Hadassah

Meeting Multicultural Challenges as an Arab Social Worker at Hadassah

Monday, Jan 12 2015

Lamis Shibli Ghadir regularly meets with multicultural challenges in her job as a social worker at the Hadassah Medical Organization, where her priority is to give all her clients the best possible service, whatever their varying demands.

Lamis is also a field instructor for social work students at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Among her many diverse tasks is outreach to the Charedi and other religious communities to educate girls about the consequences of early pregnancy. Another is dealing with security issues when trying to bring patients from Gaza to Jerusalem for treatment. A typical day may involve coordinating with the army and/or being at a check-point to receive patients. These patients from Gaza, arriving with just one family member who often may not speak Hebrew, rely on Lamis to translate. A significant portion of the patients treated in Hadassah’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) only speak Arabic.

Lamis recalls an ultra-orthodox woman who, on the heels of several terror attacks in Jerusalem, initially refused to share a room with other mothers who also wanted to be close to their sick children. “They are all Arabs in there,” she said, with fear. After Lamis spoke with her and helped her realize that these were first and foremost mothers, like her, who were concerned only about their children’s illness and suffering, the woman agreed to share the room. And, as is typical within Hadassah’s walls, Lamis recalls, friendship began to grow across ethnic lines.

Another patient Lamis remembers is Yusif, a nine-year-old from East Jerusalem, who had a life-threatening heart problem. Yusif's treatment involved multiple heart operations and many weeks in Hadassah’s PICU while the Gaza war raged this summer. His mother, Fatma, had relatives in Gaza; she asked Lamis not to tell the staff, convinced that her child would be treated differently from the Jewish children. As it turned out, the mother built a warm rapport with the nurses, who brought Yusif gifts in celebration of his birthday. Fatma shared with Lamis her satisfaction that the problems of the Gaza war had not stood in the way of the staff’s professionalism. Moreover, Hadassah’s PICU staff members have become her friends.

For Lamis, these were but two multicultural challenges out of hundreds, where she and Hadassah become the bridge to harmony. Lamis brings out, too, that Hadassah’s island of peaceful coexistence plays out poignantly in The Hadassah School, which gives long-term inpatients the chance to continue their education. It is a place where Arab children celebrate Ramadan alongside the Jewish patients, and the Jewish children teach their traditions to the Arab youngsters in return. Lamis relates that people often tell her they don’t believe this happens in Israel. She replies: “Come to the pediatric wing of Hadassah and you will see.”

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Monday, Dec 5 2016

Celebrated Israeli Psychiatrist/Neurobiologist To Join Hadassah Medical Staff

Prof. Yoram Yovell, renowned Israeli psychiatrist and neurobiologist, will soon be joining the Hadassah Medical Organization’s “brain medicine branch,” which includes the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and neurosurgery and is under the direction of Prof. Tamir Ben-Hur.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Nov 30 2016

Hadassah Teams Up with Spinal Cord Institute to Study Outcomes of Traumatic Injuries

The medical interventions and outcomes for Israelis with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will now be captured in the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR), thanks to the November 16th launch of a partnership between the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization named after the paralympic athlete who suffered a severe spinal cord injury following a car accident.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

Ethiopian Pre-Nursing Students: On the Way to Fulfilling a Dream

“I know that some people are fine with looking at a screen all day, but I know I need the human touch--to work with people. I want to be a nurse, " relates Sarah Talala, one of the 18 students of Ethiopian background who were given the opportunity to take a course which enabled them to advance to pre-academic studies at the Hebrew University and then on to nursing school at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Henrietta Szold School of Nursing.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

A Birthday Party in Hadassah’s PICU: Helping a Four-Year-Old Recover

Yehoshua "Shuki" Pepper was crossing a Jerusalem street with an older sibling when a car ran him over. He was rushed to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in fair condition, but he wasn't speaking and subsequent MRIs of his head injury were worrisome.

READ MORE ›

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Show More