Dr. Sue Gross is a member of the Board of Directors of AFDVI and a DVI dentist volunteer who makes the trip from Minnesota to Jerusalem every year to treat poor children and youth. Read her volunteer story below.


Access to dental care is a global problem that has no borders. It is a problem in my home city of Minneapolis, Minnesota and across the world. It is the responsibility of all of us to do what we can to help solve this complex issue.

At DVI, volunteers can concentrate on caring for our community while embracing differences in nationality, languages, customs, and political and religious beliefs. Every time I travel to Jerusalem and volunteer at DVI, I am reminded that people have more similarities than differences and that we can learn so much from each other. Not only am I fortunate to be able to do the work I love to help improve the health and comfort of the patients at DVI, but I also am able work side-by-side and share knowledge and ideas with people from all over the world. Everyone who has been associated with DVI agrees that we gain far more than we give…one smile at a time.

I first learned about DVI when I was at a Minnesota Dental Association meeting almost 20 years ago. Recognition was given to a Minnesota dentist for his exemplary community service by providing dental care for patients at DVI over many years. After the presentation, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. John Bengtson and in speaking with him I learned more about DVI. I tucked the information in the back of my mind and thought, “Someday I am going to volunteer at DVI.” Years later, fate put Dr. Bengtson and me on a dental committee together in Minneapolis. We spoke further about DVI and he gave me a copy of Trudi Birger’s book. I knew it was time for me to travel to Jerusalem and volunteer at DVI.

In 2008, Mayor Lupolianski of Jerusalem honored Dr. Bengtson for his service to the community of Jerusalem. Dr. Bengtson was also recently honored at the DVI 35th Anniversary Gala. (Please see the article “DVI’s 35 Anniversary Gala: An Evening of Smiles”)

Thank you to Dr. Bengtson and the many others who have inspired, cared, volunteered, donated and helped to continue Trudi’s work.

Let’s work together to continue the life-changing work of the clinic. Donors and volunteers come together as a team to help DVI do more every day. Please click on the link in our bio to make a gift today, or visit www.americanfriendsofdvi.org/volunteer to schedule your week at DVI.

Read more stories about DVI’s patients and dentist volunteers HERE.

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