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jewish doctorsBy MYRON LOVE
Doctors have figured prominently in Jewish history and Jewish doctors have played a major role in general society since time immemorial. In this, Manitoba is no exception.


On Thursday, June 9, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada – in partnership with the University of Manitoba Rady College of Medicine Archives – is hosting an evening celebrating “A Century of Jewish Physicians” in Manitoba. The event – at the Berney Theatre – will be hosted by Dr. Arnold Naimark (who was the first Jewish dean of medicine and the second Jewish president of the University of Manitoba) and will featured presentations by: Dr. Lorne Brandes speaking about the role of Jewish physicians in cancer care and research; Dr. Daniel Klass, who will talk about the Mall Medical Group (the first all-Jewish such organization); and Jordan Bass, a College of Medicine archivist.
The evening is intended to kick off the JHS’s newest project – a compilation of the history of physicians in Manitoba. “We are hoping to get a good turnout and that people will share their own stories,” says Dr. Nathan Wiseman, who is chairing the new JHS project.
Wiseman, who is a pediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital, notes that the project will be exploring a number of different areas in the history of Jewish doctors in our province. Some of the foci will be on the early doctors who were trained in Europe, as well as more recently arrived doctors from England, South Africa and Israel; Jewish women in medicine; second and third generation doctors; rural doctors; Jewish doctors who were leaders and pioneers in their fields; and how the quota system restricting the number of Jewish (and other non- Anglo-Saxon) medical students was broken in the late 1940s.
Wiseman notes that he became involved in the project over a year ago when he was approached by Abe Anhang (who is one of the co-chairs for the project) about coming to a meeting (which also included Professor Dan Stone, a past president of the JHS, and JHS curator Stan Carbone).
“I had known Abe for years,” Wiseman says. “This idea had been percolating for quite some time. We have a committee of 14. Everyone we approached was enthusiastic about the project.”
The idea behind the project, Wiseman notes, is to create both an archive (There is not much information there right now, Wiseman notes.), as well as a book that will chronicle the history of Jewish physicians and surgeons against the backdrop of the history of Manitoba, the history of the Jewish community in Manitoba and the development of medical progress and practice in the province.
To that end, oral historian Chana Thau has already begun interviewing older Jewish doctors for their stories and memories. A number of evening gatherings are being planned to allow members of the community to participate in this new venture.

For further information about how to participate, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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#1 Ms.Ariel Lee 2016-05-28 05:34
I am so looking forward to this. What a wonderful idea.
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