Social work bridges Arab-Jewish divide in Israel

Social work’s unifying potential was on display at an unprecedented series of workshops in Israel involving practitioners from a poor Arab town and its wealthier Jewish neighbour.

Twenty practitioners from Jewish Zichron Ya’akov and Israeli Arab Fureidis took part in the first meetings in Israel between Arab and Jewish social workers to discuss human rights, earlier this year.

Organisers the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said the process was not easy given cultural, linguistic, socio-economic and political divides.

Lilach Bar, ACRI’s coordinator for community education, said despite this practitioners found a “common language” by discussing human rights within the context of social work. 

“Many of the everyday issues they address – broken families, mental illness, children’s developmental issues – affect every community, regardless of culture and economic standing,” Bar added.

The workshop was part of ACRI’s nationwide program, The Social Welfare Sector Advances Rights.

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