On Friday, February 13th, leading Agudath Israel of America activists discussed vital issues related to health and end-of-life with New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, and Stuart Sherman, executive director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law.

NYS Health Commissioner and OthersRabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel; Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, vice president for Community Affairs for Agudath Israel; Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, chairman Chayim Aruchim; and Abe Eisner, noted askan; were joined by Rabbi Shloime Bochner, founder and director of Bonei Olam, for the important discussion. Health care is a particularly important issue today as elderly and chronically ill patients are increasingly seen by the medical community as unworthy of aggressive treatment.

Upon hearing the activists’ thoughts Commissioner Zucker expressed familiarity with the challenges this presents to religious Jews and others with a similar perspective on the sanctity of life, and pledged to work on finding culturally sensitive solutions. Rabbi Bochner spoke passionately about the need for additional government funding for IVF treatments to help infertile couples conceive. It was clear to all in the room that his words make a powerful impression.

Rabbi Lefkowitz expressed his hope that “there will be concrete progress on all these fronts in the months ahead.”