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American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel Records

 Collection
Identifier: I-586

Scope and Content Note

The records of the American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel (APF) contain materials detailing the operations of the organization. Materials relating to the APF's external activities and internal proceedings include correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, tours, galas, symposiums, conferences, financial statements, scrapbooks, publications, and audiovisual items. Of note are items documenting the APF's Fellowship Program for post-doctoral clinical training, the Solomon Hirsh Nursing Award for visiting Israeli nurses, podiatry programs, history of the organization, establishment of the Israel Institute of the History of Medicine, and early publications from the Israel Medical Association.

Dates

  • undated, 1920-2014

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and French.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Historical Note

The American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel (APF) was officially incorporated in 1952, following years of work by American and Israeli physicians to create ties and foster cooperation between American and Israeli colleagues. The endeavor began in 1912 when a group of physicians met in Tel Aviv and established the Hebrew Medicinal Society for Jaffa and the Jaffa District. The following year, another Jewish physicians group was organized in Jerusalem called the Hebrew-Speaking Physician’s Society, which was open to those physicians who spoke Hebrew but did not reside in Israel. The two groups began a collaboration in 1914 and ultimately merged under the name The Hebrew Medical Association in the Land of Israel (HMA) following World War I. Then, after the establishment of the State of Israel, HMA became the Israeli Medical Association (IMA).

Dr. Moshe Sherman, one of the founders of the Hebrew Medicinal Society for Jaffa and the Jaffa District and later president of the IMA, believed in the importance of creating strong ties and cultivating cooperation between Israeli physicians and fellow physicians of the Diaspora. In 1945, he helped found the Mifal Haverut Hutz (Foreign Membership Project) as a means to achieve these goals. In 1949, after having made little progress, he met Dr. Morton Robbins of Nashua, New Hampshire, who was at the time the National Vice President of the Zionist Organization of America, when Robbins was visiting Israel. Dr. Robbins became interested in the cause and was able to enroll new members in their non-resident project, Mifal Haverut Hutz, in the United States. He was later asked by the organization to create a special committee of physicians in America on behalf of the IMA and was given authorization to enroll new members. On March 7, 1950 a group met at the Zionist House in Boston and agreed to organize the American Physician Fellowship Committee of the Israel Medical Association. In 1952, the American Physicians Fellowship for Medicine in Israel was founded and officially incorporated.

The APF has continued the original mission to support projects that advance medical education, research, and healthcare in Israel and to build links between the medical communities of Israel and North America. The Fellowship Program is the organization’s flagship program and continues the earliest goals of the APF. It provides financial assistance to Israeli physicians receiving post-doctoral specialty training in North America, as well as supplies research grants to physicians engaged in basic medical research in Israel. The organization also offers the Solomon Hirsh Nursing Awards each year to Israeli nurses, enabling them to visit North American medical institutions, where they can learn about new methods and techniques to bring back to Israel. The APF offers training in disaster management through their Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Courses in Israel, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Another effort that the APF has maintained for years is a registry of Emergency Medical Volunteers, in the event of a national crisis in Israel. They are the only organization to be given this designation by the State of Israel.

Throughout its history, the APF has supported many programs to further its mission, including giving aid to the construction and maintenance of Jerusalem Academy of Medicine, as well as the Israel Institute of the History of Medicine. The IIMH became the Manuel M. Glazier Institute of the History of Medicine (named after the late national secretary) and moved to the medical history section of the National Medical Library at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School at Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. Over the years, the APF has helped to maintain many medical libraries, coordinated medical equipment donations, helped to establish podiatry programs in Israel and supported lectures, teaching tours, and programs for Soviet Jewry.

References

  1. Materials from the collection.
  2. American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel. Accessed September 20, 2016. http://apfmed.org/about-us/who-we-are/
  3. Israeli Medical Association. Accessed September 20, 2016. http://www.ima.org.il/Eng/ViewCategory.aspx?CategoryId=4131
  4. Israel Philatelic Federation. Accessed September 20, 2016. http://israelphilately.org.il/en/catalog/articles/310/Medical%20Convention

Chronology

1912
Hebrew Medicinal Society for Jaffa and the Jaffa District is founded.
1913
Hebrew-Speaking Physician’s Society is established in Jerusalem.
1936
The first international convention of Jewish physicians is held in Tel Aviv, Israel.
1945
The Mifal Haverut Hutz (Foreign Membership Project) of the Israel Medical Association is founded.
1949
Dr. Morton Robbins visits Jerusalem and returns home to develop the Mifal Haverut Hutz in America.
1950
First group of Mifal Haverut Hutz in America is organized.
1950
The American Physician Fellowship Committee of the Israel Medical Association is established in Boston.
1950-1954
Dr. Morton I. Robbins serves as national president.
1952
The American Physicians Fellowship is founded and incorporated.
1957
Jerusalem Academy of Medicine is established.
1970
APF’s Podiatry Program in Israel is established.
1975
Planning for the construction of the Israel Institute of the History of Medicine begin in Jerusalem.
1989
The Manuel Glazier Institute of the History of Medicine, formerly the Israel Institute of the History of Medicine, moves to the National Medical Library at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School at Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.
2000
The 50th Anniversary Leaders in Massachusetts Medicine Gala and Symposium take place.

Extent

20 linear feet (19 document boxes and 1 oversized box)

Abstract

The American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel (APF) is an organization of physicians and health care professionals whose aims are to advance the state of medical education, research and care in Israel and to advance relationships between the health care communities of North America and Israel. This collection contains materials relating to the organization’s activities and internal proceedings, including correspondence, scrapbooks, reports, meeting minutes, financial statements, publications, events, photographs, and audiovisual materials.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ben Shamir, Executive Director of APF, 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by Kelsey Sawyer and Kora Welsh, 2017
Title
Guide to the Records of American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel, I-586
Author
Processed by Kelsey Sawyer and Kora Welsh
Date
2016

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245