As his “day job,” Prof. Alex Margulis heads the Hadassah Medical Center’s Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Craniofacial Unit, where children born with birth defects or injured in terrorist attacks are given a new lease on life. At the same time, Prof. Margulis, at age 47, is still active in the Shayetet 13 Reserves, Israel’s Navy Seals Special Forces.
Specializing in sea-to-land incursions, counter-terrorism, sabotage, maritime intelligence gathering, and maritime hostage rescue, Shayetet 13 Seals enter enemy lands to carry out secret operations, stop intruding ships, and protect Israel’s coast.
About his day job, Prof. Margulis says: “I love the beauty of this profession which combines medicine and art. It’s tangible and, at the end of the surgery, you can see the results.”
Prof. Margulis completed his residency at Hadassah and then did a two-year fellowship at Chicago Children’s Hospital, where he worked with Dr. Bruce Bauer, a world-famous plastic surgeon. As for his participation in Shayetet 13, he notes: “I wanted to be in the most challenging unit possible in the Israel Defense Forces. I believed I could cope with it and wanted to give my maximum. I’ve always wanted to do my most for Israel; I guess it’s a family ethic.”
Prof. Margulis’ grandfather, Nahum, was the only Margulis to survive the Holocaust. Prof. Margulis’ father, Miron, was a Refusenik who fought, along with Natan Sharansky, for the right to make Aliyah to Israel. The family finally received permission to emigrate in 1977 when Alex was 10 years old.
Married to Irit, a social worker, Prof. Margulis has three children. “I’m Israeli in my bones and in my soul,” says Prof. Margulis. “My dream is still securing freedom for us by overcoming the internal problems and striving for peace.”