Rothstein-Williamowsky Post-Graduate Clinics Inaugurated at TAU's Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine
A dream became reality on May 18th when The Rothstein-Williamowsky Post-Graduate Clinics were inaugurated at Tel Aviv University's Maurice and Gabriela Goldschelger School of Dental Medicine.
The ceremony, held during the university's annual Board of Governors Meeting, marked the official opening of the new Advanced Care Clinic, and a Special Care Clinic is expected to break ground by the end of the year. Together, they will provide a much-needed, quality care center for disadvantaged and disabled patients in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, and provide sophisticated training for tomorrow's dental professionals.
The $2.7 million campaign to fund the clinics is a joint initiative of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity and American Friends of Tel Aviv University, co-chaired by Dr. Marc Rothman, chairman of the Alpha Omega Foundation and a member of AFTAU's Board of Directors, and Steven William Kess, Vice President for Global Professional Relations at Henry Schein, Inc. The clinics are named in honor of two inspirational leaders who have long championed TAU's dental school — the late Ralph Rothstein and Dr. Ben A. Williamowsky, a member of AFTAU's Board of Directors, TAU's Board of Governors, and former International President of Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.
Fueled by passion
Celebrating at the well-attended ceremony were Prof. Ilana Eli, head of the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, who has led the school's remarkable revitalization after several years of financial crisis; TAU Vice President Prof. Raanan Rein; AFTAU's National Chairman Jon Gurkoff, and President & CEO Gail Reiss.
Dr. Williamowsky told the guests, "It has been a long journey. Our story started with a phone call from [the late TAU Governor and Honorary Fellow Dr.] Sonny Lefcoe to build a second Israeli dental school. I said, 'Okay, on two conditions — you involve Alpha Omega and my friend Ralph Rothstein,' who then owned the largest dental lab in the world.
"I love the people who have stuck with us all this time," he continued. "Gail Reiss packs more punch than anyone I have ever met, and we have never enjoyed more support from TAU's administration than today. I keep President Joseph Klafter's words close to my heart: 'The dental school is open, and it will stay open forever.'"
Dr. Rothman, who calls Dr. Williamowsky a "second father," spoke of the profound effects the clinics will have. He recalled a powerful revelation when an accomplished cardio-thoracic surgeon urged him to make no distinction between open-heart surgery and extracting a tooth, because "at that moment in time, it is the most important thing in that person's life.
"I now understand that these important moments in time have the great power to add more to the collective happiness of the world than anything else, and that is the ability to give someone an opportunity to say thank you. These clinics will do that thousands and thousands of times, over and over again — providing care for the needy and those with physical and emotional disabilities. It will be a shining light in the Middle East," he said.
"None of this would have been possible without the passion and generosity of the Alpha Omega International Fraternity," said Prof. Rein. "Alpha Omega — the driving force for establishing the Dental School of Tel Aviv University — has been unwavering in its support for the school's revival and growth."
Addressing Dr. Williamowsky, he said, "You have proved time and time again just how passionate you are about education and health. You have demonstrated all the values that we hold dear at TAU — vision, dedication, and furthering knowledge in the service of society.'" Tel Aviv University conferred an honorary fellowship on Dr. Williamowsky in 1999.
At the conclusion of the initiative — aptly called the Join Us! Campaign — the names of significant donors will be etched on a series of classic stone pillars at the entrance to the School of Dental Medicine.
As originally reported by AFTAU.