.  His research is devoted to the interface of medical history and Jewish law.

2004: Rabbi Dr Mordechai Halperin, (head of Bioethics at the Israeli Ministry of Health)
Medical and halachic aspects of circumcision

2005: Dr Julian (Yoel) Jakobovits

2006: Prof Michel Revel (Weizmann Institute of Science; Chairman, Israel Bioethics Council)
"Are genes our destiny?"

Prof Revel is one of Israel’s most distinguished scientists, and science communicators. He was born in 1938 in Strasbourg, France, where he completed his medical studies and obtained a doctorate in biochemistry.  In 1965 (with Prof. Gros) he discovered how protein synthesis is initiated, which controls the translation of genetic information.  In 1968 he immigrated to Israel and joined the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he is Professor in Molecular Genetics. While at the Weizmann he has made fundamental contributions to research on interferon and its molecular mechanism of action. He is Chief Scientist at Interpharm and developed interferon beta for treatment of multiple sclerosis.  His current work is on deriving oligodendrocytes from human embryonic stem cells and using them to repair myelin in multiple sclerosis. He is deeply involved in Bioethics, as chairman of Israel's National Bioethics Council, and as a member of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO. Prof. Revel received the Israel Prize in 1999 and the Emet Prize in 2004 for his contributions to medicine and biotechnology.

2007: Dr Daniel Eisenberg (Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, and Albert Einstein Medical Centre)
"The Interface of Disabilities and Jewish Law"

Dr Eisenberg graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, studied at Heiden Torah Institute in Jerusalem, and then completed his medical and specialist training at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published and lectured widely in the fields of scintigraphy and Jewish medical ethics; his most recent work includes contributions on genetic screening for breast cancer, and on traditional Jewish approaches to "risky" treatments.

2008: Prof Charles Sprung (Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre)
End of Life Decision Making: A Worldwide Perspective

Prof Sprung is a graduate of Yeshiva University and trained in medicine, specialising in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, at the State University of New York – Downstate Medical Centre. He was Director of Critical Care Medicine at the VA Medical Centre and University of Miami for 13 year, and graduated from their School of Law, before he moved to Israel. He has been active for 30 years in research in the fields of sepsis, septic shock, and ethical issues. He was chair / co-chair of the Task Force on Ethics of the Society of Critical Care Medicine for many years, and has served two terms as chair / co-chair of the Section on Ethics of the European Society of Intensive Care. He chaired the scientific / medical subcommittee of the commission (chaired by Rabbi Prof Avraham Steinberg) which prepared the Israeli Terminally Ill Law. He is the co-ordinator of several multi-centre studies in ethics: ETHICUS (Systematic Study of General Ethical Principles Involved in End of Life Decision Making and Procedures in European Intensive Care Units); ETHICATT (Systematic Study of General Ethical Principles Involved in End of Life Decisions for Patients in European Intensive Care Units); and ELDICUS (Triage Decision Making for the Elderly in European Intensive Care Units). He has published extensively on ethical issues such as informed consent, end of life and triage.

2009-10 Rabbi Prof Michael J Broyde (Professor of Law and Director of Law and Religion Programme, Emory University)

Prof Michael J. Broyde is professor of law at Emory Law and the academic director of the Law and Religion Programme at Emory University. His primary a222reas of interest are law and religion, Jewish law and ethics, and comparative religious law. Besides Jewish law and family law, he has taught Federal Courts, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Secured Credit and Bankruptcy. He received a juris doctor from New York University and published a note on the law review. He also clerked for Judge Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is ordained (yoreh yoreh ve-yadin yadin) as a rabbi by Yeshiva University and is a member (dayan) of the Beth Din of America, the largest Jewish law court in America. He was the director of that court during the 1997-1998 academic year, while on leave from Emory. Outside of Emory, he is the founding rabbi of the Young Israel synagogue in Atlanta, a founder of the Atlanta Torah MiTzion kollel study program and a board member of many organizations in Atlanta. He has published more than 75 articles and book chapters on various aspects of law and religion and Jewish law, including "A Jewish Law View of World Law," Emory Law Journal 54: 79-93 (spec. ed., 2005), about how Jewish law might classify international law, and a series of vigorous exchanges in several publications on military ethics in Jewish law. He also has published a number of articles in the area of federal courts, including an article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy on the impeachment process. He is the Editor of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society. He has authored and edited several volumes: Human Rights in Judaism (Jason Aronson, 1997) (with John Witte, Jr.), Marriage, Divorce and the Abandoned Wife in Jewish Law: A Conceptual Understanding of the Agunah Problems in America (Ktav, 2001) and Marriage, Sex and Family in Judaism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) (with Michael Ausubel). A second, revised edition of his first book, The Pursuit of Justice and Jewish Law (Yeshiva University Press, 1996), was published by Yashar Books in 2007.