An unassuming office in Jerusalem is home to a grand scale life-saving organization.
EFRAT was founded in the 1950’s by Mr. Herschel Feigenbaum, a survivor of the Holocaust. Mr. Feigenbaum understood that children are our future and in memory of the over one and a half million Jewish children who perished, he established EFRAT.
Dr. Eli Schussheim has headed the organization since 1977. Under his leadership, EFRAT has made Mr. Feigenbaum’s dream a reality through its support of Jewish childbirth.
Dr. Schussheim’s connection to EFRAT emerged when a woman brought her 8-year-old son to his clinic over 40 years ago.
As Dr. Schussheim completed treatment, she announced, “My son is here because of you. Before I realized that I was pregnant, I underwent some x-rays. When I found out about the pregnancy, doctors told me to terminate it, explaining that the child would likely be born with defects. I came to consult with you and explained that this was based on outdated facts. I decided to continue my pregnancy and gave birth to my son, who thank G-d is healthy.”
This story changed Dr. Schussheim’s life and the course of his career. Up until that point, he had practiced as a senior surgeon in the Hadassah and Shaare Zedek Medical Centers in Jerusalem. “I studied medicine to save lives”, Dr. Schussheim said. “Here I saw how a simple consultation could save a child.”
Since then, Dr. Schussheim has dedicated himself on a voluntary basis to leading EFRAT. EFRAT’s goal is to empower women who feel that they have no alternative but to end their pregnancy due to crippling socio-economic constraints.