Touro College Joins Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists to Discuss Current Issues in Modern Medicine & Jewish Law

Date: December 13, 2007
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

Leading Physicians and Ethicists to Explore Assisted Reproduction, Organ Donation and Transplantation, and Beginning and End of Life Issues.

New York, N.Y. - Modern Medicine & Jewish Law 2007, a two-day seminar that will feature discussions about current ethical and medical issues that confront Orthodox Jewish medical professionals, will be held at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue on Sunday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 25. The seminar’s primary sponsors are Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists (AOJS), Touro College, Maimonides Medical Center, and the synagogue.

Topics to be discussed include advances in assisted reproduction; organ donation and transplantation; and beginning and end of life issues. Leading physicians and ethicists will explore medical issues that may be controversial for Orthodox Jewish health professionals, according to Allen Bennett M.D., FACP, president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists and a member of the conference committee.

One “hot topic” to be discussed, said Dr. Bennett, is the use of PGD - Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis, which can be utilized to intentionally engineer offspring with specific qualities and traits. This session will be led by Daniel Eisenberg, M.D., and will also be a topic considered by Professor Abraham S. Abraham, M.D., a prominent Israeli physician who is traveling from Jerusalem to take part in the seminar.

“The mandate of AOJS and the constituents we serve is to evaluate the latest scientific advances through the prism of Torah thought and Jewish law,” said Dr. Bennett.

Dr. Bennett expressed gratitude towards Touro College for being a primary sponsor of the conference. “Touro College is a leader in medical education and an important voice on Jewish issues involving health care,” he said.

Touro College is one of the largest educators in the country of medical and other health care professionals, currently educating osteopathic physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists. Touro has three colleges of osteopathic medicine – in Harlem, N.Y., Vallejo, Calif. and Henderson, Nev., and is planning its first allopathic medical school, to be located in New Jersey. The planned school will be N.J.’s first private medical school.

“We take very seriously our responsibility to prepare future generations of health care professionals,” said Dr. Bernard Lander, founder and president of Touro College, who will offer greetings at the conference. “We are delighted to join AOJS in sponsoring this important gathering and look forward to initiating and participating in many more such conferences, which will better educate students and ultimately benefit mankind.”

Also speaking at the conference from Touro will be Shalom Hirschman, M.D., senior vice president for professional and graduate education. Dr. Hirschman will address the topic, “Why a Jewish Medical School?”

Health care professionals, ethicists and members of the community interested in the subject matter are invited to attend. The cost is $50 for each day and includes lunch. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23 and 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 25. The synagogue is located at 11 E. 63rd St. in Manhattan. For more information, please call 718-969-3669. For a complete schedule visit