In March of 2015, Dr. Gisele Arnaud found herself volunteering at the DVI dental clinic for the first time. Here is her story.
It had taken me years to get there. I first visited the DVI clinic with a group of American dental students when the clinic’s founder Trudi Birger was there, in the early 1980’s. I loved her vision for the children of Jerusalem who were truly in need of dental care and treatment.
As the daughter of hidden-children Holocaust survivors, I appreciated Trudi’s (a survivor herself) generosity, dedication and perseverance in creating and developing this wonderful place. DVI is open and available to needy kids and young adults of all religions and ethnicities.
When I arrived at DVI I was greeted warmly and while there, was continuously guided on what to do and how to do it. I loved working with Michal, and all the dental assistants and staff are welcoming and wonderful! They are kind and dedicated professionals who feel their work at DVI is a part of their “purpose.”
Dr. Arnaud pictured with dental assistant Michal.
It was a great plus that I was able to share this enriching experience, both dentally and personally, with a dental colleague from Holland, Dr. Fredrik Kok who is quite dedicated to DVI. He has come to work there at least once a year for the last 20 or so years. He showed me “the ropes” and we shared fascinating conversations regarding Israel and dentistry around the world.
I lived in Israel for several years in the 1980’s and it was a pleasure to practice dentistry there once again and with just kids. In New York City my practice consists mainly of adults, so this was a welcome change. I was able to speak and polish up my Hebrew with DVI patients and staff.
Rediscovering Jerusalem, a special and most fascinating place, was also a gift. It has gotten even more beautiful!
I absolutely recommend volunteering at the DVI Trudi Birger Dental Clinic for any dentist who wants to share and experience joy, in Israel and in dentistry. What could be more gratifying than seeing children smile again?
I’ll be back, and I look forward to seeing dentists from all over the world (and the staff)!
Read more stories about DVI’s dentist volunteers and patients HERE.
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