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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘dr’

Hebrew U’s Dr. Yosef Buganim Awarded for Work in Stem Cells

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Dr. Yosef Buganim, a research scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the prestigious journals Science and Science Translational Medicine, and the Boyalife industrial research consortium, for his work in stem cells and regenerative medicine (see Dr. Buganim’s essay Back to basics).

Dr. Buganim is a young researcher who recently joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Cancer Research at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC). Part of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine, IMRIC is one of the most innovative and multidisciplinary biomedical research organizations in the world.

Awarded for the first time this year, the Boyalife Science & Science Translational Medicine Award in Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine honors researchers for outstanding contributions in stem cell research and regenerative medicine around the globe. AAAS, Science, and Science Translational Medicine joined efforts with Boyalife, an industrial-research consortium formed in Wuxi, China, in 2009, to sponsor the award.  Composed of prominent researchers, the judging panel was co-chaired by a Science and a Science Translational Medicine editor.

At his Hebrew University laboratory, Buganim uses somatic cell conversion models to identify and investigate the elements that facilitate safe and complete nuclear reprogramming. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, he used single-cell technologies and bioinformatic approaches to shed light on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs.

Regenerative medicine is a developing field aimed at regenerating, replacing or engineering human cells, tissues or organs, to establish or restore normal function. Embryonic stem cells have enormous potential in this area because they can differentiate into all cell types in the human body. However, two significant obstacles prevent their immediate use in medicine: ethical issues related to terminating human embryos, and rejection of foreign cells by a patient’s immune system.

In 2006, Japanese researchers discovered that it is possible to reprogram adult cells and return them to their embryonic stage, creating functional embryonic stem-like cells. These cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and constitute a solution to these two obstacles. In addition, these cells provide a good basis for modeling diseases and finding medical solutions, because they can be reproduced from different patients and different diseases.

Despite these cells’ enormous potential, their quality is still not sufficient to be used in clinical practice, and there is a need to find the best protocol that will enable production of high-quality iPSCs that will not endanger patients.

Dr. Buganim’s laboratory has made two major breakthroughs in this area, representing a major step forward in the field of regenerative medicine and transplantation.

Project A: To improve the quality of embryonic stem cells, Dr. Buganim and colleagues conducted bioinformatics analyses which pointed to four new key genes capable of creating iPSCs from skin cells, of superior quality to stem cells in current use. These cells produced in his laboratory (in this case mouse cells) are able to clone a whole mouse at a much higher percentage (80%) than other iPSCs (30%). This test is the most important one determine the quality of the cells.

Project B: Many women suffer recurrent miscarriages and abnormal development of the placenta, which causes fetal growth restriction and in some cases produces children with mental retardation. Dr. Buganim’s lab found the key genes of the placenta stem cells and by expressing them in surplus in skin cells, created placental iPSCs. These cells looked and behaved like natural placental stem cells. Various tests showed that these cells have cell-generating capability in a Petri dish and inside a placenta that develops following a transplant. These cells have potential for use in regenerative medicine in cases of problematic placental functioning. The success of this project may enable women with placenta problems to give birth to healthy children and rescue pregnancies at risk of dysfunctional placenta (see Scientists Convert Skin Cells Into Functional Placenta-Generating Cells).

Alongside creating specific cell types (e.g. nerve cells in patients with Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Alzheimer) from a patient’s skin cells, a potential future use of iPSCs is the creation of whole organs (such as heart, liver or kidney) in a suitable animal model using cells taken from the patient.


Dear Dr. Yael

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Dear Dr. Yael,

I would like to address the misconception that orphans have a harder time then most getting married. As a girl from an out-of-town family of 7, who lost her mother at the tender age of 13, I can certainly share my perspective and point of view on this matter. In my humble opinion, it is not just young men or women who are orphans who remain single. There are plenty of people fortunate enough to have both parents and even both sets of grandparents who are not married.

My genuine advice to all those who have lost parent(s), especially those who have lost their mothers, is to find someone they can trust and really connect to that person. This is critical for his or her emotional well-being. Whether it’s a family member, close family friend, a teacher, or even a therapist, an orphan needs someone who can provide direction and guidance with warmth and understanding. Orphans need someone whom they can really pour their heart out to, because, regardless of how capable one parent can be, he or she cannot perform the task of two. Hashem gave us two parents for a reason. It is therefore of utmost significance that those who lost parents become close to someone in whom they can confide. Many orphans walk around with an everlasting feeling of guilt which can affect their married years later on. I was one of those individuals and can easily relate to that.

I was “fortunate” to get married and engaged at the age of 18; however, I went into it with a lot of baggage and many insecurities. Throughout my teen years there were many people who tried to get close to me, but I wasn’t able to connect with them. Then, almost 15 years after my mother passed away, I was fortunate to become close with someone who not only understood me, but was also able to offer me the guidance I needed. She helped me become a secure and confident individual.

I know that we tend to be closed and hesitate opening up with others, but it’s a risk we have to learn to take as the right person can help us become a more “well-adjusted” individual. Each one has to identify what his or her specific needs are in a mentor, confidante, and surrogate parent. I needed someone who was old enough to be my mother, who was wise, strong, and very insightful. I was fortunate to find that double-fold. So, if you have lost a parent, remember there is light at the end of the tunnel; you just have to open your eyes and search really hard. I wish everyone in Klal Yisrael an easy and painless time in finding your bashert.

An Orphan Reborn



Dear A.O.R.,

Thank you for this insightful and important letter. I agree with you and believe that every person, not just orphans, can benefit from a mentor. While generally that is a job a parent would hold, unfortunately, not every child can open up to and receive guidance from his or her parents. It is especially important for young children and teens to have an older and mature adult who can guide them in making the right decisions. For those who have lost their parent(s) at a young age, or whose parents are not capable of being role models, it is imperative to find someone that they can trust and emulate. Often when a child lacks this connection they are more likely to get advice from their peers or to follow their own instinct, which can sometimes prove to be very destructive.

As an aside, I will say that sometimes orphans have a harder time making a commitment because they are afraid that they will love someone and then lose them. So what you did was quite courageous.

Thank you for your letter and hatzlocha!

Dr. Yael Respler

Dear Dr. Yael

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Dear Dr. Yael,

I read the letter to the editor about punitive punishments and suppression with surprise, as that is not how I understood the original article.

It seems to me that the parents who took the phone away from their daughter after seeing an inappropriate text on it are thinking parents who do discuss things with their child. They also seem to be slightly more progressive than the school their daughter attends. Yet, they didn’t just ignore the rules when they thought their daughter needed a cell phone, they discussed it with the principal and received permission.

They also knew that their daughter was having difficulty checking voice messages and the mother was simply confirming that she had received the message; they were not purposely snooping on her and invading her privacy. When they took the phone away, it seems to me that it wasn’t so much of a punishment, but more of a “this did not work out.

Of course, their daughter was upset. But I would hope she realizes that her parents went above and beyond to get her the phone with the school’s consent and that she did not handle things appropriately. The phone was clearly a privilege and it’s important for teenagers to learn about consequences, accountability and trust.

Obviously, the issue of the language being used in the text is something that has to be addressed as well; I am not glossing over it, but it is not the focus of my letter.

Our children must know that we look out for them and love them enough to do what is necessary, even when it is difficult. When we do that with love, there will come a time when our children will look back and appreciate our actions. I personally admire how these parents handled the situation. They were open-minded enough not to blindly follow the system, yet not too close-minded to refuse to admit their mistake.

There is one option I would like to share with parents. About five years ago, our youngest had what we decided was a legitimate need for a cell phone. We found a plan called Kajeet. The plan offers parents control. For example, they can set up a list of specific numbers which the phone can call or receive calls from, it can block other numbers and even set times when the phone can’t be used – like not during school or after certain hours. There is also a setting for exceptions – for example, lifting a late night restriction while on a trip.

We discussed this option with our daughter, who was not thrilled, but was happy she was getting a phone and that we heard and understood her needs. After reading the letter from the mother, I asked my daughter how she had felt about using the plan. She said it had been annoying but okay.

Thank you for your column and the ability to air these important issues.



Dear HRL,

I appreciate your letter and its take on the situation. However, in defense of the person who sent the letter to the editor, there are issues relating to privacy and boundaries that we must discuss with our children. They need to know that we respect them and their space so as not to lose their trust and damage our relationships.

Last week we discussed the differences between authoritative parenting and other modalities. The conclusion research has given us is that authoritative is the best method. In it parents maintain a loving, respectful relationship with their child, yet set appropriate boundaries and consequences. Parenting is a very challenging job and balance is so important.

Thank you for the information about the phone plan and your view on parenting. Hatzlocha!

Dr. Yael Respler

Dear Dr. Yael

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Dear Dr. Yael,

My husband works in a kiruv school where most of the kids seem to come from homes with very permissive parenting. Baruch Hashem our children seem to be doing well, but I wonder what, as they get older, is the best way to discipline them. I know that you are against hitting, but what if kids need to know that you are the boss? I am not sure what your stance is on parenting exactly but I know most therapists seem to go for the “permissive way.”

Please respond as I respect you very much and I love your column.


Dear Anonymous,

Any extreme in parenting can create dangerous outcomes. It’s important to make sure that you give your kids a lot of love, but at the same time you must create logical rules and consequences if they are not followed. It’s also imperative to teach your kids boundaries. Kids say they want to do whatever they want, and will often argue when you say “No,” but they truly feel safe with there are rules and boundaries in place at home. Kids who have no rules and boundaries often grow up to be insecure and anxious adults. On the flip side, when parents are too rigid and strict and do not give their children love and positive reinforcement, they also often grow up to be insecure and rebel.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and some kids are resilient and are able to form a positive sense of self regardless of the way in which they were parented. However, for the most part, parenting generally plays a large role in how children will develop.

One of the most well-known research studies on parenting was done by psychologist Diana Baumrind in the early 1960’s.  She conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children (Baumrind, 1967). Using naturalistic observation (observation of children in their natural settings), parental interviews, and other research methods, she identified four significant dimensions of parenting: disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control.

Based on these dimensions, Baumrind found that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles.  Maccoby and Martin expanded on Baumrind’s research and added a fourth parenting style in 1983. The Four Parenting Styles are Authoritarian Parenting, Authoritative Parenting, Permissive Parenting, and Uninvolved Parenting.

In Authoritarian Parenting, children are expected to follow strict rules that are established by their parents.  If these rules are not followed, the children are punished. No explanations are given and if children ask for one, these parents may say, “Because I said so!” These parents have high demands, but they do not respond to their children’s needs readily and sympathetically.  According to Baumrind, these parents “are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation” (1991). Children of Authoritarian Parenting were generally obedient and proficient, but they ranked lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.

In Authoritative Parenting, rules and guidelines are established for children to follow. However, this parenting style is more democratic.  Authoritative parents are more likely to respond to their children’s needs and be sympathetic.  They also allow for questions and try to give reasons for their rules and boundaries.  When children do not meet their expectations, these parents are nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.

Baumrind suggests that these parents “monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative” (1991). Children of Authoritative Parenting tended to be happy, capable, and successful (Macoby, 1992).

Dr. Yael Respler

Dear Dr. Yael

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Dear Dr. Yael,

I was recently asked to redt a shidduch on behalf of a coworker’s son. It had actually been thought of by one of the young man’s friends who had gone out with the young lady. My involvement came about because the young man being redt was more comfortable dealing with an adult than a friend.

I spoke with the young lady’s mother and gave her information about the young man. When she said they were interested, I facilitated the first date. After that, the couple made their own arrangements. Within a few months they were engaged and I was invited to the l’chaim.

I introduced myself to the kallah and her parents and wished them mazal tov. I was surprised when the mother simply said, “Thanks for helping out at the beginning.”

Well, I thought, doesn’t every shidduch have a start? If there’s no beginning, there can be no end! And that is when I realized that she was making it clear that the family did not consider me to be the shadchan. Throughout the engagement period neither side displayed any gratitude, even with a simple a thank-you note.

To make matters worse, I was told by another coworker that a young person suggested the shidduch, but it had been given over to a professional shadchan to facilitate. It seems I got promoted to professional status; only professional shadchanim are usually acknowledged. I was not interested in tooting my horn, so I never mentioned it to them directly. I also felt my presence at the wedding infringed on their simcha, as the kallah‘s mother acted very awkward around me. I can only assume that she knew she had acted improperly and was therefore uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, this behavior is more common than I thought. I recently heard a number of similar shidduch stories. In one case, the shadchan only received the shadchanus money eighteen years after the couple got married. Another woman told me that a couple came five years after the wedding to say thank you. It seems after several years of infertility, a rav asked them if they ever acknowledged their shadchan. After making amends, they had a boy one year later.

I’m not the type of person who makes shidduchim for money or presents. However, I would hope that people who have been helped in any situation would express gratitude.

In addition, while I haven’t found a source, I do believe it is an inyan in halacha as well.



Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for bringing this important issue to our readers’ attention. Let me first address your last comment: paying a shadchan is a halachic obligation. While I am not a rav, the Rama (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 185:10) makes it clear that a shadchan is considered a broker and further (ibid. 87:39) says, “If a matchmaker claims the matchmaking fee and the other denies and says that he was not his matchmaker, or if there is any other dispute between them, the law is the same as any other monetary claim and they take oaths about it.”

Chazal tell us that making a shidduch is like Krias Yam Suf – it’s difficult and it takes a lot of work. I know some very successful shadchanim who are busy day and night on the phones. At the same time, we have a serious shidduch crisis and anyone who spends his or her time trying to alleviate it deserves our thanks.

I can only imagine the pain you felt at the lack of hakaras hatov. You were specifically asked to help set the couple up and, yes, there can’t be an ending without a beginning. Your involvement should have been acknowledged with a gift.

Dr. Yael Respler

Dr. Irving Moskowitz, A”H

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

The Jewish Press joins Klal Yisrael in mourning the passing, at age 88, of Dr. Irving Moskowitz, a larger-than-life ardent Zionist widely acknowledged as the leading advocate and financial backer of Jews purchasing land from Arabs beyond the Green Line – especially in eastern Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Gush Katif, and Ramat HaGolan.

He championed the right of Jews to live anywhere in the biblical land of Israel and inspired and called upon many to join with him in asserting this right. A major Jewish philanthropist, he also contributed large sums for major efforts to restore Jewish life in eastern Jerusalem. Not as well known is that he was a serious financial supporter of Jewish causes generally.

Although an accomplished physician who embarked on an enormously successful career as a builder of hospitals, he was always mindful of his humble beginnings. His Moskowitz Foundation sponsors many scholarships for disadvantaged young people of all races, creeds, and religions in Israel, the United States, and all over the world.

May his memory be a blessing.

Editorial Board

Dr. Irving Moskowitz: Builder of Jerusalem

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

One of the most famous films of all time is “Citizen Kane.” Based on the life of the billionaire, William Hearst, it tells the story of a wealthy newspaper baron and industrialist, Charles Foster Kane. Everyone remembers the opening scene, when the dying Kane lets go of the glass ball which he holds in his hand and whispers his last word, “Rosebud.” Like the snow-filled glass ball in the movie, there are glass balls of Jerusalem which fill with snow when you turn them upside down. Irving Moskowitz was also a larger-than-life character, one of the greatest Jewish philanthropists of all time, who will always be remembered for his towering dedication to the rebuilding of the Jewish People in Zion. In the movie of the Irving Moskowitz story, what would be the meaning of his “Rosebud,” the secret driving force of his life, the very last word that he uttered? Some people might say “Jerusalem.” Others might guess “Israel.” My guess is that the “Rosebud” of Irving Moskowitz’s life is “Cherna.”

The Doctor and his wife were married for 66 years. He once told me that although he ran many businesses, and worked with many people, and supported many projects, he only had one partner – Cherna. She was his devoted wife, lifelong friend, and helpmate in everything he did. Throughout the years of his illness, she was always near, making sure he had the best of care. No doubt, during her recent visit to Israel, he sensed she was gone. Her love was his oxygen. Her support was his fuel.

Mrs. Moskowitz once told me:

“When I met Irv, I was barely twenty. All he talked about was Israel. He was obsessed with Israel. I never knew anyone like him. Hardly anyone spoke about Israel in those days. Certainly not non-stop the way Irv did.

I was fascinated by it. For example, if we went to a party and someone said, ‘This is good orange juice,’ Irv would start talking about the oranges in Israel. I would joke with him about it, saying, ‘Irving, sometimes people want to talk about things other than Israel,’ but he simply couldn’t control himself. I was seventeen when we met, and nineteen when we married. Irv was 22. He would say, ‘I am going to be wealthy, and I am going to make a difference in Israel.’ That was his thing. It may seem strange, but we never spoke about making Aliyah on a permanent basis. We visited, we stayed for some extended periods, we bought a place in Netanya and took the kids every summer. We bought our own place in Jerusalem too. But Irv’s passion was creating and developing businesses so that he could help Israel. For him, this was the right thing to do. Irv didn’t see how he could use his skills to make money in Israel, so he concentrated all of his business endeavors in the United States.”

There are hundreds of stories about Dr. Moskowitz. I will relate one of them briefly, without elaborating on the details, to render a glimpse of the man. One of the many buildings which the Moskowitz’ purchased in Jerusalem was the Sheffer Hotel, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. It was built for the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a renowned anti-Semite who was very friendly with Adolf Hitler. After the War of Independence, the Mufti’s family rented the property to an Arab Christian family. They added on to the building, making it much larger, and turned it into the Sheffer Hotel. The family lived on the ground floor of the building under the status of protected tenants, according to the Law of Residents. The hotel ran into financial difficulties in the 1980s, some of the family members died, and the establishment was threatened with closure.

One day in 1985, the lawyer, Eitan Geva, was informed that the Arab Christian family was looking for a way to solve their problems with the increasing debts of the hotel, and what looked like certain bankruptcy. Their attorney asked Geva if he could find someone to buy the hotel and their protected residency immediately within the next 24 hours. Geva understood that he had to work fast. If the owners declared bankruptcy to avoid their obligations and debts, the court would appoint some agent of the court to sell the property, and the chance to acquire the building for a Jewish buyer would be lost. Fortunately, at that very time, Irving Moskowitz was in Israel. Geva spoke with him, and Moskowitz told him to investigate the matter in detail and to try to conclude a transaction. “Tonight, I have to return to America,” Moskowitz said. “But the minute I arrive home, I will contact you and we will keep in constant communication.”

Geva entered into negotiation with the family, and they quickly reached important agreements, but to finalize things, Geva had to come up with the cash needed to conclude the deal on the spot. Since Dr. Moskowitz was on an airplane heading back to America, Geva turned to a certain group who agreed to temporarily forward the purchase money and sign the agreement of sale, until the property could be transferred to Moskowitz. When they were in the middle of ironing out the fine points of the contract, Dr. Moskowitz called from New York, immediately upon his arrival. “What’s going?” he asked. Geva reported that they were making progress, but that there was still some more dangling matters to conclude. The Doctor told the lawyer that he was continuing on the Miami, and that he would call again as soon as he arrived. In the meantime, the meeting extending into the night. True to his word, the Doctor called from the airport in Miami. “What’s going on?” he asked once again. Geva told him that he had the finalized agreement in hand, and that the group acting in his behalf was working to assemble the cash. There was a pause on the wire, then Geva heard the Doctor say, “I’m not going to drive home. I’m returning to Israel immediately.”

Doctor Moskowitz got on the same plane after it was cleaned and fueled, and returned to New York, without ever going home. From there, he boarded the first plane leaving for Israel to make sure that the Jews got the property.

Over 100 of Dr. Moskowitz’s relatives had been murdered in the Holocaust, and, no doubt, there was a factor of revenge in buying the former house of the Grand Mufti Husseini, who was an ardent supporter of the Nazis, and a fierce hater of the Jews. But Moskowitz also acted out of the practical understanding of the property’s strategic location, knowing that it would clearly strengthen the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem.

In the dining room of the Moskowitz home in Miami Beach, an ornate and old fashion chandelier hangs over the dining room table. Once upon a time, the very same chandelier hung in the home of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The light of that chandelier says something about the light which Irving Moskowitz restored to the Holy City of Jerusalem, and to the lives of the thousands of people he touched, and often saved, with his quiet gifts of charity to the poor and the ill. May his memory be for a blessing. And may his wife, Cherna, and his loved ones, be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.

Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/dr-irving-moskowitz-builder-of-jerusalem/2016/06/19/

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