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September 25, 1992 - Image 150

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I PEOPLE I

WE THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY
OF AKIVA HEBREW DAY SCHOOL WOULD
LIKE TO EXTEND BEST WISHES FOR A
HEALTHY AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

THE BENESON FAMILY
David, Mard, Avi, Jeana and Vicki

THE GOTLIB FAMILY
Daniel, Joanne, Naomi, Ari & Elisheva

THE PLATT FAMILY
Allen, Arleen, Danielle and Hallie

THE BERLIN FAMILY
Bill, Missy, Binyomin, Malka and
Dena

THE GREENBAUM FAMILY
Michael, Marla, Daniel, Adam, Rachel
and Noam

THE ROSZLER FAMILY
Myer, Janis, Elishiva, Shira, Rachel and
Amichai

Trudi Birger Is A
Creator Of Miracles

THE BERMAN FAMILY
Rabbi Martin, Marylin, Etan, Tamar
and Ari

THE JEROME FAMILY
Marty, Rita, Randy and David

THE SCHWARCZ FAMILY
Jack, Gail, Joseph and Aiden

Special to The Jewish News

THE BRILL FAMILY
Leon, Adrienne and Paige

THE KIRZNER/KLEINFELDT
FAMILY
Jerry, LealiAnn, Nossonae, Chaya,
Jessica, Joel and Shana

RABBI AND MRS. ZEV
SHIMANSKY

THE BRYSTOWSKI FAMILY
Henry, Rose, Sonya, Moshe, Daniel
and Amy A.

THE MARK EISENBERG FAMILY
Mark, Barbara, Dena, Brian, Carrie, Re-
becca and Avi

THE COHEN FAMILY
Steve, Sharon, Devora, Rachel, Dena
and Meyer

SANDY AND LORI EISENBERG

THE EIZELMAN FAMILY
Mickey, Shelly and Emily

THE GOLDMAN FAMILY
Eddie, Wendy, Debbie and Freddie

THE GORDON FAMILY
Eric, Sarah, Jason, Sharon,
Elizabeth and David

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102

DR. HARVEY AND
LINDA LEFKOWITZ
Rhonda, Helene and Steven

THE LEVINE FAMILY
Steve, Joanne, Aaron, David
and Aliza

THE LAWRENCE LOEWENTHAL
FAMILY

THE MENDELSON FAMILY
Dan, Lisa, Ari, Yael and Eitan

THE STAWIS FAMILY
Allen, Andrea, Elisheva, Malka, Ari,
Moshe and Racheli

THE DETROIT TEGERS
Stuart, Janelle, Shira, Ad, Daniel and
Emma

THE TENNENBERG FAMILY
Steven, Rena, Leora, Avi and Gavriel

THE UNMAN FAMILY
Michael, Chaya Leah, Alana, Rachel
and Hershy

THE MODELL FAMILY
Ella, Jerry, Randy and Monica

THE WHITE FAMILY
Sheldon, Sharon, Dena, Dovid, Alana
and Naomi

THE NOVETSKY FAMILY
Paula, Jay, Sara, Adina and Rachel

JOE AND GLENDA WEISS
Daniel, Elisheva and Dov

THE PIECZENIK FAMILY
Leib, Stuart, Brenda, Tara and Evan

THE WROTSLAVSKY FAMILY
Hershel, Debbie, Ariella and Michal

May The New Year
Bring To All
Our Customers
And Friends
Health, Joy, Prosperity
And Everything
Good In Life

TRESSA'S BOUTIQUE

D6A

Wishes All A
Happy, Healthy
New Year

Crowwinck

851-3223

Find It All In
The Jewish News
Classifieds
Call 354-5959

HELGA ABRAHAM

erusalemite Trudi Bir-
ger, a German-born
Holocaust survivor,
believes in miracles. Interned
as a child in a Nazi concentra-
tion camp, she was saved from
the crematorium at the
eleventh hour. "I vowed from
that moment on never to
leave any child in distress,"
she recalls, "even if this
meant I had to create
miracles myself."
Speaking
from
the
Children's Free Dental Clinic
in Jerusalem, Ms. Birger is
well aware that the buzz of ac-
tivity around her amounts to
something of a wonder. In this
colorfully decorated surgery,
underprivileged children and
new immigrants, referred to
Ms. Birger by the social ser-
vices, are receiving vital den-
tal care that would otherwise
be out of their reach due to
the high cost of dental treat-
ment in Israel.
"The idea of the clinic came
to me in 1978," recalls Ms.
Birger with pride. "In the
course of my volunteer work
with needy families, I noticed
that many children were in
pain because their parents
could not afford to provide
them with dental care." When
Ms. Birger learned that the
municipality had closed its
school dental clinics that year
due to lack of funds, she
resolved something had to be
done.
After going through the
lengthy process of creating a
non-profit organization, Trudi
Birger acquired a derelict site
in Jerusalem's Talpiot
neighborhood from the Israel
Administrator's office. She
coaxed French donors into
providing four dental units
and an X-ray machine, per-
suaded ZIM shipping lines to
transport 20 tons of equip-
ment to Israel free of charge
and obtained an unheard of
three-month release from the
Customs Authority. "I had
never taken credit in my life,"
she exclaims, "but I believe
that if you want to succeed,
nothing should stand in your
way."
By a happy coincidence, as
Ms. Birger was laying the
foundations of Dental
Volunteers for Israel, a
French dentist named Dr.
Ciepie Lewski was offering
his services for free to Israel's
Ministry of Health. Dr.
Lewski, together with several
French colleagues, became
the clinic's first volunteers,

j

Trudi Birger

living and working in the
two-room house which Ms.
Birger converted into a
modern dental surgery.
Since then 1,500 dentists
from 14 countries have par-
ticipated in the program, pay-
ing their own way to come
and work for periods of 2-4
weeks in the clinic. The large-<,
majority of the volunteers
come from Holland and Scan_-___,
dinavia. In their free tim't,'
they enjoy a busy schedule of
trips and lectures arranged --
for them by Ms. Birger. "It's
a wonderful way to discover <1
Israel's people and culture,"
remarks American volunteer
Dr. Wally Teuscher. "We've
been able to visit Israelis in
their homes and have learnt
ed a lot about the country's
history."
Many of the participants in
the program become regular
visitors. Danish volunteer Dr.,
Agnete Ilsoe, dressed in a
blue and white T-shirt bear-z_7_7:,
ing the Star of David, is here
on her second working visit.
"The first time was such a
great experience that I had to
come again," she laughs,
while Detroiter Dr. Gerald
Freedman, also on his second,
visit, comments wryly that it
helps his soul to work in the
children's clinic.
The volunteers, aided in
their work by eight bi lingual,_!
dental assistants, treat 150 -)
children a day, including
tire families, children from
foster homes and young Rus-
sian
and
Ethiopian
newcomers. While they wait
their turn, the children can
watch educational videos in
the clinic's new prevention
center where courses are
held on dental
hygiene and nutrition. "If the
children don't do as they're

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