Subsections and Societies
The Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, aside from the general group of scientists, professionals and educated lay people, contained within it a number of subsections and societies that better focus on one discipline of science:
Physical, Life and Computer Science Section
Psychology Section – Behavioral Science/Mental Health Section
The Rephael Society – Medical-Dental Section
The Rephael Society was founded in late 1966 in Washington, D.C. as an independent association of Orthodox Jewish physicians and dentists determined to deal with the unique problems facing the observant Jew engaged in the health professions. Since its founding, the Society has provided its members with educational programs in Jewish medical halacha and ethics, has served as a forum for the discussion of issues of concern to members, has arranged informal social gatherings which have permitted a free exchange of ideas among members and their families, and has provided its members with opportunities to become familiar with the challenges facing health professionals in Israel. The Society has also initiated a program for Orthodox medical and dental students in the Washington, D.C. area, admitting students to full membership in the Society and intervening on occasion on their behalf where circumstances have indicated this would be helpful. Immediately before and during the Six Day Arab-Israeli War of June 1967, the Raphael Society, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, undertook the medical screening of volunteers for Israel coming from the Greater Washington and Baltimore areas.
The Medical-Dental Section of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists was organized approximately ten years ago in New York City with essentially the same goals as those of the Raphael Society. In addition to providing an education program for its members on subjects of concern to them, it also provided an educational program for non-physician and non-dentist members of AOJS as well as for the Jewish community t large. For several years this took the form of a series of seminars on Jewish medical ethics conducted by Rabbi Dr. Immanuel Jacobovits at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue. After Dr. Jacobovits left to become Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, the seminars were conducted by Rabbi Dr. Moshe D. Tendler for members of the Medical-Dental Section.
To avoid fragmentation in ongoing efforts to organize Orthodox Jewish professionals, the Society, at the close of 1967, became an affiliate of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. This affiliation proved mutually beneficial and therefore, the Washington-based Rephael Society and the New York Medical Dental Chapter of AOJS merged to form a new professional group-The Raphael Society, Medical-Dental Section, ,AOJS. This merger was approved by vote of the Board of Governors of AOJS at their Annual Convention in Monsey, New York on September 2, 1968.
An active organizational effort converted the largely local programs of the two parent groups of the new Section to national programs which served Orthodox Jewish physicians and dentists throughout the United States and Canada.
Today, the Rephael Society – Medical-Dental Section of the AOJS functions under the auspices of Rabbi Dr. Moshe D. Tendler with the assistance of numerous members of AOJS.