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Daniel Iluz FroindlichBy MYRON LOVE

Daniel Iluz-Froindlich is the kind of fellow who makes a very good impression wherever he goes – and for good reason.


For example, Dr. Gerald Minuk, for whom Iluz is currently working at the Health Sciences Centre Section of Hepatology, describes the young Israeli-born computer whiz as a very talented individual.
“In the year that he has worked for us,” Minuk comments, “despite having had no previous medical training, he has revolutionized our Section’s daily operations by suggesting logical approaches and developing software programs that are much more efficient than those we previously had in place. Through his documentation of the impact of influenza infections/vaccinations on immune-mediated hepatitis, he may well have uncovered a new liver disease that doctors throughout the world had previously not recognized or misdiagnosed.
“He is now working on developing a global network that will allow physicians and governments from around the world to co-ordinate their investigations and care of indigenous populations with chronic liver disease.”

In addition to his work on the medical front, Iluz has launched a service to help brighten the lives of children in need. In the spring of 2017, he founded Box of Dreams Canada, whose goal is fulfilling the dreams of underprivileged children via social media.
“I was looking for a way to do something meaningful for others,” he says. “I had considered a number of existing non-profit organizations and, while they do good work, I found that much of the money they raise goes to paying staff. Box of Dreams has no bank accounts and no office expenses. What Box of Dreams does have is a very committed and dedicated group of people – including Sara Jacobson, Yael Borovich and Igal Benarroch – who are all volunteers and do not receive any monetary compensation.
The magic of Box of Dreams is based largely on social networking and the concept of five degrees of separation – the idea that anyone on the planet can be connected to anyone else with just five connections.
“To fulfill a child’s dream, we don’t need any finances,” Iluz observes. “We just need to find the right connections. We have managed so far to fulfill the dreams of ten children solely thr
ough the generosity of other people.”
As an example of the way Box of Dreams operates, the first child that Iluz and his team interacted with was a Yazidi boy, recently arrived in Canada with his family, who loves soccer and badly wanted a signed jersey from an FC Barcelona player.
“I have a friend in Israel who is a friend of a girl who is dating one of the Barcelona players,” Iluz says. “We were able to get the player’s jersey as well as soccer equipment for the boy – and we built a doll house for his sister.”

The Box of Dreams Canada founder says that he would like to expand the organization’s efforts to include Aboriginal children and sick kids. In regard to the former, he notes that he has been made aware of the sad situation of Manitoba Aboriginal communities through his work with Gerald Minuk and visits to isolated communities with him to do research on the prevalence of fatty liver in those communities.
“It has been a real eye-opener,” he says of his visits to the northern communities. “There aren’t many job opportunities and very few organized activities. And the outlook doesn’t look any better for the next generation. I hope that through Box of Dreams, we can make a little bit of a difference in a few individual lives in these communities.”
Iluz’s own dream is to become a doctor and, to that end, he will be entering Ben-Gurion University’s medical school in the fall.
His first dream, he says, after finishing his IDF service, was to become a commercial pilot. That is what brought him to Winnipeg. His first job here was with Perimeter Aviation - working the ramp.
“But I always had the thought of going into medicine in the back of my mind,” he says.
To that end, he left Perimeter after a short time and enrolled in Science at the University of Winnipeg. He graduated with the Gold Medal in Computer Science and Silver for having the second-highest grade point average among the graduates in the faculty of Science.
While he could have applied to  a faculty of medicine in Canada, he explains that he chose to go back to Israel for two reasons. One is that he misses his family and friends. The second reason is that BGU has a global health program that trains students to practice medicine in remote areas and third world countries.
“I have always wanted to give back to humanity and I can’t think of a better way to do it,” he says. “In fourth year, we are assigned an eight-week clinical rotation in a third world country.”
On another note, Iluz adds that “ironically, secular Jews in Israel tend to avoid exploring Judaism because they associate Jewish wisdom with strict religious practice”. For this reason, he says, he feels blessed for choosing and joining the very warm Jewish community in Winnipeg.
“You have a very special and welcoming community,” he says. “Here I have been able to explore and cultivate my Judaism without judgment.”
In Winnipeg, he has been a regular shul attendee – at the Ashkenazi Synagogue with Minuk for morning minyans and the Adas-Yeshurun Herzlia on Shabbat. “It is here where I not only started to keep Shabbat, but also developed a newfound appreciation for it,” he observes. “In addition, such as with Box of Dreams and working with the Aboriginal community, when I do good things for people, I make sure to wear a kippah because I want people to associate good deeds with Judaism.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gerry Minuk for inviting me to join him in his morning routine in shul before starting our academic and clinical workday. Through this humbling experience of reciting powerful Jewish verses every morning, I feel grateful for the opportunities I have and eager to advance my knowledge working with such a great mentor.”

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