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Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz

Penn has joined forces with the Philadelphia medical community to launch a scholarship in honor of alumnus Jerry Rabinowitz. Rabinowitz, who graduated from the College in 1977 and then from the Perelman School of Medicine in 1977, was one of 11 people killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Oct. 27. 

According to the Jewish Exponent, Jonah Klein, a General Surgery Resident based in Philadelphia, created a GoFundMe campaign on Nov. 1 with the intention of memorializing Rabinowitz through "an annually awarded endowed scholarship for a graduating family medicine resident [at Penn]." 

"Dr. Rabinowitz was beloved," Klein said to the Jewish Exponent. "He was passionate about family medicine and patient care — he made house calls on many of his patients. Because he attended Penn undergrad and medical school, it was important to recognize him in the medical community here in Philadelphia, so I came up with this idea.”

The family medicine residency program at Penn took notice of the fundraising campaign and launched a Penn Giving page to raise money for the endowed scholarship. According to the page, the goal is to create an annual scholarship, called the Jerry Rabinowitz, C'73, M'77 Memorial Residency Scholarship. The funds will be given to a third-year member of Penn’s program who “embodies Rabinowitz’s selfless devotion to patient care and community outreach.” 

As of Nov. 26, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $12,000 of its $50,000 goal, and the Penn Giving Page had raised just under $1,000. 

“An endowment of this type is particularly meaningful in the Family Medicine Department, which receives less notoriety than other departments. This enables us to support a resident to work in the community, advancing patient care, in the way Dr. Rabinowitz did," Brett Davidson, a senior executive director at the Perelman School of Medicine, told the Jewish Exponent. "Because these doctors often train and work in economically challenged areas, such as parts of West Philadelphia outside of the Penn campus, the endowment is especially significant.” 

Rabinowitz worked as a geriatrician in Bloomfield, Pittsburgh and was one of the first doctors in Pittsburgh to treat patients with HIV/AIDS, according to Klein. 

Earlier this month, Penn classmates of Rabinowitz remembered him as a caring and generous friend, who showed strong ambitions as a student.