History of the Sheepshead Bay Study Club

In 1955 Dr. John Emanuel, an Orthodontist, lamented the breakup of the “Sheepshead Bay Dental Study Group”, which had occurred several years before. He wanted to know if other dentists in the area felt as he did. In September of that year he called together a small group of colleagues who met at PS 206 on Neck Road. Present were J. Herman Beckelman, Murray Blum, John Emanuel, Jack Leiberman, Arthur Okun and Daniel Resnick. The group decided to rejuvenate the club and elected Resnick as President, Beckelman as Vice President and Blum as Secretary-Treasurer.

A letter announcing the first general meeting was mailed to dentists in the Sheepshead Bay area and was held at Joe’s Clam Bar on Surf Avenue in Coney Island. The original group had decided that each general meeting would feature a speaker of note.   The first speaker was Dr. J. Lewis Blass, then Professor in the Department of Periodontics at NYU College of Dentistry.   Succeeding meetings were held at the Brooklyn VA hospital and Coronet Nursing Home. They eventually found a home at Seniors Restaurant on Nostrand Avenue where 20 to 30 members would come for dinner before the meeting.

After two years as President, Dr. Resnick stepped down and Dr. J. Herman Beckelman was elected as President. He continued as President until his retirement in 1999. At that point Dr. Mitchel Mindlin was elected President and has continued in that capacity until today.

With the club’s commitment to education an Education Committee was formed with Drs. Marvin Simring and Maurice Goldberg heading it. Their hard work resulted in many outstanding lecturers who addressed each general meeting. Among them were, Dr Milton Helpern, then Chief Medical Examiner for NYC who introduced the group to dental and medical forensics. Dr. A. Norman Cranin spoke about implants while that specialty was still in its infancy and Dr. Milton Hollins discussed complete mouth rehabilitation. Financial interests where covered by Dr. and Mrs. George Feldman. Over the years other important topics were dealt with including a film produced in China, which showed the use of acupuncture as anesthesia.

Each spring the Social Committee planned a party at one of the local nightclubs for the members and their wives. The evening further cemented new and old friendships that were formed over the years.

The final meeting of the year was held in June. Three members would volunteer to present 35-minute mini clinics on topics they chose. Dr. Blum solicited gifts from manufacturers and dental supply dealers and these were either raffled off or distributed to all p