Here and There

Skin Cancer/Reconstructive Surgery Center Introduces Radiotherapy Treatment

The Newport Beach-based Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center is introducing Superficial Radiotherapy (SRT). This low- energy radiotherapy technology goes no deeper than the thickness of the skin, and unlike other surgical alternatives, is painless, cosmetically attractive and offers a non-invasive alternative to Mohs surgery and topical chemotherapeutic treatments for skin cancer. Currently, the Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center is the only private clinic facility in California to offer SRT.

“The National Skin Cancer Foundation states that 40 to 50 percent of people over the age of 65 will develop a form of skin cancer,” said Simon Madorsky, M.D., medical director at the Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center. “With a growing number of patients experiencing non-melanoma skin cancers, our center is focused on providing solutions that treat skin cancer and maintain a great cosmetic outcome.”

H added, “Recently, SRT has been re-introduced to the medical community by technological innovations and has been well-studied in its application to non-melanoma skin cancers. It was found to have similar efficacy to Mohs surgery with cure rates upwards of 96 percent.”

SRT uses a low-energy radiation beam (X-ray) to penetrate the top surface layer of the skin, avoiding deep tissue damage, and minimizes scarring, particularly around the face. It provides an alternative to surgery for treating basal and squamous cell carcinomas, especially those requiring difficult or extensive surgery in sensitive regions of the face. SRT offers excellent cosmetic results and is considerably less invasive than the traditional surgical approach. The procedure is painless and benefits those patients who may have a fear of surgery and needles, and patients who have contraindications for surgery (blood thinning medications or cannot tolerate anesthesia.)

Dr. Madorsky holds a supervisor and operator’s license from the state of California for dermatologic radiation. Currently, he is the only non-radiation oncologist with that license in the state. Under his direction, SRT has been incorporated into the treatments offered at the Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center.

Patients committed to SRT typically come in for a series of 10 to 15 three-minute treatments of radiation therapy; three to five times a week for two to three weeks depending on patient preference. Side effects are mild and include painless skin irritation for three weeks after treatment. The procedure costs less than surgery and is covered by insurance.

The Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center offers a comprehensive array of innovative techniques for skin care and skin cancer treatments. It includes an ambulatory surgical facility accredited by the Joint Commission, two operating rooms, private pre-op and recovery rooms, a CLIA certified Mohs Laboratory (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), and Radiation Therapy Suite. Through a combination of both invasive surgical and non-invasive non-surgical, the Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center provides patients with a holistic approach to treat, reconstruct and improve the appearance of the skin.

For more information, call (949) 200-1600 or visitwww.ocskincancer.com.

FJC Launches Affordability Initiative

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has launched BunkConnectTM (BunkConnect.org), a new program that matches eligible families with high-quality nonprofit Jewish summer camps at a more affordable price. This philanthropic business venture has been developed in collaboration with forward-thinking business executives and leading philanthropists.

“BunkConnect marries best practices from the business world, new technologies and learnings from the hospitality industry, and takes a fresh approach to addressing affordability in Jewish life,” said Michael Leven, president and COO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., former camper and counselor, and key program funder. “I am excited for what this can achieve in getting more kids to have an experience that was so meaningful to me many years ago.”

Jewish overnight camp offers children the opportunity to discover who they are and build connections to the Jewish future while having the time of their lives. The experience is widely viewed as an essential part of fostering Jewish identity in children and creating a robust Jewish community.

This is how BunkConnect works: After income-eligible families of all Jewish backgrounds supply some basic, confidential information into the new online tool, BunkConnect matches them with available camp sessions at low introductory rates. This initiative is modeled after the success of FJC’s One Happy Camper program – a need-blind grant initiative for first-time campers.

“Families want to send their children to Jewish camp. By matching their desire with available summer experiences, we are opening new avenues of access,” said Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO of FJC. “BunkConnect has the power to change how we look at scholarship, affordability, and capacity for Jewish camp and beyond.”

Len Leader, former president of the Venture Group of AOL Time Warner Investments and BunkConnect funder, said, “By using sound economic principles and leveraging market dynamics, we are seeing in BunkConnect an exciting new philanthropic business form. This is a model designed to be ‘the gift that keeps giving’ to all parties involved, especially the campers.”

BunkConnect piloted in February 2014 in the Northeast, New England, and Mid-Atlantic regions with 35 participating camps, representing various movements and denominations. The program is for first-time campers. It bases eligibility on a family’s adjusted gross income, number of dependent children, and place of legal residency. For example, through BunkConnect, a family with two children living in Pennsylvania with a maximum adjusted gross income of $142,000 can realize the dream of Jewish camp. Jewish day school families are welcome.

BunkConnect is a program of Foundation for Jewish Camp with The Center for Entrepreneurial Jewish Philanthropy (CEJP), made possible by generous funding from The AVI CHAI Foundation, The Leader Family Foundation, The Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, and The Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund.

“The philanthropists we advise challenged us to create an outcome-driven business approach that capitalizes on the enormous impact of Jewish camping,” said Joseph Hyman, president and founder, CEJP. “BunkConnect is potentially a game-changing initiative that sets a standard for other philanthropists and organizations to follow.”

For more information, or to determine eligibility, please visit www.BunkConnect.org.

Inmate Drops Lawsuit after Florida Ordered To Provide a Kosher Diet

An Orthodox Jewish prison inmate ended his four-year-old lawsuit seeking a kosher diet, thanks to a recent court ruling requiring Florida to provide all Jewish prison inmates with a kosher diet. Florida is the only remaining major prison system objecting to providing kosher meals to observant Jewish prisoners.

“This is a major victory for religious freedom,” said Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Florida is finally being ordered to join 35 other states and the federal government in protecting the rights of Jewish prisoners.”

Bruce Rich was born and raised in an Orthodox Jewish household. Since his incarceration, the Florida Department of Corrections has denied him a kosher diet, citing alleged cost and security concerns. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represented Rich, arguing that the denial of a kosher diet violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act because it forces him to choose between his religious practice and adequate nutrition.

In May 2013 Rich won a major victory in the Eleventh Circuit, which ruled that “the evidence submitted by the [Florida Department of Corrections] on summary judgment in support of its position is insubstantial.” As the court noted, at least thirty-five states and the federal government currently provide kosher diets without problems of cost or security. In light of this evidence, the Eleventh Circuit held that the Department of Corrections made only “meager efforts to explain why Florida’s prisons are so different from the penal institutions that now provide kosher meals such that the plans adopted by those other institutions would not work in Florida.”

After Rich filed his lawsuit, the United States Department of Justice filed a parallel lawsuit making the same claims against Florida. In response to the United States’ lawsuit, on December 6, 2013, a federal court ordered Florida to begin providing a kosher diet to all Jewish inmates in the state. The ruling relies on Rich’s victory at the 11th Circuit, and orders Florida to begin providing kosher meals no later than July 1, 2014. In response to this ruling, Rich voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit, effective today.

“It’s too bad that it took multiple lawsuits for Florida to do what it should be doing anyway—allow Jewish prisoners to follow Judaism,” added Goodrich. “Prisons should not be faith-free zones.”

In addition to winning Rich’s appeal at the 11th Circuit, the Becket Fund won a previous kosher diet case against Florida, kosher diet cases against Georgia and Texas and assisted in a similar victory against Indiana. The Becket Fund has never lost a case when suing a prison system over the denial of a kosher diet.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 19 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 Supreme Court victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

Natan/NEXT Accepts Grant Applications for Social Entrepreneurs

Young Jewish adults with a vision to create cultural, spiritual, educational, service, and community-building projects for their peers can begin applying for a 2014 Natan/NEXT Grant for Social Entrepreneurs. Applications will be accepted through March 7, and recipients will be notified in June. Grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded to projects that demonstrate long-term potential to engage young Jewish adults.

“We are always excited to partner with Natan to help passionate young Jewish adults create innovative Jewish experiences for their friends and communities,” says Morlie Levin, CEO of NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation. “These grants help the Birthright Israel generation connect with each other and enrich the ecosystem of Jewish opportunities according to their own unique interests and ideas.”

Since 2010, Natan and NEXT have awarded more than 21 social entrepreneur grants, totaling $126,000. From new spiritual communities to a Jewish music festival to a create-your-own haggadah website, past grantees have realized their dreams by creating and building start-up projects to help young Jewish adults explore Jewish life.

“This will be our seventh round of grantmaking in partnership with NEXT,” adds Jackie Fishman, Assistant Director of the Natan Fund. “Together we’ve supported a diverse group of individuals and initiatives that represent a varied applicant pool. We’re excited to see what this round will have in store and to see the ways in which this cohort engages with their communities and their peers.”

Through its work with local Jewish communities and organizations across the country, NEXT understands the desire of Birthrighters to engage with Judaism in personal, authentic, and meaningful ways.

Adds Levin, “Today’s young adults want to take risks and try new and different ways to connect with their Jewish identity. Often, they want to do this within a community of their friends. For all of the social entrepreneurs out there, this is an opportunity to do even more.”

For more information, e-mail grants@birthrightisraelnext.org. To apply for a Natan/NEXT grant and get additional updates, visit www.birthrightisraelnext.org/grants or visit NEXT on Facebook: facebook.com/NEXTBirthrightIsrael.

TVT Will Hold “A Night in Monte Carlo”

Roll the dice, dance the night away and indulge in an evening “Monte Carlo” style. Mark your calendars! TVT’s Annual Fundraising Gala will take place on Sunday, March 30, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Laguna Beach’s elegant [Seven-Degrees]. Event Chair Tammy Freedman promises an evening of fun and excitement.

As Freedman said, “Spend the evening dining, dancing, gaming and shopping at our amazing silent and live auctions! This is your chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.”

Operation TVT donors who contribute at a level of $1,800+ will receive complimentary Gala attendance. Individual tickets are available for purchase on a space-available basis. For information on Corporate Gala Sponsorship or tickets, please contact Joy Austria at (949) 509-9500 ext. 3018 or jaustria@tarbut.com.

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