Hadassah

Hadassah’s Multicultural School: A Window of Opportunity

Wednesday, Aug 19 2015

Hadassah aims to utilize the power of music, theater, and visual arts to cover sensitive multicultural themes and in turn understand other cultures different from their own.

A recent professional development seminar entitled “Multiculturalism in the Pediatric Setting,” hosted by the Hadassah School at the Hadassah Medical Organization, highlighted the multicultural profile of the hospital’s staff and patients.

“The multicultural reality of Hadassah is that hospitalized children come from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds, be they Jewish, Muslim or Christian and either identify as Israeli or Palestinian,” notes Esther Takac, a Melbourne, Australia psychologist who attended the seminar. “The same is true of hospital staff, who also support a range of political beliefs.” While conflict and tension are never far from Hadassah’s doors, the hospital, however, manages to keep the reality of the streets from crossing its threshold, she relates.

Once these diverse children become patients in the hospital, Dr. Takac explains, they learn to cope not only with a challenging medical world, but with people who speak different languages and have different cultural norms. The school has made it a goal to strengthen this cross-cultural understanding and allow children to discover that they have been presented with a rare opportunity for new experiences and friendships. These young patients have a window to break down stereotypes and prejudices.

“The children at Hadassah didn’t choose to attend a multicultural school, but once they’re here, they have a positive, multicultural experience that they and their families will not forget,” explains the school’s director, Edna Pinchover. “We believe that our educational/therapeutic work plants seeds of hope and friendship among the many cultures in our land.”

Dr. Takac notes that she has worked with Mrs. Pinchover and witnessed her deep commitment to an ethical and democratic environment, as well as her respectful and accepting approach to all patients and staff.

To cultivate this multicultural atmosphere, the school has been providing professional development to its staff for a number of years. Last year, the school formalized an ethical code, which provides a model for dealing with multicultural dilemmas.

This recent seminar focused on the principles of democratic thinking, which strengthen respectful and cooperative behavior among people whose beliefs and values may be different from one’s own. The principles help professionals to think clearly and ethically about daily dilemmas that arise. Recently, for example, a Jewish family refused to receive treatment from an Arab nurse; another family did not want their child to be taught by an Arab teacher; and a Muslim boy bragged on the ward about throwing stones at Jewish Israelis.

Through lectures and workshops by academics and experts in multiculturalism from a variety of fields, including music, theater, and the visual arts, sensitive multicultural themes could be explored. As participants delved deeper into one another’s cultures, they found common values and bases of respect--a reservoir of understanding with which to respond to multicultural conflicts in the future.

Comments

From: Renee Albert on September 4, 2015
When peace comes to Jerusalem, Hadassah will be seen as one of the driving forces.
From: Lauren Stern Kedem on September 4, 2015
Hadassah Hospital represents everything that is good and right in Israel. Hadassah's Youth Villages at Meir Shfeyah, Hadassah Neurim and Ramat Hadassah also provide homes, education and values to at risk children and adolescents of all backgrounds allowing them to change patterns of failure and become successful , contributing members of our vibrant Israeli society. Thank you Hadassah for being partners in these live changing projects. Lauren Stern Kedem, Hadassah/ Meir Shfeyah Youth Village
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Marathon Runner Pays Tribute to Hadassah Medical Team

After successfully running in the 2017 Jerusalem Marathon, Gil Troy pays tribute to Prof. Meir Liebergall, Director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Orthopedic Surgery Department, and his medical team, who made this run possible.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Reversing the Odds with Technology and Expertise

It could be a young patient with a virulent flu. Or a man having a severe asthma attack. Or a pregnant woman with a complication of pregnancy.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Cypriot Health Minister Helps Save Israeli Patient

Whether it was a newborn baby with a severe heart defect or a pregnant woman with an unusual ectopic pregnancy, the Hadassah Medical Organization has been known to save the lives of Cypriot patients by helicoptering them to its hospital for complex emergency treatments. Recently, however, it was the Cypriot Health Minister who helped save the life of an Israeli patient.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Top-Tier Turkish Journalists Receive Inside View of Hadassah Hospital

A delegation of top-tier Turkish journalists, accompanied by representatives from the Israel Foreign Ministry, visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem this month, marking the first time a high-level Turkish delegation has come to Israel since the new reconciliation agreement was signed between Israel and Turkey.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More