In addition to actually funding the dental care of 10-15 survivors of terror per year – including routine dental treatments and endodontic, periodontic and prosthodontic services – the initiative also hopes to identify and recruit Israeli dentists and dental suppliers who would offer their services at a reduced fee to survivors of terror and their families.
"Due to the severity of their injuries, survivors of terror frequently suffer from acute dental issues that demand immediate and extensive treatment. We have found that death or injury also leaves families unable to afford even the most routine dental care," explained Rabbi Levi Lauer, founding executive director of ATZUM.
"With the launch of this unique initiative, ATZUM will be able to provide these individuals with financial and practical assistance to obtain any necessary dental care services."
The Jewish Tooth Fairy Fund is the brainchild of Rachel Rudman, Dara Freedman-Weiss and Dena Rapoport, graduate students who spent last year studying and volunteering in Israel.
Studying this year in New York, Massachusetts and Washington, DC respectively, the three have begun fundraising for the project with the goal of collecting $50,000 by the end of 2012. ATZUM seeks additional donors to augment their efforts.
"Though my original objective was to simply meet with the students to discuss ATZUM's projects and the issues we are facing with our clients, it quickly became so much more," said Karyn London, the coordinator of ATZUM's Roberta Project for Survivors of Terror.
"The students chose to become actively engaged in our projects, focusing on the dental needs of survivors of terror and making it their mission to find a solution to this problem. It is very inspiring to see young graduate students take on a project like this and commit themselves to seeing it through to the end."
Since 2002, ATZUM has provided financial and emotional support to families of victims and survivors of terror.
Today, ATZUM works to assist these families, specifically victims of older attacks who are overlooked by programs of assistance focused on more recent cases, by supplying both parents and children with the resources they need to ensure their recovery and secure their future.