New Article: Lavie-Ajayi, Resilience among Asylum Seekers from Darfur in Israel

Lavie-Ajayi, Maya. “A Qualitative Study of Resilience among Asylum Seekers from Darfur in Israel.” Qualitative Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325016649256

 
Abstract

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.

 

 

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New Article: Levin et al, Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services

Levin, Lia, Sharon Gewirtz, and Alan Cribb. “Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services: Social Workers’ Perspectives on Policy Making and Implementation.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw024

 

Abstract

Over the past decades, social policies in Israel have been characterised by a growing trend towards involving social service clients in decision-making processes. Drawing on interviews with seventy-seven social workers from various backgrounds employed in a range of organisations and positions, the current study sought to illuminate the contested nature of shared decision making (SDM), the practice and policy dilemmas it generates, and the readiness of the Israeli policy context to support its implementation. Findings from interviews are described as they relate to questions regarding participants’ definition of SDM, major dilemmas and challenges they identify in the process of using SDM, ways of coping with such issues and their perspectives on policies promoting SDM. Their discussion delineates some of the key lessons of the study, raises critical questions about potential contradictions between the call for SDM in social worker–client relationships and the ethos of policy maker–social worker relationships, and uses Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) to ask, in light of participants’ accounts, how suitable the policy platform of Israeli social work is for supporting an effective and reflexive approach to SDM.

 

 

 

New Article: Gewirtz-Meydan et al, Social Workers’ Policy Practice in Non-Profit Organizations

Gewirtz-Meydan, Ateret, Idit Weiss-Gal, and John Gal. “Social Workers’ Policy Practice in Non-Profit Human Service Organisations in Israel.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcv138
 

Abstract

The study’s aim is to expand knowledge on the level of involvement in policy-related interventions (‘policy practice’, PP) among social workers employed by non-profit human service organisations (NPHSOs) in Israel, and on the motivational and facilitating factors associated with this. The sample consisted of 106 social workers employed in NPHSOs that include social advocacy as one of their goals. Findings revealed a relatively low level of involvement in PP. Level of involvement was associated with political efficacy, political interest, activity in political and professional organisations, civic and professional skills, and organisational support for PP. The strongest predictors were PP skills and organisational support. The study’s conclusion is that an understanding of involvement in PP must take into account both the degree to which an organisational context facilitates this type of practice and the individual factors that motivate PP involvement. As such, consolidation of PP among social workers should address both facilitating and motivational issues.

 

 

 

New Article: Berger and Paul, Teaching Cultural Aspects of Trauma Practice in a Study Abroad Immersion Course

Berger, Roni, and Marilyn S. Paul. “Teaching Cultural Aspects of Trauma Practice in a Study Abroad Immersion Course: Challenges and Strategies.” International Social Work (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020872815611198
 
Abstract

Advantages, phases, challenges, and strategies related to the process and procedures involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating study abroad programs, and addressing emergencies have been discussed as being issues in teaching trauma and diversity content. However, very little has been written about study abroad programs dedicated to specific topics and no studies address teaching trauma content by means of international immersion courses. This article discusses pedagogical and logistic aspects of teaching about trauma in diverse cultural contexts using a recent intensive immersion study abroad course in Israel to illustrate the issues under discussion.

 

 

 

New Book: Ben Shitrit, Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right

Ben Shitrit, Lihi. Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015.

 

BenShitrit

How do women in conservative religious movements expand spaces for political activism in ways that go beyond their movements’ strict ideas about male and female roles? How and why does this activism happen in some movements but not in others? Righteous Transgressions examines these questions by comparatively studying four groups: the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas. Lihi Ben Shitrit demonstrates that women’s prioritization of a nationalist agenda over a proselytizing one shapes their activist involvement.

Ben Shitrit shows how women construct “frames of exception” that temporarily suspend, rather than challenge, some of the limiting aspects of their movements’ gender ideology. Viewing women as agents in such movements, she analyzes the ways in which activists use nationalism to astutely reframe gender role transgressions from inappropriate to righteous. The author engages the literature on women’s agency in Muslim and Jewish religious contexts, and sheds light on the centrality of women’s activism to the promotion of the spiritual, social, cultural, and political agendas of both the Israeli and Palestinian religious right.

Looking at the four most influential political movements of the Israeli and Palestinian religious right, Righteous Transgressions reveals how the bounds of gender expectations can be crossed for the political good.

 

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Note on Language xi
  • 1 Introduction: “Be an Other’s, Be an Other”: A Personal Perspective 1
  • 2 Contextualizing the Movements 32
  • 3 Complementarian Activism: Domestic and Social Work, Da‘wa, and Teshuva 80
  • 4 Women’s Protest: Exceptional Times and Exceptional Measures 128
  • 5 Women’s Formal Representation: Overlapping Frames 181
  • 6 Conclusion 225
  • Notes 241
  • References 259
  • Index 275

 

LIHI BEN SHITRIT is an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

 

 

 

New Article: Shalhoub-Kevorkian & Roer-Strier, Counter-Hegemonic Qualitative Research: Insights from an Israeli/Palestinian Research Team

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).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325015595545

 

Abstract

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.

 

 

New Article: Barak et al, Where to Die? A Study of Cancer Patients in Israel

Barak, Frida, Sofia Livshits, Haana Kaufer, Ruth Netanel, Nava Siegelmann-Danieli, Yasmin Alkalay, and Shulamith Kreitler. “Where to Die? That Is the Question: A Study of Cancer Patients in Israel.” Palliative and Supportive Care 13.2 (2015): 165-70.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1478951513000904

 

Abstract

Objective: Most patients prefer to die at home, but barely 30% do so. This study examines the variables contributing to dying at home.

Methods: The participants were 326 cancer patients, of both genders, with a mean age of 63.25 years, who died from 2000 to 2008 and were treated by the palliative care unit of the Barzilai Hospital. Some 65.7% died at home and 33.4% in a hospital. The data were extracted from patient files. The examined variables were demographic (e.g., age, gender, marital status, ethnic background, number of years in Israel until death), medical (e.g., age at diagnosis, diagnosis, nature of last treatment, patient received nursing care, patient given the care of a social worker, patient had care of a psychologist, family received care of a social worker, patient had a special caregiver), and sociological (e.g., having insurance, having worked in Israel, living alone or with family, living with one’s children, living in self-owned or rented house, family members working).

Results: The findings indicate that the chances of dying at home are higher if the patient is non-Ashkenazi, the family got social worker care, the patient lived in a self-owned house, the patient lived with his family, the family members worked, and the patient’s stay in Israel since immigration was longer. Logistic regression showed that all the predictors together yielded a significant model accounting for 10.9–12.3% of the variance.

Significance of results: The findings suggest that dying at home requires maintaining continued care for the patient and family in a community context.

New Book: Lev-On, ed. Online Communities

לב-און, אזי, עורך. קהילות מקוונות. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2015.

LevOnOnlineCommunities

The rapid penetration and intensive use of the Internet in general and online social media in particular allowed for the flourishing of a new type of communities – online communities that share some common traits with traditional geographic communities, but differ from them in other respects.

An online community is a dynamic association of individuals based on a common characteristic or a shared interest as the basis of a social relationship, and whose members engage in sustained interaction through the Internet. The voluntary affiliation of community members, the size of the community, the professionalization of its members and the self-regulation mechanisms that it engenders, helps the development of large-scale networks in which members choose to share information and engage in common interest over a substantial time period. In this way, online communities can be a magnet for large numbers of savvy individuals, and at the same time open a new world of opportunities for them.

Online Communities is a collection of articles written by Israeli scholars who are engaged in online communities of various kinds: parents with special needs children, adolescent girls, social workers, online forums dealing with health issues on the one hand and pro-anorexia communities on the other, and more. The chapters of the book address issues such as the structure and function of these communities, uses and gratifications derived from community membership, as well as methodological issues raised by the study of online communities.

The editor, Dr. Azi Lev-On, studies the social and political uses and influences of the Internet, especially social media arenas such as forums of Ultra- Orthodox women and of political activists, Facebook pages of municipalities and Knesset members, knowledge communities and online venues for public involvement.

 

New Article: Hertzog, Minors’ Welfare and Bureaucratic Violence in Israel

Hertzog, Esther. “Minors’ Welfare and Bureaucratic Violence in Israel.” Anthropology of the Middle East 9.1 (2014): 42-58.

 

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berghahn/antmid/2014/00000009/00000001/art00004

 

Abstract

The article examines the welfare policy in Israel concerning ‘minors at risk’, mainly the cancellation of parents’ custody over their offspring and their placement in welfare institutions. I suggest that the ideological discourse plays a major role in this context and terms like ‘minor’s well-being’ are widely used for achieving public legitimacy of the social workers’ control of this field. Describing and analysing case studies which I attended and followed since the beginning of the 1990s reveal the consequences of taking away children from their families and placing them in state institutions. The analysis focuses on the organised bureaucratic violence towards children and their parents which accompanies the legally enforced procedures. It also discusses the forceful means used by the staff in the institutions towards the inmates, as part of maintaining order and discipline. I suggest that violent behaviour of officials and organisations which use the state’s organised power of coercion against minors and their parents is linked to personal, organisational and political motives.