New Article: Jäppinen et al, Collaborativeness as the Core of Professional Learning Communities

Jäppinen, Aini-Kristiina, Martine Leclerc, and Dorit Tubin. “Collaborativeness as the Core of Professional Learning Communities beyond Culture and Context: Evidence from Canada, Finland, and Israel.” School Effectiveness and School Improvement (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2015.1067235

 

Abstract

Professional learning communities (PLC) have been widely accepted as effective with respect to good atmosphere, adequate leadership practices, and functional working practices. However, the outcomes for school improvement depend on case-specific issues. To identify less culturally and contextually bound issues in 3 PLC settings in Canada, Finland, and Israel, we examined our cases through the notion of “collaborativeness”. It refers to a systematic and shared process consisting of efforts, ideas, and activities that aim at achieving synergy. By combining the 3 data sets and applying a special model, we were able to distinguish, through qualitative content analysis, ingredients of collaborativeness beyond culture and context that we consider particularly essential. The crucial factor proved to be a dynamic relationship between mutual and deep learning, realized through 5 different ways. We further believe that our results could serve other organizations striving for school improvement in other kinds of cultural and contextual settings.

 

 

New Article: Paikowsky et al, Trends in Space Activities in 2014: The Significance of the Space Activities of Governments

Paikowsky, Deganit, Gil Baram, and Isaac Ben-Israel. “Trends in Space Activities in 2014 The Significance of the Space Activities of Governments.” Acta Astronautica (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.10.007

 

Abstract

This article addresses the principal events of 2014 in the field of space activities, and extrapolates from them the primary trends that can be identified in governmental space activities. In 2014, global space activities centered on two vectors. The first was geopolitical, and the second relates to the matrix between increasing commercial space activities and traditional governmental space activities. In light of these two vectors, the article outlines and analyzes trends of space exploration, human spaceflights, industry and technology, cooperation versus self-reliance, and space security and sustainability. It also reviews the space activities of the leading space-faring nations.

 

 

Dissertation: Wooten, Gender Integration into the Military

Wooten, Jeff. Gender Integration into the Military: A Meta-Analysis of Norway, Canada, Israel, and the United States, EdD Dissertation, University of New England, 2015.
 
URL: http://dune.une.edu/theses/33/
 
Abstract

Over the past 15 years, the Global War on Terrorism has necessitated an examination of the military’s practices and the way that they meet the complexities of new and different types of war and tactics. Vital to this examination are policies related to the inclusion and deployment of women in combat. Burba stated war is not a setting for social testing, but the American Military must embrace the social subtleties of gender differences in an effort to meet the Armed Services requirement for an ever-changing asymmetrical battlefield. This study compares and contrasts the American current policy divergent to three other countries’ policies that have successfully integrated women into combat: Norway, Canada, and Israel. Through this examination, an opportunity to recognize gaps in training and procedural information that are most important to the successful implementation in the United States is revealed. The scientific data, although supporting the fact that physiological differences exist between men and women, were not supported in the argument that all women should be excluded from combat units. In all case studies, it was found that women who volunteered for combat assignments performed equally as well as their male counterparts without degradation of operational readiness or a lower unity of cohesion. However, I was not surprised that the leaders of the three counties observed that the successful integration of women into combat units is not about changing a culture. It is simply a leadership issue.

 

 

Conference Program: APHA, Chicago, November 2015

Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Chicago, 2015

Papers related to Israel:

 

Daoud, Nihaya. “Challenges for Maternal and Child Health Research in The Bedouin Indigenous Minority In Israel.” November 2, 2015, 8:50am.

This presentation focuses on the challenges and opportunities of maternal and child health research among Indigenous Arab Bedouin mothers in Israel.

Bedouins are Israeli citizens who have been living in the south for many decades. They are Israel’s most economically deprived minority and have poor health status. Bedouin infants have higher morbidity and mortality rates compared to their counterparts.

We conducted this study in 2007-2008 to better understand maternal experiences of infant care while drawing on social-ecological approaches to raise Bedouin mothers’ voices and inform policy and interventions.

Multiple factors embedded in Bedouins’ political and historical context complicate research, mainly land disputes with Israeli governments, changes in societal socioeconomic structure from monadic to semi-urban, and socio-cultural transitions including family structure and gender relations. Israeli governments do not recognize Bedouins as an indigenous minority, 40% of them live in legally unrecognized villages with houses that are continually threatened with demolition. These villages lack basic infrastructure including water, electricity, primary care clinics and social services. Conducting research among Bedouins requires building trust and recognizing their health and human rights while understanding their complex political, historical, and social contexts. Building on local knowledge is crucial and requires outstanding research methods. Other issues include attaining ethics approval, maintaining confidentiality, and overcoming language barriers as mothers lack basic reading and writing skills. Funding opportunities and scholarly publication requires additional effort and time. Recognizing these challenges might provide an opportunity for more advanced research among Bedouins and other indigenous populations.

 

Shapiro, Ephraim and Irit Elroy. “Mental Health Care Utilization Among the Most Traditionally Religious Jews and Muslims in Israel in an Era of Reform.” November 3, 2015, 2:30pm.

Background: Israel recently implemented mental healthcare system policy reform, with uncertain impact on utilization among subgroups. The most traditionally religious segments of Israeli society, including both Jews and Muslims,  have distinctive attitudes, behaviors and demographics, all of which can impact mental healthcare usage and the reform’s success. Prior research found some underutilization among the most religious Israelis despite universal health insurance ,  for reasons such as stigma,   yet the topic has been understudied.

Research Questions: 1) To what extent do Haredi/ultraorthodox Jews and traditional Arab Muslims in Israel seek and/or receive mental healthcare 2) Do results vary by key subgroups including religion and socioeconomic status?  3)What interventions can potentially be developed to increase use of needed mental health services among religious groups?

Methodology/Results: A random-sample survey of health utilization among all Israelis conducted in 2013 was analyzed. Outcomes included Mental healthcare utilization measures and attitudinal measures related to potential barriers. Religious group was categorized by self-report. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed using health, religious, and socioeconomic factors. Chi-square statistics were produced. Over 2000 Israelis were surveyed including 275 Haredi/ultraorthodox  Jews and 225 traditional Muslims.  Variations were found by some but not all religious and socioeconomic subgroups. In addition, key informant interviews with religious, community and medical leaders were conducted and faith-based intervention opportunities identified

Conclusions:  Culturally-sensitive interventions can potentially be developed to increase appropriate mental health care utilization for religious Israelis. This issue is particularly timely after mental health reform when opportunities to change relevant attitudes and behaviors exist.

 

Shapira, Stav, Limor Aharonson-Daniel,Yaron Bar-Dayan, Deanna Sykes, and Bruria Adini. “Is Earthquake Preparedness a Generic Achievement? Similarities and Differences between Preparedness of Canadian and Israeli Hospital Personnel.” November 3, 2015, 4:30pm.

Background: Healthcare workers (HCW) willingness to report to work (WTR) during a disaster is essential to implementing an efficient response. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this matter may contribute to reduced absenteeism in future disasters. Assessing preparedness and WTR in an earthquake scenario, in different social contexts and preparedness approaches (Canada and Israel) may shed light on the complexity of these issues.

Objectives: 1) To assess knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and WTR of HCW in Canada and Israel concerning earthquakes and 2) To evaluate the relationship between these factors and WTR.

Methods: A validated questionnaire including questions about demographic characteristics, knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and WTR in an earthquake scenario was distributed in two tertiary care hospitals located in risk regions, to a random sample of 131 Israeli and 381 Canadian HCW.

Results: Knowledge, perceptions of efficacy, as well as WTR were generally higher among Israeli HCWs. ‘Concern for family’s well-being’ and ‘professional commitment to care’ were reported by the largest proportion of HCW as factors that might influence WTR. Significant predictors of WTR amongst both Israeli and Canadian HCW were the belief that ‘colleagues will also report to work’ and ‘professional commitment’.

Conclusions: Significant differences were found in levels of knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and WTR in an earthquake scenario between Israeli and Canadian HCW. Social and professional solidarity seems to be cross-cultural factors that mitigate other potential barriers to WTR. This may help formulate new methods of improving hospital personnel preparedness to future events.

 

Shapiro, Ephraim and Rachel Nisanholtz. “Community Nurses and Chronic Disease in Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Analysis.” November 4, 2015, 11:00am.

Background: The growing worldwide trend of chronic disease harms not only the public’s health but increases costs. Public health and other community nurses can play important roles in its prevention and control. These nurses can play vital roles in advancing national health system objectives. However, despite this there has been inadequate comparative study of community nurses’ role in preventing and controlling chronic disease.

Objectives: 1)What roles do public health and other community nurses play for  chronic disease prevention and control? 2)What trends and related challenges exist for these nurses in terms of chronic disease prevention and control? 3)How do these nurses’ roles, trends and challenges vary across Israel, the U.S., and the U.K and what lessons can be learned?

Methodology:  Key informant interviews and a comprehensive literature review were performed and themes related to the objectives analyzed. An average of 10 interviews was performed among nursing leaders and/or academic experts in each of the three countries.

Key Findings/Conclusions: The role of nurses in non-hospital settings has grown rapidly; further growth is expected to occur, with variations by type of nurse. They have a multiplicity of roles and can reach a wide variety of groups. There are important implications for reducing health disparities as nurses can play important roles in monitoring social determinants. While there is much overlap, important differences exist between community nurses in different settings; countries can learn from each other’s successes and challenges although contextual differences such as cultural, institutional, and policy and differences need to be understood.

New Article: Barker, Confronting Imperialism and Colonialism in Israel and Canada

Barker, Adam J. “No Walls, No Borders: Confronting Imperialism and Colonialism in Israel and Canada.” Social Movement Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2015.1070340

 

Abstract
Review essay of two books, Anarchists against the Wall, edited by Uri Gordon and Ohal Grietzer, and Undoing Border Imperialism
, by Harsha Walia.

 

 

New Article: Pförtner et al, Family Affluence and Smoking among 15-year-old Adolescents

Pförtner, Timo-Kolja, Irene Moor, Katharina Rathmann, Anne Hublet, Michal Molcho, Anton E. Kunst, and Matthias Richter. “The Association between Family Affluence and Smoking among 15-year-old Adolescents in 33 European Countries, Israel and Canada: The Role of National Wealth.” Addiction 110.1 (2015): 162-73.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.12741

 

Abstract

Aims

To examine the role of national wealth in the association between family affluence and adolescent weekly smoking, early smoking behaviour and weekly smoking among former experimenters.

Design and Participants

Data were used from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study conducted in 2005/2006 in 35 countries from Europe and North America that comprises 60 490 students aged 15 years. Multi-level logistic regression was conducted using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods (MCMC) to explore whether associations between family affluence and smoking outcomes were dependent upon national wealth.

Measurement

Family Affluence Scale (FAS) as an indicator for the socio-economic position of students. Current weekly smoking behaviour is defined as at least weekly smoking (dichotomous). Early smoking behaviour is measured by smoking more than a first puff before age 13 years (dichotomous). Weekly smoking among former experimenters is restricted to those who had tried a first puff in the past.

Findings

The logistic multi-level models indicated an association of family affluence with current weekly smoking [odds ratio (OR) = 1.088; 95% credible interval (CrI) = 1.055–1.121, P < 0.001], early smoking behaviour (OR = 1.066; CrI = 1.028–1.104, P < 0.001) and smoking among former experimenters (OR = 1.100; CrI = 1.071–1.130; P < 0.001). Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was associated positively and significantly with the relationship between family affluence and current weekly smoking (OR = 1.005; CrI = 1.003–1.007; P < 0.001), early smoking behaviour (OR = 1.003; CrI = 1.000–1.005; P = 0.012) and smoking among former experimenters (OR = 1.004; CrI = 1.002–1.006; P < 0.001). The association of family affluence and smoking outcomes was significantly stronger for girls.

Conclusions

The difference in smoking prevalence between rich and poor is greater in more affluent countries.

New Article: Haklai and Norwich, Exclusion of Minority Ethnonational Parties in Israel and Canada

Haklai, Oded, and Liora Norwich. “Bound by Tradition: The Exclusion of Minority Ethnonational Parties from Coalition Governments—A Comparison of Israel and Canada.” Ethnopolitics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2015.1052612

 

Abstract

Attempts to build a coalition government whose survival depends on support from ethnic minority parties have resulted in both Canada and Israel in widespread public disapproval and political turmoil. In turn, such arrangements have been deemed untenable even though otherwise powerful political elites had an interest in minority party inclusion. The comparable outcomes in these two cases are intriguing because the two parliamentary democracies differ in general characteristics that much of the scholarship claims should produce different outcomes, including the electoral system, conceptions of national identity, and regional environment. Using the most different systems method, with a similar value on the study variable but with dissimilar background conditions, we argue that inherited political traditions in both countries engendered widespread perceptions that minority party inclusion diverged from the ‘appropriate way of doing politics’ and was thus unacceptable.

New Article: O’Rourke et al, Reminiscence Functions and the Health of Israeli Holocaust Survivors

O’Rourke, Norm, Yaacov G. Bachner, Philippe Cappeliez, Habib Chaudhury, and Sara Carmel. “Reminiscence Functions and the Health of Israeli Holocaust Survivors as Compared to Other Older Israelis and Older Canadians.” Aging & Mental Health 19.4 (2015): 335-46.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2014.938607

 

Abstract

Objectives: Existing research with English-speaking samples indicates that various ways in which older adults recall their past affect both their physical and mental health. Self-positive reminiscence functions (i.e. identity, problem-solving, death preparation) correlate and predict mental health in later life whereas self-negative functions (i.e. bitterness revival, boredom reduction, intimacy maintenance) correlate and predict the physical health of older adults.

Method: For this study, we recruited 295 Israeli Holocaust survivors to ascertain if early life trauma affects these associations between reminiscence and health. In order to distinguish cross-national differences from survivor-specific effects, we also recruited two comparative samples of other older Israelis (not Holocaust survivors; n = 205) and a second comparative sample of 335 older Canadians. Three separate structural equation models were computed to replicate this tripartite reminiscence and health model.

Results: Coefficients for self-negative functions significantly differed between survivors and both Canadians and other older Israelis, and between Canadians and both Israeli samples. However, no differences were found between prosocial and self-positive functions. Moreover, the higher order structure of reminiscence and health appears largely indistinguishable across these three groups.

Conclusion: Early life trauma does not appear to fundamentally affect associations between reminiscence and health. These findings underscore the resilience of Holocaust survivors.

Cite: Abu-Laban and Bakan, Canada, the Israel/Palestine Conflict, and the Surveillance of Public Discourse

Abu-Laban, Yasmeen & Abigail B. Bakan. “After 9/11: Canada, the Israel/Palestine Conflict, and the Surveillance of Public Discourse.”  Canadian Journal of Law and Society 27.3 (2012): 319-339.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/canadian_journal_of_law_and_society/v027/27.3.abu-laban.html

 

Abstract

Since September 11, 2001, a growing body of scholarship has traced the intensification of surveillance in countries of the industrialized West. However, less attention has been paid to analyzing the impact of surveillance of discourse, particularly public discourse normally considered a hallmark of liberal democratic freedoms of speech and association. In this article we consider the case of Canadian public discourse and illustrate how surveillance has intensified in relation to freedom of expression regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict. Drawing on accounts from media, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), we highlight notable moments in the Canadian state’s deepening ties with Israel, tracing direct intervention in public discourse concerning the Israel/Palestine conflict. The regulation of public discourse on the part of state and non-state actors in Canada is aimed to influence universities, civil society events, access to meetings and events with international speakers, and even the expressions of NGOs abroad. In addition, the regulation of public discourse has impacted the securitization of borders, immigration, and surveillance in light of an ascribed "terrorist threat." This has resulted in a new and distinct pattern of surveillance—or watching—of words, loyalty, and organizations, according to their presumed political views concerning the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Cite: Greyson, Pinkface

Greyson, John. “Pinkface.” Camera Obscura 27.2 (2012): 145-53.

URL: http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/content/27/2_80/145.abstract

Abstract

This article presents case studies of two recent Toronto actions protesting Israeli apartheid, as seen through queer eyes: the 2009 Toronto Declaration, a petition with thousands of signatures that condemned the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) collaboration with the Israeli consulate’s marketing campaign “Brand Israel” in the presentation of a city-to-city spotlight on Tel Aviv cinema (known as the Tel Aviv Spotlight); and the 2010 Pride Awards Give-Back, in which twenty-two recipients of various Pride Toronto awards from the past ten years gave back their awards in protest against the banning from the city’s Pride parade of the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.

Greyson recounts his experiences as an active participant in both actions: with the former, he pulled his short film Covered from TIFF in protest against the Tel Aviv Spotlight; while with the latter, he gave back his Arts and Culture award, which he had received the previous year. His account explores the tactics and strategies that made these actions effective. In particular, he deconstructs the arguments commonly used by the Zionist lobby on queers, revealing the contradictions and fabrications that are resorted to by those groups convinced that queers should side uncritically with Israel on all issues, simply because of Israel’s recent pro-gay stances on various issues.

The central portion of “Pinkface” presents Greyson’s response to the op-eds and full-page ads of noted Canadian producer Robert Lantos, who repeatedly accused the Toronto Declaration signators of being blacklisters, censors, and fascists (among other choice terms). By deconstructing Lantos’s accusations one by one, Greyson in turn reveals the specific tactics that distinguish this current boycott movement from past efforts, be they in South Africa, Chile, or India.

Cite: Kaplan, Enforcement of Divorce Judgments in Jewish Courts in Israel

Kaplan, Yehiel S. “Enforcement of Divorce Judgments in Jewish Courts in Israel: The Interaction Between Religious and Constitutional Law.” Middle East Law and Governance 4.1 (2012): 1-68.

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/melg/2012/00000004/00000001/art00001

Abstract

In the State of Israel, Rabbinical courts are granted sole jurisdiction in the adjudication of marriage and divorce of Jews. In these courts, the husband presents the divorce writ of Jews, the get, to his wife on the occasion of their divorce at the end of the adjudication process. When Jews sue for divorce in Rabbinical courts, the courts occasionally determine that the man should grant his wife a get or that the wife should accept the get granted by her husband. Sometimes one spouse disobeys the ruling. Although the Rabbinical courts occasionally impose sanctions in an attempt to enforce divorce judgments, they are generally reluctant to do so. The implementation of inappropriate measures can lead to the conclusion that a given divorce is in fact a legally ineffectual coerced divorce. Consequently, the Jewish courts occasionally delay the imposition of these sanctions out of concern that inappropriate coercive measures invalidate the get, rendering the couple still legally married. The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled, though, that the Rabbinical courts in Israel should act in light of the constitutional principles in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom. However, the Supreme Court of Israel has not clearly or specifically addressed the balance between the rights and obligations of the husband and wife in the process of enforcing divorce judgments, neither before nor after the enactment of the of the two important constitutional Basic Laws enacted in 1992. A detailed policy analysis of the sanctions against recalcitrant spouses in Rabbinical courts in Israel—in light of the principles of Jewish and constitutional law in the country—has not yet been undertaken. The aim of this essay is therefore to present the appropriate formula pertaining to the imposition of sanctions against recalcitrant spouses given the principles of Jewish and constitutional law. The formula is presented in light of constitutional law in Israel. However, it is also applicable in other countries with similar constitutional legislation, such as Canada, where legislation sometimes allows for the civil enforcement of Jewish divorce.