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A Modern Aliyah - straight from the plane into a new business and private dental practice

Sometimes you have to do something crazy to create something remarkable.

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Abbe Kellner-Kutno has dreamed of moving to Israel. She grew up in a Zionist home, influenced by her parents and grandparents with reinforcement from her active involvement with Young Judaea. With each visit to Israel, came the yearning to make her visits permanent. Two years ago, she and her husband decided that time was slowly slipping away and adopted the “let’s do crazy to become remarkable” approach to their eventual Aliyah.

Dr. Kellner-Kutno is a planner and didn’t want to leave much to chance, so during a pilot trip in the summer of 2016, a friend suggested she reach out to a Raanana-based dentist, Dr. Dena Naeh. A quick cup of coffee together turned into several hours at the café. The two dentists were on the same page professionally, but Abbe had more research and planning to complete before making the big move.

Shortly after returning from the pilot trip, Abbe was at her sister in-law’s for Sukkot, there she met a former Raanana resident. The former-resident suggested that Abbe meet her friend, who was a Jerusalem-based dentist. When Abbe reached out, she expected to negotiate a mutually convenient meeting time which allowed for the seven-hour time difference between New York and Israel; instead, she learned that Dr. Anna Jotkowitz was actually spending the year in Boston. That weekend, Abbe drove four hours from New York to Boston to discuss a dental practice in Raanana only to discover that both dentists, Dr. Anna Jotkowitz and Dr. Dena Naeh, were already discussing a partnership with each other!

The meetings in the Raanana café,  then Boston solidified Abbe’s resolve that it was time to make the remarkable happen, as she had already found two potential compatriots for the professional side of this adventure.

When most people decide on extreme life changes, they choose to make one change at a time. Here, everything was aligning and Abbe knew she wanted to be part of a practice that reflected her personal and professional values in the country she loves. Dr. Kellner-Kutno stepped off the plane and walked straight into a new business that began even before she arrived! She embraced the changes necessary to leave her comfortable life in New York and start anew. After all,  the signs were pointing her in the same direction: if she wanted to do something remarkable, then she needed to embrace something a bit crazy.

She is eager to continue building a new practice with two like-minded individuals, while fulfilling the dream of Aliyah alongside her husband and 12 year old daughter (her two eldest children having made Aliyah independently).

In just a few short weeks, a practice that has incubated for less than a year will become a reality for the local Raanana community. Raanana Dental Care will open its doors to three dentists, who will continue to build something remarkable together.


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