Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up
in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a
graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic
cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New
York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day,
Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine
among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem
Barbara has written five books and contributed to
EXCERPT FROM CURRENT ARTICLE
The Human Spirit: Out in Mongolia
By Barbara Sofer
‘Without saying anything, coloring in embarrassment, Saranchuluun Otgon rolled up her pant leg. Beneath the cloth were the metal wires of a prosthetic foot. Until then, no one on the staff knew.’
Saranchuluun Otgon arrived in Jerusalem in September 2007 with a master’s degree in social work from the University of Mongolia.
She was one of the 20-something students at one of the city’s most intriguing programs: the foreign student master’s degree program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Braun School of Public Health.
The course draws health professionals from far-flung countries who are dealing with some of the world’s toughest health challenges. Current students are facing Ebola, polio and HIV/AIDS, as well as ongoing issues like maternal and child health and nutrition. Nigeria, China, South Sudan, the Philippines and Haiti were among the countries represented in last year’s class, which graduated recently.
The graduates show up at the ceremony in sensational native costume, and sing emotionally in Hebrew. It’s a moment I savor every year. Then they go home, taking up challenges in cities and rural outposts; they remain loyal informal ambassadors for Israel.
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