At a meeting at Temple Emanu-El in New York City on February 24, 1912, Henrietta Szold, together with other Zionist women, proposed to the Daughters of Zion study circle that they expand their purpose and embrace “practical Zionism,” proactive work to help meet the health needs of Palestine’s people. Because the meeting was held around the time of Purim, the women called themselves “The Hadassah chapter of the Daughters of Zion,” adopting the Hebrew name of Queen Esther. Henrietta Szold was elected the first president.
By 1918, Hadassah had sent an entire medical unit, composed of 45 doctors, nurses, dentists and sanitary workers, to bring American-style medical care to serve all, regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity.
From these early efforts developed the beginning of the Israeli healthcare system, which today includes some of the world’s leading research and treatment hospitals, and schools of medicine and nursing.
Hadassah founded, owns and supports two world-class medical centers in greater Jerusalem and for 100 years, Hadassah and its hospitals have been leaders in medicine and nursing in Israel, laying the foundation and setting the standards for the country’s modern health care system.
The majority of medical breakthroughs in Israel have taken place at Hadassah. The first successful heart transplant was performed at Hadassah – as was the first robotic surgery and the world’s First Computer-Assisted Hip Replacement Surgery.
In the 21st century, Hadassah has become known for instituting and implementing “The Medicine of Tomorrow” incorporating advanced solutions into “tailor-made” treatment.
The book Open Hearts is the story of the surgeon, Professor Joseph Borman and his pioneering work in cardiac surgery. Professor Joe Borman, born in South Africa and a long-term resident of Jerusalem, was the first to perform open-heart surgery in Israel at the Hadassah University Hospital. He headed the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hospital for twenty-five years.
Internationally recognized as an expert in his field, he performed many thousands of open-heart operations, published over 150 research articles in high-caliber professional journals, and trained a new generation of young surgeons, many of whom subsequently became independent chiefs of departments throughout the country.
Professor Borman attained wide respect not only for his surgical achievements and his integrity but also for his affable bearing and for passing on his enthusiasm to his staff. Above all he is known for his humane, respectful attitude to patients and their families.
From his childhood in South Africa to his education and marriage in England and his eventual career in Israel, renowned cardiac surgeon Professor Joseph Borman narrates the highlights of his highly accomplished life and career with wit and humanity.
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