Charles Weingarten, DDS, received the 2023 AO Trudi Birger Award during the AO Toronto Convention on June 25, 2023. Laurie Gordon-Shaw, DDS, committee chair presented the award to Charles. Their remarks were below.
Laurie Gordon-Shaw, DDS
I am here tonight to present the Trudi Birger Award. I want to thank my committee Jewel and David Weiss, Sharon, Brown, and my Pollowitz, Sharon Perlmutter, and Milt Salzer. I am happy and honored to present the Trudi Birger Award to Charles Weingarten from the Toronto Chapter. From the first time I met Charles at a convention many years ago, he has always greeted me, as he does with everybody else, he meets, with a warm and sincere smile. Not only is he a kind individual, but he is a generous and giving person within the Toronto community and, of course, to our beloved Alpha Omega.
Charles is somebody who always leads by example.
He was the Toronto AO chapter president and actively participated in international conventions.
He has continuously encouraged and supported programs that help the less fortunate. Charles was involved in programs like Dentistry-With-A-Heart, where dentists provide pro bono dental services during "April - Oral Health Month." Charles has travelled to Bogota, Columbia, with the MIS Esparza Program to place implants for people who could not otherwise receive treatment.
Charles participates in the program so close to my heart, the AO-Henry Schein Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program. Charles also supports Belinda's Place, a women's shelter near his office, by providing supplies and services. He has been instrumental in enhancing Alpha Omega's presence in his local Jewish community through United Jewish Appeal. Charles is a mentor for high school co-op students who are interested in the practice of dentistry.
In organized Dentistry, he was a founding member of the Aurora dental study club, a general council member of the Ontario dental society, a delegate member of the Academy of general dentistry, and finally, a founding member of the Board of Directors of DARA, doctors against racism and antisemitism.
Charles, congratulations on this award, and we look forward to watching you and joining you in all the good that you do here with Alpha Omega and around the world!
Laurie Gordon-Shaw, DDS
AO Trudi Birger Award Committee Chair
Remarks by Charles Weingarten, DDS
Awards are important for any organization. They express some of its fundamental values and establish them as traditions. Alpha Omega has established its awards with this truth in mind.
In receiving the Alpha Omega Achievement Medal, Dr. George Zarb has added to the integrity and scope of this award and Alpha Omega.
Alpha Omega has awarded me the Trudy Birger International Community Service Award, which I greatly appreciate and honored. A personal thank you to Gary Elman, who nominated me, and Laurie Gordon-Shaw, who chaired the committee that selected me. Trudy Birger was saved from death in the flames of the holocaust many times. She took the trauma she had experienced and turned it into a vow never to leave a child in distress.
One of the most poignant and vital actions that resulted was the formation of the "Dental Volunteers for Israel," providing pro bono dental care in Jerusalem for children of all backgrounds. Her initiatives. Are they a reflection of her soul as a Holocaust survivor, microbiologist, and humanitarian? By creating this award, Alpha Omega clearly states its belief in helping the poor, destitute, and displaced persons improve dental health, making a difference in their lives.
Many in the Alpha Omega community reflect the principles of this award. I and many others learned much about fostering a sense of community from the late Dr. Fred Margolis. He firmly believed in making people feel important and loved, bringing together so many.
Dave Cowan and Aaron Posen enhanced a sense of community within Alpha Omega with great sensitivity, mentoring insecure dental students and just-beginning dentists to become fine dentists. Fraternalism, Professionalism, and Judaism are strong in Alpha Omega. Murray Miller, Sheila Rodney, Steve Spitz, International AO President Gail Schupak, and many other members bring new strength and commitment to grow the substance of these three pillars. I am proud to be a Canadian Jew and a member of Alpha Omega and Doctors Against Racism and Anti- Semitism.
I want to thank my brother, Lorne, for my Mom and Madame President Gail Shupak, who continue to make a difference in the lives of their communities. And finally, may I congratulate the incoming President, Marvin Sonne. Finally, I thank Brian Chapnick from the AO Toronto Chapter, Heidi Weber, and AO International for organizing this wonderful convention.
Charles Weingarten, DDS
AO Toronto Chapter
Lloyd Grauman - Photo Credits