Board of Directors
Dr. D. Walter Cohen z”ll – Honorary Chairman
Dr. D. Walter Cohen was a native of Philadelphia. He attended the University of Pennsylvania undergraduate school and earned his D.D.S. from their school of Dental Medicine. He established the school’s department of Periodontics and served as it’s first chairman. Not long after, he was given the title of Dean. During his tenure as Dean he was responsible for introducing new courses, recruiting new faculty, and establishing a residency program for dental students. Dr. Cohen wrote 22 books and published more than 130 articles. He became the President of the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1986 and opened a new educational campus. Dr. Cohen’s many accomplishments included a Gold Medal from the American Academy of Periodontology, an honorary membership in the British Society of Periodontology, and Legion of Merit Award from the French government. Dr. Cohen served as the Honorary Chairman of American Friends of DVI until his passing in June 2018.
Allen R. Helfer, BA, DDS, MScD – Chairman
Dr. Allen Helfer has been the Chairman of American Friends of DVI for nearly a decade. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Dental School and Boston University, School of Graduate Dentistry. Dr. Helfer has taught as a Clinical Professor of Endodontics at Columbia Dental School and acted as the Endodontic Director of AEGD and GPR Residency Program at Columbia Dental School. He continues to teach at both Columbia University School of Dentistry in New York and Nova University Dental School in Florida. He is a member of many influential organizations including the William Jarvie Honor Society, Connecticut Dental Society, Diplomat of American Board of Endodontics among many others. Dr. Helfer has traveled the world giving lectures and seminars on general dentistry and endodontics. He has been involved with DVI and Trudi Birger for many years and has contributed much of his time, energy, and gracious leadership to ensuring that the DVI clinic in Jerusalem runs successfully.
Scott Dubowsky, DMD – President
Dr. Scott Dubowsky is a 1975 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine. He received a teaching fellowship in periodontics from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his hospital residency training at Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York City in 1976. Dr. Dubowsky has received fellowships from the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) and The Pierre Fauchard Academy. He has held national positions in both the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry at the council and taskforce level and has been Chairman of the AGD’s Council on Dental Care. He is a past president of the New Jersey Academy of General Dentistry and has also served as a reviewer for the US Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in America. Dr. Dubowsky was a clinical assistant professor at the NYU College of Dentistry for over 25 years, is currently an attending dentist at Bayonne Medical Center, and is an evaluator for “Clinician’s Report,” an independent dental research and evaluation organization. Dr. Dubowsky has received a commendation from the New York City Medical Examiner’s office for his work as a member of the dental ID team following the World Trade Center tragedy.
David Weinstein, DMD – Vice President
Dr. David Weinstein is a periodontist who specializes in the placement of dental implants with offices in Manhattan and New Jersey. He received his doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a general practice residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Dr. Weinstein is a former Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Implant Dentistry at Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery where he instructed students on dental implantology. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology and the Northeast Society of Periodontists. Dr. Weinstein first volunteered at the Trudi Birger clinic in 1992. Since then, he has returned to the clinic over ten times. Dr. Weinstein has served as the Chairman of the New York annual fundraising events.
Mr. Keith D. Drayer – Vice President
Keith D. Drayer, MBA, serves as Vice President and General Manager of Henry Schein’s Schools and Specialty Services global businesses. He leads nearly 200 professional team members across a portfolio of businesses including dental practice brokerage, dental practice staffing, dental schools’ sales, and dental student engagement. Under Keith’s leadership, Henry Schein’s dental brokerages businesses, operating in eight countries, have become the leading global transitions firms.
Keith is an active contributor to industry and philanthropic groups. He holds several elected and appointed leadership positions. He serves on the Long Island Capital Alliance, Dental School Dean’s Board of the College of Dental Medicine at Nova Southeastern University, the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry and the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Keith is an Alpha Omega International Dental Society Board Member, the Dr. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund Treasurer, American Jewish Committee – Long Island Region’s Immediate Past President, Vice President of American Friends of Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI) and Tivnu Social Justice Gap Year Program Board Member.
Keith has been interviewed by CBS Radio, Crain’s Business and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and has been a keynote speaker at several industry meetings. He lectures at dental schools globally and was a practice development instructor at New York University’s Dental School Continuing Education program. Keith co-led two volunteer dental outreach programs to Songea, Tanzania.
Keith is an active marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and has trekked various mountain ranges in N. America, S. America, Africa and Asia.
DVI is a charity that’s very close to Keith’s heart. “I’m passionate about DVI’s efforts to directly impact and improve the oral health of underserved and vulnerable people regardless of race or religion. The volunteer dentists from around the world that staff the clinic continue to inspire me as they are sharing their skills and expertise to improve the lives of people they have never met and probably will not see again. During my last visit to the clinic, I heard four languages being spoken. While patients and doctors spoke many languages in the clinic, the language of compassion was understood by all.”
Don Simkin, DDS – Treasurer
Dr. Don Simkin is a graduate of NYU College of Dentistry. After managing his own private practice in Livingston Manor for over three decades, he is recently retired from forty years of active practice after associating with Great Expressions Dental Centers in Liberty, New York. He is a lifetime member of the American Dental Association as well as a member of both the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Academy of Dento-Facial Esthetics. Dr. Simkin had served as the director of Dentistry at Catskill Regional Medical Center for over a decade and also assists as a Dental Consultant for the United States Luge Association. His many community endeavors include Board Member and three times past-President of the Livingston Manor Rotary Club, past President of the Sullivan County Health Advisory Council, founding member and past-President of the Livingston Manor Community Center. Recently, Dr. Simkin was named to the Board of Trustees of the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, NY. Dr. Simkin is an avid traveler and Olympic enthusiast. He has attended all Olympic Games since 1980 and was honored as a community hero, carrying the Olympic flame in the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay. He has been an active volunteer in American Friends of DVI since 1987.
Saul Pressner, DMD – Secretary
Dr. Saul Pressner is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He completed a 2-year Family Dentistry Residency at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Pressner has been a Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU school of Dentistry, Bellevue Residency.
In 2014 Dr. Pressner was the President-Elect of the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry. He has authored two articles on Biomimetic Dentistry in the PAGD Journal and has lectured on the subject at the University of Pennsylvania and at Columbia University.
Deborah Weisfuse, DMD, At-Large Executive Board Member
Dr. Deborah Weisfuse, President of the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders, is a Past President of the New York State Dental Association. She is currently a Trustee of the New York State Dental Foundation and Chair of its Charitable Awards Committee. She sits as the Advisory Director on the New York County Dental Society Board, (of which she has previously been a member for over 15 years). She has served as National Secretary of the American Friends of the Dental Volunteers for Israel, and is currently a Director at Large on their Board. In addition, she serves on the American Dental Association Committee on Annual Meetings, and on the Advisory Board of Project Accessible Oral Health. Dr. Weisfuse has also had the honor of serving on the Commission of Dental Accreditation (CODA) Predoctoral Review Committee, and has consulted for the Commission both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Weisfuse graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Her residencies included a General and Geriatric Residency, and a Chief Residency at the Long Island Jewish/ Hillside Medical Center, now known as Northwell. After this, she taught in a group practice model at Columbia University School of Dental Medicine for 2 years, and then at the Community Dentistry Department at Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry where she also wrote grants to improve the quality of oral health for inner city children.
In succeeding years, Dr. Weisfuse combined all her experiences to create a nursing home clinic and rotation for the residents at Cobble Hill Nursing Home, then associated with Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn and was an attending there part time for 7 years. Concurrently, she focused on building a successful private general practice in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and classmate, Dr. Robert Lipner, and continued to participate in many ways within organized dentistry.
Dr. Weisfuse has been awarded honorary fellowships for her studies and achievements by the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the Academy of General Dentistry, the New York Academy of Dentistry, and the International Academy of Dental-Facial Esthetics.
In 2019, Dr. Weisfuse received the Jeffrey Dalin Distinguished Volunteer Service Award from the American Dental Association for her work as General Chair in development of one of the largest Give Kids a Smile programs in the United States in New York City. In addition to recognition from the American Dental Association, this program has gotten significant acknowledgement from all local legislators up to the national level. In 2020, she received a Proclamation from the State Assembly of New York, honoring her years of work raising awareness of the underserved children and their families in New York State.
Dr. Weisfuse resides in New York City with her husband, Dr. Robert Lipner, and enjoys spending quality family time with her 2 children, their spouses, and 5 adorable grandchildren.
Robert Lipner, DMD, At-Large Executive Board Member
Dr. Robert Lipner has had a general practice in midtown Manhattan for over 30 years. He is a graduate of City College of the City University of New York cum laude and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine with Honors. He did his General Practice Residency at Beth Israel Hospital here in New York.
After volunteering at the Jerusalem Clinic with his entire family, he began significant and successful fundraising for the clinic in New York City. He became one of the Charter members of the newly formed Board in 1996. The AFDVI office was actually run from his office for the 6 years he served as AFDVI Treasurer. He continues to contribute to ADFVI as an At-Large Board Member.
Dr. Lipner has served as Prosthetics Attending at the Dental Residency Program of New York Hospital Queens. As a long-time member of the New York County Dental Society, he has served on its Public and Professional Committee and now sits on the Peer Review Committee.
His is an honorary Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the New York Academy of Dentists, the Pierre Fouchard Academy, the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the International College of Dentists.
Michael Goldberg, DMD – At-Large Executive Board Member
Dr. Michael Goldberg has been involved with DVI since first speaking with Trudi Birger over the phone and meeting her in Jerusalem during the summer of 1984, when he volunteered for 3 weeks. Since, he has been passionate about the cause. Dr. Goldberg has been an Associate Professor at Columbia University where he taught in various capacities for 30 years. He was the Director of the General Practice Residency Program at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He currently practices comprehensive dental medicine at Manhattan Dental Health in New York City. He is the Author of the book “What The Tooth Fairy Didn’t Tell You”, the proceeds of which go to AFDVI. Dr. Goldberg has been recognized by many for his contributions to the Dental Profession. He has been elected into fellowship in The Academy of General Dentistry, The American College of Dentists, The International Academy of Dental-Facial Esthetics and The New York Academy of Dentistry. He was elected to the OKU Honor Society and is a member of the ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine, Alpha Omega Fraternity and a founding member of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health. Dr. Goldberg sits on the Board of Directors of Glide Health Corporation, an e-health company offering mobile desktop digital record solutions for patients and Doctors. He is married to Laurie, has 2 married children and 4 grandchildren.
Murray S. Baruch, DDS
Dr. Murray Baruch graduated from the University of Michigan Dental School and has a private dental practice in the Detroit, Michigan area. From his first visit to the DVI clinic in 2002, he has continued to volunteer each year thereafter. After reading Trudi Birger’s book, “A Daughter’s Gift of Love”, he saw the impact that one person can have in the world and wanted to be part of that mission. He is involved in organized dentistry organizations.
In addition to his dental activities, Dr. Baruch plays African Djembe drums with a community African Drum and Dance Troupe playing throughout the Detroit area.
Leonard H. Bers, DDS
Dr. Bers is a graduate of the University of Maryland Dental School and the dental residency program at Prince George’s General Hospital. He has practiced dentistry in the Washington, DC area for over 35 years.
Over the years, he has served in a variety of positions for the Maryland State Dental Association and the Southern Maryland Dental Society. Dr. Bers is a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, a fellow in the Pierre Fauchard Academy, and was recently appointed to the Dean’s Faculty at Maryland as a clinical instructor. He is a regular volunteer in his state’s Mission of Mercy dental care program and Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped Donated Dental Services Program.
A volunteer at the clinic yearly since 2011, he enthusiastically looks forward to a long association with DVI and the American Friends.
Rabbi Gary Charlestein
Mr. Victor Dabah
Susan Gross, DDS
It is the responsibility of each of us to do what we can to improve our community. There is an intense need to improve the access to dental care in our local community and globally. In reality, our “community” has no geographical boundaries. I have volunteered at the Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI) clinic annually since 2004. Each time I am in Jerusalem, it is clear that people everywhere are more similar than different.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1982, I established a private practice in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. I have been at this location for the past 32 years. Also, I am currently teaching at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in the General Practice Residency program. I am honored to be affiliated with the education of the future clinicians in dentistry.
I am active in the following continuing professional development activities: Past president and board member of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, Local and foreign dental care volunteer, American Friends of DVI Board Member, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Alumni Society President and board member, University of Minnesota Alumni Society Collegiate Council, Adjunct Faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Admissions Committee, Chaired Peer Review and other committees of the Minnesota and Minneapolis Dental Association, Dental license examiner.
James Haas, DDS
Dr. James Haas graduated from the University of Maryland Dental School. After dental school, he completed a 3-year residency in pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Haas is board certified in pediatric dentistry, earned the title of Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, New Hampshire Dental Society, and the New Hampshire Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He owns a private multi-specialty dental practice in the Southern New Hampshire area.
Since his first visit to the DVI clinic in 2010, he and his father-in-law, Dr. Donald Kalfus, have continued to return every year. Dr. Haas has always had the desire to be very involved with his community. He is involved with the foster care system in New Hampshire and participates in the Dentists with a Heart program, including providing screenings in local elementary schools.
Kalman Klass, DDS
Dr. Klass is a graduate from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. As a member of organized dentistry, Dr. Klass is currently a member of the American Dental Association, the Washington State Dental Association and the Seattle King County Dental Society. He is past treasurer for the Washington State Dental Association and currently chairs the Peer Review and Mediation Committee for the Seattle King County Dental Society. He is also a past president for the Seattle Chapter of Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity and a fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Klass maintains a private general practice in Seattle, Washington. He has been a volunteer at the DVI clinic several times, starting in 1994. He also volunteers on a mobile dental clinic for low income children in Washington State and has recently started his own program to examine and refer patients for treatment in an HIV / AIDS outpatient clinic (a clinic and hospice unique in the world). “It was both Trudi and Zev who taught me what true success is. It is simply based on how many people you can help in this world.
Ira Levinsky, DDS
Mr. Marc Manger
Dr. Hugh Pollack, DMD
Following his undergraduate years at Brown University, Dr. Hugh Pollack graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He then completed two general practice residencies – St. Josephs Medical Center in New Jersey and Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, where he served as Chief Resident. While maintaining a private practice in Manhattan for the past 40 years, he has served as an Attending at Beth Israel Medical Center and as Director of the Dental Department of a Beth Israel affiliated Primary Care Health Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Hugh has been involved in many leadership positions in communal Jewish organizations, serving as President and Chairman of the Board for both Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and Town & Village Synagogue in Manhattan, as well as serving in varied Executive and Board positions for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, National Ramah Commission, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan and the Zamir Choral Foundation.
Although a supporter of DVI for many years, his first volunteer opportunity was in 2018 and he expects to make this inspiring experience an annual endeavor. He also looks forward to bringing his lay leadership fundraising experience to assist DVI in growing its donor base.
Hugh resides in Manhattan with his wife Martha, a social worker to whom he has been married for 45 years. He has two married children and two grandchildren.
Dr. Michele Schultz-Robins, DMD
Dr. Michele Schultz-Robins is a proud lifelong New Jerseyan living on the Jersey Shore. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College and her D.M.D. from UMDNJ, now known as the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. She was elected president of the school’s chapter of Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, which, as the oldest international dental organization, promotes access to oral health care for all. She did her general practice residency at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. Dr. Schultz-Robins then completed a two-year post-graduate fellowship in Orofacial and TMD. Today, Dr. Schultz-Robins is recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, a select group of highly trained dentists who have focused their careers in alleviating a wide range of orofacial pain disorders.
In addition to her private practice, Dr. Schultz-Robins is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and Monmouth Medical Center. She has supervised cutting-edge student research that has been presented to the American Dental Education Association, and actively participates in practice-based research through the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. Her research has been published in the Journal of Dental Education and Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. She has held the appointment of chairperson of the TMJ Department at Monmouth Medical Center. Dr. Schultz-Robin brings her advanced knowledge of TMJ treatments and resolving other complex orofacial issues to our patients. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial and treats TMD and Orofacial pain.
Dr. Schultz-Robins is married to Andrew Robins, an environmental law attorney, and enjoys a close, tight-knit family. Michele and Andrew are now “empty nesters” residing in Ocean Township where they had raised their three now-adult children.
Mr. Arthur H. Sheer, MBA
Mr. Arthur Sheer is the founder and Chief Executive officer of Sheer Asset Management Inc. and currently chairman and CEO of The Roosevelt Investment Group. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Babson College. He began his career as a Securities Analyst at First National Bank of Chicago. While there, he held various positions including bank officer and Research Group Leader. Mr. Sheer moved on to work as research and portfolio management positions at Keystone Custodian Funds and Fidelity Management. His success caught the attention of Jacob Rothschild he was personally recruited him to manage the portfolios of House of Rothschild. Mr. Sheer served as Chief Investment Officer at J. Rothschild and Rothschild affiliated for six years. Not long after he formed Sheer Asset Management, Inc.
Ken Simckes, DDS
A graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Dental School, Dr. Simckes went on to receive a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at the Brookdale University Medical Center where he also served as the chief dental resident. Since his first trip to the Trudi Birger DVI clinic in May of 2003, Dr. Simckes has been back at least twice each year. Dr. Simckes has an active private pediatric dental practice in Monsey, NY where he lives with his wife and seven children. He also has an appointment as an attending at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, NY. In addition to serving on the board of American Friends of DVI, Dr. Simckes serves as president of his synagogue, The Young Israel of Monsey and Wesley Hills; vice-president of the Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland; and as the co-chair of the Rockland County Young Leadership Division of Israel Bonds.
Ted Simon, D.C., P.A.
Dr. Ted Simon earned his BA at the University of Miami and his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at New York Chiropractic College. He had a weekly column, “Ask Dr. Simon,” in his local area newspaper and gave “Safety First” lectures in Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in Florida. He has taught at the Sarasota County Technical Institute and has specialized training in many areas including TMJ Syndrome Diagnosis and Nutrition. Ted is a member of many professional and local organizations, including the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce from which he received the “Award for Excellence.”
Dr. Simon retired from Chiropractic three years ago and obtained a Florida Real Estate License. He have been active in the real estate market locally, both commercial and residential, for more than two years.
Michael Smith, DMD
Alan Wender, DDS – z”ll
Dr. Alan Wender graduated from NYU Dental School in 1955. He served for two years in the United States Army. He practiced general dentistry in Mount Holly, New Jersey for forty-seven years. In 1992, Dr. Wender read about the DVI Clinic in his Jewish Community Center newspaper and decided to volunteer that same year. He has been volunteering at the clinic since then. By 2007 Dr. Wender had volunteered at the Trudi Birger Dental Clinic for sixteen consecutive years. Dr. Wender has been quoted as saying, “Meeting Trudi Birger was one of the greatest experiences of my life. When you look into a patient’s open mouth, their ethnicity seems to have faded away.