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November 21, 2003 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-21

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Party With A Cause

Ann Arbor fund-raiser benefits Israeli radiation
oncology program at U-M.


Special to the Jewish News

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Ann Arbor
he room was packed,
Israeli music was playing
and it was nearly impossi-
ble to inch from the bar to
the dance floor without seeing famil-
iar faces at Rick's American Cafe in
Ann Arbor.
Decorated with Israeli flags and
Hebrew signs, Rick's was filled with
Jewish students, Israel supporters
and others motivated to "Get Down
for Israel." The fund-raising bar
night brought about 400 students,
faculty and community members
together Nov. 11 to help support the
Israeli Radiation Oncology
Fellowship at the University of
Michigan Hospital.
Proceeds from the $5 cover charge,
sales of shot glasses adorned with
"Drink to Israel" and a signature
"Israeli Blue" drink totaled more
than $4,000, which will be donated
to the fellowship program. The pro-
gram brings Israelis to U-M for a
two-year training program in radia-
tion oncology — unavailable in
- Israel. Then they return to Israel to
apply their knowledge and instruct


U-M senior Marci Soifer, 21, of
East Lansing brought the fund-raiser
proposal before a Hillel committee.
Doctors from the U-M radiation
oncology program gave her family
hope and worked to extend the life
of her father, who died of cancer in
January 2003.
"I came into this semester very
anxious to get a fund-raiser going
for this cause," she said. "It is partic-
ularly pertinent because it is sup-
porting an Israeli cause at the
University of Michigan hospital."
The program began after Dr. Allen
Lichter, former department chair
and current dean of the medical
school, traveled to -Jerusalem on sab-
batical in the early 1990s.
"He was struck with how bright
Israeli physicians in radiation oncol-
ogy are but how relatively untrained
they are," said Dr. Ted Lawrence,
chairman of the Department of
Radiation Oncology at the U-M
School of Medicine.
The training is completely differ-
ent, he said, with physicians in Israel
undergoing only 18 months of train-
ing instead of the five-year training
received in the United States.
"Pound for pound, we're no
smarter than the doctors in Israel,

"An Israeli oncologist will. take care
of between 60 and 100 patients at a
time. In the U.S., it's more like 20
Dr. Allen Lichter
to 30 patients."

The amount from the event will
be matched by a gift from donors
Dr. Jerry and Sue Weiss of Okemos.
Daniel Greenbaum, 20, a junior
from Southfield, said he rarely fre-
quents the bar scene, but put study-
ing and work aside to relax with
friends at what he felt was a very
worthwhile event. In addition to the
proceeds going to charity, he said, it
was an opportunity for Jewish stu-
dents to get together and show their
unity in supporting Israel.

but we have a much more extensive
training period and then we devote
ourselves exclusively to radiation
oncology," he said.
In Israel, they have other respon-
sibilities. There are very few people
who are just radiation oncologists
and then, in addition, their patient
load is enormous. An Israeli oncolo-
gist will take care of between 60 and
100 patients at a time. In the U.S.,
it's more like 20 to 30 patients."
Dr Lichter began the program by
arranging for an Israeli physician in

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