Dental fraternity to mark 100th anniversary in 2007

Steve Braunstein of Buffalo, New York, the international president of the Alpha Omega dental fraternity, was in town recently to address members of the group’s Toronto Alumni Chapter at its annual dinner.

More than 325 people attended the September 18 (2006) event, held at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation.

Founded in Baltimore in 1907 by a group of Jewish dental students to fight anti-Semitism in dental schools, Alpha Omega, with its headquarters now in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, is today primarily an educational and philanthropic organization. It has chapters and members in cities and dental schools in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Israel, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The Toronto Alumni chapter is the fraternity’s largest.

The fraternity, which has has about 6,000 member dentists worldwide, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2007, and Braunstcin said that “excitement for Alpha Omega’s centennial year is building.”

He said there are plans for a travelling centennial exhibit and for a permanent exhibit in Jerusalem to be completed by the end of 2007.

The kickoff to the yearlong celebration will take place in Las Vegas at the group’s convention in December.

While in Toronto, Braunstein — accompanied by Alpha Omega international director Terry Shapero, Toronto chapter president Barry Reinblatt and David Mock, dean of the University of Toronto’s dental school — met with members of the fraternity’s student chapter at U of T.

Reinblatt said the Toronto Alumni chapter “will have a full schedule of social and continuing education programs in conjunction with our many philanthropic pursuits.”

He noted that “the chapter supports “many local and Israeli charities, and we have a wide range of continuing education and social programs for our members.” ♦

This article appeared originally in the Canadian Jewish News and appears here courtesy of the author. © 2006 by Cynthia Gasner.