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Sofia Finkel

Sofia Finkel

Doctor & Healthcare Practitioner

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SOFIA FINKELsofiafinkel.JPG

Doctor & Healthcare Practitioner

North York 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a doctor by training, a neurologist. In Canada, I acquired three new specialties: acupuncture, massage therapy and homeopathy.

Where is your family from?

We came from Kazakhstan in 1995, and have lived in Canada for 23 years.

My parents are from Vinnitsa, which historically had a large Jewish community. My father was drafted into the army in 1942 at age 18, and was part of the infantry that ended the war. He was wounded several times. After the war, he graduated with honors from medical school. In the Estonian town of Narva he founded neurological services, and was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor for his many years of dedicated work. Given the fact that his name was Michael Aronovich Farber, you can imagine how great his accomplishments must have been in order for a Jew in the Soviet Union awarded this prestigious award.

At that time, it was impossible to observe Jewish traditions while maintaining positions of professor and head of department. But my father refused to join the ranks of the Communist Party. My father came from Vinnitsa, where his religious father would wear a tallit and tefillin and pray daily. My grandfather never wanted to leave Vinnitsa, because there was kosher food, and he strictly observed the kashrut. Also, the arrival of such a outwardly religious father could adversely affect my father's career, but because at that time he was the only neurologist in Khazakstan and treated the whole party elite, he got away with a lot.

When my father was invited to Switzerland to speak at the International Congress, a report he developed on a new method of treatment of lumbar degenerative disc disease was not released. Also, he was not allowed to participate in a trip to Italy, even though it was organized by the medical school.

My father was a unique and outstanding diagnostician doctor who saved thousands of lives. When we come to Narva on vacation, it was a sight to behold as people rushed to him and literally kissed his hands. He was very well-educated and knowledgeable in various fields, and he authored three books and 250 scientific publications. His books were studied by thousands of medical students, and his signature is on hundreds of medical diplomas. My father recently passed away, and it was a great sorrow for us. We are very proud of my father and of his achievements.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

I'm very busy with my work; a medical practice in two hospitals leaves little time for hobbies. In addition, I am constantly learning, acquiring new skills and knowledge, the love of which I inherited from my father. My brother is also a doctor, a neurologist and professor, still working in Russia in the city of Cherepovets.

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone, who would you choose?

I would love to talk to my father’s head academician, Dr. Davidenkov, who I would have asked a lot of professional questions. The beginning of his research on the treatment of muscular dystrophy was derailed due to the ideological course of those years, and I would be very interested to hear about the results.

What are your future plans?

I have an only son, and I want to become a grandmother and one attend the Bar or Bat Mitzvah of my grandchildren, because we are proud of the fact that in Canada we have the opportunity to observe the traditions of our people.

 

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