Hungarian Holocaust survivors to get free dental care at clinic

BUDAPEST — Needy Hungarian Holocaust survivors are receiving critical assistance to obtain dental care.

A dental clinic opened recently in the Budapest Jewish Hospital to provide free service to elderly survivors.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which maintains an office here, decided to establish the clinic after several Israeli dental students proposed the initiative.

The Israelis, who spent six years here, envisioned the clinic as a way to provide both affordable treatment for Holocaust survivors and practical training for students.

"It's good practice for us, but first of all it is charity for the Holocaust survivors in Hungary," Israeli student Jael Peri said in an interview at the clinic's opening ceremony. "We wanted to help them."

About 20 Israeli students will provide dental services to the patients in the Budapest hospital.

The clinic also will serve other Hungarian Jews whose dental care is no longer covered by the Hungarian government.

Some 30,000 Jewish elderly live in Budapest.

The clinic was created with the help of the Hungarian Semmelweiss University Dental School, with funding from Baltimore's Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation and the Kapsuto family of New York.