Sotheby's steps in to benefit local A.L.S. research

The Israeli A.L.S. Research Assocation (IsrA.L.S.) is holding a public art auction on Saturday May 13 to benefit research projects into this still uncurable disease. At the auction, which is being organized in cooperation with Sotheby's, an original Rembrandt print (Etching) called Old man shading his eyes with his hand will be available, as well as pieces by Israeli artists Menashe Kadishman, Yigal Tumarkin, Aliza Olmert and others. The rare Rembrandt belongs to the private estate of the late Dr. Carl Schwartz, the first director of the Tel Aviv Museum and an avid collector of lithography and German art. Carl's son, Haim Schwartz, decided to donate this print because his son, Nir Tsoran, suffers from A.L.S. and is an active member of the IsrA.L.S. Association. More than 60 works of art will be sold at the exhibition - sculptures and photographs of top Israeli artists, including Jan Rauchwerger, Jacob Steinhardt, Moshe Kupperman, Moti Mizrachi, Buki Schwartz, Yigal Ozeri, and others. A.L.S. is an "orphan disease," where medicine does not know its causes and has no remedy. The disease suddenly attacks completely healthy people at all ages and without any common denominator. In Israel there are 400 to 500 people ill with this disease, and each year about 100 people die from it (in the U.S. about 30,000 people are suffering from the disease). Due to patients' short lifespan - two to four years on average - there is no "critical mass" of patients who will make it economically feasible for drug companies, and as a result encourage them to research this disease. The IsrA.L.S Association was established by David Cohen, a Haifa businessman, who fell ill to the disease, with the assistance of patients and friends, in order to promote search for a remedy for this disease. The Society focuses on initiating research into A.L.S. by senior researchers and raising resources for these researches. The Society is creating a quiet revolution in the field of research into A.L.S. in Israel, thanks to its determined activities. At present, 18 proposals have been submitted from top researchers: 6 researches have already started and the others are looking for financing. These researches are likely to shed new light on the disease and to bring the discovery of a drug for this terrible disease closer. Information on the public auction and the Internet catalog can be seen at IsrA.L.S. site: israls_english.htm