Why do Arab residents from East Jerusalem utilize volunteer rights centers in West Jerusalem? What’s the difference between a Haredi person’s usage of B’Ezrat Hashem (With God’s help) or Bli Neder (God willing)? And how would you deal with these questions if faced with a real-life situation?
Some 30 volunteers who work in the Municipality’s rights realization centers from throughout the city participated in introduction to cultural competency workshops resented by our Director of the Cultural Competency Desk, Orna Shani, on April 30. This workshop focused not on the specific answers to these questions, but rather on how to handle the range of cultures and ethnicities that are served by the municipal rights centers. Rights centers are operated by the municipal welfare department, part of the Social Services Division of the Jerusalem Municipality that is undergoing a process of becoming culturally competent. You can read more about this process here and here.
The volunteers learned about the principles of cultural competency, about different meanings of common phrases that often seem to mean the same thing, about what to do when a volunteer has pre-conceived notions about a particular group of people, the different types of requests from different types of people, and more. All in a process to help more of Jerusalem’s diverse populations gain access to rights guaranteed them by law.
Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its ongoing support of Cultural Competency in Jerusalem.