From early morning till late evening, Dr. Maro Gete takes a vital role in the drama that unfolds daily at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s Ear Nose and
Throat and Head-Neck Surgery Department. Here the young resident, who holds the distinction of being the sole Ethiopian-born doctor in the entire hospital, treats patients young and old, mastering his skills in the intricate realm of ENT and the innovative surgeries for which Shaare Zedek is acclaimed.
By night, Dr. Maro Gete, 32, returns to his home-away-from-home, the Boys Town Jerusalem dormitory.
Home for Maro Gete, one of eleven children, was originally a small village in Ethiopia from where he and his family set out on their arduous journey to Israel in 1991. “Life was not easy for us in Israel,” he recalls, and at age 13 he began searching for a place to acquire a good religious and academic education. “Thank goodness I found Boys Town Jerusalem!” Maro lived and studied at the school until he graduated in 2001 with a major in physics and computers. The serious, soft-spoken young man credits his Boys Town teachers and rabbis with giving him the ability to grow into a leader. “They spared no effort to help me acculturate and feel at home as a Jew in Israel.”
Following graduation, Maro rose to the rank of officer in the IDF Golani Infantry Brigade. During one of the deadliest clashes of the 2006 Israel-Lebanese War, Lieutenant Maro Gete assumed command of Battalion 51 in place of his badly-wounded comrade Eshtaol Lubotzky. At the war’s end (and Eshtaol’s miraculous recovery), Maro married Eshtaol’s sister Shaked.
Maro’s next battle—and victory—was to pass the stringent admission requirements to the prestigious Ben Gurion University Medical School in Beer-Sheva, where he recently completed his medical degree and internship. He now begins his six-year residency at Shaare Zedek Hospital’s well-respected ENT surgery department.
“Rounds begin at 7:00 AM, over 80 miles away from my home in Beer-Sheva,” Dr. Gete explains. “By bus, the trip can take hours, and I couldn’t imagine how I would manage. Then I thought of my ‘home’ in Boys Town, just over a mile away from Shaare Zedek.” Dean of Students Rabbi Meir Linchner was delighted to oblige, and provided the illustrious alumni with a room in the same dormitory where he’d lived as a teenager.
“My wife and four children will join me after the kids finish school and kindergarten in Beer-Sheva, and then we’ll move just outside Jerusalem,” the doctor notes. “For today, Boys Town, which was always my home, is now my haven.”