Our History

Our History

In the early 1980’s, Dr. Isaac “Izy” Perle, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and  instructor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, was visiting Jerusalem. During a trip to a local school, he was overwhelmed by the number of children with unhealthy, discolored and crooked teeth. The need for a dental clinic in Jerusalem became clear to him.

His journey had begun.

A person of great caring and warmth, with uncharacteristic chutzpah, Dr. Perle wrote to the late, legendary mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, to ask for help. To his utter surprise, Mayor Kollek responded with a willingness to assist by offering him a building, rent-free, in a Jerusalem neighborhood, Bucharim. He began to form relationships with various dental schools in the Israel and the United States to help make his vision become a reality.

Dr. Perle set up the clinic, hired a staff, and began the quest to seek operating support. He envisioned a clinic that would serve all children and their families, regardless of their ability to pay.

Helping to bring his dream to fruition were members of the Slome family of South Africa, They provided generous support in honor of their mother Luba Slome, the first Jewish woman dentist to graduate from Poland’s University of Warsaw Dental School. The Israel United Appeal of South Africa was also instrumental in helping to create and maintain the clinic. For more than 30 years, the Luba Slome Center and its staff, together with Dr. Perle, a small board of directors and a core of donors, has enabled dental care to be provided to many of Jerusalem’s neediest families.