african, Laurencia Simon, heart surgery, Tansania
Heart surgery recipient Laurencia Simon. Photo by Sheila Shalhevet
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HISTORY IN AFRICA: Doctors from Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli nonprofit providing medical care for children from developing countries, last Friday successfully performed the first ever pediatric open heart surgery in Tanzania. Living without electricity or running water, Laurencia Simon, 4, was diagnosed with congenital heart disease two years ago. "It required incredible team work to create an operating room that could meet our needs," said Lior Sasson, Save a Child's Heart chief surgeon and head of the cardiothoracic surgery department at Wolfson Medical Center. "But we did it - we created an environment where we could carefully and conscientiously perform open heart surgery." Doctors from Save a Child's Heart, which was founded by the late U.S.-born Ami Cohen, performed about 10 more pediatric heart surgeries this week in Tanzania, while 180 children will be flown to and operated in Israel. "I finally see my people benefit from all my hard work," said Tanzanian-born surgeon Godwin Godfrey, who has been in Israel the past three years training with Save a Child's Heart. Volunteers and supporters on Tuesday started climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, in an effort to raise $1 million. They plan to reach the summit on Sunday. (Raphael Ahren)

 

NET GAIN: Jerusalem will host Tel Aviv in Israel's first-ever competitive lacrosse match Saturday night at Kraft Stadium. The two teams will compete in the inaugural Zimmerman Cup, which organizers say will be recognized as Israel's national championship trophy for years to come. The match is organized by Israel Lacrosse, which was officially recognized by the Federation of International Lacrosse in June. "We've successfully identified over 30 Israeli athletes who have experience playing competitive college lacrosse," said Israel Lacrosse director Scott Neiss. "We're hopeful we'll be able to build a player pool quickly and develop a true national club league," added Neiss, who also serves as deputy commissioner of the North American Lacrosse League. For Saturday's match, Jewish Sports Hall of Famer Bill Beroza, who is also head coach of the Israeli men's national team, will coach Tel Aviv, while Israel Lacrosse general manager Howard Borkan will take care of the Jerusalem players. Israel Lacrosse expects to field a men's national team to debut next June at the 2012 European Lacrosse Championships in Amsterdam. (Raphael Ahren)

 

CULTURE CLASH: When an author publishes a best-selling book called "Londonistan" and follows it with a volume entitled "The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power," you can be sure that a planetary East-West schism is ever-present in her thoughts. Orwell Prize winner and Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips will speak at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem next month on what she sees as the coming clash of civilizations. For Phillips, Israel is on the front lines of an all-out Islamic assault on the Judeo-Christian sphere of influence, but in this global battle, Britain, Europe and the U.S. are the theaters of operation. The B'nai B'rith World Center will host Phillips when she delivers her address, entitled "The War Against Israel: the Defining Issue of Our Time" on Monday, September 12 at 8 P.M. (David Sheen)

 

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