Safra Synagogue Welcomes Hadassah Hospital Director
Rabbi to rabbi, doctor to doctor, The Safra Synagogue hosted a Sunday morning breakfast on June 12 in honor of Rabbi Dr. Yair Birnbaum, Director of the Hadassah Medical Center. Dr. Birnbaum, Associate Director General of HMO and Head of Medical Services at the Hadassah Medical Organization, Jerusalem, is a pediatrician and an orthodox rabbi. He shares the unusual double qualification of rabbi and medical doctor with Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, rabbi of the Safra synagogue.
Dr. Birnbaum received his medical degree at the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine. He holds an MA in Public Administration from Harvard University, and is an ordained Orthodox Rabbi. His thesis topic was “The Status of the Physician in Jewish Sources.”
Hadassah, founded in New York by Henrietta Szold 100 years ago, supports the hospital and medical facility that serves the state of Israel and is “a center of excellence in Jerusalem.” The hospital’s original campus on Mt. Scopus – state of the Art when it opened 1939 – was surrounded by Jordan during the War of Independence, and remained an Israeli enclave reachable only by military convoy until its liberation during the 1967 War. In 1962, the new Hadassah Hospital campus opened at Ein Kerem, in what was then a Jerusalem suburb.
With 300,000 members, Hadassah is one of the largest Jewish communal organizations. The group supports a medical complex known for its excellence in research, clinical training and practice, and worldwide outreach. From Kenya to Japan, Haiti to New Zealand, and for Israeli citizens throughout the country, Hadassah Hospital and its medical staff are available to all in need. It maintains a 99% occupancy rate in Israel.
State of the art medical developments are a signature of Hadassah Hospital. It was the first to introduce advanced stroke therapy and advanced computerized robotic surgical techniques. Its research into the treatment of molecular degeneration will save the sight of thousands. In genetic studies, its advanced techniques help “create” healthy live babies.
Hadassah Hospital is in the midst of construction of a 19 story hospital which will have five complete fully operational, state of the art floors below ground level. Says Dr. Birnbaum, while we must “be ready for the unknown, everyone can find something close to his heart” at Hadassah.