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, Dec 7 2016

Saturday Night Lively: Hadassah Israel Fundraiser Wows Largely Orthodox Audience of 1200

Hadassah International Israel (HII) drew over 1200 men and women to a concert at Tel Aviv University, targeting the funds raised for renovation of the rehabilitation facilities at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.

READ MORE ›
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 ›

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