In November 2011, Riri Sylvia Manor, MD, was awarded the Safran Medal (Fig. 1) and Prize for her resourceful efforts in bringing Romanian and Israeli cultural ties closer together. The award was given to Dr. Manor for her translation into Hebrew of a remarkable collection of poems by outstanding Romanian poets in the publication Moznaim.
Dr. Manor was born in Romania and, as a child during World War II, she frequently heard her parents speak of the Chief Rabbi of Romania, Dr. Alexandru Safran, and his remarkable efforts with the royal family to convince the authorities to spare the lives of hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews.
After completion of medical school in Bucharest, Romania, and ophthalmology training in Israel, Dr. Manor completed a fellowship with William Hoyt, MD, in San Francisco, California. Returning to the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, she established the first Neuro-Ophthalmology Unit in Israel at the Beilinson Hospital. In addition, she founded the Israeli Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, and throughout her career, she has made significant contributions to the neuro-ophthalmic literature.
But Dr. Manor also has a passion for poetry, and she continued to nurture this “second career” as well. Her writings became widely published, and one poem, “In Vain I Am a Doctor,” appeared in the Journal of Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology in 1993.
With the rise of Communism in Eastern Europe, Rabbi Safran was forced to flee Romania in 1947 with his wife and 2 children. He became the Chief Rabbi of Geneva until his death in 2006. His son, Avinoam Safran, completed his medical school and ophthalmology training in Geneva, followed by a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology with Joel Glaser, MD, in Miami, Florida. He ultimately became Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Geneva School of Medicine.
And so Dr. Manor's “second career” as a poet, and her achievements recognized with the Safran Medal and Prize, is significant on many levels. Her very survival was to a large extent the result of the humanitarian efforts of Rabbi Safran, and the medical career she pursued is one in which Rabbi Safran's son excels. The Manor–Safran legacy is now linked in perpetuity.