Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Yael Schuster

Malaria pills? Check. Vaccinations? Check. Empire frozen chickens? Check. Bug spray? Check. Flashlights? Check. Osem onion soup mix? Check.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rwanda is the land of the Hutus and the Tutsis, subsistence agriculture, and the centuries-old intore dance; a land of savannah and volcanoes, the Twa pygmy people, and a tourism industry built on the nation’s population of mountain gorillas. It was also the site of a mass killing spree 20 years ago that left the country bloodied and limping. So why in the world would a nice Jewish boy want to visit? “That is definitely a question my mother wanted answered,” saysDr.MarkLevie, associate chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. The answer was really quite simple:Dr.Levie wanted to help out a delegation providing medical aid and training to the Rwandan locals. “When the opportunity to participate arose, I found my hand shooting up,” he recalls. “My colleagues pointed out the difficulty I’d have with kashrus, to which I responded, ‘Are there fruits and vegetables over there? I’m good to go.’ ” Despite the challenges involved in traveling 7,000 miles to an East African country that lacks running water in many areas, Levie, 50, said he was motivated by the chance to make a difference. “Here was an opportunity to train residents, in a place where no one has the skills that I do, who will then pass on that knowledge to the next generation of residents, and so on. It was the ability to make a lasting impact that drove me.” Levie also wanted to send a message to the doctors in his department, and to show his own kids how precious is the value of sacrifice. “If there’s a need out there in the world that you can fill, don’t leave it to someone else.” 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"