Dental School Celebrates 60 Years of Excellence and Role as Bridge to Peace
Madelyn and Dr. Bruce Donoff of Chestnut Hill, MA recently visited the Staff Lounge they donated in recognition of the achievements of Hadassah’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The new lounge is on the 7th floor of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower of Hadassah Medical Center’s Ein Kerem campus. The Donoffs were in Israel to take part in the 60th Anniversary conference and festive celebration of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental medicine in Jerusalem. Dr. Donoff is Dean of Harvard University’s School of Dental Medicine, and Madelyn Donoff, a National Board member of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, represented the 330,000 member-strong organization at the celebration.
years after the women of Hadassah, the Hebrew University, and Alpha Omega
International Fraternity opened the first dental school in Israel, hundreds of
dentists, oral surgeons, and researchers from Israel and abroad celebrated
the achievements of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine
and its role in building bridges to peace.
“From its modest beginning in 1953 with
12 enthusiastic students beginning a six-year journey toward obtaining their
dental degrees,” notes Prof. Adam Stabholz, Dean, “our School of Dental
Medicine has had a profound impact on the quality of dental care, teaching, and
research in Israel.”
The Institute of General Medicine comprises thirteen departments and nine Centers of Excellence. Each a leader in its field, the Centers include the Unit for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer, Center for Aging Research, National Center for Down Syndrome, and National SLE (LUPUS) Center. Its stellar Intensive Care Unit is world renowned.
With the theme of “Striving for Excellence in Dental
Education and Research,” the celebration featured lectures by internationally
renowned experts from Israel, Europe, and the United States, as well as
up-and-coming young researchers. For example, Prof. Bruce Donoff, Dean of the
Harvard School of Dental Medicine, highlighted the growing awareness of oral
health in the developing world, where children often suffer from malnutrition
as a result of dental problems. “Because of its location and experience in
outreach,” he noted, “the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine can
play a key role in this important work.”
the celebration’s opening dinner, Hadassah National Board Member Mady Donoff
(Prof. Donoff’s wife), reminded the participants that the 1918 American Zionist
Medical Unit sent to Israel by Hadassah was headed by a dentist, Dr. Eliahu
Lewin-Epstein. “The generation to generation connection,” she noted, “continued
when his son, Jack Lewin-Epstein became dean of the dental school.”
highlight for the participants was the Middle East Symposium in Dental
Medicine, “Building Bridges of Understanding Through Dental Medicine,” under
the auspices of the D. Walter Cohen, DDS, Middle East Center for Dental
Education, with its opening session at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, in the
Palestinian Authority. In the presence of Professors Cohen, Stabholz, and Musa
Bajali, Dean of Al-Quds University School of Dental Medicine, a magnificent
bronze Tree of Peace sculpture was dedicated on the plaza in front of the
dental school. According to Designer/Artist Hedva Ser from France, the
sculpture represents peace, health, and hope. The tree contains the Hebrew
letter, Shin, representing the word shalom,
and a dove sitting on a branch. Also entwined in the trunk and branches are the
Hebrew letters for chai, which means
first Tree of Peace sculpture stands on Hadassah Hospital’s Ein Kerem campus.
Others have been inaugurated at Temple University in Philadelphia and the A.T.
Still Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa, Arizona.
Dental Faculty Highlights 1953: The Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine opens at the Strauss Building in downtown Jerusalem 1959: First 12 graduates receive degrees 1962: Cornerstone laid for the new building of the Dental School of Medicine at Hadassah's Ein Kerem Campus 1972: Special training courses for Russian immigrant dentists are begun 1997:Inauguration of the Bella and Harry Wexner Building and the opening of the D. Walter Cohen Middle East Center for Dental Education 2007: 100th anniversary of Alpha Omega Fraternity and two floor addition for the Legacy Heritage Auditorium Alpha Omega Museum and Conference Room 2013: Opening of Morton Amsterdam Gateway for Dental Education