University of Oklahoma MSW Students in Israel International Child Welfare student exchange 2019

In May 2019, a group of social work faculty and students traveled to Israel for a week-long exchange course in International Child Welfare. The home base for this course is Hebrew University and the Haruv Institute, where faculty and student hosts create a transformative learning experience for their Oklahoma visitors.
Day 1. Today students studied the Israeli child maltreatment system, drawing comparisons to the US system. They heard 2 great lectures - by Professor Anat Zeira, and Anat Ofir, LSW (pictured). They also visited Haruv Children's Campus.
Tour of the Old City in Jerusalem. Students talked about religion, policy, cultural differences and, most importantly, how we all have so many shared dreams and goals for our families, communities, and governments.
Old City, Jerusalem
Day 2. Today students focused on trauma. They started the day with a wonderful lecture from Dr. Paula David (pictured) on trauma informed practice. Next, they visited Parents and Children Center in Beit HaKerem. Israel invests in preventing children from removal from their home, and this facility provided great ideas for our students to take home. The second visit was Brazil, a Daycare Center for at-risk pre-school children. The daycare center has a social worker!
Pictures from Day 2
One of the most important and moving experiences was Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. This visit allowed students and faculty to reflect on the sadness and brutality of the Holocaust and focused on what happened to the children during that time.
Finally, a visit to the Mahane Yehuda market, or "shuk"!
Nothing can compare to delicious Israeli food!
Day 3. "After a lecture on context-informed social work practice, we traveled to East Jerusalem to Beit Hanina (an Arab social service provider) and to Ramat Shlomo (Ultra-orthodox provider). Gathered in these spaces, with many differences, one thing was clear - we are all passionate social workers who work tirelessly for the best future for children. And, that we love the path we have each chosen!" -Angela Pharris, Assistant Professor
The second half of the day was spent at the Dead Sea and everyone had an incredible time!
So much beauty in this country!
Picnic during sunset
On the last day of the program students traveled to Tel Aviv to focus their attention on refugees and asylum seekers. Their host was Lior Birger, PhD candidate. Policy, law, and politics create pressure on asylum and refugee seekers in Israel and the U.S in both similar and unique ways. They visited Mesila - asylum seeker social service, Levinski Garden Library, and Unitaf - a daycare center.
Beautiful Jaffa Port
Farewell dinner at "Ali Karavan".
We are thankful to Haruv Institute and the Schusterman Family Foundation for this experience. In this class there are future leaders of social work and child welfare, and they will use this experience for the next generation!

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