Faculty News


    AFBIU Acting CEO Meets Azrieli Faculty of Medicine

    Bob Aronson, acting CEO of American Friends of Bar-Ilan University, visited the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine on January 19, 2023 accompanied by Dr. Sharon Goldman, Bar-Ilan U. V.P. Global Resources, to become acquainted with the Faculty first hand. They met with:

    • Prof. Chaim Putterman, Acting Dean and Associate Dean for Research 
    • Prof. Eric Shinwell, Associate Dean Medical Education
    • Dr. Sivan Spitzer, Deputy Director, SPHERE; Head of Population Health Education and Principal Investigator of HEAL - Health Equity Advancement Lab 
    • Prof. Michael Edelstein, Head of Public Health and Epidemiology Lab
    • Dr. Alon Barash, Head of Physical Anthropology, Human Anatomy & Evolution Lab; Anatomy course director
    • Dr. Hanna Keren, Head of Computational Study of Human Psychopathology and Mood Lab
    • Dr. Ron Orbach, Head of Biochemistry of the Cilia and Ciliopathies Lab

    Prof. Amnon Albeck, Rector of Bar-Ilan University, was also present for part of this visit.


  • Azrieli Visit

    Azrieli Visits Azrieli

    It's always a pleasure to see good, close friends.

    The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine was excited to host none other than representatives from the Azrieli Foundation, on January 18, 2023. Dr. Sharon Goldman, Bar-Ilan VP Global Resources, joined Dena Libman, Chief Strategy Officer; Galit Gal, Chief Philanthropy Officer; and Ronit Burg Yaari, Grant Manager as the team met with Acting Dean Prof. Chaim Putterman; Dr. Alon Barash, anatomy and evolution researcher; Dr. Sivan Spitzer, health equities researcher and Deputy Director of SPHERE; and Dr. Shai Bel, microbiome researcher.

    Do come again!

  • 360

    Azrieli Faculty of Medicine Hosts MoE 360 Education Initiative

    The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine was pleased to host the regional 360 initiative conference on January 11, 2023. This initiative focuses on education and other important needs in early childhood (Facebook post in Hebrew here.)

    Yesterday, after greetings by Mayor of Safed Shuki Ohana and other officials, sessions were held, focusing on, for example: 

    • System intervention of at-risk toddlers and their families
    • Taking responsibility for health - promoting health processes
    • Opportunities and challenges in combining intervention programs in day care centers
    • "A city that speaks languages" partnership between municipality and academia in the field of languages

    Miki Eiraz, deputy in charge of the initiative shares: "We were hosted by the Faculty of Medicine in Safed, an impressive, comfortable, and very amiable venue. We have found new partners in this Faculty that is oriented towards the community. It offers, for example, a lovely project that makes the health system accessible to children, the Teddy Bear Hospital."


  • onn lab visit

    Local SpaceLab Competition Students Visit Onn Lab

    On January 10, 2023 Prof. Itay Onn hosted a group of 10 middle school students and 2 teachers at his lab, part of the SpaceLab competition of the Ilan Ramon Foundation for which he is an advisor. They were exposed to methods related to the project in the laboratory and at the Faculty Scientific Equipment Center.

    Schools from around the country participate in the program, coming up with scientific experiments relevant to life in space. The experiments selected in the national competition are sent to the International Space Station where they are carried out.

    Explains Prof. Onn: "The students approached me with an idea for an experiment and I helped them develop it into a feasible experiment and supported them in the scientific aspects of the project. The project is named 'Identifying mechanisms of chromosome instability in microgravity'."

    The students will present the project at the national competition that will be held at the end of January in Jerusalem. The purpose of the visit was to demonstrate to the students the scientific methods used in the experiment. Shani Glick is in charge of the project from the students' perspective and Prof. Onn is the scientific advisor. Assisting in the visit were graduate students at the lab and the director of the laboratory, Dr. Avi Matityahu. Dr. Ella Maoz, Dr. Yehuda Gabbai, and Dr. Michael Asa, volunteered to offer the children demonstrations in their fields of expertise.


  • intl school

    BIU International School Visits Faculty of Medicine

    The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine was pleased to host Bar-Ilan U. International School management, Prof. Moshe Lewenstein (BIU Deputy President), Prof. Rachel Dekel (Academic Head), and Mr. Ofer Dahan (Executive Director) on January 1, 2023. The team met with Acting Dean, Prof. Chaim Putterman; Chair of the Graduate Degree Committee, Prof. Meital Gal-Tanamy; International School Representative, Dr. Dorith Raviv-Shay; an impressive group of researchers; and international graduate school students from several countries. The groups updated each other on recent activities and future plans, and came up with excellent ideas for the continued success of International School presence at the Faculty of Medicine.









    intl students

  • sufganiot

    Student Union Community Hanuka Activities

    This past week of Hanuka was filled with community activity. Not only did the Faculty welcome Bnei Menashe residents on the third night, and celebrate the second night with high school Medical Cadets at a Faculty ceremony, but even our own students spread light and joy.

    Student Union representatives, along with the "Nefesh Yehudi" organization, visited children hospitalized at the Ziv Medical Center affiliate hospital, lighting candles on the first night of Hanuka.

    And our medical students on rotation, hospital staff, and Student Union representatives lit candles at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poria.

    A few pictures can be seen below. 

    student union hanuka



  • Hanuka

    Hanuka Celebration with Local Bnei Menashe Families

    The "social action" team comprised of representatives from the administrative and academic staffs at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine organized a festive candle lighting for the Bnei Menashe community living in Safed. About twenty families arrived with their children at the Faculty on the evening of December 20, 2022, the third night of Hanukkah. The children had fun playing in the dark outside with flashlights and dreidls. Dr. Kobi Maman, faculty representative, said a few words. Sunil Pashkar, a PhD student from India who introduced the Faculty in Hindi, and Shimshon, the head of the community, welcomed the participants. Community members sang traditional songs accompanied by guitar, while our international students from India bridged the language gap. And yes, of course there were sufganiot (donuts)! We looking forward to more community engagement events in the future.

  • medical cadets

    New Medical Cadet Cohort Inaugurated

    This year's cohort of medical cadets were honored at a ceremony at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine on the second night of Hanuka, December 19, 2022. The group of high-achievers will be exposed to the world of medicine as early as their high school years.

    Speaking at the ceremony, which was held in the Esther & Haim Carasso Auditorium, were Mayor of Safed, Mr. Shuki Ohana; supervisor of programs for excelling students of the Ministry of Education, Ms. Avishag Idan; academic advisor of the program, Dr. Chen Carvalho Shochat; and researcher/lecturer Dr. Alon Barash who spoke about the human heart.

    This year is the fifth cycle of the program. Some 70 students from the 10th, 11th and 12th grades are participating this year. The students come many schools in the north of Israel: Ulpanat Amit Safed, Ulpanat Kiryat Shmona, Danziger Kiryat Shmona, Anna Frank Sasa, ORT Sajur, Makif A and B Majar, Makif Beit Jan, Makif Hula Valley, Makif Har Vagya, Makif Six-Year Horfish, Makif Six-Year Peki'in, Amit Hatzor Educational Campus, ORT Hatzor, Sciences and Arts Nahariya, Shehakim Nahariya, WIZO Nir Ha'emek Afula, ORT Oren Afula, ORT Alon Ben Gurion Afula, ORT Yigal Alon Nof HaGalil, ORT Ma'alot, Multidisciplinary Safed, and Nofei Golan Katsrin.

    The event included a festive reception and Hanuka candle lighting.


  • Nof Hagalil

    Official Launch of SPHERE Activities in Nof Hagalil

    A festive and exciting ceremony inaugurated the official cooperation between The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE and the Municipality of Nof HaGalil. The celebratory event took place at the Nof HaGalil municipality on December 7, 2022 and was attended by many officials, including Mayor of Nof HaGalil, Mr. Ronen Plot; Deputy Mayor, Dr. Shukri Awuda; and of course, SPHERE director and deputy director, Prof. Naim Shehadeh and Dr. Sivan Spitzer, respectively. The event was also attended by important players such as directors of the departments of education, welfare, absorption and volunteering in the municipality of Nof HaGalil; directors of local health funds (Kupot Holm); and SPHERE reps.

    Plot said, "In the future, many children will thank us for the investment we are making today, a result of the excellent partnership we forged here with SPHERE."

    Awuda said that the city is blessed by being able to take part in this important initiative.signing

    Shehadeh reiterated, "The SPHERE approach is to treat all aspects of the disease, including prevention, information and education, with the aim of reducing gaps between the periphery and the center [of the country] by working together with all the players in the city, with the local authority being at the center."

    SPHERE is a research initiative for personalized social medicine that promotes equity in health that brings together under one roof researchers from different fields - biology, medicine, social sciences and humanities - for the purpose of dealing with the challenge posed by diabetes in the Galilee.

    Read more (in Hebrew) on the SPHERE Facebook page.


    SPHERE Nof Hagalil

  • NJ Fed

    Northern NJ Federation Visits Faculty

    On December 1, 2022 Ravit Steinmetz, the Israel representative of Northern NJ Federation (pictured above in the middle), visited the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, accompanied by Dr. Sharon Goldman, VP for Global Resources (above, left). As the Northern NJ Federation is twinned with the city of Naharia, she met with Professor Chaim Putterman, Acting Dean and Associate Dean Research (pictured above, to the right), to learn about the research, projects, and programs in Naharia in which the Faculty is involved (the Galilee Medical Center is an Azrieli affiliate hospital). Steinmetz was also given a briefing by Dr. Alon Barash, who demonstrated the unique anatomage anatomy table, highlighting the Faculty's advanced pedagogical techniques; and Professor Shai Bel (pictured below, to the left) shared thoughts and ideas on the amazing world of the microbiome.


    NJ Fed

  • Happy Hour

    Orbach Lab Hosts Happy Hour

    This academic year, we began a new Happy Hour tradition - a great opportunity for students and faculty members alike to meet, drink, and get to know each other better. 
    Participants enjoyed music, good food and other refreshments.

    Photos, from November 24, 2022, thanks to Dr. Ron Orbach.


    Happy Hour

  • Zohar Yinon CEO

    Diabetes Month: SPHERE Arranges Mobile Screening Van for BIU Ramat Gan Campus

    Bar-Ilan’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine and the The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE initiated community testing for the early detection of diabetes in November – National Diabetes Awareness Month. On November 22, 2022 free diabetes screening tests were performed on the Ramat Gan campus.

    Some 250 blood tests were performed at the mobile clinic which was situated at the center of the busy campus promenade, midday. Students, faculty, administration, and even just passers-by took advantage of the opportunity.

    One faculty member who requested to remain anonymous said, "I was afraid to take the test, because I know I am pre-diabetic. But I now see that by cutting out sugar, reducing my carb intake, and exercising, something is working well. My results surprised me for the good!"

    For more information on SPHERE, visit their Facebook page here.

    Pictured above: Zohar Yinon, CEO of Bar-Ilan University, at the diabetes screening on campus.


    SPHERE: Annual Visit of Russell Berrie Foundation Trustees

    A year after the festive launch of The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE, trustees of The Russell Berrie Foundation, led by the Foundation's president Mrs. Angelica Berrie, visited Israel. On November 15, 2022 they joined the SPHERE team for a day of learning in the city of Shefaraam, one of SPHERE's five pilot cities. The day focused on learning about the implementation of the SPHERE project and the joint work with the local authorities.

    Mr. Orsan Yasen, mayor of Shefaraam, and Mr. Omar Al Malak, the Municipality's CEO, welcomed those present and noted the importance of improving the health of the residents and reducing the rate of diabetes in the city. 

    Dr. Sharon Goldman, V.P. Resource Development at Bar-Ilan University, emphasized the significant partnerships forged in the field. She noted that SPHERE faithfully represents the vision of Bar-Ilan University to bring research to the field and lead a significant change for the well-being of the community.

    Prof. Chaim Putterman, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, emphasized that reducing the gaps in health among the residents of the North was one of the main motives that led to the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in Safed by Bar-Ilan University and added that SPHERE's work is a clear expression of this concept. He added his hope that "Mishfaram [lit. from Shefaraam, whose name is related to the word Shofar] - will hear the sound of success throughout the Galilee."

    Prof. Naim Shehadeh, director of SPHERE, reviewed the alarming data on diabetes in the Galilee and said that "the SPHERE model is a unique model that combines academia, community, health insurance funds, hospitals, local authorities and the private sector. Everyone works together in a true partnership for two main goals: Reducing the disparity in diabetes between the population of the Galilee and the general population and developing new models for the treatment of diabetes adapted for implementation in the periphery."

    Dr. Sivan Spitzer, Deputy Director of SPHERE, emphasized the importance of the connection between a person's health outcomes and their place of residence. Based on the unique model she developed, Dr. Spitzer reviewed, before the trustees of The Russell Berrie Foundation, the paradigm shift that SPHERE is leading to assimilating health as part of its activities daily life of the local authority.

    After the morning meeting, the participants went on a tour of Shefaraam, in order to see and understand the connection between the structural characteristics of the city and the health of the residents. During the tour, the members of the delegation met the local partners. They spoke with Dr. Rami Abu Rumhin, Director of the Clalit Clinic; Dr. Khaled Mahajna, Director of the Maccabi Clinic; and nurse Ms. Nijmi Abbas about the current challenges in dealing with and treating diabetes in the city. The members of the delegation also met Mr. Hany Jarjoura, the director of the unit for economic development in the municipality, and Ms. Sara Hosary, coordinator of the SPHERE BaRaK (health, authority, community) in the municipality.

    Ms. Angelica Berrie concluded the visit with optimism, "It is exciting to see how much the processes are beginning to change in the field and we are looking forward to next year's visit."

  • Riga

    Azrieli Collaboration in Latvia

    For several years the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine at the Riga Stradins University in Latvia have collaborated with one another. This has included frontal lectures by Azrieli faculty, to students and medical specialists alike, as well as lectures by professors from Riga in hospitals affiliated to Azrieli, in addition to student visits and joint Zoom lectures and seminars during COVID.

    At the end of October 2022, Prof. Alexander Lerner of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine was invited to Riga in order to train doctors and students from the RSU Faculty of Medicine in new methods of treating serious injuries, including modern war injuries.

    Students from dozens of European, Asian, African and Latin American countries study at the RSU Faculty of Medicine. Many of them were exposed for the first time to, and personally saw the results of the humanitarian treatment of, Syrian citizens (from an "enemy state") in the hospitals in northern Israel that are affiliated to the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine. Following three standing-room-only lectures given by Prof. Lerner, students expressed their excitement. But what impressed Prof. Lerner the most were the  Israeli students studying at RSU, who said that after such lectures they are even more proud of their country and feel the respect of their classmates from other countries.

    The Israeli Ambassador to Latvia, Mrs. Sharon Rapoport-Palgi, with whom Prof. Lerner met in Riga at the end of the lectures, noted the great importance of such collaboration in order to strengthen the ties between the two countries and to improve Israel's reputation worldwide.

    [Pictured: Prof. Lerner with Israeli students]

  • Rivo plaque

    Rivo Plaque Dedication at New Faculty Building

    The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine warmly welcomed Karen and Dr. Marc Rivo to Safed on November 6, 2022 for the unveiling of a plaque in their honor, located at the new Faculty building just a few minutes from the main Azrieli campus. The new building will house the administrative offices of The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE as well as brain and health sciences laboratories. The Rivos are very dedicated supporters of Azrieli Faculty of Medicine programs.


    [Picture credit Dr. Micha de Vries and Noam David Reshelbach]