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Nourishing the Future:
60 Years of Dedication Intertwined with Excellence in Dental Education and Research
In 1953, the first dental school in Israel opened its doors in the Strauss Health Center in downtown Jerusalem.
The Hebrew University and Hadassah, with the support of the Alpha Omega International Fraternity, had worked tirelessly to realize the dream of Dr. Bernard Gottlieb and his Alpha Omega colleagues, which was to establish the first dental school in Israel. Then, 12 enthusiastic students began a 6-year journey toward obtaining their dental degrees. Only 11 years later, in 1964 when the school moved to its current location in Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem, the numbers had risen to approximately 40 students per class.
The four-story building at Hadassah, built with the help of Alpha Omega International Fraternity, eventually became a six-story building with research laboratories on the upper two floors. The dental school also became a separate faculty, the seventh in the Hebrew University at the time.
Many young teachers departed in the 1970s for specialty programs in the United States, mostly at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Upon their return and the passing of the Dental Specialization Law by the Israeli Parliament, the faculty flourished and specialization programs were formalized in all departments.
As teaching and research activities continued to expand, the faculty had to address its growing needs. Thanks to the help of many friends and donors throughout the world, the new Bella and Harry Wexner Building for Dental Medicine was dedicated along with the D. Walter Cohen Middle East Center for Dental Education, the Gerald and Reesa Niznick Center for Dental Implants, and the Ronald Goldstein Center for Dental Aesthetics. The Dental Sciences Institute was also built to unite the faculty’s basic research laboratories.
The number of students grew, teaching programs were initiated, teachers and researchers were recruited, and the Biomedical Sciences Department was opened for masters of science and doctorate students. Huge investments were made in clinical and research infrastructure, and continuous development and growth was the faculty watchword toward the end of the 20th century and the start of the 21st century.
Our School of Dental Medicine has had a profound impact on the quality of dental care, teaching, and research in Israel. Today, its 2000 graduates serve as ambassadors, delivering high-level professional care to the people of Israel. Many occupy prominent positions in the nation’s decision-making organizations and institutions of higher education at home and abroad, in public service, in hospitals, in Israel Defense Forces, and in the Israel Dental Association.
A respected international committee appointed by Hadassah’s Executive Council to assess the faculty’s achievements concluded that the dental school in Jerusalem was among the best in the world.
Sixty years of persistence, dedication, and effort, as well as investment in human capital (academic, administrative, and technical) and in the development of modern clinical and research-oriented infrastructure, have remarkably intertwined with 60 years of excellence in dental education and research.
On July 11, we will mark the 60th anniversary of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine, founded by the Alpha Omega fraternity.
You are cordially invited to celebrate the first 60 years of achievement and to look forward to the next 60 years of growth and world-class dental education.
Professor Adam Stabholz
Dean, The Hebrew University-Hadassah