Professor Joseph Borman, a pioneer of heart and lung surgey in Israel, passes away

Monday, Feb 22 2016

Prof. Joseph Borman and his wife, Ruth Borman. (courtesy of The Jerusalem Post).

Professor Joseph Borman was a pioneer of heart and lung surgery in Israel. He was the head of the cardiothoracic department at Hadassah Hospital for 22 years, from 1970 until 1992. Prof. Borman began administering open heart sugary at Hadassah Hospital in the early 60s. In August of 1987, Prof. Borman and his team performed Israel’s first successful heart transplant at the hospital.

Throughout his career, Prof. Borman contributed to many surgical innovations and conducted copious research, particularly in regards to heart valves and bypass surgery. In 1999 he was honored as a Yakir Yerushalyim, an award given to outstanding citizens of Israel’s capital, for his contributions to medicine.  

Prof. Borman was born in 1929 in Krugerdorp, South Africa, a gold mining town near Johannesburg. He studied medicine at Witwatersrand University, and upon graduation he went on to pass the grueling exams of the Royal College of Surgery in London. In 1958, on a trip to Israel, he visited Hadassah Hospital and was offered a job. Prof. Borman and his wife, Ruth, an Israeli from Haifa, decided to move to Israel, so he could pursue his career at Hadassah.

As an epilogue to his autobiography, he said “I wish to be remembered as an individual who carried out his allotted time on this earth to the best of his ability in the most humane fashion.” He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and three adult children.


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