B’OR HA’TORAH Volume 24 Bios

B’OR HA’TORAH Volume 24

Robert Appleson

Robert Appleson recently retired as a vice president at the Higher Learning Commission, which is based in Chicago and accredits colleges and universities in nineteen states. His doctorate in mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 1975 led him to study structural patterns in the Torah, and his book on this subject is scheduled to be published by Mosaica Press in 2016. He and his wife learn at the Illinois Center for Jewish Studies. They are blessed with three children and their families.


Rabbi Gideon Weitzman

Rabbi Gideon Weitzman, Director of the Puah Institute, heads the organization’s English-Speaking Section for Fertility and Medicine in Accordance with Halakhah (Jewish law).

Born in Britain, Rabbi Weitzman studied at the Beit El Rabbinic Seminary and earned his rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Upon completion of his studies, he founded and chaired the Kansas City Community Kollel (Center of Adult Learning). Subsequently, he returned to Israel and was invited to join the staff of the Puah Institute.

Rabbi Weitzman is a visiting associate principal at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. As a regular contributor to the annual halakhic compendium Techumin, his articles include: “The Methods of Sperm Extraction and Their Relevance in the Eyes of Halacha” and “Tubal Ligation for a Woman Undergoing IVF.” His scholarly papers in medical journals include: “Genetic Counseling for the Orthodox Jewish Couple Undergoing Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis” in the Journal of Genetic Counseling and “Withdrawal of Life Sustaining Treatment for Newborn Infants from a Jewish Perspective” in the journal Early Human Development.

Rabbi Weitzman has developed and taught online courses pertaining to fertility treatments and their interface with halakhah. These courses were sponsored by the Center for the Jewish Future of Yeshiva University and by Habad rabbis. While currently teaching in the Gruss Kollel and the Midrasha College for Women in Jerusalem, he also serves as rabbi of the Merkaz Modiin Synagogue. Rabbi Weitzman has published three books on the philosophy of former Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. His latest book, His Words, Their Voices — Essays on the Haftarot, was recently published by Urim Publications.


www.puah.org.il and www.puahonline.org

Barry M. Kinzbrunner

Barry M. Kinzbrunner, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Vitas Healthcare Corporation of Miami, Florida. Board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice and palliative medicine, he has voluntary faculty appointments at the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Florida International University School of Medicine. He received rabbinic ordination from Pirchei Shoshanim in Jerusalem, Israel, in 2002.

Dr. Kinzbrunner’s extensive experience in the field of hospice and palliative medicine includes numerous speaking engagements and publications on the care of patients at the end of life, including a textbook entitled 20 Common Problems in End-of-life Care. A second edition, under the title End-of-Life Care: A Practical Guide, was published in January, 2011. Under Dr. Kinzbrunner’s leadership, Vitas has partnered with the American Medical Student Association to offer a yearly six-week summer internship in end-of-life care for medical students. Dr. Kinzbrunner has worked since 1998 as a voluntary consultant in Israel for JDC-Eshel to assist in the development of hospice and palliative care services, as well as spiritual care services. Currently serving on the advisory board of the National Institute for Jewish Hospice, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine from 1999 to 2006 and was its treasurer from 2005 to 2006.


Professor Jason Wolfe

Professor Emeritus of Cell Biology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Jason Wolfe was born and raised in Newark, NJ, studied at Yeshiva University High School, and received a BA from Rutgers University and a PhD from the University of California Berkeley. He did postdoctoral research at the Biophysical Unit of the Medical Research Council, the University of London’s Kings College in England, and the Biophysics Department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

His research concentrated on the mechanism by which cells, while remaining alive, destroy their own nuclei. He investigated how this is related to the process of programmed cell death, a necessary part of development. He taught courses on the biology of aging and the cell biology of cancer.

Professor Wolfe spent three sabbatical years in Israel at the Hebrew University, the Technion, and Hadassah Medical School. He lived for a year in the religious kibbuts, Ma’alei Gilboa. He was a past president of Young Israel of West Hartford and former chairman of the Judaic Studies Board of the Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford.

Professor Joseph S. Bodenheimer

Editor-in-chief of B’Or Ha’TorahJoseph S. Bodenheimer is a full professor of electro-optics at the Jerusalem College of Technology (Machon Lev) and president emeritus of this unique college. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University in physics. He did postdoctoral studies in laser spectrometry at Kings College, London University, and discovered two previously unknown phase transitions and also developed a new spectrometric technique.

In 1982, Professor Bodenheimer was appointed head of the electro-optics department of the Jerusalem College of Technology. In 1989 he was elected rector and subsequently, up until 2009, was president of JCT. Under his leadership, JCT expanded dynamically to become a world-class institute, supporting Israel’s position as a global hi-tech superpower while combining Torah and academic studies.

Professor Bodenheimer has endeavored to make Israel a world leader in the field of optical engineering through his students and applied research. Awarded substantial research grants from institutes and foundations throughout the world, he has published over eighty papers and holds eleven patents in a broad range of electro-optical devices and systems. He has served as consultant for numerous high-technology companies in Israel and the United States and as a member of several national scientific committees.

Professor Bodenheimer sets aside time for daily Talmud study, and gives regular shiurim. A founding member of the California chapter of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, he is a member of the Zomet Institute for Halacha and Technology, a member of the board of Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, and the president of Ramban Synagogue in Katamon, Jerusalem.

Fascinated by the combination of science and technology with Jewish studies and ethics, Joseph Bodenheimer is a life-long Zionist leader who loves working with young people, especially his own extensive family. He and his wife, Rachel, have eight children and many, many grandchildren.


Back to Table of Contents

Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, MD

Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, MD, is an associate clinical professor of medical ethics at the Hebrew University–Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. He is the author of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics, published in seven volumes in Hebrew (two editions) and three volumes in English (translated by Dr. Fred Rosner), for which he was awarded the Israel Prize in 1999. Professor Steinberg is a senior pediatric neurologist at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. He directs the Medical Ethics Unit at Shaare Zedek. Head of the editorial board of the Talmudic Encyclopedia, and Editor-in-Chief of the Talmudic Micropedia, he is also director of Yad Harav Herzog, and a member of national and international societies of child neurology, medical ethics, and Jewish medical ethics.

In Israel, Professor Steinberg is the co-chairman of the National Bioethics Council, chairman of the Dying Patient Committee, chairman of the Organ Transplantation Committee, chairman of the Altruistic Live-Organ Donations Committee, member of the Brain-Death Criteria Committee, member of the Status of the Fetus and Pre-Embryo Committee, and chairman of the Pathological Specimens Committee.

He is the author and editor of 40 books and public reports in 59 volumes, and over 280 articles and chapters in scientific journals and books on Jewish medical ethics, general medical ethics, the history of medicine, medicine and law, and pediatric neurology. He has given over 4,000 expert witness opinions in court cases on pediatric neurology and medical ethics. 

Professor Vera Schwarcz

Born in Romania, Professor Vera Schwarcz is a China historian and poet. She earned her BA from Vassar, MA from Yale, and PhD from Stanford. The author of eight books on Chinese and Jewish history, including the prize-winning Bridge Across Broken Time: Chinese and Jewish Cultural Memory; The Chinese Enlightenment: Intellectuals and the Legacy of the May Fourth Movement of 1919; Time for Telling Truth Is Running Out: Conversations with Zhang Shenfu; Place and Memory in Singing Crane Garden; and the forthcoming volume: Colors of Veracity: A Quest for Truth in China, and Beyond (Hawaii University Press, 2014). She has also written five books of poetry, among them:  In the Garden of Memory (with paper art by Holocaust survivor Chava Pressburger), Brief Rest in the Garden of Flourishing Grace; Chisel of Remembrance and Ancestral Intelligence: Improvisations and Logographs. Schwarcz holds the Freeman Chair in East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Her work won a Guggenheim fellowship and is featured on the web at between2walls.com.


Professor Cary Nelson

Cary Nelson is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an affiliated faculty member at the University of Haifa. He is the author or editor of thirty books, most recently The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel. His personal web site is www.cary-nelson.org.

Back to Table of Contents

Harvey Babich, PhD

Dr. Harvey Babich received a BA in biology from Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University (YU), an MS in microbiology from Long Island University, and a PhD in biology from New York University (NYU). Subsequent appointments included Senior Research Scientist in the Biology Department at NYU, Senior Staff Scientist at the Environmental Law Institute, and Senior Research Scientist at the Rockefeller University. He served as a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences. Research interests have included the effects of pollutants on microbes, the development of short-term toxicity assays with fish and mammalian cell lines, and, currently, the comparative responses of human oral fibroblasts and carcinoma cells to nutraceuticals. His research has appeared in over 130 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Babich joined the Biology Department of Stern College for Women (SCW) of YU in 1987 and is a professor and the chair of that department. He is the originator of the SCW publication, Derech HaTeva: A Journal of Torah and Science, published since 1997 and available online at YUTorah.org. His communal activities have included involvement with the Young Israel of Ocean Parkway and the Young Israel of Homecrest, and currently with Agudath Yisroel of Madison (all in Brooklyn), in which his favorite activity is “shul candy man.” 


Back to Table of Contents

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman is a senior editor at Chabad.org, the world’s busiest faith-based website, with 47 million unique visitors per year. He is the author of two volumes of Bringing Heaven Down To Earth—365 Meditations, along with several other titles on Kabbalah and hasidic thought. His multimedia productions on Jewish meditation can be found at JewishMeditation.com.


Back to Table of Contents

Wendy Dickstein

Wendy Dickstein was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and as a teenager moved with her family to Australia, where she studied English literature and philosophy and graduated from Monash University (BA Hons) and Melbourne University (MA Hons). She has lived in Jerusalem since 1986. She was a student at Nishmat: The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women during its first year (1990). She has been the literary editor of B’Or Ha’Torah since 1994, as well as editing fifteen volumes of The Commentators series of Torah literature by Rabbi Yitzchak Sender. Her recent publications include Wanderings: Hyderabad Diary (2014), the story of a spiritual journey from India to Israel; and The Balloon Lady and Other Stories (2014). Both are available as ebooks and paperbacks from Amazon.com.

Back to Table of Contents