Partners in dentistry


For years, partnerships between the United States and Israel have revolved around the military and economics. Now, dentistry can be added to that list.

Beverly Hills dentist David Frey has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Jerusalem Dental Center for Children, a nonprofit that provides high-quality dental and preventative care at subsidized rates to families in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.

“There wasn’t a place that was providing quality dentistry for low-income patients” before the founding of the Jerusalem center, explained Frey, who said he has collected nearly $10,000 for the clinic.

After completing dental school in San Francisco, Frey traveled to Israel in 1990 and worked at the clinic when he was 24 years old. He grew to admire Dr. Isaac Perle, founder of the Jerusalem Dental Center, and fell in love with Israel.

“I delved into the Israeli culture,” Frey said.

Afterward, Frey started his private practice Beverly Hills, leaving Israel — and the center — behind, until he received a recent phone call from Perle. The clinic was in need of funding, Perle told Frey. It had been 20 years since the two had spoken, but Frey said he was happy to help.

On Dec. 6, Frey organized a benefit in Beverly Hills that raised thousands of dollars to support Perle’s efforts. Perle attended the event, which drew approximately 100 people, including Frey’s patients, friends and colleagues. The fundraiser also marked the opening of Frey’s new Beverly Hills dental suite, where the benefit was held.

Frey is continuing to accept donations on behalf of Perle’s center at jerusalemdental.org/Donate.html.

A Reason to Smile


Attention Jewish Angelenos: now you can become more
beautiful and help Israeli victims of terror at the same time. Two programs,
Smiles in Spite of Terror and StandWithUs tooth whitening campaign, donate half
the fee from your teeth bleaching sessions goes to help fix the teeth of terror
victims.

Smiles in Spite of Terror was started by Dr. Alan Howard, a
Los Angeles dentist who felt frustrated at not being able to help Israel more
throughout the terror attacks. He made some inquiries and found out that the
terror victims were getting their dental treatment through Kupat Cholim, a
government-sponsored managed care that only provided low-end dentistry. Howard
thought he could do better than that, and he started organizing volunteer
dentists from the United States to go to Israel and offer high-end dentistry to
the terror victims free of charge at Hadassah hospital.

“The terrorists fill the bombs with nails and bolts, so when
they explode people have facial injuries and they lose teeth,” Howard said.
“The easier way to fix this is with removable dentures, but we put implants in,
which is more expensive, but it is also permanent, like having your own teeth
back.”

Since the organization started in September 2002, five
dentists (including Howard) have volunteered their services in Israel, and have
treated more than 60 patients, out of a pool of 600 victims who have applied
for treatment.

“There are over 750 people who have been killed in terror
attacks in Israel, but thousands of other victims have survived,” Howard said.
“For those who survived, we just want to give them back their smiles.”

Whitening costs $400 ($200 of which is a tax-deductible
donation to Smiles in Spite of Terror and StandWithUs) and dentists are
available in Los Angeles, Lakewood and the San Fernando Valley.

They are not the only Angelenos using their expertise to
help Israelis. In December, Max Castiel of IX Optical donated 800 eyeglass
frames to Israel, which his wife, Chantal, personally distributed in Haifa, as
part of an effort by ABSI — a French organization that helps indigent Israelis
get their sight back.

To make an appointment for bleaching, contact the StandWithUs
office at (310) 836-6140.