Inside Hadassah: Thanks From a Friend; Helping to Hear

September 2012

Inside Hadassah: Thanks From a Friend; Helping to Hear

Nancy Falchuk

With the eight days of Hanukka quickly approaching, we look forward to celebrating the miracles of this moment in our history.

And what better way to celebrate than with food! Our best-selling Hadassah Everyday Cookbook offers plenty of inspiration for lovers of fine dining during the holiday season. Looking beyond latkes and sufganiyot? Try two recipes that will whet your appetite for the rest of the book.

Hadassah has a long tradition of building bridges to nations and to peace through medicine. A shining example is our Jerusalem-based Arab Bone Marrow Registry, the only one of its kind in the world. Not only is this project praised throughout Israel and America, but even a leading Saudi Arabian newspaper commended the registry in its pages.

Hag sameah and happy 2012!

A Meeting of Thanks
Israeli President Shimon Peres hosted Hadassah national president Marcie Natan and immediate past president Nancy Falchuk at Beit Hanassi, the president’s residence in Jerusalem, in honor of Hadassah’s Centennial year and to offer a Birkat Ha-derekh (blessing for the road) for the future of the organization.

Marice Natan, Shimon Peres and Nancy Falchuk (from left).
Peres praised Hadassah at the September 13 meeting, noting that no institution better models a place of complete peace under the most demanding circumstances than Hadassah, referring to Hadassah Hospital’s equal treatment of Jews and Arabs.

“Why is it,” he asked, “that we can get along when we’re sick, but can’t get along when we’re well?”

Peres especially lauded Hadassah for treating 6,500 Palestinian children who came in sick and left healthy. “This is the greatest moral investment any organization can make,” Peres said.
He thanked Falchuk for her service to the Jewish people and congratulated her on leading Hadassah during a challenging period.

Natan spoke of the changing of the guard at Hadassah and the Hadassah Medical Organization and introduced Peres to Dr. Ehud S. Kokia, incoming director-general of HMO.

Among the attendees at the special Hadassah reception were other Hadassah past presidents, board members, executives and supporters.

Hanukka Recipes
Hanukka offers a great excuse to fry some of our favorite foods. The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen (Universe)—which makes a lovely holiday gift and is an best seller—includes recipes for one of the most iconic Jewish fried foods, but adds a wholesome, nutty twist: Sesame Seed Chicken Cutlets. Pair the cutlets with our pan-roasted Brussels sprouts.

Sesame Seed Chicken Cutlets
Serves 4-6

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Seasonings: kosher salt, freshly
ground black pepper, onion pow-
der, garlic powder and chili powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
Vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish

1. Butterfly chicken breasts but do not cut all the way through the breasts. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, onion
powder, garlic powder and chili powder to taste, approximately 1/4 teaspoon each.
2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then transfer to a large plate. On a separate large plate, mix the breadcrumbs, flax seed meal and toasted sesame seeds.
3. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan (use enough oil to that it comes halfway up side of the pan). Dip the chicken breasts in the egg followed by the crumb mixture. Shake off excess crumbs and pan fry. (You should hear sizzle, otherwise the oil is not hot enough.) Do this in batches if necessary in order to not crowd the pan.
4. When the chicken pieces are golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes per side, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the breasts before serving, and garnish with lemon wedges if desired.

Photo by Lucy Schaeffer.
Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts, garlic and 1 teaspoon water; cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are soft and browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in tamari or soy sauce, re-cover and cook an additional 2 minutes.
2. While sprouts are cooking, heat small pan over medium heat; add slivered almonds and toast, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle over Brussels sprouts just before serving.

Unexpected Praise
Saudi Arabian media are not known for their positive coverage of Israel, so it is particularly noteworthy that the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan recently published an article about Israel’s superiority in science and technology and showcased the Hadassah–Hebrew University Medical Center’s Arab Bone Marrow Registry—the only registry of its kind in the world. The article points out that it is remarkable that such a registry exists in Israel, where there are 1.2 million Arabs, compared to more than 400 million in the rest of the world.

Amal Bishara, Ph.D., an Israeli Arab, is director of the registry. She has visited more than 60 Arab villages in Israel since the registry was established in 2008. So far, almost 10,000 samples have been collected. More than 100 requests from all over the world have come in, and Hadassah was able to match 40. The 10th transplantation was recently performed using matches made through the registry.

Our Winning Design
Graphic Design USA, a leading magazine for graphic designers and other creative professionals, annually awards publications for extraordinary design and presentation. We are proud to announce that Hadassah Magazine has won American Graphic Design Awards for three issues: August/September 2010, February/March 2011 and April/May 2011.

To Hear and Be Heard
One of the first children to receive a cochlear implant at Hadassah’s Department of Otolaryngology had completely lost his hearing after suffering from meningitis as a baby. Now 17, he has a newer implant model and is the drummer in a band.

Without fanfare, the specialists at Hadassah Hospital have been improving people’s lives for over 20 years, using this small, complex electronic device. Over 500 people, ranging in age from 1 to 85, have benefited from cochlear implantation at Hadassah.

“[This] is the only manmade device that is connected to the central nervous system, and its impact has been enormous,” says Dr. Josef Elidan, retired head of the department. The device’s external portion sits behind the ear to pick up sound; the internal component is placed under the skin to send impulses through electrodes to the auditory nerve [and through that to the brain].
Dr. Elidan recalls his—and Hadassah’s—first cochlear implant procedure. He had just returned from receiving training in the United States; the operation took several hours and the device had one channel and one electrode. “Today, it takes considerably less time [to implant],” he explains, “and the implant has 22 electrodes.”

The surgery, however, is just the beginning of the process. Patients who receive implants continue their rehabilitation in the department.

“We hear with our ears and our brains,” says Haya Levi, director of the department’s Speech and Hearing Center, “but the brain is the star of the show.” People who experienced progressive hearing loss remember how speech sounds, but they must relearn how to distinguish between sounds and filter them.

“Basically,” says Levi, “we help them reconnect with the world that disappeared with their hearing. It takes about six months for people to begin feeling comfortable with the equipment.”

Children who were born deaf or who, like the 17-year-old drummer, lost their hearing as babies, have no auditory memory. After receiving cochlear implants, these children must be taught how to hear and speak. “The process is exciting and challenging—and the results can be amazing,” says Miriam Adler, coordinator of Hadassah’s Cochlear Implant Program. “Success has given the hard of hearing and those born deaf the possibility of integrating into society. Almost all of the children are mainstreamed in the school system.”

A unique challenge of the Speech and Hearing Center at Hadassah is catering to two distinct populations: roughly 50 percent of patients speak Hebrew and the other half are Arabic speakers. Among the 23 staff members are audiologists and speech pathologists who speak each language.

“This technology completely revolutionizes peoples’ lives,” Adler notes. “It returns people to the land of the living. I come to work every day with the feeling that we are doing something good.”
At a gathering of professionals, patients and their families, a 14-year-old boy—who had received at age 3 a cochlear implant at Hadassah—addressed the audience. “I did not hear and I did not speak,” he said clearly. “Now I am part of the group and interact easily with my friends. Thank you for the miracle.”
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