Community Agency as Infrastructure for Cultural Responsiveness: Learning from the Success of a Socially Excluded Community of Mountain Jews

Gila Amitay*, Orna Shemer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Israel, as in many other countries, despite its policy of encouraging Jewish immigration, there is a relationship between migration and social exclusion. Many migrants find it difficult to assimilate, including the unique community of Mountain Jews. This article describes an initiative by members of an NGO devoted to the assimilation of this community in Israel, whose action follows the principle of cultural responsiveness. A study group gathered data using the method of “learning from success,” constructed by initiators and researchers. During the group meetings, we conducted reflective discussions and discussions regarding the initiative and the action principles that were applied in its foundation and ongoing operation. The findings present three cultural responsiveness mechanisms created by the NGO: building a network of intentional communities, supportive organization of the community from within, and calculated connection with the absorbing community from the outside. The article fills a research lacuna on the practices of integrating immigrants by actively motivating the host society by the immigrants to serve as an absorbing community.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)443-463
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2023.

Keywords

  • Community agency
  • Cultural responsiveness
  • Immigration
  • Learning from success
  • Mountain Jews
  • Social exclusion

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