Photo by Jeff Kan Lee

By ROBERT DIGITALE

Daniel Rosenthal is spreading his magic.

Daniel, a 15-year-old sophomore at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, recently returned from a trip to Israel where he did magic shows for children in hospitals and met with the president of the Israeli Society of Magicians.

Daniel is the founder of Magic is Medicine, which performs magic in hospitals, schools and other places. For his efforts he was one of five California Jewish youths this year to win a $36,000 Diller Teen “Tikkun Olam” award.

Tikkun Olam is a precept of Judaism meaning “repair of the world.”

In Israel, he did magic tricks for children in hospitals with cancer and heart disorders. It reminded him once again that magic is an international language.

“Everyone loves magic and everyone can take something from it,” he said.

He’s now raising funds to send to Israel 100 to 200 special boxes, each containing 20 magic tricks. With the boxes, magicians there will perform tricks that patients find therapeutic, he said.

For example, with one trick the magician has a patient close a fist on a red foam ball. Upon opening their fist, the ball multiplies.

“You get so much laughter,” he said.

In Israel, Daniel said he performed for Arabs and Jews. He did magic tricks for immigrants to Israel from Ethiopia and Russia.

In Santa Rosa, he has helped found Magic is Medicine chapters at Carrillo and at the Rincon Valley Public Library. Through his efforts he’s been able to meet renowned illusionist David Copperfield.

You can learn more about his group at www.magicismedicine.org.

Here is a link to a July 2012 story about Daniel by my colleague, Clark Mason.

Here are the names of the four other Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recipients for 2012: Zak Kukoff (Thousand Oaks), Joseph Langerman (Coronado), Adam Weinstein (Los Angeles), and Celine Yousefzadeh (Los Angeles). Read about their efforts here. The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award is provided by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.