(Extensions of Remarks - October 13, 2011)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1857-E1858]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                          CONTRIBUTED GREATLY


                           HON. BARNEY FRANK

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, October 13, 2011

  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, for some years now I have 
had the privilege of sharing with our colleagues information about a 
very important event that is held annually in Massachusetts by an 
organization that does great work in making health benefits available 
to people who need them, in the best possible setting.
  ROFEH International was founded by the Boston Rebbe, Grand Rabbi Levi 
Horowitz, and is now led by his son, Grand Rabbi Naftali Horowitz. 
Rabbi Levi Horowitz was widely respected for his expertise in the field 
of medical ethics, and Project ROFEH, founded by him at the New England 
Chassidic Center, does extraordinary work in making the great 
healthcare available in the Greater Boston area accessible to people in 
other places. On November 20th, at their annual dinner, Project ROFEH--
New England Chassidic Center will, as it has in the past, honor people 
who have performed extraordinary service for others.
  The ROFEH International Award will go to Dr. Joseph Upton. The Grand 
Rabbi Levi Horowitz Legacy Award goes to Professor Neil Hecht. And in a 
special award, the 50th Jubilee of Congregation Bais Pinchas, the 
Jubilee Award is being given to the Blechner family, the descendants of 
Sidney and Toby Blechner, who did so much to make this organization the 
great success it is today.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that the biographies of Dr. Joseph Upton and 
Professor Neil Hecht and Sidney and Toby Blecher be printed here, along 
with the explanation from Grand Rabbi Horowitz of the Jubilee Award to 
the Blechner family.

                            Dr. Joseph Upton

       With a broad background in surgical training Dr. Upton was 
     originally recruited by Joseph Murray to be the first 
     designated hand and microsurgeon in the Longwood teaching 
     hospitals. During the past 34 years his practice has been 
     focused on clinical surgery, education and clinical research. 
     His large practice draws patients from well beyond all 
     regions of the United States and he is known nationally and 
     internationally as a reconstructive surgeon with expertise in 
     upper limb surgery and microsurgery and excels in the 
     evaluation, planning and technical expertise of difficult 
       Dr. Upton was one of the original plastic surgeons who 
     ushered in the advent of free tissue transfers and limb 
     reattachment surgery in the 1980's. He is known for taking a 
     difficult problem and finding a better, easier solution. Many 
     of the first transfers in this region of the country, in 
     fact, the world were performed by Dr. Upton in the 1980's.
       During his few decades on staff he was an active 
     participant in the gross anatomy course at the Harvard 
     Medical School. Dr. Upton continues to perform many flesh 
     dissections and teaches yearly flap dissection courses. He 
     has always been eager to take new and some old technologies 
     directly to patient care. In the operating room he is known 
     for his innovative approaches, which incorporate old and new 
     ideas with new technologies.
       As an educator he has functioned at many levels in his 
     daily routines and usually has a medical student, resident 
     and clinical fellow in attendance. All participate as he can 
     teach at all levels. His microvascular/hand fellowship 
     program is based at BIDMC within the Department of 
     Orthopedics and the Division of Plastic Surgery. He has given 
     lectures, keynote addresses, instructional courses and 
     completed many visiting professorships nationally and 
     internationally. Original papers in peer-reviewed journals 
     are evidence of his scholarship. More detailed descriptions 
     of many of these procedures are

[[Page E1858]]

     found in the textbooks or invited discussions in peer-
     reviewed publications.
       Dr. Upton's research has been almost entirely clinical and 
     he rarely describes a new procedure without medium or long-
     term outcomes. At the Boston Children's Hospital and Shriners 
     Burns Hospital he has accumulated the largest experience with 
     congenital problems in the world. His collection of hand 
     models of congenital malformations is unique. He has had an 
     exhibit in the Boston Museum of Science for 30 years. He was 
     an active participant in the Joseph Vacanti Tissue 
     Engineering lab for 13 years and worked on cartilage and 
     skeletal constructs and prior to this worked in the Folkman 
     Laboratory at The Children's Hospital.

                        Professor Neil S. Hecht

       Neil Hecht is professor of law and Founding Director of the 
     Institute of Jewish Law at Boston University School of Law, 
     where he has taught for almost 50 years. He received 
     Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University, a Juris Doctor 
     from Yale Law School and a research doctorate from Columbia 
     University School of Law.
       In 1980 Professor Hecht fulfilled his life-long dream of 
     introducing Jewish law into the curriculum of a major 
     American law school. Through his efforts, Jewish law is now 
     taught in over thirty law schools, and he was instrumental in 
     creating a permanent Jewish Law Section in the Association of 
     American Law Schools. Moreover, its successful reception at 
     BU Law School led to his founding of The Institute of Jewish 
     Law in 1983, which was established for the purpose of 
     publishing treatises, monographs, and teaching materials. 
     Under its auspices, he has written or edited 36 volumes to 
     date. Among these works are Jewish Jurisprudence (a two-
     volume commentary on Choshen Mishpat, Jewish Civil Law, which 
     contains the only preface ever written by Rabbi Joseph 
     Solovetchik, zt'l), The Jewish Law Annual, and Controversy 
     and Dialogue in Halachik Sources (a four-volume work in 
     Hebrew and English exploring the nature of controversy and 
     authority, machloket, in Jewish law).
       From 1985 to 1986, Professor Hecht served as the Visiting 
     Gruss Professor of Talmudic Civil Law at New York University 
     School of Law. In the 1990s, he also served as co-director of 
     the Joint Project in Jewish Legal Bioethics, a collaborative 
     initiative of the Institute of Jewish Law and Boston 
     University's Schools of Medicine and Public Health. His many 
     professional and public service activities include serving as 
     a founding director on the Board of Directors of the 
     International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, 
     chairing the Jewish Law Section of the Association of 
     American Law Schools, and becoming an elected member of the 
     American Law Institute.
       Among other honors, he was recognized by the Ashmolean 
     Museum of Oxford University, by Boston University School of 
     Law where he received the Silver Shingle Award for 
     distinguished service and the Melton Award for Teaching 
     Excellence, and by Yeshiva University which awarded him the 
     Bernard Revel Memorial Award for his contributions in the 
     field of Jewish legal scholarship.
       The relationship between the Hechts and the Rebbe's family 
     dates back to the early part of the 20th Century. Professor 
     Hecht's great-grandfather was a close friend and strong 
     supporter of the Rebbe's grandfather, Grand Rabbi Pinchus 
     Dovid Horowitz, zt'l, when the latter lived in Brooklyn.

Sidney and Toby (Thurm) Blechner A''H Epitomized What Giving of Self to 
                            Community Means

           ``V'kol mi she'oskim b'tzarchei tzibur be'emunah''

       Toby, daughter of Menachem Mendel Thurm, founder of World 
     Cheese Company, the first kosher cheese company in the USA, 
     came to America from Germany. Sidney, fortunately and with 
     the hashgacha pratis of God, survived six years in 
     concentration camps and arrived in New York in 1947 where he 
     met his beloved partner to be of 59 years. They married on 
     Lag B'omer 1948, and soon settled in the Roxbury section of 
       Though having gone through the fires of Europe, this ``ood 
     mootzal may'aish'' together with his eishet chayil decided to 
     look only forward and rebuild what their families and 
     communities lost in Europe. They started to build a family 
     and Sidney became successful in the lighting industry. His 
     honesty and integrity were admired by all he came into 
     contact with, Jew and non-Jew alike. Toby, meanwhile, worked 
     tirelessly with the fledging Roxbury community to build up 
     religious Jewish institutions. Both became active in the 
     Young Israel of Greater Boston, Congregation Beth Pinchas of 
     Roxbury, Maimonides School, and New England Lubavitch 
     Yeshiva. When the Jewish community migrated to Brookline, 
     Sidney made himself and his resources available to help with 
     lighting up the makom Tefilah or makom Limud Torah of many 
     institutions that moved to Brookline.
       At the same time, the Blechner family became very close to 
     the Bostoner Rebbe Z''L and Rebbetzin A''H while sharing 
     their philanthropic efforts among CJP, Young Israel of 
     Brookline, Daughters of Israel, Religious Zionists of 
     America, Yeshiva University, Talner Congregation, B'nai 
     Brith, Israel Bonds, and many ``matan b'seser'' recipients. 
     But it was the special charisma and charm of the Bostoner 
     Rebbe Z''L and his Rebbetzin A''H that attracted Sidney and 
     Toby to daven at the Rebbe's shul. Toby had a special seat 
     next to the Rebbetzin and Sidney especially enjoyed the 
     Rebbe's nusach and warmth on the Yamim Noara'im. They became 
     active supporters of ROFEH as well as the New England 
     Chassidic Center where Sidney was honored as ``Man of the 
     Year''. Instead of plaques on his office wall, Sidney 
     preferred simple thank you letters as appreciation for the 
     tzedakah and chessed that he and Toby were able to provide to 
       It takes a lot of hakarat hatov for people in today's 
     generation to think back to those who built up a miniscule 
     Torah community of Boston in the 50's to what is has become 
     today for all newcomers to benefit from.
       Sidney and Toby Blechner were the patriarch and matriarch 
     of a beautiful family of 4 children, 18 grandchildren who are 
     Roshei yeshiva dedicated to teaching Torah in their 
     communities, professionals in finance, law, education, 
     computers, graphic design and who serve in the Israeli army.
       It is therefore most fitting to bestow the ``Congregation 
     Bais Pinchas Jubilee Award'' in their memory.

This Year We Celebrate the 50th Jubilee of Congregation Bais Pinchas in 
                        Brookline, Massachusetts

 Receiving the Jubilee Award on behalf of their parents, the Blechner 

       It is important for people in today's generation to 
     recognizing and appreciate the good done by those who built 
     up a community of Boston in the 50's to what is has become 
     today for all newcomers to benefit from. Mr. and Mrs. 
     Blechner were dedicated their time and efforts in seeing to 
     it that the Boston community should be successful and thrive. 
     Sidney and Toby Blechner were the patriarch and matriarch who 
     helped to build and beautify the Boston community, of a 
     beautiful family of 4 children, 18 grandchildren who are to 
     teaching in their communities, professionals in finance, law, 
     education, computers, graphic design and who serve in the 
     Israeli army.
       It is therefore most fitting to bestow the ``Congregation 
     Bais Pinchas Jubilee Award'' in their memory.
                                  Grand Rabbi Naftali Y. Horowitz,
     Bostoner Rebbe.