Dr. Orna Shemer

Lecturer of the Practice
Room 534

Research interests:

Community work, practice of partnerships and participation, cultural competence, dialogue and community mediation, rural communities, cooperative organizations and communities, learning from success, practice wisdom, people who live in poverty and inclusion.

Current research projects:

·      Changes in the Kibbutzim: An interdisciplinary research about the changes in the Kibbutzim (with Prof. Eliezer Ben-Rafael) - Coordinating an extensive research, in partnership with researchers from various disciplines, that examines  the extensive and dramatic economic, ideological, social, cultural, physical (and more) changes taking places in dozens of Kibbutzim in recent year.

·      The new cooperatives in Israel: A study about the recent wave of cooperatives that emerged over the last decade, especially after the protest calling for social justice. The study looks at the motives for the establishment of the cooperatives. Further more, studying  their economic, social and organizational patterns of action, as an expression of communal and activist practices.

·      Community dialogue: Study of the successful dialogue between leaders of various cultural groups in a multicultural city, that work together in a long-term partnership trying to overcome social problems in their city.

Examples of Recent Publications:


·         Shemer, O. (Editor). (2013). Community Mediation and Dialogue Centers – Social Innovation through community Initiatives. Tel Aviv: Ministry of Social Affairs and Social services and JDC Israel. (Hebrew)

·         Shemer, O., Rosenfeld, J.M., Dahan, O. & Daniel-Hellwing, A. (Editors). (2016). What the hell did we do? Success Stories from the support-centers for students with learning disabilities. Tel Aviv: "Mofet" institution & Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)



·         Shemer, O. & Schmid, H. (2007). "Toward a new definition of community partnership: a three dimensional approach". Journal of rural cooperation, 35 (2). 123-140. (English)

·         Shahar, E. & Shemer, O. (2012). Learning with the community: Using the narrative approach and mutual learning through dialogue in community work. Hevra u-Revaha (Society and Welfare) 32 (4). 553-577 . (Hebrew).

Chapters in books: 

·         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. 226-263. Jerusalem: Van leer Jerusalem institute. (peer reviewed) (Hebrew)


Entries in Encyclopedias:

·         Shemer, O. (2014). "Community dialogue" In: Coghlan, D. & Brydon-Miller, M. (Eds.). The Sage Encyclopedia of Action Research. (Vol 1). Los Angles. 143-146. (English)


Published scientific reports and technical papers:

·         Shemer, O. (2013). Perceptions of Community among Members from the Intentional Communities. Shahaf foundation & RIKMA Movement. (Hebrew)

·         Shemer, O. (2016). Research report: The growing-up of the multi-cultural leadership incubator in Sderot – young civil-society in the periphery. Hanns Seidel Foundation (Hebrew, English)



·         Shemer, O. and partners from the welfare department in Dimona. (2016). Wraparound in the community. Ministry of Welfare. (Hebrew).

·         Agmon-Snir, H. & Shemer, O. (2016). Cultural competence in community work. Ministry of Welfare. (Hebrew).