Archive for November, 2009

The Arabic-Hebrew Studies Center in Jerusalem – Beginning of the 2009-10 classes

November 26th, 2009

On October 12 2009, we began our yearly Arabic courses at the JICC. This year, the beginners’ courses (two groups) started in October with the teacher Suha Kadri, while the intermediate and advanced courses started in mid-November, due to a maternity leave of the teacher Saeeda Subhi. These two excellent teachers have been working with us for four years, allowing us to offer probably the best and most extensive spoken Arabic courses in the city.

First day of Arabic Beginners Course - October 12 2009

First day of Arabic Beginners Course – October 12 2009

The JICC is NOT a language school. Our courses are primarily intended for professionals and volunteers who are required to speak and understand Arabic in their daily work. We are the first city in Israel that claims that Arabic is a MUST for such professionals. This may sound obvious, right? But it is not the case in most parts of Israel.

When we began our courses we could hardly fill the beginners’ course, and there were not enough candidates for the more advanced courses. We opened one beginners’ course and one small intermediate course. Two years ago, we had three full courses – beginners, intermediate and advanced. Last year, the waiting list for the beginners’ course was so long that we were forced to open another course. This year, we had to add a second intermediate course. Altogether, we now have two beginners’ courses, two intermediate courses and one large advanced course (and, we won’t be surprised if next year we will have to expand the advanced course as well…).

We are very pleased to note the increase in interest in these courses and we are sorry for those who did not have a place in the current year and need to wait for next year. It is important to note that the courses are highly subsidized by the Jerusalem Foundation, who shares with us the vision of Arabic as a mandatory language for those who work with Arab population.

Cultural Competence Training – Alyn – November 25, 2009

November 25th, 2009

We started today a new series of Cultural Competence trainings to staff members in the Alyn hospital in Jerusalem. We have facilitated three such trainings before in Alyn, mainly focusing on the out-patient clinics. The new series focuses on the in-patient rehabilitation department staff. These efforts are part of our program, together with the Alyn Hospital’s management, to transform Alyn into a cultural competent hospital, the first of its kind in Israel. The work with Alyn is a component of the Jerusalem Cultural Competence in Health Project initiated by the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center and the Jerusalem Foundation.

In addition to adapting the training to the rehab department – using simulations and role playing cases that were developed specifically for this department, we also upgraded our methodology; we now use cases throughout the workshop as triggers for discussion on theoretical and practical knowledge and tools. We find this new approach to be much more effective in delivering the training’s input to participants, and in fact, it is also time-saving. It also serves to bridge between different proficiencies – as the participants come from various professional backgrounds – physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, administrative staff, etc. In the new model much of the training is based on events the participants share with us – and these, of course, are very meaningful to them.

Alyn Cultural Competence Training November 25, 2009

Alyn Cultural Competence Training November 25, 2009

We received excellent feedback from the workshop and in the coming months we plan to deliver a few more such workshops to additional staff members of this department.

Open Space Event in Gilo – November 16, 2009

November 16th, 2009

Exactly one year ago, the Community Center director of the Gilo neighborhood, Yaffa Shitrit, and the neighborhood’s community organizer, Naama, visited us at the JICC and asked for our help in creating a community dialogue process in Gilo. In the year that followed, we helped them to begin with in forming an active steering committee that would lead the process and define the need and approach for a community dialogue process in the neighborhood.

The process was based on several years of groundwork for empowering local activists. While participating in a Community Dialogue course at the JICC in 2004, Yaffa presented a unique and novel course-design that would bring professional staff and community leaders together in teams. Since then she has been developing and implementing these courses in Gilo, and their graduates now became the solid base for the current large-scale community dialogue process in the neighborhood.

From month to month, under the impressive leadership of the Community Center’s staff, both the group of activists and the agenda for the process took form. During this process the activists formulated the agenda and title for the first community gathering: “How are WE going to Transform Gilo to Our Dream Neighborhood – Attractive, Fun and with Excellent Quality of Life”.

The Invitation and Title of the Open Space Event

The Invitation and Title of the Open Space Event

On November 16, the process was put to the test. An Open Space Technology event was conducted, based on the impressive marketing abilities of the steering committee. When we first talked about this event we assumed it might attract 150 participants. Well, 360 actually came !!!

The Open Space Assembly

The Open Space Assembly

After the introductions to the evening, working groups were formed, according to participants’ passion and leadership. The groups first discussed their topics and then focused on initiatives that they now took the responsibility to promote. Some of the groups were big – around 60 participants; others were small – 20, 5 or even 2 participants. But in an Open Space event – the size does not matter. The discussion summaries from all the groups were gathered toward a booklet of insights and initiatives that will be produced and distributed in the neighborhood. The air was full of energy.

One of the Open Space Groups

One of the Open Space Groups

The Community Center took upon itself the responsibility to help the residents and activists in promoting their initiatives. This will be the next phase of this community dialogue process.

Cultural Competence Training – Gonenim Clalit Clinic – November 9 and 16, 2009

November 16th, 2009

After the workshops at the Clalit primary care clinics at Ir Ganim and Talpiot, we continued this week with two half-day trainings for the staff of the Gonenim clinic, conducted at the JICC premises on Mount Zion. These three clinics serve most of the Ethiopian Jewish immigrant population in Jerusalem, and we adapted our cultural competence training to focus on the needs of this group. All clinic staff members, from physicians to administrative staff, attended the workshop, as we see the response to diversity at the clinic as an integrative task.

Gonenim Clinic Training 2009

Gonenim Clinic Training 2009

The workshop was in general very similar to the ones we conducted before. However, we used many more examples, which participants in the previous workshops raised, and based the training on case studies and simulations. This made the training closely related to the practical issues brought up by clinic staff members.

Gonenim Clinic Training 2009 - roleplaying

Gonenim Clinic Training 2009 – roleplaying

Following this training the Gonenim clinic now joins the support system we are creating to enhance the Clalit Health Services’ capacity in providing better and more adapted services to new immigrants. We will conduct follow-up meetings with the clinic’s management and mentor them in implementing Cultural Competence in the clinic.

Gonenim Clinic Training 2009 - roleplaying

Gonenim Clinic Training 2009 – roleplaying

Cultural Competence Training – Clalit Secondary Care Clinics – November 11, 2009

November 11th, 2009

As a part of our project that aims to incorporate cultural competence into the Jerusalem medical system, we are working with the secondary care clinics of the Clalit medical services. It is a long process in which we are facilitating a day-long workshops to staff of these clinics from all over Jerusalem. The first training in the series was held on June 30, 2009.

Role-playing at the Cultural Competence training for Clalit Secondary Care Staff

Role-playing at the Cultural Competence training for Clalit  Secondary Care Staff

Today we held the second training. In between these two trainings, we significantly upgraded the workshop, based on the feedback we received after the first workshop. We also developed improved case studies for the simulation and role-playing parts. By the end of the workshop today we felt that the workshop in its current version is fit for replication. The special component of the workshop is the simulation of cross-cultural cases with the help of professional actors. The cases mainly demonstrate interactions with Arab patients and with Ultra-Orthodox and Ethiopian Jewish patients.

Role-playing at the Cultural Competence training for Clalit Secondary Care Staff

Role-playing at the Cultural Competence training for Clalit Secondary Care Staff

The plan is to train in the coming two years all the staff in the Clalit secondary care clinics in Jerusalem. In parallel, we work to assimilate cultural competency in the clinics in additional ways, such as training bilingual interpreters, improving communication between primary-care Arabic-speaking physicians and the secondary-care physicians, etc.