Society Roundup

High Energy at Heritage Pointe

Heritage Pointe will hold its 20th Annual Luncheon, Boutique & Fashion Show Join on April 4 at the Marriott Newport Beach.  It features a high-energy, high-tech fashion show, plus opportunities to win vacations and the chance for a youngster to drive off with a Mercedes Pedal Car.

Wrapping up Heritage Pointe’s yearlong 20th anniversary celebration is a 5K Walk and Family Day at Lakeside Lagoon in the Wild Rivers Complex, Irvine, on June 5.  The organization is accepting walk sponsors with levels from $500 to $25,000. Walkers can sign up on-line at $10 per person, and form their own teams.  After the walk, everyone can enjoy a “day of camp” with kayaks, horseshoes, volleyball and much more. T-shirt and lunch are included in the $10 per person walker fee.  Registration is required to attend.

RSVP to both events at www.heritagepointe.org.

Health News from Hadassah

When a young couple from India turned to Hadassah for help in treating their daughter who suffers from thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, they were told that only a bone marrow transplant could save her.  Since the bone marrow should be a perfect genetic match, Hadassah physicians, Dr. Michael Shapira from the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Dr. Ariel Revel from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, offered a unique solution.  They suggested the mother have another child, conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF), so the eggs could be tested by pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to determine which of the eggs were in genetic match and free of the defective genes.  The couple agreed.

The Department of Genetics joined the efforts, tested the 19 eggs taken from the mother and found one that was a match.  Recently, the egg was fertilized in an in vitro fertilization procedure and returned to the mother’s womb.  If the pregnancy proceeds without complications, the new baby could start life with a noble deed – saving his sister’s life.

History-Making Event at IDF

Shalem Gin became the first IDF officer from the Bnei Menashe community, who are descended from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.  Gin received the rank of Second Lieutenant in front of friends and family at a ceremony held at the Bahad 1 military base in the Negev.

Gin, 20, was born in Manipur, a state in northeastern India.  He and his family made Aliyah to Israel in 1995.  Gin joined the IDF in 2009 and enlisted in the Combat Engineering Corps, where he finished near the top of his class in his commanders course.

After completing the course with honors, Gin was then sent to officer training, which he officially completed in February.  He will now return to his unit as a platoon commander.

“This is a dream come true. It brings great joy and pride to me and my family,” Gin said. “As the first Bnei Menashe officer in the IDF, I hope that more from the community will follow.”

“Shalem is a very talented young man with extraordinary ambition,” said Michael Freund, Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel, the organization responsible for the Aliyah of the Bnei Menashe.

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