amidSHALVA takes great pride in our diversity and community of inclusion. Our SHALVA families, as well as our friends around the world, may differ in many ways, but they are brought together in their support of SHALVA and our mission. One of SHALVA’s most special supporters, leading the charge in interfaith friendship, is Amid Ismail, Dean of the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University, who has become a dear friend of SHALVA.

Amid, together with Steve Kess, Vice President of Global Professional Relations at Henry Schein Dental, are leading the establishment of an Oral Hygiene Wellness Center at the new National SHALVA Center. This project will position SHALVA as an international leader in innovative program development and optimal care in oral hygiene and wellness for individuals with disabilities.

Amid explained that his visit to SHALVA greatly changed his perspective. While he always understood that one must help special- needs children, it was only after his visit that he realized SHALVA’s true potential and felt the enormous amount of love and hope that emanates from SHALVA. He is firm in his belief that helping these special children is essential to creating a better quality of life for all.

We feel humbled by Dr. Ismail’s friendship and honored by his participation with SHALVA and we look forward to a long and beautiful partnership.

Amid wrote this moving poem about SHALVA – well worth the read

The House at the Gate of Heaven

I visited a house like no other
The angels roam happily forever
They take care of children in need
Who do not differentiate between human deeds
Yet they have a feeling of joy
Enjoying simple acts that others forgot
The fish in a tank can excite their senses
A swim ignites their joy
Music awakens their souls with laughter
Their view of life is refreshing
They do not look at the color of your face
Nor religion nor faith
Nothing material matters to them
They only look at your heart
And that all that matters in life
The lesson is simple in the house at the Gate of Heaven
Our free souls should guide us to see the heaven inside and
Guide our eyes to see the beauty in the angels around
The House at the Gate can only by seen by the lucky ones whose souls are free