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Israeli doctors look to build “living bridge” with Palm Beaches

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Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat, Israel earned international acclaim for its treatment of wounded Syrian civilians.

You may have read about Israel’s Ziv Medical Center in recent headlines. Doctors and staff there have been treating wounded Syrian civilians during the two year civil war.

The ambitious efforts have posed a number of striking challenges for doctors at Ziv, which is located in Federation's Partnership 2Gether region known as TZAHAR (named for Tzfat, Rosh Pina and Hazor HaGlilit).

In an effort to create more opportunities for research, two doctors involved with Ziv – Professors Izhak Haviv and Anthony Luder – visited Jewish Palm Beach last month.

The doctors' mission: create a living bridge with physicians in Palm Beach County.

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Dr. Izhak Haviv takes a bow at Federation's Annual Meeting on May 7. Dr. Anthony Luder was also in attendance.

“One of the extremes of this concept is the similarities and differences that are maintained between Israelis and the Diaspora, especially American Jews,” said Professor Haviv, who is also the chairman of Partnership 2Gether. “We have so much to learn from each other.”

Partnership 2Gether connects the Jewish community of the greater Palm Beaches with Israel's TZAHAR region with student exchanges, school twinning and Jewish experience programs. The proposed "living bridge" program would create similar opportunities for our respective medical communities, including international workshops and symposiums on the world's most pressing medical issues.

During the period of the doctors' visit, they discussed the proposed program with physicians at a number of hospitals and medical centers, including Good Samaritan, St. Mary’s and the VA, as well as community and senior citizen facilities. In addition, they visited the Scripps and Max Planck biomedical research institutes.

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Professors Izhak Haviv and Anthony Luder.

“I can honestly say I met some gracious people, and the shining faces I was greeted by gave me another reason to be proud to be a Jew,” Professor Haviv reminisced. “As the closing line of the movie Casablanca says, ‘I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship’.”

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