If anyone understands how dentistry can help Holocaust survivors, it’s Dr. Mitchell Josephs in Palm Beach, Florida. A dentist honored by the Alpert Jewish Family Service organization for providing dental work to Holocaust survivors free of charge, Dr. Josephs explains the inspiration behind his pro bono work. He also offers ideas on how other dentists can provide support by donating their talents and resources.

Florida dentist Dr. Mitchell Josephs discusses the inspiration behind his donated dentistry for Holocaust survivors

Dr. Josephs knew he could answer a higher calling after hearing a Holocaust survivor speak to members of the Palm Beach Synagogue, and he sought a way to help. The unexpected encounter was one factor that propelled Dr. Josephs on a path of philanthropy that has positively impacted his community. He discussed all the inspirations for his acts of kindness.

“My rabbi, Moishe Scheiner of Palm Beach and his congregation had invited many survivors speak to us,” said Dr. Josephs, who described one of his earliest exposures to the atrocities of the Holocaust:

“Seeing videos of the liberation of the camps in Hebrew school growing up in Bellmore, New York: the emaciated survivors and mass graves.”

Dr. Mitchell Josephs, who provides dental work to Holocaust survivors in Palm Beach, Florida, discusses his early exposure to the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Dr. Josephs set out to help Holocaust survivors in his community in desperate need of oral care. As of July, Dr. Josephs and his team have provided care to 12 survivors. The procedures included, but were not limited to, implants, extractions, dentures, veneers, crowns, and bone grafts.

Through interactions with patients, Dr. Josephs has been impressed by one commonality: “How resilient these people are after the horrors they went through.”

Learn more about Dr. Josephs’ Dental Outreach Program for Holocaust Survivors and meet some of those who he has helped here: https://palmbeachdentist.com/dental-outreach-program-for-h…

A behind-the-scenes look at a October photo shoot and interview with Dr. Mitchell Josephs and Holocaust survivor Zev. (Photo courtesy Facebook). At his Palm Beach dental practice, Dr. Mitchell Josephs recently provided extensive dental care to Zev, and they had the opportunity to share the experience with Alpert Jewish Family Service.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs shown with Holocaust survivor Zev. (Photo courtesy Facebook). At his Palm Beach dental practice, Dr. Mitchell Josephs recently provided full mouth reconstruction with surgical extractions to Zev at no charge.

How can others in dentistry help Holocaust survivors?

Since Dr. Josephs began, he has performed about $70,000 of pro bono dental work for Holocaust survivors in his community. He discussed the recent increase in antisemitic incidents and Holocaust denial across the country and how support for Holocaust survivors facing financial struggles is vital.

“Jewish Family Services of Palm Beach County sends me the patients who are below poverty level. The stories they tell me are heartbreaking. I hope more dentists will callJewish Family Services and ask to do the same work I am doing.”

Dr. Mitchell Josephs, who provides dental work to Holocaust survivors in Palm Beach, Florida, discusses how others in dentistry can help.

1. Assist one patient at a time.

For others in dentistry wondering how to begin donating their time and talents, Dr. Josephs suggested a starting point.

“Make the time in your normal hours at work, and just take one patient at a time to completion, then ask Jewish Family Services for another.”

Dr. Josephs offers treatment to a one patient at a time, and is referred only patients who need the expertise he offers. If the patient’s care requires extensive work, Dr. Josephs and his team are ready to step in.

Though he can’t help everything that ails the survivors, he can make a positive impact on their oral care.

“One patient, “Boris” could not eat, but after four implants and a new clip on lower denture, he is eating steak.”

2. Donate resources.

One obstacle to care for Holocaust survivors: lab fees.

“We need lab bills covered to be able to do more work.”

To donate or to assist Dr. Josephs in his humanitarian efforts, please contact his office at drjosephs@palmbeachdentist.com.

Holocaust survivors in Dr. Mitchell Josephs’ care inspire him with their resiliency and unwavering spirit

The resilient spirit of the patients never cease to amaze Dr. Josephs and the team at his Palm Beach dental practice.

“I asked a big, strong survivor of Auschwitz with numbers on his arm: ‘How did you make it through the camp?’ He immediately began to cry and said, “As long as the sun came up, it meant I was alive another day; this gave me hope.”

Dr. Mitchell Josephs offers an example of the resiliency and unwavering spirit of Holocaust survivors in his care.