Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dental Volunteers For Israel

Dr. Michael GoldbergDr. Goldberg, belongs to one of the coaching groups that I work with. I just found out this past weekend what awesome work that he is doing outside of his own practice and thought that it was worthy of sharing. The following is a brief synopsis of how he began working with Dental Volunteers for Israel and a letter of a success story of one of the children who received treatment in the clinic.

Dr. Goldberg, first met Trudi Birger in 1984. A friend had spent the previous summer on a Kibbutz, working 3 days a week as a Dentist. I thought it was a great opportunity. When he looked into the program, he was told it was discontinued. Following a suggestion that a newly formed children's clinic in Jerusalem may be interested in his services, he contacted Trudi. That summer, he began doing volunteer work for DVI. Today he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Friends of Dental Volunteers for Israel as the Vice-President.


February 18, 2010

Last Thursday, I had a most entertaining and inspirational meeting with Dr. Nedal Alayyan in a café in Jerusalem. Nedal, now 33, as a child was a patient at DVI. He was inspired to go to dental school by DVI, his older brother who is a Surgeon and by is Mother who encouraged him. He went to school in The Ukraine, where his education cost about $2,000 a year. The whole family chipped in to help pay his way.

Nedal loves DVI and whenever there’s an opening in the clinic, he comes to volunteer. He told me that he received the best dental treatment at DVI and that many of the fillings he had placed there are still in his mouth. His only complaint regarding DVI is that he would love to volunteer more but because of our successful Volunteer program, he’s not needed that often. Nedal said that if he could, he would love to volunteer once a week!

Nedal told me that when he came back to Jerusalem from Ukraine, he told his mother that he wanted to go to Practice in the US, where ho could make a lot of money. His Mother nixed the idea, saying that he’s not to go and should stay in Jerusalem with his family. Nedal, now married and with an 18 month old daughter doesn’t regret his decision to honor his Mother’s wishes. She passed away a few years ago and he thinks of her often as he named his daughter after her.

Nedal’s story is the essence of DVI’s success. Nedal embodies the success that we have as a dental program. Not only have we inspired thousands of volunteer Dentists and friends, we’ve also inspired patients to become Dentists. Nedal’s story also tells of the diversity of the DVI family. This story is less well known to those who have not worked in the Clinic. This story needs to be told. During these difficult times stories such as this give hope for the future. Only through interactions stimulated by places such as DVI can we hope to foster understanding and friendship between peoples of diverse backgrounds, religions and nationalities.

Nedal’s story, which embodies the true nature of DVI, its diverse patients and volunteers needs to be told. In the Middle East such stories are all too rare. As the Chairman of DVI’s 30th Anniversary Gala this coming March 28th, I have invited Dr. Alayyan to be our guest and to receive special recognition for his efforts on behalf of the children of Jerusalem. Please join me and the DVI family in welcoming Nedal and thanking our other honorees, Steve Kess of Henry Schein, Ran Tuttnauer of Tuttnauer Int’l and Dr. Allen Helfer, President of American Friends of DVI at the Gala Dinner on November 28th 2010. Please log onto our website at for information and to make a reservation or email me the office at

If you are willing to join the Dinner Committee, please email me directly at
Michael Goldberg, Chair, 30th Anniversary Gala

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