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Theodore Bikel and Tovah Feldshuh

Eugen Gluck and Tovah Feldshuh

When It’s Health
Money Is No Object

Story and Photos by Tim Boxer

HAARE ZEDEK Medical Center in Jerusalem has the only Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis Laboratory in Israel thanks to the generosity of philanthropist David Fuld. At the American Committee’s dinner at the Marriott Marquis in New York, Fuld related how PGD technology screens embryos of a couple or eggs of a woman to determine if it they are free from any of the Ashkenazi genetic diseases.

He also told a story of a man of meager means who goes to a topnotch doctor on fancy Park Avenue and is socked with a $650 initial fee. "Doctor," the man says, "I’m supporting my two aged parents. I can’t afford this."

"Okay," the sympathetic doctor says. "Make it $325."

"Doctor, I have kids in private schools. This is too much."

"Then why did you come? You knew I’m very expensive."

"Doctor, when it comes to health, money is no object."

Theodore Bikel presented a Shaare Zedek Artist of Distinction Award to Tovah Feldshuh who also had a medical tale.

She said that Golda Meir once came to Shaare Zedek complaining of a gastric problem. Hospital director Jonathan Halevy tried to lift Golda’s skirt to examine her when she slapped his hand.

"Later, doctor. Right now check me for my pain."

Giti and Jack C. Bendheim and Rose and Phil Friedman served as dinner chairs of the event. Honorees were David A. Alpert, senior vice president of Riverside Memorial Chapel, plus Gisela and Jonas Steigman, Rena and Dr. Elliot Steigman, Karen and Robert Spitalnick, Sol and Ada Urbach, Michael and Barbara Lissner, and Samuel and Eliese Lissner.

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