Expanding Advanced Dental Education in Israel

Cornerstone laid for the Rothstein-Williamowsky Postgraduate Dental Clinics
27 November 2012
From left: Head of the Goldschleger School Prof. Ilana Eli, TAU President Joseph Klafter, and Dr. Ben Williamowsky

In a leap forward for Tel Aviv University, the cornerstone was laid for two much-needed postgraduate dental clinics at TAU's Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine. The Rothstein-Williamowsky Postgraduate Clinics will help the School reclaim its rightful place as one of the world’s leading dental schools after several years of financial crisis.


The new clinics, featuring state-of-the-art equipment in new operating suites and renovated treatment rooms, will provide sophisticated training for tomorrow's Israeli dental professionals and a quality care center for patients from the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.


A $2.7 million campaign to fund the clinics was launched at the ceremony. It is a joint initiative of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, which was instrumental in the founding of Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine four decades ago, and the American Friends of Tel Aviv University. The campaign is co-chaired by Dr. Marc Rothman, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and chair of the US Alpha Omega Foundation and Steven William Kess, Vice President for Global Professional Relations at Henry Schein, Inc.  Many Alpha Omega members attended the packed event, which was broadcast live over the internet to fraternity members around the world.


Pictured from left: American Friends Chairman Jon Gurkoff, Prof. Ilana Eli, Steven Kess, Danielle Williamowsky, Ben Williamowsky, André Amiach, Dr. Marc Rothman and Dr. Allen Finkelstein


The clinics are named in honor of two longtime leaders dedicated to revitalizing the School – the late Ralph Rothstein and Dr. Ben Williamowsky.  Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Williamowsky said, "This is a bittersweet occasion. Ralph Rothstein was my friend for 70 years and was the driving force behind the school, and this is a testimonial to his deeds."


Williamowsky thanked everyone who made the project possible, among them Alpha Omega International members; the American Friends of Tel Aviv University; Member of Knesset Meir Sheetrit, who was instrumental in keeping the School open; Dean of the Hebrew University Faculty of Dental Medicine, Prof. Adam Stabholz, who was present at the ceremony; Head of the TAU Dental School, Prof. Ilana Eli, and the entire School administration. He concluded by speaking of his hope that the School will become “the magnificent bastion of dental education we always intended it to be.”


Pictured: Dr. Williamowsky and his granddaughter, Danielle. 


Dr. Williamowsky was accompanied by his granddaughter, Danielle, which AFTAU Chair Jon Gurkoff noted was a testament to the continuity of commitment of TAU advocates. “I myself am a second generation supporter of Tel Aviv University. I was delighted when I saw Ben coming in with his granddaughter, knowing that the next generation will take care of what Ben has started,” he said.


TAU President Joseph Klafter told the gathering: "Over the past year, the School reopened and admitted new students. It is now entering a period of renewal, both of its academic programs and its physical infrastructure. At a time when Israel lacks specialists in the various fields of dentistry, our Dental School seeks to fill this gap. Yet, our residents are working under difficult conditions and are in immediate need of modern facilities and equipment. This new donation will help us completely renovate our postgraduate clinics as part of a massive five-year development plan for the school.”


Head of the School Prof. Ilana Eli announced that there are 52 new dental students at the School this year, and that it is growing fast. "The School wouldn’t have reopened without the crucial help of the Alpha Omega Fraternity. The clinics are named after two of the school’s most dedicated supporters and Alpha Omega members, who devoted their lives to helping the school and have been an inseparable part of our work," she said.  


Certificates were presented to various leaders of the campaign, including Dr. Ben Williamowsky; Alpha Omega Regional Director for France André Amiach; Alpha Omega International Fraternity – Marseille Chapter; Alpha Omega International Fraternity – Paris Chapter; Dr. Marc Rothman; Steven William Kess; and Dr. Barry Jacobson.


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