On the first panel, Dr. Nancy Tomes, a distinguished professor of Stonybrook University and a past president of the American Association of the History of Medicine, will give a lecture on the history of infectious disease, providing a context for all forthcoming discussions. On that same panel, Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman will discuss Jewish legal quandaries (she’eilot u’tshuvot) in infectious diseases in Jewish rabbinic literature, focusing on the premodern era.
On the second panel, Dr. Priya Nori, Director of Antibiotic Stewardship at Albert Einstein, will cover the germane topics of hospital infection and antibiotic-resistant microbes. The statistics of hospital infections are staggering and the phenomenon remains ubiquitous, as “superbugs” continue to be an ever-growing threat.
Our third panel will cover current emerging epidemics, focusing on the Zika and Ebola epidemics. These outbreaks are recent or present issues that are of great concern to the community, both in the immediate and longer lasting danger they pose. Dr. Neil Vora, of the CDC and NYDH, will cover the epidemiological aspect of these diseases. Next, Rav Mordechai Willig, a Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS, and Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, assistant rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere and an infectious disease specialist, will address halachic issues that arise from the Zika and Ebola epidemics, ranging from birth control to taharot.
From the bubonic plague to MRSA infection, infectious disease has been one of the oldest adversaries to human existence. The aim of the conference is to arm attendees with knowledge of both science and halacha, an understanding of the dangers of ID, and an awareness of the vast multitudes of research dedicated to warring against these threats.