Irit (pronounced Eee-reet) Weir immigrated to California from Israel at age 20.
After meeting an Israeli woman who was studying acupuncture in Berkeley, “I realized the potential for healing methods that encompass who we are on many different layers, opposed to only treating our symptoms with medication,” wrote Weir.
“Our body has an internal wisdom and given the right conditions and climate it will flourish.”
Weir opened the Acupuncture Clinic of Napa in 1987.
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
My ancestors — the ones I never met — but have heard stories about.
Also many of the kids and teens in Napa. Watching and listening to them makes me happy. Talking to them is amazing. They connect me to hope.
What job would you like to try/not like to try?
My fantasy is to be a professional ballerina, dancer or singer. I would definitely not want to be an accountant.
Who do you most admire in the business world?
My father and my father in-law and other mavericks like them. They both had little schooling experience but were very “street smart” — a very rare breed. I loved listening to their views and stories of life experiences. They endured the Holocaust and being taken away from their countries, but were very loving men with clear goals about the future of humankind.
What about mothers who multi-task?
They are nameless and selfless. If raising kids was a business then every mother is a very successful businesswoman.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
To connect with other physicians in Napa like the oncologists and orthopedics and create a discussion where we can learn from each other. I like research and would love to see more collaborative work between Eastern and Western medicine. I would like our healthcare system to be more inclusive and open so patients can make choices based on more options and benefit from a total, holistic experience.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I served in Israeli Army intelligence unit for two years. It was very stressful.
What is your favorite charity?
Locally: Andrea’s Voice Foundation, for children and families facing eating disorders.
In the Middle East: The Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information, Hope School in the West Bank, Peace Now, Doctors without Borders, and Rabbis for Human Rights. They all support peace in the Middle East.
What was your childhood ambition?
To have fun, fun and more fun, to own a pair of jeans and to fall in love.
What’s the most significant project you’ve been involved with in your career?
A dialogue group in the Middle East where we brought together Israelis and Palestinians to talk. The idea is that an enemy is someone whose story you have not heard yet. When you sit down with someone and share coffee, it is difficult to hurt that person since it is not an abstract any more. It’s a human being, a person like you.
How many languages do you speak?
Spanish, Farsi, Chinese, Hebrew, English.
What other business person(s) would you like to see featured in “10 Questions?”
Doris Smeltzer from Andrea’s Voice Foundation.
Sabine Hirsohn, a violinist and teacher.
More from Irit Weir
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
I want to be involved with politics in the Middle East and make a difference. Our politicians are doing their best, but I would like to see a different kind of best, something rooted in compassion and hope. Our children are craving a role model, some sanity, something they can hold onto and learn from.
I can’t live without: My children, Maya, Jonathan, and Tamar and my husband Ernie.
What’s on your to-do list?
Oh my god, it is long … kids and kids things, clinic, etc. And I’m planning for a gathering/vacation next spring for my family: sisters, husbands, wives, cousins and parents. Wish me luck.
What’s your favorite gift to give?
You need to know the flavor of the person for whom you are gifting. So, it varies but gift certificates for massage almost always do the trick.
What was your first job?
Working in a supermarket stocking shelves and baby-sitting in Tel Aviv.
To contact Irit Weir:
1011 Professional Drive, Suite A
Napa, CA 94558
707 226 8724
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