LEONARD GORELICK
GORELICK--Leonard, D.D.S., died on May 5, after a long illness. He had combined a career in dentistry with a passion for science and art to make significant contributions in the study of technologies used to make ancient seals and other objects. An article in the New York Times, in 1981, described Dr. Gorelick's work as "shedding light on how ancient man transformed stones into works of art and instruments of commerce." Born in 1922, he emigrated to the United States from Ukraine with his family as a very young child, settling in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Tilden High School and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1942. Then, he served in the Navy in both World War II and the Korean War. Dr. Gorelick received his D.D.S. and Postgraduate Certificate in Orthodontics from New York University College of Dentistry. In 1944, Len Gorelick married Shirley Fishman. They had two children, Jamie Gorelick, a Washington, D.C. lawyer and a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and Steven Gorelick, the Cyrus F. Tolman Professor at Stanford University. Shirley Gorelick was an artist - a painter, sculptor and teacher - and much of their life together involved the making and appreciation of art. Dr. Gorelick combined his interest in the scientific aspects of orthodonture - especially, electron microscopy - with his love for and interest in ancient cylinder seals, in which he became quite expert. He eventually built one of the world's finest collections of seals, celebrated in a book called "The Mark of Ancient Man: Ancient Near Eastern Stamp Seals and Cylinder Seals: The Gorelick Collection", which accompanied a show of that name at The Brooklyn Museum. These seals are now part of the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum. He was often consulted by scholars and served on the Visiting Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Ancient Near East Department. He co-authored "Ancient Seals and the Bible" as well as over forty-five scholarly papers on techniques that can be used to date and explain ancient seals and other artifacts. They are collected in the Special Collections and University Archives at Stony Brook. Dr. Gorelick also edited the Journal of the Queens County Dental Society and was President of the Society. He was the long-time editor of the Forum of the Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center, with which he was affiliated, and became Associate Professor in the Department of Children's Dentistry (Orthodontics) at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Gorelick's wife, Shirley, died in 2000. He leaves his sister, Beatrice, her husband Leonard, and their children Anne, Richard and Scott. He was a loving father and father-in-law of Jamie Gorelick, Dr. Richard Waldhorn, Steven Gorelick and Stephanie Knott, and he was the proud and affectionate grandfather of artist Alyssa Gorelick (and her husband, Max Warsh) and Daniel and Dana Waldhorn, all of whom brought him great joy. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Shirley Gorelick Fund at the National Museum for Women in the Arts.

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Published by New York Times on May 8, 2011.
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In the early and mid-fifties, my sisters and I were orthodontic patients of Drs. Grindlinger, Grindlinger and Gorelick. Of the three doctors, I always felt most comfortable with Dr. Gorelick because he was the only one of the three doctors who seemed to understand awkward pre-teens and teenagers.

He never made sarcastic remarks to us or belittled our concerns about feeling "different" while wearing braces. Because so few teenagers were able to afford orthodonture then, those of us who were lucky enough to have the procedures were often the butts of jokes, which is never a good thing for a teen.

In addition to many visits for adjustments, Dr. Gorelick and I spent three and a half hours on a hot June day as he removed all the wires and bands around my teeth. How he held up as I flinched with his every move, I cannot understand.

His kindness then and two years later when he put a new mouthful of braces back on my teeth as I was leaving for college has been a happy memory for more than fifty years.

Both of my sisters join me in sending your family our sadness at your loss of such a wonderful man. We know that his memory will be for a blessing.
Abby Breslaw Shipper
May 20, 2011
To Jamie, Stephen, and Bea; I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Len was a brilliant man who was well respected in his profession and also in his amazing knowledge of ancient Sumerian seals. Please accept my deepest condolences.
Marjorie Bergemann
Marjorie Bergemann
May 12, 2011
Jamie & Steven,
I am so sorry to have read in The NY Times this morning about your father’s passing. Back in the day when I was picking up or dropping off art for our mothers, to be in some art show, I often remember chatting with your father at your house. I clearly remember him as a kind, gentle and good person. I also recall how my mother always raved about ‘Lenny’. Both your parents always were interested in what I was doing and willingly listened to my youthful struggles of growing up. And I will always be thankful to Shirley for how she helped me get through my mother’s funeral. They both will be missed. My deepest sympathies go out to you and your entire family. All my love. Alan Orling
Alan Orling
May 9, 2011
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