Archives for 2011


Dec. 11, 2011 – A delegation of the Texas State Legislators, judges and  the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston visited Kaplan Medical Center  to learn and witness  its medical  staff ‘s and facilities’  preparedness to  care for terrorism victims as well as  the hospital’s readiness  in the event of other hostilities  such as rocket attacks on southern Israel.

From left to right: Steve Finkelman, Dr. Peleg Ben Galim, Judge Michael Schneider, Senator Jose Rodriguez, Carmen Rodriguez, Darrell Williams, Helen Wils, Chairman Jim Pitts, Representative Senfronia Thompson, Prof. Yahav, Leonard Goldstein – Chairman of the Board, Dr. Ken Arfa, Gary Polland, Judge Michael Schneider Jr., Representative Mark Strama.

Dr. Ben Galim & Prof. Yahav with Senator Jose Rodriguez & Helen Wils (Jewish Federation).

Prof. Yahav with Representative Senfronia Thompson (left) and Representative Mark Strama (right).

Prof. Yahav with Mr. Lee Wunsch (right).

 Prof. Jacob Yahav, the KMC CEO, who had accompanied the delegation on an extensive tour of the hospital, pointed out that, since  KMC and the heartland of Israel  it serves are in the direct range of rockets barrage from Gaza,  the structures in its many facilities such as  Emergency Rooms, Operating Rooms, Delivery Rooms, Pediatric ER in the new Pediatric Medical Center and many other rooms there, are reinforced  and can withstand the rockets attacks.

 “Our  emergency medical teams have been trained in the ways to give the best  medical care , when necessary, in situations of defensive emergency, not least of which are the nuclear and biological attacks” stated Prof. Yahav.

 He added: “Kaplan has reacted with quick professional competence and compassion to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in the south of Israel . We are doing everything possible to continue the instruction of our medical emergency teams for any defensive situation”

During their tour of the hospital, the delegation visited the old facilities of the Pediatric Department (which will be moved to a new and modern facility next month) and were duly impressed with the professional and comprehensive care received by an infant who had been suffering from smoke inhalation as a result of a rocket attack on the city of Ashdod of a few months ago.

The delegation remained very impressed with their visit and has concluded that Kaplan Medical Center is very suitably prepared  for any medical  defensive emergencies.

12.08.2011 – Beautiful Israel Council honors development towns, donors

LAST UPDATED: 12/08/2011 03:21

Philanthropists Morris Kahn and Geneva-based Phillippe Nordmann received Council for a Beautiful Israel awards at President’s residence.

President Shimon Peres

Philanthropists Morris Kahn and Geneva-based Phillippe Nordmann received Council for a Beautiful Israel Yakir (Distinguished Citizen) awards on Wednesday at the annual ceremony at the President’s Residence.The council recognizes individuals, organizations, institutions and industrial plants that have undertaken projects to beautify the environment and to improve the quality of life.

The Magshim (Realization) award went to the 35 development towns from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat that are collectively celebrating the 60th anniversary of David Ben-Gurion’s decision to send new immigrants to barren stretches of rock and sand all over the country, and to establish vibrant communities.

Both the South African-born Israeli Kahn, and Nordmann, who came from Switzerland for the ceremony, have been and are still engaged in projects that enhance the quality of life in development towns. Both are also engaged in many other activities in Israel.

Kahn, who made his fortune from Amdocs, is the chairman and one of the founders of the Aurec Group, a leading provider of software and services in the fields of communications and information.

Nordmann is the cofounder and president of the Philias Foundation that encourages corporate and social responsibility. In addition to environmental projects, he finances research into AIDS and campaigns for AIDS awareness. He also funds many of the hospital clowns whose antics and patter do so much to cheer up both junior and senior patients.

Nordmann also supports Neve Or, an AIDS treatment center at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, the Kiryat Yaarim Youth Village for children at risk and a rehabilitation program for convicts who have been released from prison. In addition he supports programs that encourage children’s creativity. Many of the projects to which he contributes are in development towns.

Kahn, whose name consistently appears on the Forbes list of the World’s Richest People, is a man of the sea, a yachtsman and a former diver. He was very proud of his own association with development towns. In 1958, two years after his arrival in Israel, Kahn opened the first factory in Beit Shemesh, which made bicycles. After that he opened a factory for the manufacture of gloves. He bought the leather in Europe, had it cut in Tel Aviv and went from one development town to another to teach people how to sew them. The finished product was then exported.

More recently he established the Zalul Environmental Association, dedicated to protecting the seas and rivers of Israel. Zalul is managed by his son Benjamin who is a marine biologist.

The award he had received, said Kahn, was not for him but for Zalul which has fought on many fronts, the first being a decade or so ago, when Kahn became aware that a lot of young navy divers were dying of cancer. They had undergone IDF training in the polluted Kishon River near Haifa.

Zalul forced the creation of a government commission of inquiry that was headed by former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar. As a result of its findings the navy was forced to stop diving in the Kishon. Zalul also helped those former divers who were ill and provided assistance to the families of those who had died.

Another triumph was stopping kibbutzim from farming fish in the Red Sea. By farming fish in the sea, the kibbutzim were destroying the coral. The battle took seven years, but the fish farms were moved to ponds on land and Kahn was happy to report that “the coral is returning to life.”

The next battle was to fight against the pollution of Israel’s rivers by sewage.

In tandem with this campaign Zalul fought municipalities that were dumping sewage into the sea.

The Council for a Beautiful Israel was founded in 1968 by Aura Herzog, whose husband, Chaim Herzog, was later the state’s sixth president.

A private organization that receives no government support, its impact on national aesthetics and environmental and ecological issues has been enormous.

11.07.2011 – Iranian woman’s life saved via e-mail advice from Israel

LAST UPDATED: 11/07/2011 16:27

Doctor in Iran consults Kaplan Medical Center’s Dr. Adi Weissbuch, preventing complications that would have risked pregnant woman’s life.

Dr Avi Weissbuch of Kaplan Medical Center

Although the leaders of Iran regard Israel as a Satan to be destroyed by nuclear weapons, Israeli medicine is regarded as excellent by some Iranian doctors, including one who consulted a senior physician at Kaplan Medical Center and prevented complications that would have risked a pregnant woman’s life.Dr. Adi Weissbuch of the unit for at-risk pregnancies at the Rehovot hospital was recently contacted with urgency via e-mail by a female doctor who identified herself as “NN” from an Iranian-university hospital.

She had read a comprehensive article published in an international medical journal in which Weissbuch wrote about a rare genetic complication of pregnancy and supplied his e-mail address at the bottom.

Consultation was urgent, the Iranian doctor wrote, because according to Islamic law, abortion is forbidden after the 18th week of pregnancy, and her patient was already in her 16th week. She sent the Kaplan physician a copy of lab results and asked his opinion.

Weissbuch wrote back that on the basis of the data, there was very little chance that the woman would have a healthy baby and that delivering the baby would endanger her life. The Rehovot doctor had discussed a very similar case in his article.

After receiving the information, the Iranian doctor advised the woman to undergo an abortion immediately, and she did so.
Weissbuch said that he had received numerous requests for medical help via email from various parts of the world, but that this was the first time one had come from Iran.

“For me as a doctor, caring for patients is not dependent on nationality, gender or religion. We are morally bound to give proper treatment and advice to whoever needs it. From my side, of course all of my correspondence with the Iranian physician mentioned ‘The State of Israel’ under my full name, but she was not dissuaded by this fact,” he said.

11.01.2011 – ‘Miracle’ saves young teen from turning into ‘human torch’

LAST UPDATED: 11/01/2011 03:06

13-year-old boy suffers serious injuries after spray deodorant thrown onto sidewalk explodes.

Doctors [illustrative]

Tomer Granot, a 13-year-old boy from Kfar Bilu, threw a can of a popular brand of spray deodorant onto the sidewalk outside his home as a prank and ended up with serious burns on his face and body, being treated at Kaplan Medical Center on Sunday night.Dr. Uri Shulman, a plastic surgeon at the Rehovot hospital, said it was a “miracle” that the flames did not set his clothing afire, as he would then have turned into a “human torch.” During the next few days it will be decided whether the teen requires skin transplants, Shulman said.

 Tomer’s mother Michal urged parents to take care that labelled instructions on such products be observed.

The seventh grader was at home with his older sister and a good friend when the incident took place.

“I was curious what would happen if the deodorant hit the floor,” recalled Tomer. “It did not make any contact with fire, so why would it be dangerous, as it was said as a warning on the label?,” he asked.

Fire erupted, and his hair and face were burnt. “I was very scared, and it burned. My friend was hurt a bit from the fire and pieces from the container. My sister immediately called our father, who rushed home and took me to Kaplan.”

The father, Ron Granot, said Tomer’s face, an arm and a leg were red. The staff gave us confidence he would survive it. Now they will help us with the rehabilitation process and the return to normal life.”

Shulman said that a significant amount of the boy’s body was burned and that even his eyelashes and eyebrows caught fire. Fortunately, his throat did not suffer burns, which would have threatened his life.

He was treated with creams, bandaged and given a high-protein diet to nourish the skin and vitamins. The physician said that apparently, alcoholic substances in the deodorant caused it to burn when it hit the pavement.

10.30.2011 – ‘Neighbor’s car saved me’

Across southern towns that were devastated by rocket attacks, resident claim it was a miracle they weren’t hurt

Shmulik Hadad

Published: 10.30.11, 14:34 / Israel News

The state-mandated precautions have minimized the casualties and damage that could have been caused in the recent onslaught of rockets on the south, but several residents claimed that it were the unlikely coincidences that saved them.

In Ashdod, cars were destroyed, apartment windows were shattered and holes in an apartment building’s exterior bore testimony to the Grad rocket that hit on Saturday. New brickwork has already replaced the crater carved by an explosion in a residential parking lot, but the neighbors cannot stop talking about the miracle that caused the rocket to land directly between two apartment buildings.

“My family and I … ran to the protected zone when the alarm went off,” Eran Peretz, a resident of one of the buildings, told Ynet. “The force of the explosion made us think that the rocket hit our home, but then we saw that it was outside, although the building was covered in smoke.”

Eleven rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday night. The barrage prompted IDF retaliation, which killed nine Palestinian operatives. The south was quiet on Sunday morning, and a

“Your best chance for not getting hit during such an incident is to keep a low profile,” he told them. “The citizens who are outside must lie on the ground, and in any case it is preferable to be in a protected area.”

Trying to stay optimistic

Haim Elimelech, 50, credited his neighbor’s car as his savior. The Gan Yavne resident told Ynet from his hospital bed in Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center that he sat down in his car on his way to look for his son when the rocket hit mere meters from him.

Rocket damage in Gan Yavne (Photo: Amir Levy)
Rocket damage in Gan Yavne (Photo: Amir Levy)

“The neighbor’s car, which was located between me and the explosion, got the worst of the damage,” he said. “Maybe if it wasn’t there, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking right now.”

Two mortar shells, which initially were reported to have exploded in open areas, later turned out to have hit a kibbutz at Sha’ar Hanegev Regional council. One exploded near a basketball court and damaged the surroundings, while the second exploded on the other side of town, near residential buildings. No one was injured.

“At 5:45 am the Color Red alert went off and we ran to the protected space,” Varda Goldstein, a resident of the kibbutz, told Ynet. “We heard the explosion, and then I realized that it hit very close. When we left the protected space, I saw smoke a few dozen meters from the home. Luckily, no one was injured.”

The tension has been a feature in her family’s life for the past decade, Goldstein said.


“We try to function normally under abnormal circumstances, try to maintain a routine, go to kindergarten, school and work,” she said. “I can’t say whether I’m optimistic or not about the rocket fire. It has been almost 10 years. “I’m trying to stay optimistic,” she added.

10.29.2011 – Rockets fired at south; one injured

South under fire again in wake of IAF attack in Gaza: Alarm sounds in various southern communities. Man hit by shrapnel in Gan Yavne; rocket hits school courtyard in Ashdod. Second barrage targets residential building, one injured. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility

Ynet reporters

Latest Update: 10.29.11, 19:26 / Israel News
Renewed escalation: Hours after the IDF killed a terrorist cell which was behind the Grad rocket attack on south Israel earlier this week, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern communities on Saturday. A couple of hours later there was a second rocket barrage. The MDA declared a mass-casualty event.
A man in his 50s was hit by shrapnel sustaining light wounds. He was hit while out searching for his son and was taken to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. One of the rockets landed in a school courtyard in Ashdod causing no injuries. Another landed in an open area near Be’er Tuvia. Later, two mortar shells were fired at the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were reported. Another rocket fired towards the Negev exploded in an open field near Bnei Shimon Regional Council.
Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing claimed responsibility for the attack. The group stressed this was just the first response to the IDF strike.
An alarm sounded in various communities from Ashdod to Gedera as residents reported hearing explosions.

דם על הרצפה בבית הפצוע בגן יבנה (צילום: אבי רוקח)
Blood on the floor of Gan Yavne rocket victim (Photo: Avi Rokach)

A couple of hours later, an additional barrage from Gaza was noted. One rocket hit an 5-story residential building in Ashdod. One person was lightly injured and several suffered anxiety attacks. Damage was caused to the building and several vehicles caught fire.  Shortly thereafter a rocket hit a house in Ashkelon. There were no injuries.

The rocket exploded some two meters from the building itself with shrapnel hitting the structure. Vehicles parked outside the building suffered the greatest damage. MDA forces and firefighters are working at the scene. Sappers removed the rocket parts.

השריפה בחניית הבניין (צילום: שי בן ישי)
Fire in Ashdod (Photo: Shai Ben-Yishai)

A total of three rockets were fired prompting alarms in Ofakim and Netivot.

Meanwhile, two mortar shells landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council and a rocket exploded in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.

Milan, who resides in Ashdod was at work when the alarm sounded. “My wife called hysterical and told me there was an alarm, she is with a small child at home. I’m scared and can’t leave for work when my wife is with the little girl. This needs to be resolved once and for all.”

מקום הנפילה באשדוד, הערב (צילום: אבי רוקח)
Rocket landing site in Ashdod (Photo: Avi Rokach)

Minutes before the rocket launch, the Home Front Command instructed residents of the Gaza vicinity areas to remain near fortified areas following in the wake of the IAF attack in Gaza.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz held a status evaluation with various IDF senior officials and is slated to convene the General Staff’s operations forum to discuss implications and a possible reaction. The IDF stressed that the attack on the Islamic Jihad cell was carried out in order to prevent further rocket fire at Israel and not as a direct response to the attack the cell mounted on the Ashdod area earlier this week.

רסיסים בבית הספר שנפגע (צילום: זאב טרטכטמן)
Shrapnel hit school in Ashdod (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)

The Home Front Command reissued emergency guidelines and canceled gatherings and conferences of over 500 people in Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gan Yavne and Yavne.

Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri said Saturday that the municipality is discussing whether to open schools on Sunday together with security officials. “We won’t allow studies where there is no fortification,” he said.

נזק רב נגרם גם למכוניות בגן-יבנה (צילום: אבי רוקח)
Cars sustain damage in Gan Yavne (Photo: Avi Rokach)

Palestinian sources reported Saturday that at least five terrorists were killed and 11 others were wounded after the Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cell in the Gaza Strip Saturday.

Military officials said the killed terrorists were members of a cell that fired a Grad rocket at Israel earlier this week. The IDF and Shin Bet joined forces in the strike, which saw an Air Force aircraft firing at the terror cells, the army’s spokesman said.

One of the terrorists killed is Ahmed Sheikh Khalil, a senior commander in the al-Quds Brigades. Nicknamed ‘Abu Hader,’ Khalil was a member of the Islamic Jihad’s engineering and production unit. In a text message to reporters, the group said it would take revenge for the attack.

“The strike was the biggest against the Jihad movement since a lull was declared between Israel and Gaza factions,” a spokesman on behalf of the group said. “Israel wants to provoke the resistance and this will not go unanswered. Israel will pay a dear price for its crimes.”

Tova Dadon, Yoav Zitun, Ilana Curiel, Daniel Rosenbaum and Mor Avragami  contributed to this report.

10.17.2011 – Letters, drawings for Gilad help him, hospital children’

LAST UPDATED: 10/17/2011 05:44

Writing letters to Gilad connects children to their surroundings, improves their mood, says Kaplan psychologist.

child's hand

Although it’s unlikely that Gilad Schalit will have time to read them, letters written by hospitalized children and doctors at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot are thought by psychologists to help in their recovery.

“Writing letters to Gilad connects them with their normal surroundings outside, improves their mood and supplies interest and a target,” said Dr. Pini Cassuto, a Kaplan psychologist who was head of a unit for locating MIAs after the young soldier was kidnapped.

Cassuto said Sunday that the letters from the children and medical staffers will be transferred to the Tel Nof Air Force base where Schalit will be reunited with his loved ones.

Cassuto, who was involved in investigating the kidnapping minutes after it occurred, said that the letters are a form of emotional release for the young patients.

 They are also drawing pictures for Schalit, Cassuto added.

“If Gilad looks at them, they could give him emotional support and help him cope during the first days after his long incarceration in Gaza,” the psychologist said.

On Sunday, nurses passed through the pediatric department with paper for writing letters to Gilad and depositing them in specially printed boxes. All of the letters are very emotional and full of excitement, Cassuto said.

Sima Revivo, mother of a 10-year-old Ashdod boy named Noam who had his infected appendix removed, said that her son remembered in the recovery room after his surgery when the doctor who told him Schalit is being released.

“There is no doubt that writing letters to him eased the hospitalized children’s feelings. They are talking about him a lot. She is the child of all of us,” Sima said.

Kaplan Director-General Prof. Ya’acov Yahav said that in the past, the hospital initiated an assembly on the campus grounds in support for Schalit’s release.

9.22.2011 – Doctors raising funds for Gaza teen’s organ transplant

LAST UPDATED: 09/22/2011 21:52

The life of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl from Rafah in Gaza was saved by Kaplan Medical Center doctors after she fell from a ferris wheel.

Abir Abu-Nakira

The life of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl from Rafah in Gaza was saved by Kaplan Medical Center doctors after she fell from a malfunctioning ferris wheel near her home and was critically injured.

Three months after the accident, she is out of danger, but her doctors are trying to collect funds to enable her to undergo abroad a small-intestine transplant, which is unavailable here.

“I wish for peace between us and Israel,” Abir Abu-Nakira said. “Kaplan physicians saved me.”

Kaplan doctor saves Israeli over skies of Tashkent

Dr. Yoram Klein, director of the trauma and urgent surgery department in the Rehovot hospital, said Abir was brought to Kaplan after being held for four hours in a Palestinian Authority hospital, but the staff couldn’t save her. She was unconscious with severe abdominal injuries, requiring surgeons to perform several lifesaving operations.

In recent days, her condition stabilized, but she still requires a long period of hospitalization. Her small intestine was severely damaged from the fall and is fed by a special tube attached to a vein in a technique unavailable in Palestinian Authority hospitals. A TV set was brought to her bedside to keep her occupied.

Klein said the hospital found an Arabic-speaking teacher who will work with her, and soon, teachers from Ramle will come to Kaplan to help Abir progress in her studies. Family members received permits to enter Israel with help from the hospital.

This week, the teenager whispered her thanks to Kaplan doctors who saved her life.

“Dr. Klein is my angel. He is much more than a doctor; he supports and strengthens me,” she said.

For normal functioning, Abir needs a whole small intestine, which is very complex to transplant and is a rare operation even abroad.

“It is a very expensive operation, but it will improve her life significantly,” said Klein.

“We at Kaplan are doing our best to make things easier for her and make it possible for her to have routine functioning,” he said. “There is no doubt that her condition has improved unrecognizably compared to three months ago.”

8.26.2011 – Family Affair / The Peris and the Jowamises

By Avner Avrahami | Aug.26, 2011 | 2:46 PM

Peris, Jowamis.

The Peris and their hosts, the Jowamis family. Photo by Reli Avrahami

In the last installment of this column, two families live together in the Bedouin village of Beit Zarzir.

W The cast: Amir (57 ), Betty (56 ), Ya’ar (31 ), Osnat (30 ), Avner (4 ), Tamar (3 ), Khaled (61 ), Fatma (60 ) and little Khaled (13 ). Not in the photo: Yuli (16 ), a foster daughter, who has essentially been adopted by Betty and Amir; and Tal (28 ), a student, who lives in Haifa.

W Who’s who: Amir and Betty Peri are Ya’ar’s parents; Osnat and Ya’ar are the parents of Avner and Tamar; Khaled and Fatma Jowamis are the hosts; and little Khaled, their grandson, is here by chance for a visit.

W Story in a nutshell: Amir and Betty sold their home in Givat Elah (a neighboring community ) and decided to build a new home in Shadmot Dvora (near Kfar Tavor ). In the course of the construction they changed their mind and decided to stay in Givat Elah until Yuli finishes high school (in two years ). As a result they had to find a place to rent immediately. A place was found but won’t be available until September. Khaled and Fatma heard about the Peris’ problem and responded: “Please, come stay with us.” The offer was accepted and in June the Peris from Givat Elah moved to Beit Zarzir for three months. How did Khaled and Fatma hear about the straits in which Amir and Betty found themselves? All will be revealed.

W Highway 7626: After taking a left at the mosque, the narrow paved entrance to the Jowamis’ compound passes between olive groves. We drive in and on the right, on a concrete terrace, stands the family’s large house (two-story, light-orange stucco, decorative stones, and shaded parking area between the pillars ); on the left is the house allotted to the Peri family.

W Allotted house: The dwelling is flat and wide, with a light metal roof, ceramic-tile floor, aluminum-sided windows, orange walls (“a starling loft” Betty calls it: zarzir means “starling” in Hebrew ). The space is divided into two parallel halls along which cloth curtains have been hung to compartmentalize the temporary living quarters. The right-hand hall contains the Peris’ living-room furniture (white and blue sofas, Danish armchairs ) and a heavy dining table. The young Peri family (Ya’ar, Osnat and the children ) is ensconced behind a curtain and has spread a communal sleeping mat on the floor, in addition to the beds arranged along the wall. Betty, Amir and Yuli are living in the second hall, on the left; Betty and Amir have their own room; and Yuli has an enclosed area with a bed, computer corner and a copy of “The Little Prince” (in English ). Also here (in the second hall ) is the kitchen, which has been moved from Givat Elah. We peek in: Stuffed vegetables (Fatma’s handiwork ) are simmering on the gas cookers. Later we will see another kitchen, in the rear, which plays an important role in the lives of the two families.

W Midday: The fans do their best; there is no air conditioning. We sit outside in the parking area below the Jowamis’ house, and are served fruit and coffee. A light breeze blows from the direction of the olive groves and we discover an interesting detail.

W Interesting detail: Fatma and Khaled lived in the house they have placed (for free ) at the Peri’s disposal and moved to the big house, which actually belongs to their young (and single ) son, Uzi. The question now arises: How did the two families become friends?

W Friends: It’s all thanks to Amna, Khaled and Fatma’s 8-year-old granddaughter, who attends a school in the Arab village of Manshiat Zebda, in the Jezreel Valley, where Betty is a teacher. When Khaled heard about Betty and Amir’s housing problem, he said without hesitation, “Ahlan wasahlan (welcome ).”

W In the meantime: Ya’ar and Osnat and their children left Kibbutz Neot Smadar (north of Eilat ) and joined their parents for the village idyll in Beit Zarzir.

W Village idyll: Every morning at around 7, Betty and Fatma meet over a cup of coffee (granulated instant ) in the shade of the olive trees next to the rear kitchen, in order to plan the evening’s joint meal. The options include combinations of maluhiya (a green salad ), maklubeh (a chicken dish ), stuffed vegetables and schnitzel dipped in whole-wheat bread crumbs (a recipe from Osnat, even though she is a vegetarian ). At the same time, Amir and Khaled have their morning coffee together (made with Nachle brand Turkish coffee from Shfaram ).

W Livelihoods and occupations: Khaled is a pensioner. Until taking early retirement due to a heart problem, he was a security guard and a “night guide” at Ramat Hadassah boarding school near Tivon, which is attended by new-immigrant children with special needs. “These days I am not doing anything,” he says in a satisfied tone. Fatma follows her longtime routine of cooking, cleaning and praying five times a day in her room. She whispers the prayers, only her lips move. The first prayers are recited at 4 A.M., the last at 9:30 P.M. In between, she takes care of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She and Khaled have 10 children, 32 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. This evening they are going to a wedding (“We give NIS 150-200 in cash” ); on other days they watch the Channel 2 news and the “The Money Taxi,” an Israeli game show. Fatma also likes to watch the Lotto lottery winners’ show (“although I don’t have a ticket” ).

W The Peri family’s occupations: Amir is an architect who a year ago gave up designing “the houses in the extension projects” – referring to new residential construction on kibbutzim and moshavim – and environmental planning in favor of education, an old dream. He is currently a teacher’s assistant in the anthroposophic high school on Kibbutz Harduf. He is happy, he says. His work consists of being in the classroom (alongside the teacher ) and assisting children with various disabilities.

W Teacher’s salary: “I never made a lot of money, and because we recently finished paying off our mortgage, I can allow myself to do it.” The family is supportive (“We urged him for years to do this” – Betty ).

W Betty: She is an agronomist, a graduate of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot. After years of working in the profession, including at the Agriculture Ministry, she switched to “therapeutic gardening” and now works in two special-education schools in Galilee; one in Manshiat Zebda, the other in Nazareth, both for Arab children. As part of her work, she and the children grow house plants, herbs and spices in hothouses. Gardening, she says, is essentially therapeutic and empowers people (“Those who receive special care now care for plants” ).

W Amir’s bio: He was born on Kibbutz Eyal in 1954, to native-born parents, served in the Nahal paramilitary brigade, saw action in the Yom Kippur War (at the Suez Canal ), met Betty (on Kibbutz Gonen ) and studied architecture at an engineering college in Haifa.

W Betty: Her full name is Beatrice. She was born in 1955, in Concordia, Argentina, immigrated with her family to Israel (to Moshav Nir Zvi ) in 1959, attended Ramle-Lod High School (biology track ), served in Nahal and met Amir.

W The meeting: It took place in 1975, on Kibbutz Gonen. One of the kibbutz children found a baby falcon in Kiryat Shmona, and Betty, who was there, was advised to take the bird to “Amir, who raises falcons.” The falcon flew off after two months but the ties between Amir and Betty remained solid. At night they went to the banks of one of the tributaries of the Jordan River (“That was where the romance was” ).

W The wedding: It took place in 1976 on Moshav Nir Zvi, in the yard of her parents’ house. Betty was in a white bridal gown from Maskit and Swedish clogs; Amir wore a light-blue shirt, canvas slacks (fashionable at the time ) and “biblical” sandals. All their children were born at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot; Amir says he was one of the first husbands in Israel to be present at a birth. They took Yuli into their hearts in 2002.

W Yuli: The daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, she has lived with the Peris (as her foster family ) since she was seven, and has no ties with her biological parents. She says she has always felt completely like a Peri – the little sister of Ya’ar and Tal. She attends WIZO high school in Nahalal, volunteers with the Magen David Adom emergency medical service , is studying voice development and will “probably” do a year of national service before being drafted. She sees her future as a singer, but will not take part in “A Star Is Born” (Israel’s version of “American Idol” ) – “so people won’t say, ‘She was on ‘A Star Is Born.'”

W Ya’ar: He is a gardener (works in the area ) and a student enrolled in the preparatory program at Emek Yezreel College; he plans to study economics and business administration. He did his military service in the Paratroops (“paramedic in the 890th” ) and left Kibbutz Neot Smadar with his family a year ago after eight years; he says he has a head for big economic enterprises.

W Osnat: She was born on Kibbutz Kissufim, met Ya’ar in Neot Smadar, currently teaches Pilates and gives private lessons in mathematics to local children. Next year she will teach mathematics and computers at the University of Haifa.

W Leaving kibbutz: “We enjoyed what we got there,” Ya’ar says, “but felt there were other things we had to try out.” He adds that he left “with empty pockets but ‘rich’ because of my wife and two children.”

W Living with the folks: “Terrific.” It started as a necessary economic move, he says, and became a pleasure (“We will want to live together in the future, too” ).

W Avner and Tamar: They attend preschools on Kibbutz Ramat David (NIS 4,500 a month for the two ). Transportation is based on “family planning every evening.”

W Dreams: “For the children to continue with us” – Betty; “I am now living the dream” – Amir; “To marry off Uzi, the 10th child” – Khaled; “To stay Betty’s friend” – Fatma.

W Peace: “We will start with two states for the two peoples,” Betty says. “I believe in man and his spirit, like Tchernichovsky did.”

W Happiness quotient (scale of 1-10 ): Amir – 8-10; Betty – 8; Ya’ar 9.5; Osnat – “from 1 to 10, and today 9”; Khaled – 8, Fatma – 9, Yuli – “from 4 to 10.”

The place

Beit Zarzir – A Bedouin village northwest of Nazareth, founded in 1963, with a population of 5,500 people who come from five tribes.

The “Family Affair” column has come to an end. We thank the readers and the Haaretz Magazine staff – Avner and Reli Avrahami.

08.24.2011 – An effective intervention to limit the spread of an epidemic …

An effective intervention to limit the spread of an epidemic 
Infectious Diseases Unit, Kaplan Medical CenterRehovot, Israel; Corresponding Author Information Address correspondence to Pnina Ciobotaro, MD,