At an early age, Betzalel Krasnow of Lawrence learned that he would need extensive--and expensive--dental work. After a full regimen of orthodontics, bone grafts and implants, he flashes a million dollar smile and is on his way to a career as a dentist.
Although his personal experience inspired his career choice, Krasnow took the advice he got on the first day at Touro’s Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Flatbush, which was to treat his undergraduate experience like a smorgasbord — take classes in a number of different subjects, decide what he liked and then go back for doubles in his chosen field.He sampled accounting and finance before settling on biology on his path to dentistry.
“The courses I took outside my major prepared me for life. I’m president of the board in my coop building and I can examine financial statements and understand them. I helped renegotiate the building’s mortgage because I have an understanding of how financing works,” said Krasno.
When it came to his career track, the small class size and biology professors’ ability to make the subject come alive provided him with the knowledge and skills needed to excel and compete with students from top schools. He maintained a 3.94 GPA, scored in the 98th percentile on the Dental Admissions Test, and was accepted to three dental schools. Krasnow also served as editor-in-chief of the school’s Science Journal and president of the Pre-Dental Society in Flatbush where he created a forum for students to network, learn about the field and gain real-world experience.
Krasnow attended Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway for elementary, high school and Beis Medrash. He studied for two years in Eretz Yisrael at Yeshivas Brisk and then in Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. He is married to Leah (Biegeleisen) Krasnow, a graduate of Touro’s Physical Therapy program, and is the father of two daughters.
“When I was ready to start college, I chose Touro in Flatbush because it enabled me to pursue my profession while maintaining my schedule of learning Torah. It’s an environment where students can thrive both as Bnei Torah and seekers of academic scholarship. I love that it’s not at all uncommon to walk into a classroom at Touro and see students discussing a passage of Gemara with a professor,” said Krasnow.
Krasnow’s comfort level with the values at Touro helped him choose Touro College of Dental Medicine to continue his education.
“Although I was accepted to NYU and also to University of Maryland, which is the oldest dental school in the country, I’m confident in my decision to attend Touro’s new dental school,” he said. “Visiting the campus, I saw the commitment to excellence with cutting-edge technology to train students to deliver the best patient care. Equally as impressive were the many top professionals proudly walking around with yarmulkas on their heads.”
Being successful professionally while living life as a Ben Torah is second nature to Krasnow. His father, Yoel, a tax attorney at Milbank, who graduated Columbia Law School and served as Touro’s valedictorian in 1984, is his role model.
“I learned from my father and grandfathers that the two can coexist,” he said. “They showed me that setting aside time to learn Torah regularly and being top in your field is possible and that is my goal.”
Dr. Robert Goldschmidt, dean of Touro’s Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Flatbush, echoed Krasnow’s sentiments.
“Betzalel was selected as the valedictorian of the Touro Flatbush men’s class based on his stellar academic record, his leadership as editor-in-chief of the Science Journal, and for the values he exemplifies as a Ben Torah who will create a kiddush Hashem in the professional world. He represents the ideals that Touro seeks to inculcate in students.”
Krasnow will smile broadly when he is recognized among 700 degree candidates at the 44th commencement ceremonies of Touro’s Lander Colleges to be held at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center on May 27.
Source: Touro College