Halachic Organ donor Society, P.O. box 693, New York, NY 10108-0693, Phone: 212-213-5087, Email: admin@hods.org

HODS on IBA News

HODS on IBA News
Robby Berman – Aug. 2007, HODS Living Kidney Donor
[2 minutes  37 seconds]

TRANSCRIPTION OF VIDEO

Anchor:
At Beilinson hospital in Petach Tikvah yesterday, a 19 year-old IDF soldier was hopefully given a new lease on life. She received a kidney from Yosef Chiger, a 36 year old American Jew who came to the country to donate an organ to the soldier. Chiger was brought here with the assistance of the Halachic Organ Donor Society, a non-profit organization devoted to saving lives by encouraging organ donations. Joining us now in the studio is Robby Berman, the founder and director of HOD.

Robby, thanks so much for coming in this evening.

Robby Berman:

Hi.

Anchor:

First of all, you were in the operating room during the operation. Tell us a little bit about it.

Robby Berman:

Both are safe and out of the operation, it was yesterday, but it’ll take a few days to know if the kidney actually took. Whatever the results are, the fact is very clear that Yosef Chiger is a national hero. He picked himself up with his wife Marsha and five year old daughter Kayla, flew to Israel to save the life of an Israeli soldier. So no matter what the results, Yosef Chiger is a hero.

Anchor:

Yosef Chiger is a religious, observant Jew. What was the response of the religious community to this operation? What was his response to it?

Robby Berman:

Many wanted to know what the rabbis say. Most rabbis say that since being a living kidney donor is a very low medical risk that they support it, Rav Ovadiah Yosef said it’s a mitzvah and so many people aren’t surprised that rabbis support that as many rabbis support cadaveric donation – deceased organ donations.

Anchor:

Robby, has the media interest in the case of an American coming to Israel to donate a live organ to an Israeli, an Israeli soldier, led to a heightened interest in organ donation and live organ donations?

Robby Berman:

We’ve had a lot more hits on our website, thousands of people, hundreds of talkbacks about it on the Jerusalem Post website, etc. It does raise awareness about the issue, people want to learn more about it, people are surprised to see hundreds of rabbis who have beards and black hats who have organ donor cards. I think the message here though is very particular, and that is most people will look at Yosef Chiger and say ‘he’s a very brave man, but I am not as brave as he is.’ So the message is, if you are not brave enough to donate your kidneys when you’re still using it, at the very least, join ADI, get the Israel Transplant Organ Donor Card, and sign up and donate your organs when you no longer need them and no longer use them.

Anchor:

Robby, of course besides saving the life of this soldier, what do you hope comes out of this operation for your organization and for the better of society, in fact?

Robby Berman:

I hope people realize that 100 Israelis die every year needlessly, and they only die because of the great misperception that Israelis think, even secular Israelis, that Jewish law does not allow for organ donation. That’s the purpose of my organization, to show them that Halacha supports both deceased cadaveric organ donation as well as living donation and I know many people see our advertisements and they say, ‘one day I’m going to get an organ donor card,’ – how many times do people, who might see this segment, and put it down and say they might do it – pick up the phone and do it now.

Anchor:

Do it now. Robby Berman, founder and director of HOD Society, thanks so much, we wish you the best of luck.

Robby Berman:

Thank you.

   < Back to video page

HODS