Yulia Medovar began volunteering at DVI in in the Fall of 2000, after the beginning of the Intifada, when foreign dentists stopped coming to Israel because of the danger. Yulia lives in Beit Nachalut, in Gush Etzion, and back at that time the drive to Jerusalem was dangerous, with rock throwing and so on, but Yulia was determined to get to DVI, where she was needed. Over time, Yulia connected to DVI, to the purpose and mission of Trudi Birger. She deeply cares about the kids. Yulia is an Olah from the Ukraine; she came with her husband to Israel in 1995, after finishing their degrees. Her husband, Dr. Alon Zhabokritsky, is also a dentist, who has volunteered at DVI during the pandemic as well. Yulia was deeply inspired and moved by Trudi Birger, and all of her incredible efforts. As a result of Trudi, and of seeing generations grow up and learning self-confidence, studying, improving themselves – Yulia witnessed the amazing power of DVI to enable youth to escape the cycle of poverty. Three dental assistants (two Ethiopians Brook and Salomon and one who also works at DVI – Enya) she works with were once patients at DVI. This is way to really help people – taking kids like these three, who had nothing, who weren’t even able to dream of dental care, never mind a career, ended up with both, and all three also decided to serve in the army and give back to the country. They learned to care for themselves, and that they were worthy.
After Trudi’s passing, Yulia decided to dedicate herself to DVI and to continue volunteering. “When you donate money and you don’t know where it goes, it’s one thing. When you see who you’re helping, and the change it makes in them, it is so powerful. It gives both dentists and patients inspiration – we’re making a better world here at DVI.”
Yulia and Alon, shown here with recent patients, have been volunteering during the pandemic, to fill in for foreign volunteers. Her patient Yisrael turns 21 on Sukkot 2020. He lives in Bayit V’Gan and studies in yeshiva. He is from an UltraOrthodox family from Kiryat Gat, and has two brothers and sisters. His siblings in Kiryat Gat are not able to receive dental treatment at all. His parents are still together and they are proud of him for studying at the Omrei Dat yeshiva; he hopes to be a rabbi one day. He likes being treated at DVI and is grateful to be able to get dental care. “Dental care is too expensive – what if there’s a need for it? People can’t afford it. It should be basic care.”