Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Jews You Should Know

Feb 5, 2018


As a young, ambitious college graduate on the brink of law school and a promising career, Jay Feinberg's life was turned upside down with a cancer diagnosis. His only hope, long-term, would be a bone marrow transplant, which the doctor compared to finding a needle in a haystack. There simply weren't enough Ashkenazi (or any) Jews registered to make it likely for him to find a match.

A typical Jewish mother, Mrs. Feinberg refused to allow her son simply to wither away, instead galvanizing the community to hold drives worldwide until Jay's match would be found. Along the way they identified matches for hundreds of other people, but not for Jay...that is, not until the very last person on the very last drive held for him, a young woman named Becky Fabisoff (now Keller).

In this episode, you will hear not only Jay's amazing story, but also how he transformed that tragedy into an unbelievable for the Jewish community, building its largest bone marrow registry, currently approaching 350,000 members. In its 20-or-so years, Gift of Life has grown into a major international enterprise, saved thousands of lives and influenced cutting edge medical procedures.

As a bonus feature, we were privileged to interview Becky to get her version of the story as well. Her own faith and activism are a credit in their own right, and we can find great inspiration in her urging us all to value each act of kindness we perform in this world.



Jews You Should Know introduces the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know.

The host, Rabbi Ari Koretzky, is Executive Director of MEOR Maryland (, a premier Jewish outreach and educational organization. MEOR operates nationally on twenty campuses and in Manhattan; visit the national website at

Please visit, follow us on Twitter @JewsUShouldKnow or on Facebook.

Have feedback for the show, or suggestions for future guests? E-mail us at

Want to support this podcast? Visit A small monthly contribution goes a long way!!