We know more about the experiences of trauma, despair, and abuse of asylum seekers and refugees than we do of their resilience, strength, and active struggle to survive and succeed. This article explores stories narrated by asylum seekers from Darfur, Sudan, currently residing in Israel, to learn about their forms and sources of strength, resilience, and coping mechanisms. In-depth, semi-structured group interviews were conducted in Hebrew and in English with eight single men, aged between the ages 27 and 38, who had lived in Israel for between four and seven years. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the data analyzed by analytic induction and constant comparison strategies. Six factors were identified, from the interviewees’ perspective, as contributing to their resilience: cognitive coping strategies, behavioral coping strategies, the ability to work, the ability to study and educate oneself, the support of family and friends, and social and political activism. This study corroborates existing literature by identifying personal strategies and social support as important to resilience of refugees; however, and unlike other studies, we did not find religion as an important factor from our interviewees’ perspective. We have thus expanded the existing literature by identifying the ability to work and the ability to study as important factors contributing to the resilience of refugees.
Shalev, Ofra, Nehami Baum, and Haya Itzhaky. “Religious Identity in Transition. Processes of Change in the Religious Identity of Young Religious Jewish Newlyweds in Israel.” The Family Journal 24.2 (2015): 132-9.
When researchers started to explore the cultural context of marriage, studies about how religious beliefs act within the marriage context have emerged. Most studies focused on Christian population, exploring how religiosity shape the nature of the marital relationship. The present study, however, examined the religious dynamics in one’s religious identity as a result of the transition to matrimony. Using qualitative tools, we interviewed 18 young Israeli Jewish Orthodox couples during their first year of marriage. The study exposes that although both partners come from the same religious group, the transition to marriage creates significant changes in their self-religious identity.
Almost all developed countries provide some answers for long term care, but only a few countries in the world such as Japan, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, and Israel have implemented Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) based on legislation and entitlement principles. In Israel, community-based LTCI social program has achieved multiple goals and considerably improved the life of frail older people. However, some studies show that despite the rising costs of home care and the mandatory and almost universal nature of LTCI there are still cases where people with AD and other types of dementia or their relatives vacillate or even decline to make use of their rights. We examined the question of whether these patterns may reflect the presence of welfare stigma, i.e., stigmatized views of LTCI, either related to identity stigma of persons with AD or to treatment stigma, usually associated to welfare bureaucracy. Based on a qualitative design, this article uses a methodology of personal in depth and focus group triangulation, by which the views of three groups of stakeholders are explored and compared: persons with AD, relatives and professionals. Findings showed the presence of stigmatic self images among persons with AD or other types of dementia, the absence of such images in relatives’ and professionals’ views of them, and of LTCI. However treatment stigma was found to be primarily associated with eligibility determination procedures. The study concludes that LTCI, even when mandated and almost universal may also generate welfare stigma due to the ways in which it is implemented.
Paul-Binyamin, Ilana, and Shahar Gindi. “Autonomy and Religious Education: Lessons from a Six-Year Evaluation of an Educational Reform in an Israeli School Network.” British Journal of Religious Education (early view; online first).
This study investigated the tension that exists between promoting an educational agenda and practising an educational approach which emphasises autonomy within the framework of religious education. Our main thesis is that every educational deed contains a dialectical tension between endorsing an educational agenda and the promotion of autonomy. Moreover, this tension is not restricted to religious education. The intensity of such a conflict varies in accordance with the flexibility (or inflexibility) of the dogma, the conceptual cohesion of the educational agenda and the perceived importance of granting autonomy to students. The more cohesive and inflexible the educational agenda is, the greater the danger that autonomy will be discarded. The present research examined an educational reform implemented in the National-Religious School Network in Israel, which included the promotion of autonomy among principals, teachers and students. Conducted over a six-year period (2006–2012), the research employed both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and involved various stakeholders in the school network. The multifaceted picture that emerged of the relationship between educational autonomy and religious agenda is presented.
Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera and Dorit Roer-Strier. “Context-Informed, Counter-Hegemonic Qualitative Research: Insights from an Israeli/Palestinian Research Team Studying Loss.” Qualitative Social Work (early view; online first).
Theorizing social work qualitative methodologies have always been closely related to the context of the studied subjects. This paper offers the framework of context-informed, counter-hegemonic qualitative research for theorizing research in conflict zones. Based on a case study of a group of Jewish and Palestinian social work researchers who examined together the effect of the loss of home on families during an ongoing political conflict, this paper explores the impact of participating in a research team on the researcher’s perceptions and study of otherness and otherization in the context of asymmetries of power. Analysis of the group dynamics discovered: (1) a growing ability to see and acknowledge the other, accompanied by a growing willingness to be attentive; (2) a growing ability to empathically listen to and hear the experiences of suffering of the other; (3) overcoming silencing by allowing voices of dissent, pain and resilience; and (4) creating a liminal space of “safe haven” for the researchers. The paper explores the development of context-informed group reflexivity leading to emancipatory consciousness and academic activism.