Dr. Joel Gelbman of New Jersey has volunteered at DVI twice in two years. We’re pretty sure he’s hooked and that’s great for Jerusalem’s kids!  For Dr. Gelbman, volunteering at DVI made him feel that he did a mitzvah. We’ll let you hear directly from him below. If you’re moved to volunteer, we’d love to have you.  You may learn more here.


I have been very privileged and lucky. I chose dentistry as a profession and it, in return, has treated me very well. At this stage of my life I decided that it was my turn to give something back; I now have the time and the opportunity and I’m doing it. My charitable and mission work has already taken me to Ecuador, Guatemala and Israel (not with DVI) to deliver dental care.

I became aware of DVI several years ago through communications with other dentists who were volunteering and very happy with their experiences. I completed my volunteer application and when DVI contacted me and asked about my availability, I jumped at the opportunity. What better place to volunteer than Israel?

The staff at DVI was very easy to work with and they were right on top of all the arrangements to be made for my trip. Everything went very smoothly.

Treating patients in the DVI facility was a great experience. The equipment is good, everything worked and there was no question about supplies being available. I did not have to drag trunks of supplies with me! The dental assistants were very well trained and qualified, and their help could not be better. I worked with Michal and there were times when I thought she did not need me. That’s how great she is!

What impressed me the most is that the care which is available to patients is consistent, so that patients are able to return for continued treatment. The result is that, yes, some of the patients had large carious lesions, but most of the patients were in remarkably good dental health. Sealants are a standard of care and there are hygienists maintaining the patients and educating them on home care. The results are obvious, these patients are doing better than any patients I have seen on previous missions in other countries.

The patients were cooperative and appreciated the treatment they were getting. They all thanked me for taking care of them when their appointment was completed. It made me feel that I did a mitzvah.

It was a great experience and being in Israel again (my 4th time) was a wonderful opportunity. You get plenty of free time to explore, see the sights, enjoy the culture and even extend your stay if you wish. I chose Purim as the time to go, so the parades and parties were never-ending. It was a great time to be in Israel and I look forward to returning and working with DVI again soon.

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

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