Over 7,000 eye exams | Over 800 surgeries | 10,000's of meals served | 150+ doctors trained in first aid or specialized eyecare | 1000's of eyeglasses distributed
IT STARTED WITH A FAMILY TRIP...
In 2014 our children asked if we could do a "volunteer trip" instead of our usual family vacation. We took their idea to heart, and that summer flew with our four kids to volunteer at the Mother Theresa orphanage in Addis Ababa, and in the Jewish community of Gondar. What we saw and experienced changed our lives. Severely malnourished children, no medical care, and unimaginable poverty. On our last day in Gondar where we ran camp-like activities for the kids, the locals heard that Morris was an Eye Doctor, and hundreds lined up to have their eyes checked. He had no equipment, but examined every last person with a pen light, doing the best he could. We returned home DEEPLY affected by our experience. We could not stop thinking about about the people we met, and poverty we saw. So the following summer we decided to return - this time loaded with medical equipment, eye medications and eyeglasses that we purchased ourselves, and we set up our first mobile eye-clinic in the Gondar Jewish compound. We’ve returned over a dozen times since and expanded our efforts to include doctor training in Israel, a feeding program co-run with SSEJ, surgeries, and more. Elisa eventually closed-down her ecommerce business of 2+ decades to devote her energies to creating a non-profit organization to expand our efforts, and “Operation Ethiopia” was born. We never could have imagined all that would come from one family trip. We invite you to read more about us and support our efforts.
- Dr. Morris Hartstein MD, FACS, and Elisa Minsk Hartstein
LEARN WHAT WE ARE DOING IN ETHIOPIA AND SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP
Performing sight-restoring cataract surgery in villages surrounding Gondar, where individuals have little access to eyecare.
PERFORMING + TRAINING OCULOPLASTIC SURGERY
In the local hospital in Gondar, to both pediatric and adult patients
DOCTOR TRAINING IN ISRAEL
Bringing Ethiopian doctors to Israel for advanced training. 15 Ethiopian doctors have now completed ophthalmic training in Israel.
FEEDING PROGRAM FOR MALNOURISHED CHILDREN
Providing one stable meal a day to 500+ malnourished children aged 0-5, and nursing mothers in the Gondar Jewish Compound.
DR. MORRIS HARTSTEIN, MD, FACS
Professor Morris Hartstein MD, FACS, is the Founding Director of Operation Ethiopia. He trained at Harvard, Tufts, and NYU, and is currently the Director of Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Shamir Medical Center in Zrifin, Israel and a Clinical Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University Medical School. He has made over 10 trips to Ethiopia to treat and operate on those with little or no access to care. He has addressed Knesset (Israeli Parliament) committee meetings on three occasions regarding the humanitarian suffering in Ethiopia and was invited to join Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's first ever Israeli presidential visit to Ethiopia in 2018. In 2020 he accompanied MK Panina Tamana-Shato and her team to Addis Ababa. He has personally trained three of the five Oculoplastic surgeons in all of Ethiopia. Prior to moving to Israel in 2004, he was Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Plastic Surgery at Saint Louis University. He has published four texbooks on ophthalmic surgery, given hundreds of lectures, and trained seven fellows. He is a husband and father of four, and Operation Ethiopia continues to be a family effort.
CONTACT OPERATION ETHIOPIA
Get in touch with Operation Ethiopia to learn more about our work, partner with us, and find out how you can get involved.
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