Toronto Board of Rabbis show support for organ donation

    Trillium Gift of Life Network works with TBR to get message out

    TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - The Toronto Board of Rabbis (TBR) and Trillium
Gift of Life Network (TGLN) are working together during National Organ and
Tissue Donation Awareness Week to deliver sermons from Toronto pulpits
illustrating the support for organ donation within the Jewish religion.
    "I'm so proud of this partnership," said Frank Markel, President & CEO of
Trillium Gift of Life Network. "It's so important that all religions
understand that organ donation is a good thing, and that there are no barriers
because of strong religious affiliation. The sermons delivered this Saturday
speak volumes for the importance of organ and tissue donation, we hope that
people will listen and make the decision to sign their card and speak to their
family about their wishes. Their decisions will save lives."
    Three "inspirational" sermons have been written and sent to synagogues
across the city, from there, Rabbis have created their own text for Saturday
sermons. The main focus will be on Leviticus 19:16, "You shall not stand idly
by the blood of your neighbor."
    "Every day that passes, people are left wondering if they will have
another day of life as they desperately await the news of an organ that could
save their life," said Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich, President of the Toronto Board
of Rabbis. "This is a crisis not only for them, but for their families -
spouses, parents, children and communities. The gift of life, in the form of
organ donation, is truly a gift of love, as well."
    In addition to the sermons, TBR and TGLN will be distributing pamphlets
and posters that explain Jewish support for organ donation to synagogues and
hospital chaplaincies.
    Today in Ontario, 1748 patients are on the waiting list. Of those, 1086
are men, 632 are women and 30 of those patients are children.
    "Working with the Jewish Community is an important step," said Markel.
"We are working hard with many different faiths to educate their congregations
on organ and tissue donation because we know there are very few religious
barriers to donation. Our hope is that next year, there will be more sermons
and even more awareness events from the many religious communities."
    National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week runs from April 22-29
    For more details on National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week
events, or for local waiting list numbers please go to or
call 416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.

    Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the
Government of Ontario and is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating
and supporting organ and tissue donation across Ontario and improving the
system so that more lives can be saved.

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Tracey, Trillium Gift of Life Network,
(416) 619-2299 (direct line)

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