In the last several months, reports from around the country have been confirming what child welfare experts feared: Economic hard times bring a drastic increase in child abuse and domestic violence. Newspapers nationally are reporting 30 percent to 50 percent increases in some regions of the country; in Los Angeles, both Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services and Jewish Family Service (JFS) report spikes in their clientele.
The United Nations announced last year that the procedure could reduce the rate of HIV transmission by up to 60 percent. It was in Israel, with its experience performing adult male circumcision on a wide scale, that the international medical community found an unlikely partner in the global fight against AIDS.
Scene and Heard
As an attorney representing several victims of sexually predatory Catholic priests, Mark Itzkowitz has witnessed the church's pedophilia scandal from an almost too-close-for-comfort vantage point. Not long ago, Itzkowitz's life took a surreal turn when he found himself confronting clergy sexual abuse from a different perspective: The problem had come home to roost in his own synagogue.
Suppose your child were kidnapped. She is buried alive with a limited air supply. Police arrest one of the kidnappers. Indeed, he was on a store videotape luring the child and then abducting her. Witnesses saw him put the child in a car. His handwriting is on the ransom note. He admits he knows where she is but remains stubbornly unresponsive.
The topic was terrorism. "How underprepared are we in the U.S.?" "Very." That exchange, between an emergency care physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Jonathan Halevy, director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, was part of an ongoing effort in Los Angeles to change the answer.