It’s not every day a Jewish dentist meets the pope. But Dr. Dov (Sheldon) Sydney not only met Pope Francis, he presented the pontiff with a commemorative book and has a photo to remember the special moment. It’s safe to say that it’s an experience he’ll never forget.
Sydney made Aliyah more than 35 years ago and is a practicing periodontist in Ra’anana, Israel. A Baltimore native, Sydney attended Talmudical Academy of Baltimore.
He is the editor of International College of Dentists (ICD), an international dental journal. He is the published author of “Ignore Your Teeth And They’ll Go Away, The Complete Guide to Gum Disease” and he speaks at dental meetings around the world.
Sydney is reportedly the only dentist in Israel to have earned the prestigious title of fellow in both the American and International Colleges of Dentists honorary societies, a recognition bestowed on only 12 dentists worldwide.
Pope Francis hosted 72 members of the ICD at the Vatican. The group presented the Pope with a book, created exclusively for him, describing the ICD’s humanitarian work in Angola and the core values of the college.
“Fortunately, the Pope was most gracious in his praise for the College and visibly moved when seeing an example of the impact ICD projects have had on the relief of human suffering and improvement of oral health in hundreds of projects around the world,” Sydney said. “The Pope described it as ‘a very good initiative.’ It was very much appreciated.”
Anna Lippe is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer.