Spreading the Word

Although the Jerusalem Municipal Social Welfare Department is well aware of DVI’s presence, and many of its social workers refer patients to us on a regular basis, it is also important to connect with the individual social workers who work in various parts of the city with both young and elderly clients. To this end, we initiated a series of orientation meetings with social service representatives and took the opportunity to also invite social workers from other agencies whose clients could benefit from DVI services. In total close to thirty social workers from all parts of our catchment area attended, most of who had never personally visited the clinic. It was an excellent opportunity for our referring partners to get their many questions answered. They had a chance to speak with the volunteer dentists as well, and left feeling better informed, very impressed with the professional services provided by DVI’s international volunteer dentists and the warmth that permeates the entire clinic.

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Rav Michael Melchior Visit

Rav Michael Melchior and Michelle Levine at the Trudi Birger Memorial @DVI


Rabbi Michael Melchior came to visit DVI on May 27, 2018. Though Rav Melchior has visited DVI before, he graciously took the time to come and learn about DVI’s many new projects. As a former Member of Knesset and former Chief Rabbi of Norway, Rabbi Melchior has long supported the work of DVI behind the scenes – and we are grateful for his support!

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Educational Visit

Dr. Trombly and Dr. Gonzales-Cabesas exchanging ideas with students Mario Antonio, Rahul Srivastava, Robert Miller and Thomas Paron

Dr. Carlos Gonzales-Cabesas, Professor at the School of Dentistry University of Michigan brought a group of his students to visit the DVI clinic in Jerusalem and learn from our director, Dr. Roy Petel and the visiting volunteer dentists of the week: Dr. Paul Trombly, Professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Saul Pressner, President of the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry and Dr. Luis Karakowsy, Professor at the Universidad Tecnologica de Mexico and the DVI representative for Mexico.

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Treating in the Present while Training for the Future

On November 26,2017  DVI welcomed the first Tel Aviv Dental School pediatric resident to our clinic. Under the supervision of our director, Dr. Roy Petel, DVI is now officially recognized as a training facility for residents in pediatric dentistry for both the Haddasah School of Dental Medicine at Hebrew University and the Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University. The DVI commitment to excellence on the one hand and patience and warmth on the other, as set forth by our founder Trudi Birger, continues to serve as DVI’s guiding principles and to inspire future generations of professionals.

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International School in Jerusalem Students Volunteer at DVI

Like DVI dentists, diplomats come from all over the world to serve in Israel and their children are educated at the International School in Jerusalem. Last week these forces converged at the DVI clinic.The students packed winter clothing and supplies donated by one of our supporters, Operation Blessing, to be distributed to our needy families. They also helped with office work and planted some plants and fruit bearing trees, including a citron (Etrog) tree whose fruit will eventually also be given out to our patients to help them celebrate the Tabernacle (Sukkot) holiday! Thank you Dr. Berry Stahl for initiating this idea! Pictured far LEFT are the dentists hailing from Arizona (Dr. Jonathan Gutman), Michigan (Dr. Murray Baruch) and Germany (Dr. Maria Stehman) together with the staff and students of the International School.

Student volunteers still smiling after working hard!

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Temple U Dental Dean Visits DVI

Dr. Amid Ismail (left) at the Trudi Birger (z”l) memorial in DVI’s courtyard.

Dr. Amid Ismail, Dean of Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University and member of AFDVI’s Honorary Council, visited DVI’s Trudi Birger Clinic on May 16, 2017, accompanied by immediate-past AFDVI president Dr. Michael Goldberg. Drs Ismail and Goldberg are pictured by the Trudi Birger z”l memorial with DVI Director Dr. Roy Petel. Dr. Ismail was impressed by DVI’s progressive oral health curriculum, unique among free dental clinics; the classroom offers a special opportunity to have a longer term impact on the hygiene and self-care in the lives of low-income patients, whom will hopefully escape the cycle of poverty. Dean Ismail offered to help recruit dentists to volunteer at DVI and was happy to learn about DVI’s work in the diverse Jerusalem community.

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AFDVI Event – New York City – Sunday, November 20,2016

AFDVI Honors the Memory of Captain Ben L. Salomon, American Hero, Dentist and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

invitation-afdvi-11-2016Sunday, November 20, 2016

5:00 PM – Reception

6:00 PM – Presentation followed by Q&A

Septodont Lecture Hall – NYU College of Dentistry

Click here to register for this event to benefit DVI’s Trudi Birger Clinic.

A display at Yad VaShem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, is dedicated to the three Jewish servicemen in World War II who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Captain Ben L. Salomon is one of those heroes, and the only dentist to be awarded that honor.

A dental officer on the island of Saipan in July of 1944, Captain Salomon gave his life for his country while protecting wounded soldiers in his care at a field hospital. He died in battle, but only after he had killed 98 enemy soldiers so that his wounded patients could be successfully evacuated. His last words were, “I’ll hold them off until you get [the wounded men] to safety.”

His commanding officer immediately nominated him for the Congressional Medal of Honor, but the General in charge of operations on Saipan incorrectly decided he was ineligible because he was a medical officer.

Captain Salomon received his undergraduate and dental degrees from the USC School of Dentistry, and it was due to the unwavering commitment of several USC alumni, most notably Dr. Robert West and others, including Major General Patrick D. Sculley (Ret), former Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army, and Chief of the Dental Corps, that the honor was bestowed on Captain Salomon 58 years later.

On May 1, 2002, President George W. Bush awarded Captain Salomon the Congressional Medal of Honor. Dr. West, representing the USC School of Dentistry, received the award on his behalf as sadly there were no living relatives to accept it. At the time of his retirement, Major General Sculley’s last official act on active duty was to present Captain Salomon’s medal to the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum (AMEDD) where it is currently on display.

American Friends of DVI will dedicate the evening of Sunday, November, 20, 2016 to Captain Salomon so that all will know and remember his courage and sacrifice. NBC News Military Analyst, Colonel Jack H. Jacobs (Ret.), a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient himself, will give the keynote address. His insight into what happens in battle and what is happening now, in our tumultuous world, offers a unique perspective which will be of much interest to DVI’s supporters.

Major General Sculley will also speak. He will help us understand how Captain Salomon’s incredible story evolved. A Q&A session with both speakers will take place following their presentations.

DVI founder Trudi Birger was a strong and courageous person who put others before herself, much like Captain Salomon. A Survivor of the Holocaust, Trudi vowed, “If I survive, I will do whatever I can to make sure that no children suffer the way I have.” With your support Trudi’s dream lives on. Please join us on November 20th to honor Captain Salomon and renew Trudi’s vow.

For more information and registration please visit the website of the American Friends of DVI.

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Premier Chairman Rabbi Gary Charlestein Visits DVI

Rabbi Gary Charlestein, Chairman of Premier left visited DVI to drop off yet another generous donation of requested supplies; pictured here with DVI clinic director Dr. Roy Petel center and (volunteering dentist) Dr. Sheldon Bernick right of Philadelphia. Rabbi Charlestein, also of Philadelphia, and Premier Dental Manufacturers are long time supporters of Dental Volunteers for Israel.Sheldon Bernick Roy Petel Gary Charlestein June 2016

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DVI visit to Finnish Embassy in Israel

Dr. Kristiina Rämö, Dr. Roy Petel, and Ambassador Leena-Kaisa Mikkola‏ at the Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Dr. Kristiina Rämö, Dr. Roy Petel, and Ambassador Leena-Kaisa Mikkola‏ at the Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

On April 13, 2016, DVI’s Director Dr. Roy Petel and DVI volunteer dentist Dr. Kristiina Rämö, and her spouse Professor Tapani Rämö visited the Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv. They met with Ambassador Leena-Kaisa Mikkola, who learned about DVI and was very interested. Dr. Rämö has been volunteering at DVI since 2006; other Finnish dentists have been volunteering at DVI since the 1980s. The ambassador expressed her desire to visit the clinic and see firsthand the treatments provided by the volunteer dentists to needy Jerusalem youth.

Drs Roy Petel and Kristiina Rämö at Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv

Drs Roy Petel and Kristiina Rämö at Finnish Embassy in Tel Aviv

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EAPD leaders visit DVI!

Monty Duggal DDS MDS PhD (UK) and Constantine J. Oulis MSc. PhD (Greece) of the EAPD at DVI

Monty Duggal DDS MDS PhD (UK) and Constantine J. Oulis MSc. PhD (Greece) of the EAPD at DVI

Representatives from the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry visited DVI on April 4th, 2016, to tour the clinic and learn more about volunteering while performing pediatric dentistry to a high standard.

The purpose of their visit to Israel was to give accreditation to the department of pediatric dentistry of Hadassah and the Hebrew University so that the program will be recognized in Europe.

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