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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Evening will explore Halachah of organ donation

Tags: Health
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“According to the Halachah, yes, you can donate!” says Beth Tzedec’s Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl. 

In order to bring clarity to the Jewish community regarding organ and tissue donation, Beth Tzedec Congregation, in conjunction with the Toronto Board of Rabbis, is hosting an evening to examine this topic on Tuesday, May 22, at Beth Tzedec synagogue, 1700 Bathurst St.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. with Rabbi Frydman-Kohl outlining the Halachah (Jewish law) regarding organ and tissue donation. He hopes to dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding this topic within the halachic framework.

According to Jewish law, saving a life is one of the most important mitzvot we can do, says Frydman-Kohl.

His discussion will be followed by a presentation by Versha Prakash, vice president of operations for Trillium Gift of Life, Ontario’s registry for organ and tissue donation.

She will explain Trillium’s mandate and address medical issues and commonly asked questions regarding organ and tissue donation.

Only 17 per cent of Ontarians are registered to donate organs and tissue, while 1,500 people in Ontario are on the waiting list to receive organs or tissue. One person can save eight lives and enhance as many as 75 more.  The need for education and action, in the Jewish community and beyond, are critical in order to save lives.

Organ donors and recipients will discuss their personal journeys: the miraculous story of a man who just celebrated the “bar mitzvah” anniversary of his successful liver transplant, a family who donated their son’s organs after a tragic accident, and two women, one of whom donated her kidney to the other.

There is an urgent need for organ and tissue donation and organizers hope to spur the Jewish community to action – “Yes, we can donate!” – and educate the public on the importance of online registration with Trillium Gift of Life.

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