Marcus, Shelley, Naomi Josman, and Sharon Zlotnik. “Affirmative Action in Israel: Access to Academia for the Ultra-Orthodox Community.” Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 62.1 (2015): 21-26.
This article explores the development of a unique, culturally sensitive, designated academic occupational therapy programme for the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) minority in Israel. This normative university environment did not provide the opportunity for Haredi participation due to the lack of consideration of the strong commitment to a modest way of life of this community. This prevented their participation in academia and resultant employment that are necessary for economic advancement of the community.
A follow-up survey that tracked the programme’s graduates’ participation in the workforce was used to determine the success of the initial goal of the establishment of the designated programme.
Slightly above 97% of the respondents worked as occupational therapists during the first year after completing their bachelor’s degree. The employment data obtained from the graduates showed that the central goal of the Council of Higher Education has been achieved. The designated culturally adapted occupational therapy programme has provided varied employment opportunities for its graduates in diverse professional environments.
With the implementation of this programme, the occupational therapy department of the University of Haifa has created greater accessibility of the profession to both the occupational therapy providers and the recipients of occupational therapy intervention as well as serve as a model for other communities.