In Memoriam: Ralph Burton Rothstein Wednesday, December 22, 2010
An influential leader who was instrumental in establishing TAU's School of Dental Medicine
Ralph B. Rothstein
We mourn the passing of our friend Ralph B. Rothstein, a member of Tel Aviv University's Board of Governors, AFTAU's Board of Directors, and co-chair of AFTAU's Mid-Atlantic Region, in Chevy Chase MD on December 19, 2010.
Those who were fortunate enough to know Ralph were warmed by his energy and enthusiasm, passionately expressed in his commitment to the university and its Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine. The Bette and Ralph Rothstein Fund for Restorative Dentistry is but one part of his legacy. His inspiring and tireless leadership was a powerful influence, raising millions to strengthen and support the school.
A partnership with impact
As was often noted at his funeral, where more than 500 mourners filled the largest Conservative synagogue in the area, the dental school's very existence owed a great deal to Ralph Rothstein. He and Mid-Atlantic Region co-chair, Dr. Ben A. Williamowsky, were instrumental in establishing TAU's School of Dental Medicine, working to build the first facility for dental technicians in Israel.
They have continued to work tirelessly on its behalf, energizing Dental School alumni, and raising million of dollars in service of their goal — to advance teaching and research at the school, and make it one of the world's finest.
In appreciation, Tel Aviv University conferred an honorary Fellowship on Ralph Rothstein in 1987.
A leader with a calling
He felt a strong pull toward dentistry from his earliest days. His mentors were his father, Robert J. Rothstein, who founded the world's largest dental laboratory, and his brother, Irving "Bud" Rothstein, a long-standing member of the Alpha Omega dental fraternity.
Ralph was president of Dent Rite Enterprises, Inc., and previously headed the family firm, Rothstein Dental Laboratories, Inc., for nearly 30 years. On behalf of his family, he built and equipped dental facilities at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and the Jewish Foundation for Retarded Children. Among his many honors, one of which he was most proud is the Keser Shem Tov Award from the Adas Israel Congregation, which had previously been given to his father.
He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, lectured at Howard University, and spoke extensively at professional associations including the Pennsylvania State Dental Association and the New York Dental Laboratory Congress. He was member of the Board of Trustees of the Greater Washington Jewish Community Foundation, a Life Member of the American Red Mogen David, and served on the Board of Directors of Adas Israel Congregation and the Dental Committees of UJA and Israel Bonds.
He is survived by his wife, Bette, their children, Robin, Randy, Audrey, and Russell, 13 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. His absence in the greater Washington community and in the Tel Aviv University family will be sorely felt.