Tsour Shriqui, CEO of Dream Doctors

A Dream Doctor medical clown comforting a patient.

A Dream Doctor medical clown comforting a patient.

In the Talmud, we read “when the month of Adar arrives, happiness increases.” With next week’s celebration of Purim (during the Hebrew month of Adar II), we are excited to feature an organization that brings joy to more than 200,000 hospitalized patients per year through therapeutic medical clowns in Israel.

Read our interview below with CEO Tsour Shriqui. 

What is the mission of Dream Doctors?

Promote medical clowning as an officially-recognized medical para-profession, through proper academic training, so that every hospitalized child will benefit from Dream Doctor’s therapeutic medical clowns.

How did you get involved with Dream Doctors?

My father founded the organization in 2002 so I was raised with the values of giving and helping others. Dream Doctors perfectly encompasses these values, bringing healing through the art of clowning, by making medical clowns an inseparable part of the medical staff in hospitals across Israel.

What has surprised you about working with Dream Doctors?

One of the most exciting things for me has been to see the openness of the therapeutic treatment staff in Israel who have welcomed the medical clowns and integrated them into their teams. Today over 40 different medical procedures are done routinely with a medical clown as a recognized part of the treatment team, something that is not seen anywhere else in the world.

How would you connect your organization to a Jewish value?

It is our job to always see the glass half-full and connect people. Medical clowning touches precisely these points to give people a place to express themselves and find their healthy side. Clowning is a universal, non-verbal language. In our activities in hospitals in Israel and in missions around the world, the medical clowns use these tools and find a cross-cultural common denominator that brings everyone together.

What has inspired you in the work that you are doing?

I am motivated by the desire to correct the injustice of children being in hospitals. Children should be playing and flourishing in supportive and enriching environments. We try to keep their natural routine for them, even while in the hospital for long periods of time.

What’s a story about Dream doctors that is meaningful to you?

After collaborating on humanitarian activities in disaster areas with the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps, in 2016 the IDF officially recognized Dream Doctor's medical clowns as reservists in the Field Hospital Unit.

What's the best part of your job and why?

The best part is to go out into the field and see the Dream Doctors in action, and to see a parent's smile and know that for a few moments they can relax and not be worried all the time about their child.

What are some non-monetary ways for others to get involved in your organization or cause?

We invite everyone to be an ambassador of the Dream Doctors, helping us to spread our unique knowledge throughout the world. Our friends and partners can bring us to their communities, organizations, and institutions for professional training, lectures, and workshops. And we welcome all to visit us here in Israel and see what the medical clowns do in the hospitals. We also recommend following us on social media (@dreamdoctorsproject) and registering for our monthly newsletter on our website (dreamdoctors.org.il).

To learn more about Dream Doctors visit http://dreamdoctors.org.il.

Amy Benarroch