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The Top 100 Moments In Alpha Omega History
‘The First 100 Years’

  1. In 1907, patience and perseverance had been the principal refuge for Jewish dental students in an aura of anti-religious feelings and actions. At the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in Philadelphia, a group of students joined together to protect their interests and in doing this, they created an organization called Ramach, the predecessor to Alpha Omega.
  2. In 1909, a similar group with similar objectives known as Alpha Omega was organized in Baltimore. These two groups joined together as the Alpha Omega Fraternity in 1909.
  3. In 1912, the first Alpha Omega Fraternity Convention was held in New York with 40 men in attendance.
  4. In 1916, Constitution and bylaws were adopted.
  5. Alpha Omega from its inception was composed of student chapters. The first alumni chapter was established in Philadelphia in 1916.
  6. Our publication the Alpha Omegan was founded in 1917.
  7. In 1921, the Pi Student Chapter was formed in Toronto thereby expanding Alpha Omega into an International scope.
  8. In 1924, the first non-American Alumni Chapter was founded in Toronto.
  9. In 1936, Alpha Omega established our Achievement Medal. This was given to an individual outstanding in Dentistry or its allied sciences, in recognition of his or her professional contribution. Alpha Omega has honored many giants in the field of dentistry and medicine, which included Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, Charles Best, Harry Sicher, D. W alter Cohen, Ronald Goldstein, Gordon Christensen and more.
  10. In 1938, Alpha Omega joined the National Refugee Service in the rehabilitation of refugee dentists and dental technicians, as well as nationwide dental health service for indigent refugees.
  11. In World War II, over 1,800 Alpha Omegans served in the Royal Canadian Dental Corps (RCDC) of the U.S. and Canada and 19 gave their lives for the ideals of democracy.
  12. With the beginning of World War II Alpha Omega was concerned about the welfare of its members. A Welfare and Relief Fund was created to give assistance to needy fraters.
  13. A Rehabilitation Fund was organized for Alpha Omega veterans.
  14. At that time, we established a student loan program, named after M.M. Fintz, to provide tuition loans.
  15. In 1941, Alpha Omega donated a mobile dental ambulance to the Royal Canadian Dental Corps.
  16. In 1942, three additional ambulances were donated to the United States Army.
  17. In 1946 the Alpha Omega Commitment to cooperate in the creation of a dental school in Israel seemed to serve as the impetus for the formation of our first overseas chapters.
  18. In 1948, Alpha Omega also completed a drive for dental materials and equipment for supplies for overseas survivors (SOS), which were shipped to Europe and Cyprus to serve the dental needs of our people who fled the wake of the Nazi atrocities and were now confined in various refugee camps.
  19. In 1948, with the creation of the state of Israel and its attendant hostilities, we turned our effort toward supplying additional materials, including hospital and field equipment, as well as qualified teachers to help train Israeli personnel. It is estimated that the value of the materials, service and equipment to Europe and Israel exceeded over $500,000.
  20. In 1949, the Alpha Omega Biological Laboratory at Brandeis University in Massachusetts provided to the first corporate gift received by this newly established first Jewish-sponsored non-sectarian college. This consisted of biological, advanced research laboratories, faculty research laboratory and two demonstration rooms in classrooms.
  21. In 1950 our headquarters office was moved from Philadelphia to New York City and was housed in the Iota house. Helen Cohen was employed as an Administrative Secretary of this Headquarters office and served admirably in maintaining our communication and records for twenty-five years.
  22. In 1951 the fraternity held it's first 'kibbutz' to establish an intensive workshop for officers, regents and local chapter leaders to study the organization in the light of the times to ensure the most efficient, practical and fraternal operation. This concept was the predecessor of our annual alumni leadership seminars. This has been an excellent way of training new leadership.
  23. In 1952 we founded the Hadassah, Hebrew University School of Dental Medicine. At that time, we advanced $36,000 to create an interim provisional school in Jerusalem.
  24. In 1952, Harry Jolly became the first International President from a Canadian chapter.
  25. In 1954 Israeli chapters were chartered in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.
  26. In 1958, an additional sum of $200,000 from a continuing fund drive was granted for the building of a permanent school of Dentistry at Hebrew University.
  27. In 1963 the first European Chapter of Alpha Omega was founded in Paris largely through the efforts of Rene Arav and Jean Cahana. Under the leadership of Tosca Nemeth and Andre Cohen this became exclusively a dental entity in the 1970s.
  28. On August 11, 1964, the Hebrew University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, founded by Alpha Omega was formally dedicated in Jerusalem. Alpha Omega had contributed in excess of $1,500,000, providing the academic and research facilities for dental health needs in Israel.
  29. In 1965, recognizing the need for postgraduate and research work, extending beyond technological to encompass the biological sciences and clinical practice of dentistry as well. The Alpha Omega Postgraduate and Research Center was established at the dental school in Jerusalem. Alpha Omega fund-raised for an additional floor on the dental school to house this center.
  30. The Alpha Omega Foundation US was incorporated in the state of New York as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization in 1969.
  31. The London Chapter was established in 1969 by the efforts of John Zamet, David Rabin and Emil Landes.

  32. In 1971 the Alpha Omega Foundation of Canada was established.
  33. In the early 1970s Alpha Omega helped establish the School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University. This school was later renamed as the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschlagger School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University.
  34. In 1970, Alpha Omega embarked on an energetic program, protecting human rights on behalf of imprisoned Jewish dentists. With the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, Canadian Dental Association and Federation Dentaire International, they joined to bring influence of international dentistry upon soviet leaders.
  35. In 1972, the Alpha Foundation was reaching out to the needs of dental health throughout the world and contributed to help make possible an international and local dental clinic called Chalutzim. The concept of mobile dental clinics has altered the nature of healthcare in isolated areas in the United States. Frater Marvin Stark from the University of California, San Francisco was the leader of this project. In the summer of 1972, fraters started in a group of more than 60 dental students and educated from all over the United States manned a number of dental clinics treating 100's of children, both Arab and Jewish in Israel.
  36.  In the late 1970s Alpha Omega took the responsibility of retraining of Russian dentists who emigrated from the Soviet Union by providing educational opportunities at Israeli dental teaching centers and throughout the world.
  37. In the late 1970s Alpha Omega became one of the first professional groups to endorse a major fundraising program for Israeli bonds. Over $4.5 million in bonds were sold in that year.
  38. In 1972, we eliminated the word male from our qualifications for membership.
  39. In 1972, the first Annenberg Continuing Education Lecture was held in London. The seed money for this lecture was donated by the Honorable Walter Annenberg through D. Walter Cohen. The first lecture was given by Morton Amsterdam from Philadelphia.
  40. In 1972, the London Charitable Trust became the 3rd Alpha Omega Foundation.
  41. In 1975 our headquarters office moved from the basement of the Iota house to a more prestigious office in New York's Time Square.
  42. In 1977, the 1st European Regency Meeting was held in London and John Zamet from London was the first regent.
  43. In 1978 the School of Dentistry at Tel Aviv University was formally dedicated.
  44. In the early 1980s Alpha Omega responded to a plea for help from the financially troubled Israeli dental schools. We created an emergency fund raising the campaign and successfully raised over $250,000.
  45. In the 1980s Alpha Omega created a dental peace corp., with cooperation from the United Jewish Appeal Project Renewal to provide quality dental care to Israelis living in indigent areas. Alpha Omega donated one month of their time to serve in one of three clinics that is helping the underprivileged.
  46. In the 1980s we sponsored an intensive letter-writing campaign to free Mark Nashpitz, a Russian refusenik who was denied permission to immigrate to Israel. Through our letter writing, Mark was able to immigrate to Israel.
  47. In the 1980s, we established a world-know dental externship program where our junior and senior students studied in the offices of fraters and universities in cities where we had alumni chapters.
  48. We also established a dental office visitation program.
  49. In the 1980s we funded to have a dental clinic in a bus to be sent to Morocco to teach oral hygiene to Moroccan citizens. This was done with the aid of Marvin Stark from San Francisco.
  50. In the 1980s and 90's we supported the Rambam University's Maxillo-Facial Clinic in Haifa.
  51. Since 1982 the Foundation has run a very successful Foundation Night to enhance convention activities.
  52. In 1982, the first woman regent was Barbara Stolzenberg from Westchester, New York.
  53. The Alpha Omega tribute program is an excellent method of raising funds for the Foundation and recognizing fraters, their family and friends for simchas or when someone is ill or passed on.
  54. In our publications, we are recognized for our award-winning scientific edition of the Alpha Omegan.
  55. Quarterly the Alpha Omega Today is published as a newsletter and distributed Internationally.
  56. Our student newsletter, the Arouser, is published in the spring and the fall.
  57. Our communication is enhanced through our web site (AO.ORG)
  58. E blasts are sent to our members through the Internet when instant communication is desired.
  59. We have helped our members in the buying and selling of practices.
  60. Alpha Omega funded the Maxillo- Facial Prosthetic Rehabilitation Program to train Israeli dentists at the Sloan Kettering Hospital and MD Anderson in the United States to construct maxillo-facial prostheses for wounded Israeli soldiers. These specialists returned to Israel to reconstruct wounded jaws injured during the war and to train other Israeli dentists in the new techniques.
  61. Over the last 20 years there has been an increase in diversity in the student membership. Students from all ethnicity's, race and religion are welcome to be members of Alpha Omega.
  62. Alpha Omega purchased dental textbooks to be lended to the students at both Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University Dental Schools.
  63. In our International Council we created an equal vote between the students and alumni.
  64. In 1984, the Sydney, Australia Chapter was formed.
  65. In 1987, we helped to support the completion of the School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University.
  66. Student Leadership Seminars evolved from regional 'rap sessions' in 1992-94 that were intended to involve several chapters from the same regions to discuss their chapters successes and failures.
  67. In 1990, the Lyon Rhone Alpes Chapter was formed in France. Andre Amiach has been the marshall of the European Regency Meeting in 1997 in Dieulefit, France and in 2003 in Bordeaux.
  68. Lynn Gitlin was the first woman on the Board of Trustees and Charlene Berkman was the first woman Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
  69. In 1990, the Melbourne, Australia Chapter was established.
  70. In the 1990s Alpha Omega ran a very successful “Bridge the Gap” campaign for the Hadassah Hebrew University School of Dental Medicine.
  71. In the mid 90's, the estate of PIP John Sherman and his wife, Etta, bequeathed a significant sum to the Alpha Omega Foundation of Canada, which is being used for scholarships for Alpha Omega Canadian students and partially for other charitable distributions.
  72. In the late 1990s a $3,000,000 fundraising campaign for Tel Aviv University called” Focus On the Future” was culminated.
  73. In 1992 Alpha Omega sponsored a Children Helping Children program to give dental care to the Ethiopian children who immigrated to Israel.
  74. In 1992, the first Australian regent was elected.
  75. In 1992, Alpha Omega accepted the challenge of the “Adopt-A-Soviet Dentist” campaign to raise funds urgently needed for the retraining of the new soviet immigrant dentist in Israel. The goal was to underwrite the retraining program in courses held at the Goldschleger, School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv and the Hebrew University, Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, funded by Alpha Omega. We raised nearly $500,000 dollars for this project, which enabled the retraining of 350 immigrant dentists from the former Soviet Union. This paved the way for their absorption into their new homeland of Israel.
  76. Before 1993, dentists that relocated to Israel were automatically given the right to practice.
  77. In 1993, Israel established a law where all dentists would have to take a Dental Board to practice in Israel.
  78. The student Chai Club was established in 1995 to increase the awareness of the students and their chapters to the needs of the Foundation and their grants. They have raised funds for their philanthropic endeavors, which have included DVI, the Jerusalem Dental Center for Children (an x-ray unit), Special Olympics Special Smiles, and Plants for Implants in Tel Aviv.
  79. Since 1996-97 there have been two Student Leadership seminars scheduled each year to accommodate the students geographically. The seminars evolved into true leadership meetings with focus groups discussions. On occasion utilizing a paid facilitator.
  80. In 1999, after the passing of Marvin Goldstein, the Atlanta Chapter and the Alpha Omega Foundation Endowed a fund to sponsor the keynote speaker at the Hindman Dental Meeting. The first speaker was past Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
  81. Dental products and supplies were sent to Hungary through Alpha Omega.
  82. In 2000, the first webcast was created and the speaker was Ronald Goldstein from Atlanta.
  83. In the early 2000's, we purchased ambulances through Magan David Adom in London and Los Angeles for the state of Israel.
  84. In 2000 the Alpha Omega Fraternity hired the first management company to run the organization.
  85. In 2001 the International council established new governance for the fraternity. A new Board of Directors was established which represents our membership equitably between US, Canadian and outside North American membership. Officers in the Administrative Committee were no longer assured that they would ascend to be International President. In the new constitution the Board of Trustees and the Regents were eliminated.
  86. We have fought against discrimination in dental admissions, state boards and within our dental communities. We continue to fight discrimination for the more religious orthodox students within the dental schools and the state dental boards. Alpha Omega Represents the Jew in dentistry.
  87. Today Alpha Omega is a nonsectarian organization where there are no restrictions to race or sex.
  88. We have had world-renowned continuing education programs within all of our chapters and at our International meetings.
  89. In 1987 A gift was given to the fraternity from the estate of Harry Sicher and the money in this fund was utilized as seed money for many continuing education programs.
  90. When members of our chapters were in need from national disasters, we have given them grants in their time of need. An example was in Israel, because of the suicide bombers, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Los Angeles.
  91. In 2002 the Alpha Omega Foundation US adopted a plan to raise the corpus of their Foundation to $5,000,000.
  92. In 2002, a DVD PowerPoint presentation was initiated by Marc Rothman and it has been refined and reproduced with the help of the staff of CMA and under the direction of Chairman of the Foundation, Larry Salenger. The DVD is called “Fighting Hate, One Smile At A Time.”
  93. Under the leadership of Past International President, Michael Kohleriter, a VHS tape was completed to teach dental healthcare providers for the instruction and caring for the oral hygiene needs of the nursing and elderly care patients. The project was originally funded by the Zales Corporation and supported by a Foundation grant and has been distributed around the world.
  94. In 2003, a corporate advisory Board was established with representatives from Sullivan-Schein, Captek, Sultan Chemists, Sybron Kerr, 3M/ESPE and Axis Dental. This group has met since that date and was formed through the efforts of Steve Kess from Sullivan-Schein.
  95. In 2005 the combined Alpha Foundations including the London Charitable Trust, the Canadian Foundation, the US Foundation, the Israeli Foundation, and the Lyon Chapter distributed over $275,000 in worldwide grants.
  96. Since the beginning of the Foundation we have given over $18 million in grants to dental facilities in Israel and for the care of the elderly, the young and indigent children throughout the world.
  97. We are on the Board of Jewish Healthcare International in order to participate in projects to provide dental care to the citizens of Eastern Europe.
  98. B'Nai AO has been an established part of our Conventions and it has been growing in size each year.
  99. The start of fundraising for the Hebrew University was 'supporting alumni', where every member was assessed $10. The original chairman of that committee was Morton Rosenbluth.
  100. Today Alpha Omega has 125 alumni and student chapters.

 

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