Cultural sensitivity is expressed in every therapeutic session, in particular when working with communities characterised by specific internal cultural codes, such as the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish) community in Israel. The present article explores how social workers express their cultural sensitivity in encounters with Haredi clients. A qualitative research was conducted, consisting of thirty-three in-depth interviews with social workers intervening with Haredi clients. Three major themes emerged: the social worker's preparation for the encounter; use of conventional Haredi language and content in the therapy session; therapeutic intervention: between rabbinical and professional authorities. The act of 'speaking Haredi' reflects the complex reality of demonstrating cultural sensitivity in social work practice. It requires a conscientious and reflective process, which enables social workers to construct their own professional identity and analyse their attitudes towards the Ultra-Orthodox client. Speaking both Haredi and professional languages, the unfamiliar becomes familiar to both parties.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.
- Cultural sensitivity
- Qualitative methods
- Social work intervention
- Ultra-Orthodox society
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)