Nevet- Greenhouse of Context-Informed Research and Training for Children in Need



Our Mission


NEVET is an international and multidisciplinary research and training venue that serves as a greenhouse for capacity building of young scholars and practitioners. We aim to develop knowledge, inform policy and promote context-informed perspectives on children and families for professionals and services working with families and young children in multicultural and international contexts.

Children and families in need are a worldwide concern that crosses cultural frontiers. We believe that a deep understanding of child well-being requires a context-informed multidisciplinary perspective. According to this view, various children’s needs should be assessed and treated with knowledge, respect and sensitivity to the contexts in which they occur. The context-informed  conceptual framework informs our research, training and intervention in the area of children and families in need.


The greenhouse strives to fulfill five major objectives related to children and families in need:

(1) To develop high-level context-informed research, including the development of innovative methodologies and the establishment of a database for context-informed assessment and treatment.

(2) To involve leading local and international researchers in the fields of social and community work, psychology, criminology, education and medicine to assist in capacity building of young researchers  and graduate students in their respective fields.

(3) To apply a context-informed perspective to the training of students and professionals, and to interventions  with children and families in need.

(4) To influence the formation of "context – informed" social policy.

(5) To create venues for multidisciplinary national and international collaborations in the above domains.




Our Team



Prof. Dorit Roer-Strier
Dorit Roer-Strier is a professor at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welafare and the director of NEVET. She is a qualitative researcher and specializes in context informed research and practice in the area of families and children in diverse cultural contexts. She has clinical training and practical experience in the areas of child and family therapy.


Prof. Heidi Keller
HEIDI KELLER is a Professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of Osnabrück and a director of Nevet, the Greenhouse of Context-Informed Research and Training for Children in Need at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her interests concern the interrelationship between culture and biology for the understanding of human development. She has done extensive (longitudinal) research in diverse cultural contexts across the globe and taught at different universities in different countries. She received several awards, among them the award for career achievement from the German Society of Psychology in 2014. She is interested in the application of basic science for application in the counselling/clinical as well as educational fields, especially with respect to the implementation of culture sensitive approaches. She is currently also concentrating on the development of culture sensitive approaches to attachment and their implementation in practice.


Dr. Yochay Nadan
Dr. Yochay Nadan is a researcher and a Senior Lecturer at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his master’s degree at Alice Salomon University in Berlin, and completed his doctoral studies at Haifa University. Yochay’s research and teachings focus on issues relating to multiculturalism in social work  in research, practice and in the training of professionals. Alongside his research, Yochay works in couples and family therapy.


Dr. Iris Zadok
Dr Iris Zadok is a social worker and an early childhood specialist. She is a lecturer and a researcher at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University. She is the head of the fieldwork division at the School of Social Work and is a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Early Childhood Studies. In addition to teaching several courses in that program that focus on families of young children and observing children in their educational frameworks, she is the practicum coordinator and supervises students in their fieldwork placements. In her clinical work, Dr. Zadok works with traumatized infants, children and their families. She is a graduate of the Child-Parent Psychotherapy Training Program (CPP) and the "Training the Trainee" program.

Dr. Carmit Katz
Dr. Carmit Katz completed her PhD in 2007 and joined Cambridge University for a three-year appointment as a research associate in Forensic and Applied Psychology. Dr. Katz joined the Bob Shapell School of Social Work in 2011 and is currently a senior lecturer. She is a Kemp-Haruv Fellow, part of an international group of leading scholars promoting future directions in the field of child maltreatment. The goal of Dr. Katz’ research is to enhance the participation of children and families within intervention processes, decision-making and legal processes by developing and evaluating strategies that enhance children and family participation in these processes. She develops protocols and consults for practitioners in disciplines such as welfare, education, health, law enforcement and law. Dr. Katz also develops techniques to enhance forensic investigations with preschoolers and children from various cultural backgrounds such as ultra-orthodox and Israeli Arab children. She leads the Strong Communities initiative in Israel, an international initiative for the prevention of child maltreatment. Dr. Katz is highly committed to policy practice and is the founder and leader of the interdisciplinary group "Justice for Preschoolers".

Dr. Naomi Shmuel
Dr. Naomi Shmuel is an author and anthropologist specializing in families in transition. Her research focusses on the process of continuance and change across generations amongst Ethiopian immigrant families in Israel. She is especially interested in parenting across cultures and the effects of cultural transition on families.Dr. Shmuel is the coordinator of Nevet’s special training program for professionals working in culturally diverse environments. Her original prize winning children’s books are widely used throughout Israel in schools and pre-school programs to foster cross-cultural understanding and tolerance. She uses her children’s books to initiate discussions on sensitive topics (such as immigration, refugees, identity and belonging) in her academic courses and professional workshops. Naomi is currently teaching two courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Multiculturalism and Identity in the Department of Dentistry and Context-Informed Therapy with Immigrants and Refugees in the Department of Social Work (a DEMO course).

Dr. Hanita Kosher 
Dr. Hanita Kosher is a researcher and a lecturer at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Hanita's research and teachings focus on issues relating to children's well-being, children's rights and child abuse and neglect. Between 2007 to 2015 she was the head of the education center of the National Council of the Child, which is the leading advocacy organization for children's rights in Israel. Today, Hanita works at the Haruv institute and at the Legal Aid Department for Children and Youth at the Ministry of Justice.


Dr. Dafna Tener
Dr. Tener is a faculty member at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has studied child sexual abuse for the past ten years, has conducted numerous research projects focusing on survivors, families and professionals’ perceptions of sexual abuse, and has specialized in qualitative research methods as well as mixed research methods. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Crimes Against Children Research Center supervised by Professor David Finkelhor, and is currently a research fellow at the Haruv institute, a training and research center in the field of child maltreatment and a member of NEVET.


Dr. Orna Shemer

Prof. Orya Tishbi
Prof. Orya Tishby is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare and in the department of psychology, at the Hebrew University. She is also the director of the Freud Center for research in psychoanalysis. Orya completed her BA and MA at the Hebrew University. She earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, New Jersey, and received the NJ best dissertation award. Orya's research focuses on change process in psychodynamic therapy (specifically short-term) and the therapeutic relationship. As a member of NEVET, she is part of a research team studying immigrant parents and their perceptions of child rearing and parent-child relationships. Orya also works as a therapist with adolescents, young adults and parents.

Prof. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian

Prof. Ruth Pat-Horenczyk
Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a clinical psychologist who received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of California in San Diego. Her current research topics focus on risk and protective factors for childhood PTSD, relational trauma, emotion regulation and posttraumatic growth. Ruth's current research project is on “Predicting effective adaptation to breast cancer to help women to BOUNCE back” with experts from the fields of oncology, computer modeling, psychology, and social medicine from Finland, Israel, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Dr. Yael Dayan


Post Doctoral Students

Dr. Nira Wahle

Dr. Sara Zalcberg

Dr. Yasmin Abud Halbi

Dr. Maya Zfati

Dr. Bella Kovner



Dr. Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson
Yael (Julia) Ponizovsky-Bergelson is a researcher and a senior lecturer at the School of Social Work at the Ruppin Academic Center. She completed her post doctoral studies at NEVET and the Freie University Berlin and her doctoral studies at the direct track for doctoral studies with the Program for Outstanding Students at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yael specialises in studying young children's perspectives in multicultural contexts. Yael's scientific interests are migration processes and cultural transitions from the psychological and contextual perspectives.

Dr. Natalie Ulitsa
Dr. Natalie Ulitsa is a post-doctoral student at the Department of Community Mental Health at the Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences at the University of Haifa. She received her master's degree in Early Childhood Studies and completed her doctoral studies at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her PhD research, conducted in NEVET (supervised by Prof. Dorit Roer-Strier and Prof. Heidi Keller), focused on parenting beliefs and practices as well as parental perceptions of risk for children among  the 1.5 generation of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel. She is currently engaged in research on ethical aspects of the early diagnosis and prediction of dementia in various soci-cultural groups.

Dr. Ibtisam Marey-Sarwan
Ibtisam Marey-Sarwan is an early childhood education lecturer at Sakhnin College and the Arabic College of Haifa for Teacher Education. Her PhD research focuses on Bedouin families in the Naqab (Negev) and examines attachment and risk from context informed perspectives. Her postdoctoral thesis is about Perspectives of Risk and Protection among Young Bedouin Children in the Unrecognized Villages of the Naqab. She has written several articles and has participated in international conferences.

Noémie Bloomberg
Noémie Bloomberg is a parental counselor and gives lectures and workshops in France and Israel. Noémie researched Parental Perceptions among French Mothers and is now a research assistant in Kedem researching the process of a community centered project among families with children at risk.

Netanel Biton
Netanel Biton is a social worker at a private mental health organization in Beer-Sheva and teaches at the school of social work at Sapir Academic College. In his thesis research, he explored the parenting experience of gay fathers who underwent surrogacy.

Loui Jaber
Loui Jaber is a student at the School of Social Work and a research student at NEVET at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2010 he finished his first M.A. in Nonprofit Management & Leadership at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Sameer Kadan

Dr. Yael Ventorero-Hochman

Dr. Anna Kosner

Dr. Michal Gatenio-Kalush

Boaz Cohen

Galit Itzik-Meir

Ahlam Abokirn

Naomie BenChimol

Orly Erlichman

BatChen Karny

Hodaya Bashan

Gali Shtein

Mani Pollack

Naden Jeries

Natali Zohr

Rachel Yishai

Moran Anaki

Paulina Ekel-Monir

Gili Amorai

Liat Nuzik

Lina Phaticha


Doctoral Candidates

Yan Serdtse
Yan Serdtse is a Ph.D. candidate at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research focuses on the experiences of fathers, fatherhood and fathers’ perceptions of risk in immigrant families both from the former USSR in Israel and Israeli born fathers. He has a master’s degree in Clinical and Educational Psychology from the School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His master thesis was titled: “Shared traumatic reality: Characterization of the factors that contributed to the efficiency of the psychological treatment of children, after the second Lebanese war”. In addition to his research, Yan lectures for several methodological and clinical courses at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare and at The School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Rivky Keesing
Rivka Keesing is an experienced occupational therapist (BOT, NDT) who works with children, parents and adults with various disabilities. Rivka worked for 18 years at 'ALEH Center' as an OT and as a manager of different professional departments and projects. Rivka completed her master's degree at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is now a doctoral student. She is a member of the NEVET Greenhouse for research at the Hebrew University. Her study focuses on context informed research in the field of child risk and protection within the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel.

Lior Birger
Lior Birger is a social worker and a PhD candidate at the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a fellow at the interdisciplinary program "Human Rights Under Pressure", a joint program of The Hebrew University and The Freie University, Berlin, and at NEVET. Her PhD research, supervised by Prof. Mimi Ajzenstadt and Dr. Yochay Nadan, explores the contextual dimensions of the relationship between social workers and refugees from Eritrea in both Germany and Israel. Since 2009 she has been working with refugees and asylum seekers through different social services, NGOs and community initiatives. Her M.A Thesis dealt with the perceptions of gender and sexuality among Eritrean men in Israel. Recently, together with two other colleagues, Lior has published a research report, including testimonies of refugees who “voluntarily” departed Israel to Rwanda and Uganda and after a hazardous journey, gained protection in Europe. Together with Dr. Yochay Nadan, Lior is teaching the course “The Narrative Study of Lives” at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sarah Dar-Issa
Sarah Dar-Issa is an occupational therapist who finished her master's degree in Early Childhood Education and is a doctoral candiate. She works at a therapeutic kindergarten in Jerusalem for children with developmental and speech delay.

Yaffa Stokar 
Yaffa Stokar is a licensed Medical Psychologist heading the Psycho-Oncology team at the Sharett Institute of Oncology at The Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, and a founding partner at the Psyfass Clinic which specializes in medical psychology and psycho-somatic therapy. She completed her master’s degree in Psychology at The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, and is currently working towards her PhD at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yaffa's research interests include the topic of End of Life, the well-being of medical health professionals (eg. Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Growth and Meaning), and medical education. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children

Efrat Lusky-Weisrose
Efrat Lusky is a PhD student at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she also completed her master’s degree. Efrat’s research focuses on child sexual abuse among Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. Alongside her research, Efrat worked as a medical social worker with patients with chronic diseases. Currently, she is a coordinater at the Center for Disability Studies at the Hebrew University, as well as the Erasmus+ project carried out at NEVET.

Amitai Marmor
Amitai Marmor is a researcher and a PhD student at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his master's degree at Tel Aviv University. Amitai's research focuses on issues relating to sexual abuse in children and families and children at risk. Alongside his research, Amitai works as a therapist for children, youth and adults, specifically within sexual assault.

Hannah Bartl
Hannah Bartl is a psychologist and a PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed her B.A studies at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and holds an M.A (Diploma) in Clinical Psychology and Developmental Psychology from the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. Her PhD deals with belief systems and perception towards early attachment relationships in various socio-cultural backgrounds in Israel. Her research aims to provide a culture-informed perspective to trainings of professionals working with children and families from various backgrounds and to influence the formation of ‘context-sensitive’ social policy. She is a member of NEVET and voluteered to become part of the Quality Assurance Commitee of the Erasmus+ project DEMO. Moreover, she worked as a teaching assistant at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the NEVET seminar.

Rawan Dahabre
Rawan Dahabre is a Ph.D. student at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed her master’s degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on issues relating to coping with breast cancer among women and the differences between Jewish and Arab women in this field. Alongside her Ph.D. she works as a social worker at the Oncology Outpatient department at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.

Elichen Amitai
Elichen Amitai is a PhD. Student at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his master's degree in social work at The Hebrew University. Elichen's research is about the spiritual and religious coping mechanisms of Jewish Ultra-Orthodox mentally ill people. Alongside his research he works as a sex therapist in Jerusalem.

Yaara Shilo

Ruthi Senesh

Netanel Gemara

Shelly Engdau-Wanda

Esther Fanta

Nofar Eini

Roi Gidon

Salwa Qicks Halbi

Lital Yona

Zev Ganz

Mati Angel

Yael Lanzkron-Rubenstein


Masters Students

Efrat Lehman-Shalit
Efrat Lehman-Shalit is a social worker, researcher and master's student at The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Over the last five years she has worked in Youth Law for the Social Welfare Office in Jerusalem. As a part of her work, she has handled and dealt with families and minors who are on the continuum between risk and danger. Among other things, she has dealt with various cases of sexual abuse among minors .During her studies and her work has taken a number of courses and workshops on sexual vulnerability and has participated in several courses in qualitative research at the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Or Kedem
Or Kedem is a social worker and researcher on the subject of refugee mothers. She recieved her bachelor's degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is now a research student with NEVET. Since 2012 she has worked with refugee NGO's, and has worked in the mental health department since 2016. The value of equality leads her in her professional and private life.

Eliya Gal
Eliya Gal is a social worker studying for her master's degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working as a parents' guide at the Social Services' 'Parents-Children Center'. She completed two bachelor degrees; a B.Sw at Bar Ilan University and B.Sc in medical and biological sciences at Tel Aviv University.

Loui Jabar
Loui Jaber is a student at the School of Social Work and a researcher at NEVET at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2010 he finished his first M.A. in Nonprofit Management & Leadership at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Zohar Sharvit
Zohar Sharvit is completing her thesis in a research for her MA degree in a study group with NEVET. Her thesis focuses on parent education experiences in the welfare services. She completed her master's degree at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Early Childhood expertise. Zohar works full-time as a researcher at the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute which focuses on applied social research. Alongside her research work and her studies, Zohar is an guest lecturer on group processes and communication in group training courses.

Sabita Deshu
Sabita Deshemaru is a multilingual international development professional. Currently engaged in preparatory research for her PhD, she has also worked at the Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI) as a counselor to Nepali migrant workers in Israel on their employment rights. Sabita has previously worked as an area coordinator to recruit international volunteers in community development with Tevel B’Tzedek. Prior to this, she worked with an education project as a coordinator in the western part of Nepal. In addition, she has volunteered for a number of aid organizations in Nepal and in India, including UNDP. At Reproductive Health Rights, India, she designed and implemented a reproductive health awareness project and conducted health training for local staff and women leaders. Sabita has excellent academic credentials from leading universities and long lasting interest in international development with a focus on health.

Or Alter

Shani Rotem

Netanel Biton

Michal Tier

Dima Gutman

Liraz Mizrachi

Revital Katz Yekutieli

Gilat Biton

Sarah Issa

Channan Khouri

Gali Shtein

Anna Gogonsky

Hila Madhalafar

Meor Kaplan

Hadas Barabie

Tsofnat Melamed


Partners and Affiliates

Prof. Cory Shulman

Dr. Shirli Werner

Prof. Sharon Shiovitz

Prof. Mona Khoury

Dr. Shalhever Attar Schwartz

Dr. Osnat Zamir

Michal Goldberg

Michal Barak

Dafni Moshiov

Dr. Galia Plotkin

Dr. Michal Komem


International Advisory Board

Prof. Deborah Best, Psychology, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA

Prof. Alicia Lieberman, Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Francisco, USA

Prof. Çigdem Kagitcibasi, Social and Cultural Psychology, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Jill Korbin, Department of Anthropology and Director Schubert Center for Child Childhood Studies, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Prof. Mark Tomlinson, Developmental Psychology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Prof. Marten W. deVries, M.D., Social Psychiatry at Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Prof. Tom Weisner, Departments of Anthropology and Psychiatry, UCLA, USA

Prof. Carol Worthman, Department of Anthropology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA








Demo Erasmus+ Project

Hope Kindergarten

This research is based on a case study of Bedouin parents from unrecognized villages in the Naqab desert who experience dispossession, severe structural oppression and cultural transition in the midst of an ongoing political conflict. The study provides an opportunity to witness processes of change. A group of mothers decided to take action, and initiated a community-managed kindergarten called ‘Hope’, that allows their children to play in a safe place. Supported by their husbands, the mothers invited Arab-Israeli parliament members, journalists and NGO directors to visit the kindergarten in order to raise attention to their children’s needs. These initiatives have been proves successful, as authorities have decided to provide transportation for the children (ages 4-5) from unrecognized villages to a governmental kindergarten in a nearby recognized village. Parents continue to support the ‘Hope’ initiative to keep their children out of danger.


Nevet Peer Mentoring Program

Mentoring Program Aim:

  • To help MA students reach their full potential as effectively and quickly as possible
  • To increase the level of professional satisfaction for mentees and mentors
  • To cultivate productive professional relationships among colleagues
  • To take advantage of the experience and valuable talents of mentors and mentees
  • To enhance decision-making skills related to the mentee’s research

Mentor Roles:

  • Listen to the needs and expectations of the mentee
  • Work with the student to help him/her develop and establish realistic and obtainable goals
  • Offer suggestions and feedback
  • Keep the mentee aware of his/her progress
  • Be committed to serve as a resource to the mentee
  • Encourage the mentee to explore new areas
  • Follow up on commitments made to the mentee


During the semester we will escort the mentoring process by inviting the researcher and MA student to contact us regarding any issue related to the student-researcher collaboration.

For mor information:

Research Groups



Doctorate and DSW candidates  from  our partnering universities  in the USA, Germany, Russia and Argentina  are welcome to join our research groups listed below for their dissertations and post- doctoral research.

 For more information please contact prof. Dorit Roer-Strier


Dr. Brie Radis





A Context Informed Perspective to the Study of Refugees' and Asylum Seekers’ Lives

This research group aims to broaden the often-limited view and understanding of refugees and asylum seekers lives. By employing qualitative methodologies, based on a context-informed approach, the group studies the topic of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel and in Europe. The members of the group are researching a variety of topics including: unaccompanied minors; parenthood, risk and protection of children; the “triadic” relationship between social workers; and interpreters and refugees in social services.

Research team: Dr. Yochay Nadan, Prof. Mimi Ajzenstadt, Dr. Bella Kovner, Lior Birger, Sabita Deshemaru, Or Kedem

For more information:

Birger, L., & Peled, E. (2017). Intimate strangers: Eritrean male asylum seekers’ perceptions of marriage and sexuality. Culture, health & sexuality, 19(12), 1360-1373.

Birger, L. Shoham, S & Bolzman, L. (2018). Better a prison in Israel then dying on the way: testimonies of refugees who ‘voluntarily’ departed Israel to Rwanda and Uganda and gained protection in Europe. An independent research report (37 pages).



Attachment in Large Families

The goal of the attachment research group is to describe and understand relational networks in families from different cultural groups. Attachment theory and research is based on the family model within the Western middle class. This model is applied to families worldwide but does not adequately capture their developmental dynamics. In Israel the study specifically focuses on families with many children, such as Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families, Christian and Muslim Arab families and families from Ethiopian origin. We try to assess the subjective representations of relationships of the family members with a multimethod approach.

Research Team: Prof. Heidi Keller, Hannah Bartl

For more information: 

Caught in the Middle: Children’s Exposure to High-Intensity Parental Conflict

Many children worldwide are exposed on a daily basis to high-intensity parental conflict between their parents. The overall aim of the project is to enhance the theoretical and practical knowledge in the field while exploring it using various perspectives. 

Research Team: Dr. Carmit Katz, Dr Hanita Kosher, Revital Katz

For more information:


Child Arrest

The child arrest research group is studying the criminological, victimological and psycho-social aspects related to child arrest in Occupied East Jerusalem. The qualitative and quantitative data for the group's studies includes police arrest records, analysis of court verdicts, protocols of Knesset discussions concerning child rights and children's access to justice, and reports published by the government, human rights organizations and both the Israeli and Palestinian Media. Moreover, over the past five years we have also conducted round table discussions; in-depth interviews with children and their families as well as professionals (e.g. public prosecution, public defense lawyers, professionals working for local and international NGOs, welfare and law enforcement professionals). In addition to being the only academic group that thoroughly studies all aspects related to children's access to justice in Occupied East Jerusalem, we are also involved in activism to promote children's rights. These include court watch visits, round table discussions, and participation in relevant Knesset discussions.

Research Team: Prof. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian, Dr. Bella Kovner, Ms. Shahrazad Odeh, Ms. Abeer Otman

For more information:

Bella Kovner and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (2016). Children’s Rights, State Criminality and Settler Colonialism: Violence and Child Arrest in Occupied East Jerusalem, State Crime Journal 5(1): 109-138. DOI: 10.13169/statecrime.5.1.0109.

Bella Kovner and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (2017). Child Arrest, Settler Colonialism, and the Israeli Juvenile System: A Case Study of Occupied East Jerusalem. The British Journal of Criminology. DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azx059.

Bella Kovner and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (2017). Children, Human Rights Organizations, and the Law under Occupation: The Case of Palestinian Children in East Jerusalem. The International Journal of Human Rights. DOI:

Coping and Resilience Facing Medical Illness

This group focuses on promoting health and coping with illness. Our research explores the impact of illness, including End of Life Care and the impact on patients, their family members and professional caregivers. Our theoretical and empirical background is based on the prism of trauma, resilience and literature on post-traumatic growth. Currently, we are working on two main projects, the first: Predicting effective adaptation to breast cancer to help women BOUNCE Back: a collaboration with experts from the fields of oncology, computer modeling, psychology, and social medicine from Finland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Israel. The second project studies medical health professionals in several Israeli medical centers, and how they are influenced, both professionally and personally, by the provision of end of life care. A better understanding of these influences can help devise specific interventions to reduce professional burnout in this field. The current studies are taking place: 1) Predicting effective adaptation to breast cancer to help women BOUNCE Back 2) Effect of providing End of Life care of medical health personne. 

Research Team: Prof. Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Yaffa Stokar, Rawan Dahabre, Hanan Khoury

For more information:


1. Hamama-Raz, Y., Perry, S., Pat-Horenczyk, R., Bar-Levav, R., Stemmer, S. (2012). Factors affecting participation in group intervention in patients after adjuvant treatment for early-study breast cancer. Acta Oncologica, 51, 208-214.

2. Pat-Horenczyk, R., Perry, S., Hamama-Raz, Y., Ziv, Y., Schramm-Yavin, S., Stemmer, S.M. (2015). Posttraumatic Growth in Breast Cancer Survivors: Constructive and Illusory Processes. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 214-222. DOI: 10.1002/jts.22014.

3. Hamama-Raz, Y., Pat-Horenczyk, R., Perry, S., Ziv, Y., Bar-Levav, R., & Stemmer, S. M. (2016). The Effectiveness of Group Intervention on Enhancing Cognitive Emotion Regulation Strategies in Breast Cancer Patients: A 2-Year Follow-up. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 15(2), 175-182.‏ DOI: 10.1177/1534735415607318.

4. Pat-Horenczyk, R., Saltzman, L. Y., Hamama-Raz, Y., Perry, S.., Ziv, Y., Ginat-Frolich, R., & Stemmer, S. M. (2016). Stability and Transitions in Posttraumatic Growth Trajectories among Cancer Survivors: LCA and LTA Analyses. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, practice and policy, 8(5), 541-5419. DOI: 10.1037/tra0000094.

5. Hamama-Raz, Y., & Pat-Horenczyk, R., Roziner, I, Perry S. Stemmer, S. (2019). Can Posttraumatic Growth after Breast Cancer Promote Positive Coping? A Cross-Lagged Study. Psycho-Oncology.

Submitted for Publication:

Hamama, L., Hamama-Raz, Y., Stokar Y.N., Pat-Horenczyk, R., Brom, D. & Harlev-Bron, E. (under review). Burnout and perceived social support in physicians and nurses: The mediating role of secondary traumatization. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

Hamama-Raz, Y., Hamama, L., Stokar Y.N., Pat-Horenczyk, R. Brom, D. & Baron-Harlev, E. (under review) Secondary traumatic stress and posttraumatic growth: Comparing pediatric hospital professional sectors. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

In preparation:
Stokar, Y.N. & Pat-Horenczyk, R. The effects of end of life care on medical healthcare professionals.

Cultural Competence and Language Accessibility

Our research group is interested in promoting studies related to language accessibility of different populations, for example, the practice of interpretation and intercultural mediation, the experience of the professional relationship in a translated conversation and organizational preparation for community interpretation. We aim to develop knowledge to inform policy and practice in order to improve services operating with diverse populations. The current study is entitled: Community interpretation in the social services: An exploratory study.

Research Team: Dr. Orna Shemer, Dr.Yochay Nadan, Tamar Schwartz

For more information:


Nadan, Y. & Shemer, O. (2017). Community interpretation in the social services: Literature review and an exploratory study (96 pages). Joint Distribution Committee-IDC and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services. [Hebrew]

Shemer, O. (2016). Inter-cultural mediation: critical view on the development of a cultural-sensitive role. In B. Bashir., G. Ben Porat, & Y. Yona (Eds.), Multi-culturalism and policy (pp. 226-263). Jerusalem: Van leer Jerusalem institute. [Hebrew]

Family Group Conference Model for Families with Children at Risk

A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a model based process used for reaching a joint decision between and for families, professionals, and community members regarding children at risk . This process is led by a trained coordinator, who over a period of a few months accompanies the family and the people from the community who support them, in order to come together to build an intervention plan to improve the well being of children and reduce risk. This model, carried out in several countries, is currently run as a pilot study in Israel in several cities as a possible alternative to "decision committees" for children at risk. The pilot is currently being implemented with families from diverse cultural groups (e.g. Ultra orthodox, immigrants, Bedouins) and is led by the Ministry of Labor and Social Walfare, JDC-Ashalim and the Ministry of Immigration and Integration. The pilor itself is carried out by Mosaica.
This research group is conducting a longitudinal evaluation study of mixed methods by interviewing parents, children, social workers, coordinators and supportive members from the community. In addition to understanding aspects of FGC practice, we also explore perceptions of risk and protection within cultural context and the relationship between the diverse communities and the welfare systems.

Research team: Prof. Dorit Roer-Strier, Dr. Orna Shemer, Dr. Yasmin Abud-Halabi, Yan Serdtse, Liraz Mizrahi-Levy, Dimitri Gutman, Gilat Biton, Ahlam Abokirn, Michal Neomi Tayar

For more information: Dr. Orna Shemer:

Fathers, Fatherhood & Fathering

Parenting research in large-scale societies initially focused on mothers and when fathers were studied they typically were white, Euro-American, and middle-class. Currently, evidence is available from cultures in every continent but the coverage within and between nations varies widely. Almost all research on fathers across cultures since 1990 suggests some change in the direction of greater involvement by fathers. Our research group focuses on Fathers, Fatherhood & Fathering in different contexts in Israel. Our goal is to provide, facilitate, and disseminate research that documents parenting experiences and the perceptions of the fathers, the challenges and their coping methods. The current studies are taking place include: Perceptions of children's risk among Arab fathers in the Jerusalem Corridor area; The parenting experience of gay fathers who undertook surrogacy abroad; Fatherhood of stolen moments: Involvement of Israeli and FSU born fathers in infant care; and Mentalizing features in paternal speech of Israeli and FSU born fathers.

Research Team: Prof. Orya Tishbi, Dr. Yochay Nadan, Dr. Yasmin Aboud Halabi, Dr. Maya Tzfati, Nati Biton, Louis Jaber.

For more information: 



The study, run as a joint international research group of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Osnabruck University in Germany, studies the comparison of Israeli born and Former Soviet Union born fathers of young infants and the emerging subjectivity of mothers and the development of early mother-infant relationships among Israeli born and Former Soviet Union born mothers of young infants. In addition, the team is studying parental investments from an evolutionary-developmental perspective, focusing on psychological investments that show up during dyadic interactions, among cross-cultural samples within Israel and Germany.

Research Team: Yan Serdtse, Ruthi Senesh, Niklas Dworazik 


Parent Education/Support Programs in Welfare Services

This research group focuses on exploring the practice of “parent education” or “parent support programs” in the context of public welfare services. We aim to develop knowledge regarding its theoretical foundations, its relevance for diverse populations (people living in poverty, ethnic minority groups etc.) as well as its outcomes. The current study is entitled: Perspectives of parents and professionals regarding parent education/support programs in welfare services.

Research Team:  Dr.Yochay Nadan, Dr. Carmit Katz, Zohar Sharvit, Eliya Shemer

For more information:

Risk & Protection: Parents and Professionals Perceptions Regarding Risk and Protection of Children

The risk and protection group is triangulating perceptions of parents and professionals (e.g. social workers, teachers, community leaders) regarding the topics of children at risk, child abuse and neglect as well as protective variables. The studies are conducted in Israel (in diverse communities, such as with immigrants and refugees, the Ultra-Orthodox, Bedouins, etc.) and abroad. We aim to: 1) Document communalities and differences in perceptions of various communities and to compare the views of parents and professionals. 2) Learn about perceptions of professionals, both professionals from the studied communities and those who are not from within the communities. 3) Discover ways to promote the protection and safety of children. 4) Document available interventions for children at risk and their utilization by different communities as well as learn about advantages and challenges of utilizing these programs. 5) Learn about context specific community enhanced interventions in different communities. The data contributes both to theory and practice in the area of risk and protection. The current studies are being conducted within the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, the Ethiopian community, the LGBT community and with families of Moroccan descent.

Research Team: Dorit Roer-Strier, Yochay Nadan, Netanel Gemara, Shelly Engdaow-Vanda, Lital Yona, Rivky Kising

For more information:

Sexuality and Sexual Abuse

This group deals with studies of sexuality and sexual abuse in a variety of contexts and in an attempt to examine the many facets of the phenomenon and its various and varied manifestations. The current studies being conducted include: “Child sexual abuse by authority figures among Haredi community: Personal and social perspective”; “Sibling sexual abuse (SSA) and involvement in sexual acts between siblings in the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox society: Perspective of adults who were involved in these actions in childhood”; “‘Brother’s Salvation’: Personal perspectives of children and wives of Goel Ratzon (the former members of the cult)”; Preadolescent peer-to-peer sexual abuse (PSA): Professionals perspectives”; Perceptions of sexuality and sexual abuse among religious women in social networks and in virtual discourse” .

Research Team: Dr Dafna Tener, Efrat Lusky, Amitai Marmor, Aya Almog, Shosh Turgeman, Efrat Lehman, Tzfnat Melamed

For more information:


The LGBT Community: Children, Adolescents, Young Adults and Their Families

This research group aims to broaden our understanding regarding the lives of children and families in the LGBT community. We adopt intersectional, resilience, and human rights approaches to study a variety of topics including: parenthood in same sex families, risk and protection of children in same sex families and the inclusion of transgender students in the academic arena.

Research team: Dr. Yochay Nadan, Dr. Maya Tzfati, Dr. Brie Radis, Mr. Netanel Biton. 

For more information:

Young Children’s Perspectives on Risk and Protection

 This research group aims to develop and promote the discourse on young children's perspectives among local and international researchers. The main questions this group aims to understand include: 1. What can we learn from young children? Based on studies conducted with children, what issues are children dealing with? What can we learn from them about children's worlds and about ourselves? 2. What are the methods to analyze various data collected such as photos, drawings and verbal explanations? Should we regard photography and drawing as independent research methodologies or triggers for verbal text? 3. What is the impact of context on children's perspectives? Various contexts such as culture, ethnicity, religion, politics, economy, migration are affecting children's worlds. What are possible ways to assess the effects of contexts on children perspectives? 4. What are the ethical dilemmas and challenges involved in researching children perspectives? Is it possible to develop a guideline that is acceptable across our diverse research locations? 5. Impact and practical implications for the pre-school educational systems. What could be the contributions of the growing body of knowledge on the practice of pre-school teachers and other members of the educational systems dealing with preschoolers?. The current studies taking place include:  “Risk and Protection in the Views of Immigrant Children”; “Analysing Visual Data” and “Combined Analysis of Multiple Data”.

Research Team: Dr. Yael Dayan, Prof. Dorit Roer-Strier, Dr. Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Dr. Nira Wahle

For more information:


Wahle, N., Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Y., Dayan, Y., Erlichman, O., & Roer-Strier D. (2017). On the margins of race, immigration and war: Perspectives on risk and protection of young children from the Ethiopian community in Israel. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 25(2), 305-320.

Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Y., Dayan, Y., Wahle, N., & Roer-Strier D. (in press). A qualitative interview with young children: What encourages or inhibits young children's participation? International Journal of Qualitative Methods

Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Y., Roer-Strier D., Dayan, Y., & Wahle, N. (in press). Children at Risk: Children's Perspectives of Risk and Protection. In: T. Tulviste, D. L. Best & J. L. Gibbons (Eds.). Children's social worlds in cultural context. Springer.

Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Y., Ashter, S., Dayan, Y., Roer-Strier D. & Wahle, N. (submitted). Agency in children's perspectives on risk and protection. [Hebrew]

Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Y., Dayan, Y., & Wahle, N. (in prep.). Risk and protection: Children's perspectives. In: J.E. Korbin, R.D. Krugman, D. Roer-Strier & Y. Nadan (Eds.). Springer's Child Maltreatment Series.

Dayan, Y., Manzura, S., Porat, A., Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Y., Ben-Nun, N. & Harel-Kanot, Z. (2017). Young children's perspectives: A course planning guide.



Courses and Training


The Narrative Study of Immigrants’ and Refugees’ Lives

Dr. Yochay Nadan and Ph.D student Lior Birger will teach a course focusing on narratives of immigrants lives. This course was piloted in the spring semester of 2018 to 20 BA students and will be taught in the spring semester of 2019 to 30 MA students. The course focuses on narratives of immigrants’ and refugees’ lives. Our life story is shaped by the experiences and memories we collect throughout our lifetime. It reflects our personal, family and collective identity, as well as constructs our identity. This course will deal with the exploration of immigrants and refugees’ life stories, as well as the application of these theoretical ideas into narrative social work practice. Our life story is shaped by the experiences and memories we collect throughout our lifetime. It reflects our personal, family and collective identity, as well as constructs our identity. This course will deal with the exploration of immigrants and refugees’ life stories, as well as the application of these theoretical ideas into narrative social work practice.
Contact details: Dr. Yochay Nadan; Lior Birger


Context-informed encounters in Therapy, Education and Community Interventions

In 2016 Professor Dorit Roer-Strier and Dr. Naomi Shmuel joined forces to create a new academic course. The students were a heterogeneous group of master’s students from various disciplines, primarily from the departments of social work and education. Students are generally used to academic learning based on lectures, academic texts and intellectual exercises in which emotions are rarely directly addressed or meant to be a part of the learning process. As such, many students described this new course as “a total surprise.”  Dorit and Naomi used a number of innovative teaching methods to address potentially volatile issues relating to personal and group identity, a sense of belonging, the meaning of ‘home’, social and political topics especially relating to prejudices, minorities, immigrants and refugees. These issues often arouse deep emotions and are potentially explosive in the classroom. And yet students training to work directly with people, such as teachers, educational advisors, psychologists, social and community workers and others, can benefit from confronting and reflecting upon their attitudes and feelings on such issues as part of their professional training in order to function effectively in a multicultural society. The methods used include a workshop with children’s books, photos and films, simulations, personal reflection, group and class discussions. As one student put it: “I found myself opening up to a new kind of learning, my thinking has become much more flexible following this course and now I see things differently.”The course has been taught each year since then, each time adapting to address current issues and new perspectives in creative and thought provoking ways.
This year (2019) Dr. Naomi Shmuel is teaching the course, with guest speakers from the NEVET Greenhouse, and two interactive simulations have been created via the Meser centre for simulations (Haruv Campus). These simulation sessions will be filmed for further use in future courses.



Perspectives of Immigrant Children in Israel 2018/9

Taught by Dr. Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson, this course aims to understand the immigrant experience from the point of view of child immigrants. Students are exposed to qualitative studies on children's perspectives and conduct research with child immigrants.

The first half of the course touches on theoretical definitions of childhood and children's rights in relation to their welfare. The second half of the course focuses on the qualitative approach in the study of perspectives and its research methods, as well as with the application of the research on Israeli immigrant children's perspectives to their wellbeing while discussing ethical dilemmas in research with them. 

By the end of the course, students have a better understanding of the knowledge, dilemmas and challenges that immigrant children face, become familiar with the theoretical approach and various methods in the study of children's perspectives and are able to conduct studies from the perspective of child immigrants; such as tailor research methods to the subject of research, conduct interviews with children and analyze and discuss the research data. 


Developmental Psychology: A Context-Informed Perspective

Taught by Yan Serdtse, the course aims to understand development processes from infancy through childhood (birth to age six) in various respects including neuro-physiological, cognitive, emotional and social development. The course focuses on central issues that accompany the research and understanding of childhood development, nature versus nurture, stages of development versus continuous development, and their implications for psychopathology.

Israel is a country rich with immigration and multiculturalism. Educators come into daily contact with students and parents; potential differences often emerge between them on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, religion and gender. However, most of the training for this complex encounter is universal and ignores the differences between the groups (particularism). Critical theories raise the importance of the narrative of different groups and communities whose voices are not heard in the professional discourse and the importance of recognizing the difference between various cultures. The course will emphasize the importance of observing and examining the various contexts throughout developmental processes within the educational framework.










IACCP Conference, Reims, France, July 2014

Symposium entitled: ‘Child Development and Culture: A Cultural Milestone – The Critical Age of Three Months’.







TACHY WE Russia, October 2014

Presentations on the perceptions of risk and protection among very young children, the subjective experience of motherhood, the perception of fatherhood among native Israelis and immigrants from the former USSR and attachment experiences and parental perceptions of risk among immigrant families from the former USSR.




The European Association Conference in Portugal, September 2015

Presentations on the perceptions of risk among parents and their children.




The National Conference of Doctoral Students of Social Work, February 2016

Led panel on multiculturalism


ISPCAN Conference in Canada,  August 2016

Presented a paper conceptualizing "Spiritual Risk" among close-knit, Ultra-Orthodox communities, based on the analysis of 50 interviews with Ultra-Orthodox parents in Israel and the US.



Honoring Traditions and Creating the Future - IACCP congress in Japan, August 2016

Symposium entitled: ‘Parenting in Diverse Cultural Environments’.


The NEVET international research workshop: "Studying young children's perspectives: Challenges and implications", June 2016

Following the research project "Young Children's Perspectives on Risk and Protection" 2014/6, a research workshop of the Israel Science Foundation "Studying young children's perspectives: Challenges and implications" was held at NEVET, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. About 30 international and national leading scholars on children’s perspectives presented their studies during the workshop.

The presentations and discussion groups covered crucial questions such as: How to do research with young children? What have we learned on the methodology of studying young children's perspectives? What have we learned about young children from studying their perspectives? What have we learned from children about their self-perception and agency? What have we learned about children's thinking? What are the implications for research and practice (teacher's education, social workers and therapists)? In addition, ethical concerns regarding children's rights to privacy were discussed.

The workshop enabled the first exposure in Israel regarding studying young children's perspectives. While discussing future directions, many local researchers and practitioners requested to hold a workshop that will deal with course construction for training programs like social work and education. We are currently we are planning the follow-up workshop.




Contact Us


NEVET Greenhouse of Context-Informed Research andnevetlogo

Training for Children in Need

The Paul  Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905

Tel: 972-2-5880327

Fax: 972-2-5823587