‘Dr. Oz’ and Rabbi Boteach arrive in Israel

“America’s doctor” and “America’s rabbi” first met as colleagues during their time together as radio hosts on Oprah and Friends.

July 29, 2013 02:29
2 minute read.
Health expert Mehmet Oz.

Dr. Mehmet Oz 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )

Both Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the wildly popular The Dr. Oz Show and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach arrived in Israel from the US on Sunday together with their families, for a week-long visit.

Boteach, dubbed “America’s rabbi” by the media, is hosting Oz – who is often called “America’s doctor” – and his family during their joint sojourn. The trip, Oz’s first to Israel, will include a panel discussion including Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky and moderated by The Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde at the Jerusalem Press Club on Monday evening.

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Oz, whose US program airs in 118 countries – including Israel, on the Good Health Channel – also serves as a professor of surgery at NY Presbyterian/Columbia University, and is a multiple-Emmyaward winner.

The celebrated doctor said his Turkish heritage has long served as a strong connection to Israel.

“I am delighted to travel to Israel, especially being accompanied by my wife Lisa and our four children and son-in-law,” said Oz in a statement. “Being of Turkish extraction, I have always appreciated the deep ties and friendship between the Turkish people and the Israeli people.

“Being an American, I appreciate Israel’s friendship with the American people and my own close friendship with the American Jewish community,” he added.

The trip was initiated by Boteach and funded by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, who along with Oz, his wife and Elie Wiesel, were recently honored as Champions of Jewish Values, at This World: The Jewish Values Network gala dinner in New York.

“I am grateful to my dear friend Rabbi Shmuley for organizing this trip – and equally grateful to Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson for their unparalleled generosity in making the trip possible,” Oz said.

The two American media personalities first met as colleagues during their time together as radio hosts on Oprah and Friends.

Highlights of their trip will include visits to the Western Wall, Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, the Dead Sea, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Tiberias, Safed and Masada.

Additionally, Oz will make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Maimonides, the medieval Jewish scholar and doctor known as the Rambam who served as the personal physical to Sultan Saladin and is a symbol of Jewish and Islamic coexistence.

Oz has also been invited to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday.

“For a long time, I’ve wanted to bring Mehmet and Lisa to Israel, given their amazing friendship with our community and the global impact Mehmet makes through every medium to preserve and protect human life,” said Boteach.

“I think Mehmet and Lisa are going to have the greatest time and I’m so happy that our families will be traveling together,” he added.

Boteach – an international best-selling author and founder of This World: The Values Network – and winner of the London Times Preacher of the Year award and the American Jewish Press Association’s highest award for Excellence in Commentary – is a regular columnist for the Post.

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