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Author Archives: Joel Schlessinger

Joel Schlessinger recently made a donation to MaxInMotion, a non-profit foundation started by Jonah Shacknai that helps financially disadvantaged children in Arizona participate in organized sports.

Joel Schlessinger supports this non-profit organization whole-heartedly.

“I was pleased to see that this charity was started for financially disadvantaged children as this is something that can make a huge difference in a child’s life,” said Joel Schlessinger.

This new non-profit organization started on June 7 in memory of Max Shacknai, Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year old son that passed away in July 2011.

“This is a great way to keep the memory alive of a young man that I knew and respected. Max Shacknai was a vivacious and intelligent child who would have loved to have seen this.”

MaxInMotion will provide children with opportunities to learn valuable life lessons such as teamwork, commitment, health and fitness. The foundation will work with other non-profit organizations that enroll children in athletics regardless of ethnicity, special needs or socioeconomic status.

In a time of tremendous cuts to school programs, Jonah Shacknai believes this organization will serve a dire need in many communities where children have limited opportunities.

Interested in making a difference in a young child’s life? Make a donation in honor of Max Shacknai to MaxInMotion today.

Joel Schlessinger donates free treatments to help raise funds for Computers for Africa, a publicly supported charity.    

Students in Africa want computers and access to the Internet so that they can, among other reasons:

  • Find employment
  • Conduct research
  • Enjoy access to free newspapers
  • Communicate with others
  • Improve academic performance

For more information directly from affected people in Africa, watch this YouTube video. To help raise funds for this worthwhile endeavor, Joel Schlessinger donates free treatments to Computers for Africa that are auctioned off.

Computers for Africa addresses this lack of resources in schools located in the northern Ugandan regions of Gulu and Lira.

With this charity, 95% of every dollar donated goes directed towards creating computer labs for students and providing related services to beneficiaries. Here are dollar amounts attached to specific items and services:

  • $35 creates two refurbished computer systems
  • $50 gives 14 students access to computer education and the Internet all through high school
  • $100 provides 50 hours of PC repair training for a teacher
  • $200 connects a CFA lab to the Internet
  • $350 creates a complete 20-computer lab
  • $1800 gives an African school a “new” lab, sets it up, trains the teacher in PC maintenance and repair, installs the Internet and provides Internet workshops for all the teachers

Volunteers in Omaha, Nebraska hold a community day every six weeks or so to prepare the computers for their recipients.

From testing hardware (monitors, hard drives and more) to loading operating systems, and sorting and cleaning used keyboards; and from assembling boxes and loading them with refurbished PC systems and preparing them for mailing, these volunteers do invaluable work.

Joel Schlessinger touches lives in communities around the world, including in Haiti.

The doctor and his family have been on two mission trips to Haiti after the devastating earthquake, helping out through his medical expertise and the entire family’s passion for assisting others.

The doctor and his family provided Haitian teens with an item we take for granted: shoes.

When the Schlessingers toured the Citadel, 13-year-old Jimmy tagged along as an unofficial Haitian guide. Jimmy spoke English very well and, at the end of the tour, he asked if they had any shoes. Jimmy was wearing old sandals and his friend was barefooted.

Fortunately, the doctor had thought ahead and actually purchased sneakers in case anyone needed them. If Jimmy would stop by the hospital, the Schlessingers would give him the new shoes.

Joel Schlessinger went into the hospital to assist with an ill nun, who’d had a small stroke or was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

While he made sure the nun was transported to the intensive care unit, Nancy, his wife, handed out all of the extra clothing they had to people who needed them.

Jimmy hadn’t shown up yet to pick up his shoes but, as the Schlessinger family was leaving the hospital, he walked up to them. He’d been in an accident and had injured his wrist and shoulder. The doctor treated him with antibiotic cream and bandages, while Nancy gifted him with new shoes. Their son, Daniel, gave Jimmy his own pair of shoes to give to Jimmy’s friend – who had no shoes at all.

Joel Schlessinger has been involved in the Omaha Symphony for 20 years now in multiple key ways. 

Omaha Symphony

Although Joel Schlessinger played clarinet for 7 years, from third grade until high school, he readily admits that he was never meant for glory! He does, however, admire the wonderful efforts of the many dedicated musicians of the Omaha Symphony. He also supports the work they do by serving on the board of the Omaha Symphony and advertising in their program.

The doctor has been a board member of the Omaha Symphony since 2009.

During this time, the board has been active in fundraising efforts and the recruitment of the director, James Johnson. Additionally, a successful contract negotiation and the recruitment of key staff members have occurred while the doctor has been on the board.

The symphony does more than create music, though; the staff also provides outreach services to schools. Read on for information about these programs.

Music makes an immeasurable impact on youth.

Music, according to the Omaha Symphony, “has the power to transform lives, facilitate change, inspire greatness, and create community.” In the 2007/2008 season alone, the symphony programming reached more than 35,000 youth.

Through outreach, the symphony provides pre-concert preparation packets to students; faciliates an interactive learning environment where students sing classical music, create sculptures and more; collaborates with like-minded organizations to bring art to students; and much more.

Find even more specifics about the symphony’s educational program, “Adventures in Music!” This page also includes statistics about how music education is a huge plus for children.

According to Joel Schlessinger, “I truly enjoy my involvement with our symphony.”

“My kids, Claire and Daniel, both have been involved in school band, and orchestral music has always been a part of my life. The fact that this symphony plays such an active role in our community, mentoring and performing both in Omaha and out of state, is a joy for me to see. It has been my honor to meet the many talented and professional musicians who comprise the Omaha Symphony.”

Joel Schlessinger participates in the fight against cancer in many different ways.

From running in races to raise funds for breast cancer research to donating a percentage of sales to support research, Joel Schlessinger and his office staff find numerous ways to do their part.

Over the past 8 years, the doctor, his family and his staff have run in fundraising races, fielding teams of up to 25 runners. “This is a personal matter for many of my employees,” he said, “as they have family members who have been affected by this terrible disease.”

The doctor also chooses a day each year when 10% of LovelySkin sales go to breast cancer research. They company also sells products with the pink ribbon during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where manufacturers donate a certain percentage of “pink product” sales to research.

The doctor also plays a role in cancer prevention through educational means.

In 2011, Joel Schlessinger announced that, according to his research, teenagers are developing skin cancer at younger ages, saying that “teens feel a certain immunity to skin cancer due to their youth, and fail to protect themselves from the sun using the right clothing and sunscreen.” He frequently speaks out about the need for appropriate sunscreen usage.

When asked by Dermatology Times how much sun is needed to get enough vitamin D, the doctor advises people to avoid any unnecessary exposure because of the increased risk of skin cancer, adding that “Unless patients live in fairly desperate northern climes, enough vitamin D is taken in via dietary and solar exposure in everyday living.”

Joel Schlessinger does more than organize the annual Cosmetic Surgery Forum. He also covers the costs of multiple residents to attend.

Cosmetic Surgery Forum
Starting in 2009, Joel Schlessinger began holding an annual Cosmetic Surgery Forum in Las Vegas. This conference is a multi-specialty educational event that features the latest news in research, treatment and techniques in the areas of dermatology and cosmetic surgery.

The doctor strongly believes that quality continuing education is essential for people specializing in cosmetic dermatology and surgery. He also understands that not every resident has the resources to attend the conference. So, in 2009, Joel Schlessinger covered the costs of 35 residents – meaning that he paid for their air fare, hotel bill and food, so they could benefit from the seminars offered.

In 2010, he went a step further, sponsoring 50 residents and covering their expenses. In 2011, he sponsored 75 residents. “These people are the future of dermatology and cosmetic surgery,” Joel Schlessinger said. “So I decided to make the highly unusual move of taking money that I generated to pay for them to attend the forum.”

Here is a glimpse at the types of seminars offered at the Cosmetic Surgery Forum.

In the 2011 Cosmetic Surgery Forum, topics covered included:

  • Starting a New Practice
  • Defending Your Online Reputation
  • Fat: Lasers/Lipo/Ultrasound/Injection – What Works?
  • Unique Approaches to Common Dermatology Problems
  • The Vampire Lift

A focus of the 2012 conference is the use of injections, lasers and peels, with live demonstrations and hands-on learning opportunities.

Here is what one attendee has to say about the conference organized by Joel Schlessinger.

“I wanted to personally thank you for the amazing conference this past weekend. It was the most amazing and valuable conference I’ve ever been to. Most of all, I loved that a resident is able to offer insight and foster communication/education without fear of ridicule. I feel very blessed that I have been included these past three years and because of it, I am completely inspired and motivated by you and the other amazing presenters.” Jason Joel Emer, MD

Joel Schlessinger gives back to Brown University to thank the educational institution for all they did for him, and to help young scholars.

The doctor attended Brown Medical School from 1981 through 1983, studying the basic sciences. After completing his education and establishing his career, he decided to volunteer his time for the university through the Brown Alumni Schools Committees, starting about 15 years ago.

Brown Alumni Association

He has acted as an area chair for the committee. From 2001 to 2004, he served as a regional coordinator (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska) for the committee and he is currently in charge of the Brown Alumni Club for Nebraska.

As a member of the Brown Alumni Schools Committees, the doctor commits himself to this as a minimum: to interview three potential students, locally, per year.

Joel Schlessinger has gone well beyond the minimum requirements in his commitment as an interviewer for Brown University.

He has interviewed approximately 500 students for Brown University so far, giving these students a chance to talk to someone in depth about the undergraduate programs at the university.

As a regional director, he has overseen the committee operations for his area and has served as a leader to all of the area chairs in his region. He was also responsible for recruiting new leaders in his region; serving on the executive committee; and acting as the liaison between his area chairs and the executive committee.

The Schessinger family continues their personal commitment to the university, as their daughter Claire now attends there.

About Brown University:

Founded in 1764, this is the seventh-oldest college in the United States, an independent, coeducational Ivy League university with undergraduate and graduate programming. Its students come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Undergraduate degrees are available in more than 70 areas, and graduate students study in more than 70 programs. The 2010 Princeton Review named Brown University as the #1 College in America for Happiest Students.

Joel Schlessinger donates makeup products to women living in shelters.

Joel Schlessinger donates makeup to women living in shelters

In the United States, one in every four women (25%) experiences domestic violence. The reality is that up to 6 million women are victims every single year.

Through no fault of their own, they can find themselves in a shelter with or without their family and out of a job temporarily or permanently while they regain their lives.

Entering a shelter, though, is really just step one to a new life. Joel Schlessinger went beyond that, though. He identified a need – that these women needed to regain their confidence and ability to search for a job – and then he helped, by providing the most simple makeup supplies. Testers, samples and full sized makeup products have been donated on multiple occasions to shelters by Joel Schlessinger via his website, LovelySkin.com.

Additionally, each and every food event that is held for the staff has one condition for the caterers: Any excess food MUST be taken to a shelter that day for the women and families.

Women in shelters often need to find new jobs, and it’s important to look professional when interviewing for work.

The doctor donates makeup to women’s shelters so that its residents can look professional and regain their self-confidence when it is so important they have a good feeling about themselves as they reenter the work force. Then, once they get a new job, these women need to continue to take care of their appearance – and, once again, donation of high quality makeup products plays a key role. The doctor also donates makeup to women recovering from addictions.

This is all part of the community service and ethic of LovelySkin and Joel Schlessinger. Giving back to the community and helping women to regain their lives is one of the many ways LovelySkin and Joel Schlessinger contribute.

For more information about Joel Schlessinger and his community volunteering, see his LinkedIn profile.

Joel Schlessinger dedicates his time to enrich the cultural education of Omaha youth through Film Streams.

Film Streams
Film Streams is a nonprofit organization that enhances the learning environment of students of the Omaha-Council Bluffs region through film. In July 2007, Film Streams opened the Ruth Sokolof Theater, where:

  • First run films appear on one of the two screens, including independent American films, foreign films and documentaries
  • Repertory selections are presented, including classic films and themed film series
  • Arts in education programming is offered, which involves film interpretation instruction for youth, where participants discuss how a film is relevant for their lives
  • Community development programming is also offered, where lectures, forums and question and answer sessions with film professionals are made available

Joel Schlessinger has been an ardent supporter of Film Streams, as he not only feels this is an important form of art, but believes that themes in movies can bring people together and change attitudes for the improvement of society. This theater has been written up in the New York Times for its cutting edge and societal-changing theme.

Joel Schlessinger states, “I was so happy to hear that this project was a ‘go’ when the director, Rachel Jacobson, called me and gave me the news that I immediately committed to be a founding member. Since that time, I have been fortunate to be on the board and support its activities. This year, we have had films on subjects ranging from arts documentaries to life in Iran to Academy Awards films.”

Joel Schlessinger serves on the Film Streams advisory board – and his wife, Nancy, volunteers on the education committee.

“When we do outreach with schools,” the doctor said, “the films focus on very important topics, including autism, being raised in a broken family and other subjects that educate high schoolers. After the film is shown, we discuss the film plus the techniques used in film making.”

Support for art education comes from an unlikely place: from Harvard scholars who had previously questioned its value.

In 2000, Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland of Project Zero (an arts-education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education) published a study that stated that arts education did not help students with math. Several years later, though, the same two researchers came up with a complementary conclusion, which was discussed in a New York Times article:

“The researchers found that the visual arts classes did have broad indirect benefits, even if they were not directly related to quantifiable performance in other subjects. ‘Students who study the arts seriously are taught to see better, to envision, to persist, to be playful and learn from mistakes, to make critical judgments and justify such judgments,’ the authors conclude.”

Moreover, Edward Pauly, the director of research and evaluation at the Wallace Foundation added that arts can promote feelings of empathy and tolerance.

“There is no substitute for listening to jazz, seeing ‘Death of a Salesman’ performed, reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ seeing the Vietnam War Memorial,” he said. “Those powerful experiences only come about through the arts.”

One of the films shown to high school students through Film Streams was ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

For more information about Joel Schlessinger and his community volunteering, see his LinkedIn profile.

Joel Schlessinger Community Blog

Posted by Joel Schlessinger in Community - (0 Comments)

Joel Schlessinger, a board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, has been involved in community improvement and charitable projects for decades. This blog serves to archive his valuable contributions as well as encourage others to give.