Cooking up Medical Support

March 15, 2011 by Community Editor
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Former Sydneysider Dr. Karen Lewis is to be honored by the Life’s Door Family of Organisations: Tishkofet & Ma’agan in Tel Aviv later this month…and has encouraged the establishment of a branch in Sydney.


Karen Lewis

From her earliest years, Karen Lewis had two inseparable dreams; to be a doctor and to live and work in Israel.  Lewis attended Sydney’s Moriah College, completed a degree in science at the University of New South Wales, and undertook her medical studies at the Newcastle University.  Many of her elective terms were spent in Israel.  Karen’s postgraduate training was in pediatrics and family medicine.

In 1997, Karen Lewis realised her dream of moving to Israel where she has been actively working in the field of family medicine.  She settled in Beit Shemesh where she established a practice that focuses on both children’s and women’s health.

Lewis learned about Tishkofet from several of her patients who were undergoing treatment for cancer.  The aim of the organisation is to transform the experience of facing life threatening illness from one of anguish, confusion and denial to one that encourages growth and healing for patients and their families.  After attending several workshops and familiarising herself with the vital work, she approached the directors Dr. Ben and Dvora Corn to discuss the possibility of beginning support groups in Beit Shemesh for women who found the travel to Jerusalem too difficult.  In the process of establishing support groups for exploration, bereavement and family support, her friendship with the Corns led to discussions about the possibility of sharing the Life’s Door model with communities in Australia.  Following an exploratory trip to Australia, the Corns agreed that a need existed.  The medical and therapeutic communities in Sydney  have greeted the proposal with open arms and the first branch of Life’s Door is scheduled to open in Sydney

The theme of the event honoring Karen Lewis is “Cooking With Soul”, featuring celebrity chef Yisrael Aharoni and other distinguished names from Israel’s burgeoning culinary scene.

Dr. Karen Lewis was unanimously chosen for the Tishkofet/Life’s Door tribute for her unwavering devotion to the men, women and children who struggle to live viable existences while enduring the hardship of chronic illness.  She is equally passionate about alerting medical professionals to the sensitivities that make up the day-to-day reality of living with illness.

When asked to explain why she chose to place her energies into this mission, she simply stated, “Tishkofet is a wonderful organisation that helps so many people.  I’ve personally seen entire families transform their attitudes from despair to peace by merely having forums available where they can speak, cry and share.  I am grateful that Tishkofet has given me an ample opportunity to become involved in their vital work.”

A spokesperson for Tishkofet said: “Australia can be proud of Karen Lewis. She has demonstrated by personal example that dedication and love for one’s fellow man are qualities that do, indeed, make this world a better and more compassionate place.”


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