Palestinian mothers in Israel: Can a welfare-to-work program enhance their social capital?

Anat Herbst-Debby, Maha Sabbah-Karkabi, Tal Meler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study analyzes the experience of Palestinian mothers in Israel participating in a non-mandatory welfare-to-work program. The goal is to explore the perceptions of these women and their trainers about the ways the program helps enhance the mothers’ social capital. The study is based on in-depth interviews of 30 mothers and three trainers who participated in the program. The findings expose a range of mothers’ voices. The three main ones are: encouraging empowerment more than Work First; encouraging ‘maternal’ jobs; and encouraging partnership and group cohesion. The combined voices of participants and trainers deepen the significance of these findings, as the latter play a meaningful role in enhancing the social capital and networking capabilities of the former, who suffer from multiple sources of exclusion, including a vulnerable ethno-national status, poverty, low income and gender.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-60
    Number of pages19
    JournalCurrent Sociology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © The Author(s) 2020.


    • Israeli-Palestinian mothers
    • low-income individuals
    • motherhood
    • social capital
    • welfare-to-work

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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